What is GNOME?

The GNOME Desktop is an attractive and useful desktop environment created by the GNU project. GNOME is both free (under the ?GPL) and is one of the most widely used desktop environments on the GNU/Linux operating system. The current release of GNOME is 2.12; however 2.8 is available under Debian ?stable/?sarge, while 2.10 is available under testing/?etch.

Installing GNOME

If you have not X installed on your box, to get a bare minimum base install of X, do using ?aptitude or ?apt-get:

 # aptitude install x-window-system-core

The current ?metapackage for installing a good set of GNOME tools in sid, etch and sarge ?Debian is gnome.


So, from the ?command line, run

 # aptitude install gnome

This will install additional software (gnome-office, evolution) that you may or may not want.


For a smaller set of ?apps, you can also do

 # aptitude install gnome-desktop-environment

A set of additional productivity apps will be installed by

 # aptitude install gnome-fifth-toe


If you need development packages, e.g. for compiling GNOME dependent packages from source, you should try

 # aptitude install gnome-core-devel

For a full set of developer tools, please do

 # aptitude install gnome-devel


You can use ?tasksel to install GNOME or other ?DesktopEnvironment.


Most configuration of the GNOME desktop is done via its various GUI utilities. The location of these varies depending on version, but common utilities include networking, themes, sounds and much more. It is also possible to configure (read/write) settings using the command line with ?gconftool(?2).

See also :