How to Install the Latest GNOME Alpha/Beta Versions on Arch Linux

Install GNOME Arch Linux

This tutorial is no longer valid as the maintainer of the repository joined the Arch Linux team and he is now maintaining an official Arch Linux repository called gnome-unstable. Please refer to the Arch Linux Wiki if you want to install the latest GNOME Alpha or Beta builds.

This is a quick and dirty tutorial for those who want to install the alpha or beta development versions of the next major release of the GNOME desktop environment on Arch Linux for testing purposes only.

Every time a new alpha version of a major GNOME release pops up, people ask me how to install it on various GNU/Linux distributions. I always tell them that if there are no packages created for a specific distro, it’s very hard to compile the whole desktop environment from sources and it takes a long time.

GNOME 45 alpha was released recently and some users want to help test it on Arch Linux. Thankfully, open-source developer Fabian Bornschein is still maintaining a repository with the latest GNOME alpha/beta packages for Arch Linux users that want to help with testing.

Before proceeding with the installation, I have to warn you that you should NOT install these packages over an existing, stable GNOME installation. If you want to test alpha/beta versions of GNOME, you should either install a fresh Arch Linux system on a separate partition or on a virtual machine!

Please follow the instructions provided by Fabian Bornschein in his repository very carefully.

If you still want to proceed with the installation over your existing installation, first you should make sure that you disable any third-party Arch Linux repositories you might have installed, including the official Arch Linux “testing” repositories, and remove or downgrade any packages that have been installed from those repos.

To install the most recent GNOME alpha or beta packages, you will first need to add the keyring because the packages are signed. Copy/paste the following lines of code into a terminal emulator.

sudo pacman-key --keyserver hkps:// --recv-keys 6E58E886A8E07538A2485FAED6A4F386B4881229sudo pacman-key --lsign-key 6E58E886A8E07538A2485FAED6A4F386B4881229

Then you need to install the package mirror list using the command below.

sudo pacman -U

Once that mirror-list package is installed, you need to edit the /etc/pacman.conf file with nano or vim and add Fabian Bornschein’s repository listed below above Arch Linux’s [core] repository.

Include = /etc/pacman.d/fcgu-mirrorlist

That’s it! All you have to do now is to update your Arch Linux system by running the sudo pacman -Syu command. The latest GNOME alpha/beta packages will be picked up and installed automatically from Fabian Bornschein’s repository.

Don’t forget to reboot your system once all the packages were installed. Also, make sure that you regularly update your installation to receive the newest package versions as they bring more fixes. Happy testing!

Last updated 3 months ago

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