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Gnome and Distros Sequence

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Gnome in Distros

I just checked on the two distros that are following strictly Gnome release schedule, Fedora & Ubuntu.

Gnome Fedora Ubuntu
3.0 | Apr 06 2011 15 | May 24 2011 11.04 | Apr 28, 2011 [1]
3.2 | Sep 28, 2011 16 | Oct 25, 2011 11.10 | Oct 13, 2011
3.4 | Mar 28, 2012 17 | May 29, 2012 12.04 LTS | Apr 26, 2012
3.6 | Sep 26, 2012 18 | Dec 11, 2012 [2] 12.10 | Oct 18, 2012 [3]
3.8 | Mar 27, 2013 19 | Dates N/A 13.04 | April 25, 2013 [4]?
[1]Gnome 3.0 was included in Ubuntu 11.04 though a 3rd party PPA. Ubuntu 11.04 kept Gnome 2.32 and introduced Unity. A classical joke was: Canonical always ship an older Gnome, so nothing new on that :)
[2] Fedora traditionally has many delays. Fedora 18 was originally schedule for November 6 but it postponed 5 weeks, to December 11 mainly because of bugs in re-designed Anaconda. Another week delay might happen.
[3] In 12.10 an Ubuntu Gnome spin was introduced known as Ubuntu Gnome Remix (not final name I think) \o/
[4] The plan is for Ubuntu 13.04 (and Ubuntu Gnome Remix) to stick with GNOME 3.6

So the rule is that you cannot use a newer Gnome in a release that doesn’t support it according to above table.

Gnome Distros

Apart for the above two there are three more descent distros, Arch, openSUSE and Mageia. I didn’t include these because Mageia has a 9month schedule, openSUSE has 8month release schedule (or it can be rolling-release) and Arch is a pure rolling release which ships latest Gnome in about the day (from unstable repos) of the release in the past years.

Gnome 3.6 is available for Arch users after almost one month after the release but this version is a bit special in the sense that it requires systemd.

In quick:

Ubuntu Gnome 12.10: The worst ever release by Canonical, Ubuntu quality got surprising lower  ..but still the best release overall due it’s un-beatable Debian-based package manager (apt) and its extremely good support (community+companies).

Fedora 18:  By far the best Fedora ever release and the purest Gnome distro ..but still suffering from its package manager. Yum will be substituted from DNF in Fedora 19 (?). Red Hatters say DNF will be the most sophisticate package system, we can’t but believe them :)

openSUSE 12.2: Includes Gnome 3.4 (updated to Gnome 3.6 / September 28). OpenSUSE is the absolutely workstation with plenty of tools installed by default. Not really targeting for a Desktop use, but certainly can serve this purpose. SUSE is also proud to run Watchon a AI system from IBM (known as Jeopardy! - Champion) which recently became Dr. Watchon for its contribution in healthcare.

Arch: Not much to talk about. The only real Linux Rolling Release Distro.  It works perfect with Gnome and is perfect in every aspect. Targeting to experience users and installation is really painful. Amazing documentation to everything and the most advanced and friendly Linux community around.

Mageia 3: Version 3 is scheduled for next March 20 and is the most anticipated new distro. It ships Gnome 3.6 and is the only serious effort for mainstream Linux Desktop ..after Ubuntu of course!


A way to use the very latest Gnome is to compiling it from sources. This can be done with the help of JHBuild. Gnome pays a lot of attention on this project and you can watch the introduction of JHBuild. However JHBuild is for developers only.

It is hard to compile Gnome, JHBuild has many bugs and the worst part is that you need like 5-6 hours to deploy a very basic Gnome Installation (at least in my case, 6cores, 8Ram). In any case whoever is interested should check on it.

Did you know?

That Sunflower’s seeds follows Fibonacci Sequence as Alan Mathison Turing had claimed by noticing his garden?

Alan Turing (1912-1954) was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist, and he is considered from some people as the father of computer science. Watch the studies in

A theory about the occurrence of mathematical patterns in nature, developed by computer scientist and code-breaker Alan Turing before his death in 1954, has finally been proven.
Turing believed that the seeds in a sunflower head conform to the Fibonacci code, a sequence of numbers in which the next figure is the sum of the previous two: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and so on.
And this weekend (October 28) in Manchester it was announced that Turing’s theory was indeed correct, thanks to sunflower growers and counters around the world.
The finding was the result of a citizen science project called Turing’s Sunflowers, the initial data from which has shown that 82 per cent of sunflowers recorded had a Fibonacci-type structure.

