2/27/2004 - This FAQ is officially outdated. Although it may still contain some useful information and links, much of the pain and sufferring required in the 2.0 days has been eliminated. Corrections, updates and new questions & answers can be emailed to me as I would like a compile a GNOME 2.6 FAQ.

After building GNOME 2 from cvs for almost 8 months now, I am finally running GNOME 2 as my desktop. This page is designed to give users new to GNOME 2 some tips and other information I found helpful when getting started. This document is a work in progress and is updated every few days. Questions, corrections and suggestions are always welcome.

My current gtk2 theme is PrettyOkayish by tigert. I use metacity as my window manager.

My GNOME2 Stuff

Quick Gnome2 FAQ

  1. I want to build GNOME 2 from source, what is the best way.

    There are many build script available to build gnome2. If you want to build gnome2 from released tarballs, look into garnome and cvsgnome. If you want to build gnome2 from cvs, look into v-b-s, jhbuild and cvsgnome. You can also download, untar and build all of the modules by hand.

  2. I've finished building gnome2, now what?

    In most cases, before using gnome2, you need to set some environment variables. I have the following variables defined in my ~/.bashrc . You will most likely need to tweak these to suite your needs:

    export PATH=/usr/local/gnome2/bin:$PATH
    export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/gnome2/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
    export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/gnome2/lib/pkgconfig

    You can launch gnome2 apps from a terminal within any desktop OR you can modify gdm to launch a gnome2 session (my gdm session file) OR set up an XNest session. See the garnome FAQ for info on how to set up a XNest session.

  3. How do you use anti-aliased fonts in gnome2?

    You need to set the GDK_USE_XFT environment variable, if you are using bash type 'export GDK_USE_XFT=1'

  4. Where can I get a large image of the GNOME 2 foot?

    You can get a large png from here or a svg image from here.

  5. When using the ximian-north nautilus theme in the icon view, the shadow of the folders looks jagged, why is that?

    This problem is a result of a slight change in the theme format between nautilus 1.0.x themes and nautilus 1.1.x themes. This can easily be fixed by going into the Ximian-North theme directory (~/.nautilus/themes/Ximian-North) and issuing a 'cp i-directory-aa.png i-directory.png'

  6. When I install a nautilus theme, the toolbar icons don't change, what's happening?

    This is not a bug and is by design. In GNOME 2, in order to make nautilus a more native GNOME app, nautilus themes are not allowed to change the toolbar icons. Toolbar icons can only be changed by gtk themes in a gktrc file.

  7. I'm using GNOME 2.1.x and I don't see how to change nautilus themes. How do I?

    Nautilus themes were removed in GNOME 2.1 in favor or more generic icon themes. The spec for icon themes can be found here. Icon themes should be untarred to $PREFIX/share/icons and can be changed by changing the /desktop/gnome/interface/icon_theme gconf key.

  8. I want to take a screenshot and I can't find the screenshooter applet, what do I do?

    The screenshooter applet has been removed from gnome2 and has been replaced by gnome-panel-screenshot. You can run it by launching the binary called 'gnome-panel-screenshot' or by going to the 'Actions' menu and choosing 'Take a Screen Shot'. gnome-panel-screenshot also supports the --window and --delay flags, so the command 'gnome-panel-screenshot --delay=5 --window', would wait 5 seconds and then take a screenshot of the active window. You can always take screenshots the old fashioned way using imagemagick with 'import -window root foo.png'.

  9. How do I switch from sawfish2 to metacity?

    Currently, the only way to switch window managers is to kill the one that's running, start the window manager of your choice and save you session. Example: 'killall -9 sawfish; sleep 1; metacity &' and then save you session. You can save your session by running the 'gnome-session-save' command or by logging out and checking save session in the logout box.

  10. How do I change themes in metacity?

    If you are using redhat 8.0 or GNOME 2.1.x, you can change metacity themes by using the theme manager (Desktop Preferences->Themes). If you are using GNOME 2.0.x, changing themes in metacity is done by changing the /apps/metacity/general/theme gconf key. This can be done with gconf-editor or manually by gconftool. 'gconftool-2 --type=string --set /apps/metacity/general/theme theme_name' .

  11. I've installed a new metacity theme and when I change the gconf key, the theme doesn't change, what am I doing wrong?

    You are most likely using a poorly written or outdated theme. The metacity theme format has changed serveral times and you should preview the theme first in in the metacity theme viewer by running the command 'metacity-theme-viewer theme_name' to make sure you're using a valid theme.

  12. After installing gnome2, I launch galeon and it is just a white window. What do I do?

    This is most likely a gconf problem. Gnome2 uses gconf2 and galeon uses gconf1. If gconf1 and gconf2 are installed in seperate prefixes, you need to set them up so they can work together. Read the gconf project page for more information. In my experience, I find it's best to only have gconfd-2 running, so I 'killall -9 gconfd-1' and then install the galeon schemas into the gconf2 prefix. On my system, my galeon1 schema is installed in /etc, so I issue the following command as my local user to copy the schema into the gconf2 prefix 'gconftool-2 --install-schema-file=/etc/gconf/schemas/galeon.schemas'. This should copy the galeon schema into the appropriate place so you can use galeon with gnome2.

  13. How do I compile galeon2

    Compiling galeon2 requires patching mozilla with a gtk2 patch and compiling a special mozilla. Detailed instructions can be found at the galeon2 page.

  14. How do you compile the GNOME 2 port of evolution

    The GNOME 2.x port of evolution has just began so it is still very buggy and hard to build. In order to build it, you need to build the following modules from cvs head: libsoup, gal, gtkhtml, evolution.

  15. What other apps currently have been ported to gtk2/gnome2?

    Lots, and the list gets bigger each day:

    Some of these ports are very stable and some are them have just begun.

GNOME 2 links

Last updated on 01/08/2003