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GNOME partly working


I finally managed to get GNOME 2.8 starting up mostly fine today.  It
took quite some time to get all the packages built (I did that mostly
some months ago) and figure out the issues, the latter was mostly done
by Neal.

A screenshot is here:


The packages are at

deb http://people.debian.org/~mbanck/hurd-gnome/ ./

The caveats:

1. gamin doesn not work (and FAM is not ported), so there is no
automatic file update for gnome-vfs.  Volunteers are needed to figure
out why gamin does not work (when I built gnome-vfs against it, it made
the whole box freeze).  There were some test suite failures, so this
would probably the best way to start.

2. orbit2<->gconf2 is flakey.  Neal Walfield's pflocal patch (along with
a smaller patch he sent to libc-alpha today) should make orbit work fine
(the test suite passes now), but we have not tested this yet in action.
As an work-around, one can force orbit to use TCP/IP by putting
'ORBIIOPIPv4=1' into ~/.orbitrc.  Thanks to Barry for figuring that out.

3. There is a pretty severe issue with pthread_attr_setstacksize()
from libgthread resulting in nautilus to abort.  I hacked around that
in glib for now, Neal might be able to look into that later on.

4. A lot of GNOME packages seem to link with --as-needed these days, so
you might have to export LD_PRELOAD=/lib/libpthread.so.0.3 until
Roland's glibc patch is committed/in the Debian package.

5. Several minor issues like PATH_MAX stuff; and Build-Depends on things
we don't have (sound libraries, gstreamer, etc.).  For the latter, we'll
have to figure these out together with the Debian GNOME team.  For the
former, we should file bugs upstream.

6. Most applications are not yet built, not even all the ones from
gnome-core.  'apt-get install gnome-applets gnome-control-center
gnome-icon-theme gnome-panel gnome-session metacity nautilus
scrollkeeper' (along with the above APT source) should get you started.

7. I probably forgot something.

In summary, I hope we will be able to get a fully working GNOME
system[1] (not only for Debian, but for anybody building the upstream
sources) by the time 2.12 releases.  Maybe we can get some of the bigger
issues patched in the 2.10.x releases.  In any case, we should be able
to get GNOME working in Debian once sarge is released and 2.10 moves to



[1] Of course, these days GNOME is using advanced kernel features like
D-Bus, HAL etc. and also Gstreamer, so we are lacking behind
feature-wise.  Maybe we can get as far as Solaris mid-term at least.

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