Source: Yahoo News

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  • ioni

    arch had gnome in the day of the release in the past years.

    gnome 3.6 is available for arch users after almost one month after the release but this version is a bit special in the sense that it requires systemd.

    • alex285

      Sorry for this, I am not using Arch (only in VBox). Corrected it according to you.

    • JJ

      arch took more than 1 month for 3.4 to land in repos. It was available in gnome unstable, though

  • JonCCrawford

    Gnome 3.6 was made available by OpenSuse for their current 12.2 release a few days after its own release. They plan on pushing out KDE’s monthly updates very quickly, so I would not be surprised to see them do the same with Gnome’s much more infrequent updates.

    • alex285

      Today is the mistake day! Fixed; thanks for telling!

  • Jeremy Bicha

    Currently, the plan is for Ubuntu 13.04 to stick with GNOME 3.6.

    • alex285

      Hello Jeremy,

      This includes also UGR?

      • Jeremy Bicha

        At this point, yes as we don’t have a way to ship a different GNOME than Ubuntu.

        • alex285

          Thank you for info!

        • Michael Mistretta

          Would it not be possible to have Gnome 3.8 in the Gnome 3 Team PPA? I’m wagering having that PPA activated in UGR by default and keeping it updated with the latest stable packages would be the best solution. That is what you are attempting to do I believe?

          • alex285

            @jbicha:disqus I just Google a bit about Gnome in Ubuntu 13.04, I found nothing. Where are these info please?

          • Michael Mistretta

            Do you mean the information about Gnome 3.6 in Ubuntu 13.04? I believe that information came from the UDS blueprints.

          • alex285
  • Jeremy Bicha

    Wow, Ubuntu 12.10 is definitely not the worst Ubuntu release ever. And Ubuntu doesn’t always ship an older GNOME; 11.04 was a unique situation as the 3.0 release was late (and had been delayed twice already).

    And it’s hard to say Fedora 18 is the best Fedora release ever. It had a painful Alpha, which is still the latest certified milestone available.

    • alex285

      > Ubuntu 12.10 is definitely not the worst Ubuntu release ever.
      Hmm this could be a long discussion, but because I know many people with Ubuntu (basically everyone I know has an Ubuntu!), almost everyone complains for 12.10 release. There are also people that downgrade back to 12.04. Forums are also quite active with tickets for 12.10. If you could pick a worst release after 10.10, which would be (in relation with time)?

      > Ubuntu doesn’t always ship an older GNOME;
      That is a very old joke, you can’t have missed that! But definitely is not always! And definitely is a joke :)

      > it’s hard to say Fedora 18 is the best Fedora release ever

      All Fedora Alphas were unstable. Actually only Ubuntu works pretty good even in Alpha. I have installed and use Fedora 18 (from daily build) alongside with UGR and I am totally impressed from it (I am not compering Fedora to Ubuntu, but Fedora 17 to Fedora 18).

      • Jeremy Bicha

        Well the worst Ubuntu release would be one of the earlier Ubuntu releases. 11.04 was a difficult release because it introduced Unity by default and Unity also had to be rewritten as a Compiz plugin (the first implementation was done in mutter and was too slow). 11.10 was a challenge as GNOME 3.2 was a big change from 2.32.

        Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is a great release with a huge effort by Canonical and the community to identify and fix bugs and annoyances. Another part of why it was great is because Canonical devoted resources post-release to fix even more bugs and make 12.04.1 LTS great too. Of course, that meant that not as much time was available for Ubuntu 12.10. Ubuntu 12.10 also had the compiz/Unity switch from gconf to gsettings (and there are still bugs from that switch that need to be ironed out). That was difficult work and it landed late which meant that other Unity features like previews, webapps, and the “more suggestions” features also landed too late. On the other hand, I believe the GNOME experience in 12.10 is several steps better than it was in 12.04 (except for the Online Accounts regression).

        If you want stability, stick with 12.04 LTS; I think 13.04 will be a good release too although not quite as good as 12.04.

        As far as Fedora 18 Alpha goes, I was referring specifically to the rather unfortunate “choose automatic partitioning and have your entire disk formatted” bug, but Fedora Alphas are known for being risky.

