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Test-run GNOME 3.11 in a virtual machine

In June, Alex posted instructions for getting GNOME OS, or the OSTree GNOME image, running in Virtual Box. Since renamed to GNOME Continuous, the continuous build server provides a ready-to-boot virtual machine image containing much of the GNOME stack straight from git. With a couple of configuration adjustments, the downloaded image will run in virt-manager or Boxes 3.10.

Colin Walters’s project wiki page contains installation instructions for the two scenarios, as well as how to upgrade. (Note that you are currently required to log out of the Initial Setup session before logging in as the user you created.)


Recent additions to the image include Polari, GNOME Logs, GNOME Sound Recorder, D-Feet, GNOME Tweak Tool, HotSSH, Evolution and the mozjs24-based Gjs. Take a look at the applications overview for a preview of the contents.


When the image is up and running, use jhbuild to install additional apps, as documented by Andreas Nilsson. Ryan Lortie’s jhbuild procedure works inside the vm, and avoids the use of /opt/gnome.


As Alex mentioned in the previous article, the GNOME Continuous image is intended for use as a testing platform.

On the wiki page, Colin warns:

“To be very clear: Due to lack of security updates, at present it would be at best irresponsible for this system to be used by anyone other than core GNOME developers and testers for the purposes of testing. While using the VM, human testers are advised to avoid browsing untrusted websites, and do not copy sensitive material such as SSH private keys into the VM.”

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  • Matthew Javelet

    Polari <3