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Gnome 2.18 Upgrade Guide


1.  Major Changes

System Sounds and ESD

Upstream has decided to remove the autospawn capabilities of esd, because they were broken and led to lots of problems. This means that if you use system sounds, you will need to have the esound boot service running. It is started like this:

Code Listing 1.1: Starting esound at boot

# rc-update add esound default

Note that this will not start it until after a reboot, so to start it this time, use this:

Code Listing 1.2: Starting esound in running system

# /etc/init.d/esound start

Totem doesn't have a xine USE flag!

We have decided to remove the xine backend due to various issues that we can not fix easily. We know this makes playing DVDs harder. However, you can still play DVDs. Make sure you have media-video/totem built with dvd USE flag, and then run:

Code Listing 1.3: Playing DVDs with Totem

# totem dvd://

This will play the main feature. There's no menu support, sorry.

We are looking into making it possible to have the xine backend live in totem alongside gstreamer and have xine backend selectable as non-default from the command line. However this would still be unsupported and provided merely as a convenience. We would appreciate coding help to make this happen sooner.

Totem's browser plugin flags have changed! Now I get seamonkey!

Totem's gecko USE flags have been rearranged. Instead of defaulting to seamonkey and selecting firefox or xulrunner based on flags, it now defaults to firefox, and selects xulrunner or seamonkey based on flags. This is for 2 reasons. First, because seamonkey doesn't run on all arches, so it needed to have a USE flag that could be masked. And second, to bring totem in line with the usage of other Gnome apps, such as epiphany. Here are the possible combinations of flags, and what they mean to totem now:

Totem browser plugin USE flag combinations
USE flags Result
USE="-nsplugin" Disable the browser plugin; no gecko will be pulled in
USE="nsplugin -xulrunner -seamonkey" Build the plugin against firefox. This is the default in all profiles.
USE="nsplugin xulrunner -seamonkey" Build the plugin against xulrunner
USE="nsplugin xulrunner seamonkey" Build the plugin against xulrunner. (xulrunner beats seamonkey.)
USE="nsplugin -xulrunner seamonkey" Build the plugin against seamonkey

2.  Known Issues

Tray icons missing (specifically gnome-power-manager)

There is a known bug in Gnome 2.18 where tray icons for things starting up in your session sometimes do not show up in the tray. The program is running, but its tray icon is missing. This happens to gnome-power-manager in many cases. We are hoping to fix this in the future, but meanwhile the workaround is to restart the program after the session is up, and the icon will be there for the rest of the session. For gnome-power-manager, open a terminal and follow these steps:

Code Listing 2.1: Getting the gnome-power-manager tray icon back

# killall gnome-power-manager
# gnome-power-manager

This will get your g-p-m tray icon back.

Deskbar-applet errors out on login when using tracker

There is a known bug in trackerd that causes a race at login, where trackerd is starting, and deskbar-applet tries to start it via its dbus interface. This causes deskbar-applet to error out. To get deskbar-applet working again (with tracker), open a terminal and do the following:

Code Listing 2.2: Getting deskbar-applet working

# killall deskbar-applet

Then, when the dialog comes up asking to restart it, select "Reload".

This must be done once on login. Deskbar-applet will then work for the rest of the session.

The compile fails with XML:: errors, and other compilation notes

This happens because expat was moved to stable at the same time as Gnome 2.18. You need to rebuild everything that links to it once expat has been upgraded, which is usually at the start of the upgrade process. To do so, run:

Code Listing 2.3: Fixing expat breakages

# revdep-rebuild -X

This will rebuild everything broken by expat, as well as performing other upgrades as it continues. Once it's finished, you should be able to finish upgrading the rest of Gnome.

Once the entire 2.18 upgrade process is finished, you need to run revdep-rebuild a few more times until there's no more output, indicating that Gnome and its dependencies have been properly built. After that, don't forget about running dispatch-conf!

Finally, dbus and hal need to be restarted if they were running during the upgrade:

Code Listing 2.4: Restarting services

# /etc/init.d/dbus restart
# /etc/init.d/hald restart


Page updated August 18, 2007

Summary: This is a guide for upgrading from GNOME 2.16.x to GNOME 2.18.x.

Daniel Gryniewicz

Mart Raudsepp

Joshua Saddler

Dawid Węgliński

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