        • alex285

          I see your point. On the other hand as a consumer -and not customer- I am expecting from 12.10 to be a better from 12.04 because of “the latest and the greatest and your wish is our command” :) I didn’t expect that upgrading from 12.04 to 12.10 to have a broken wireless or any other critical issue :(

          Besides we are talking about Ubuntu. Think what happened with Apple Maps. Every new feature in Ubuntu gets super advertised (even if isn’t something big) and so on every Ubuntu weakness is also strongly matters. Ubuntu is kinda the frond mirror of Linux Desktop.

          • Jeremy Bicha

            I kind of suspected that “worst Ubuntu release ever” was a regression specific to your hardware. I wish we had a better way of identifying those bugs and letting users know about potential problems before upgrading.

          • alex285

            Not personal at all, wireless was just a random pick from an installation in a friend machine. I can count dozens of such issues from my friends sayings. I am not judging from personal opinions, but from talking with people and by reading on forums when I am trying to fix a bug of mine. Personally 12.10 was messed up with my LVM partitions in SSD. But I don’t have the knowledge to know what was wrong. The result was to lose my partitions and to re-install :)

            I am not trying to accuse Ubuntu. I am both fan of Ubuntu and Fedora. But I just turn out to Fedora a bit more cause of 12.10 things..

        • Diogo Campos

          I think the releases between LTS versions should be treated as Beta / Development and NOT recommended for the average user.

          I seriously believe that the non-LTS versions are horrible for a “Windows user”.

          So, without changing anything in their development (only a simple change in marketing) Ubuntu would be much more appealing to the eyes of the public that wants to win.

          What do you think?

          • alex285

            IMO software should silently update like FF & Chrome and Chrome OS. Having 2 years open source old software is nothing but a step backwards. Open source goes too fast for holding it back.

          • Diogo Campos

            I could not agree more with you!

            Regarding Ubuntu: I think that, along with my earlier suggestion, the non-LTS releases could be used (among other things) to build an update for the current LTS desktop applications/environment (more or less like this: LTS, LTS.1, LTS.2, LTS.3, New-LTS, …).

            With over Linux in general: I am very excited about the whole Gnome OS + OSTree + Glick2. (will be amazing!).

            In conclusion, I hope to see very soon linux distributions becoming something much more fluid and upstream.

          • JJ

            Wow, Glick2 is awesome. Is there any news that this being used in gnome OS?

          • Diogo Campos

            There is reference in this page of OSTree:

            “OSTree is completely agnostic to how applications are installed. For GNOME, we’ll probably look at Glick, but this is certainly up in the air.”


    • JJ

      >Ubuntu doesn’t always ship an older GNOME

      Not always, but from 11.04 for sure. Ubuntu only ships a subset of gnome components from the latest release. Always ships many components from different old releases (mix n match) and with each new release, these number (of components in the old versions) increased. With 13.04 we peakes in that growth curve with the comlete gnome stack stuck at old versions.

      >I am not compering Fedora to Ubuntu, but Fedora 17 to Fedora 18

      Fedora 17 was far better than ubuntu (in terms of gnome experience), so if 18 is better than 17 it will surely be better than ubuntu. UGR is not yet there yet, long way to go.

  • Gray

    For me, the distro which has consistently provided the fastest, most stable and reliable Gnome 3.x release is Fedora.

    • alex285

      In my opinion having Fedora (15,16,17,18) I can’t say that Fedora is the best distro, but I could say that Fedora progress really good and every new release is noticeable much much better than the previous.

  • JJ

    How did you compile nautilus 3.7.1. It isn’t available in the repos and compiling throws me an error about libexif not available. I just used ./configure

    • alex285

      You need to install the dependencies.. and gnome-common. But you cannot install Nautilus from master in Gnome 3.6 Env (if you are using UBuntu 12.10), you will need also 3.7 dependencies. You can check on JHBuild, is the easiest -but not easy- way

      • JJ

        I thought 3.6 and 3.7 both has same dependencies. Also libexif is not available in the repos. I am using UGR 12.10.

        • alex285

          I mean the development packages. You need libexif-dev. Library is libexif12, both are in Ubuntu. But I don’t know if Nautilus from master needs gtk-3-dev >= 3.7 for example. I haven’t tried it for a while.

          Building a module from Gnome 3.7.x you need also dependencies from Gnome 3.7.x. You can’t do this in Ubuntu, try JHBuild

          • JJ

            Ok, I guess i will wait until someone packages it. I wonder why it isn’t updated in ricoz ppas?

  • yesihave

    You can install arch with the aui script ( It’s easy as ubuntu to install and configure all things in arch.

    • alex285

      Thanks for sharing, I am looking forward to try this!

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