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Update GNOME to the latest upstream release


Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 19
  • Last updated: 2013-05-09
  • Percentage of completion: 100%

GNOME 3.8.1 is in F19, 3.8.2 will land right before or after the beta.

Detailed Description

GNOME 3.8 continues development along the lines of 3.6:

  • Building out the central features of GNOME 3:
    • A new panel will allow to configure GNOME shell search, and applications can provide search results to the shell
    • The display of search results in the GNOME shell overview was redesigned
    • Notifications can be configured in a new panel
    • Privacy settings are collected in a new panel
    • Sharing (mainly of data, in the local network) can be centrally controlled in a new panel
  • Support for OwnCloud in Online Accounts
  • Better accessibility
  • Improved IBus integration
    • Modifier-only shortcuts can be set in the Keyboard panel
    • IMEs can have menu items in the statusmenu (the whitelist was removed)
    • Per-window changes of input source are possible again
    • Nicer candidate popups
  • New applications
    • A note-taking app
    • A new photo app
    • A new clock app
    • A new weather app
  • Support in the shell and the network control panel for "enterprise" networking features, such as bridging, bonding, and VLANs.
  • Fallback mode is going away in 3.8. Instead, there will be a set of supported extensions that is grouped together in a 'classic' mode, which provides a more GNOME 2-like user experience

For detailed descriptions and designs of the features that are being worked on for GNOME 3.8, see the feature list and the progress reports here and here.

Benefit to Fedora

Fedora stays in sync with upstream. The classic mode will provide an alternative for users who are more comfortable with the GNOME 2 user experience.


  • Keep existing GNOME packages updated
  • Follow upstream module changes
    • gcalctool → gnome-calculator Done
    • gnome-games → many little game modules
      • five-or-more (glines) Done
      • four-in-a-row (gnect) Done
      • gnome-chess (glchess) Done
      • gnome-klotski (gnotski) Done
      • gnome-mahjongg Done
      • gnome-mines (gnomine) Done
      • gnome-nibbles (gnibbles) Done
      • gnome-robots (gnobots2) Done
      • gnome-sudoku Done
      • gnome-tetravex (gnotravex) Done
      • iagno Done
      • lightsoff Done
      • quadrapassel Done
      • swell-foop Done
      • tali (gtali) Done
  • Package the extensions and session definition for classic mode (Done, part of the gnome-shell-extensions package)
  • Package new applications and new dependencies of existing GNOME packages
    • Photos (likely a preview in 3.8) Done
    • Notes (likely a preview in 3.8) (bijiben) Done
    • Weather (likely a preview in 3.8) Done
    • gnome-getting-started-docs Done

How To Test

Generic 'desktop testing' is always appropriate for a major new desktop version.

Specific testing for new features:


  • Test that nautilus, gnome-boxes, gnome-contacts, gnome-documents are listed in the search panel
  • Test that turning off search altogether is reflected in the GNOME shell search
  • Test that turning off individual search providers is respected in GNOME shell search
  • Test that the order of search results in GNOME shell matches the order in the search panel
  • Test that tracker indexes the directories that are listed in the search locations popup
  • Test that clicking on applications in the GNOME shell search launches them
  • Test that clicking on individual search results launches the right app with this item
  • Test that clicking on the search provider icon launches the right app with the same search


  • Test that the notifications switch in the user menu prevents all notifications from popping up
  • Test that the "show popup banners" switch in the notification does the same
  • Test that the "show in lock screen" switch prevents all notifications from showing up while the screen is locked
  • Test that the details setting for each listed application have the desired effect
  • Test that an application that is not listed in the panel gets added to the list after it sents a notification
  • Test that Super-M toggles the message tray up and down


  • Check that the lock screen settings work as expected; also check the interaction with screen-related power saving settings
  • Check that visibility settings are respected
  • Verify that cleaning recent files works
  • Verify that purging trash and temporary files works, and that it respects file ownership in /tmp and /var/tmp


  • Check that Bluetooth settings are respected
  • Check that Personal file sharing settings are respected
  • Check that activating screen sharing starts and stops vino
  • Check that other screen sharing settings are respected
  • Check that media sharing works
  • Check that remote login starts and stops sshd
  • Check that not having vino, rygel or sshd installed causes the relevant settings to be disabled


  • Check that OwnCloud accounts can be set up in the Online Accounts panel
  • Test that OwnCloud data shows up in nautilus via the gvfs backend
  • Check that evolution picks up OwnCloud accounts for mail and calendar

Classic mode

  • Check that choosing 'classic mode' in the gdm session chooser works as expected and is remembered
  • Check that the application menu shows favourites and categories that match the GNOME shell overview
  • Check that windows have minimize and maximize buttons
  • Check that nautilus shows icons on the desktop
  • Check that the taskbar can be used to restore minimized windows
  • Check that Alt-Tab shows windows instead of applications
  • Test the interaction between the taskbar, the message tray and the on-screen keyboard


  • Test that launching gnome-clocks from the GNOME shell calendar works
  • Test that you can add and remove clocks for multiple locations
  • Test that you alarms notify you at the right time, and that repetition works
  • Test that the timer notifies you when the time is up


  • Test that Photos shows pictures from Pictures/
  • Test that titles can be set and are shown
  • Test Online Accounts integration (TBD: which providers, and what)
  • More TBD

User Experience

Overall desktop experience should be largely unchanged from F18.

Noticeable changes in the details:

  • First time login experience will have an 'initial setup' wizard
  • Redesigned search results display in the GNOME shell overview
  • New settings panels for search, notifications, privacy and sharing
  • Support for OwnCloud in online-accounts
  • Classic mode will be available as an alternative session


Contingency Plan

  • If GNOME 3.8 does not happen in time for Fedora 19, ship a release candidate like 3.7.91
  • Upstream will also look at dropping individual features if they are not ready in time


Release Notes

Fedora 19 includes the latest version of the GNOME desktop, 3.8. For more information about what is new in this GNOME release, see the release notes.

Comments and Discussion