GNOME, one of the most popular desktop environments for Linux, is also a common choice among Arch users. However, some of them may be confused about when they can expect to receive the latest version of GNOME.
This happens every time a new version of the desktop environment is released. Why? Because it is a rolling release distribution, many Arch users expect it to be available for installation from the stable Arch repositories the very next day.
However, the case differs regarding the GNOME desktop environment, so let’s shed more light on the matter.
When Does the New GNOME Become Available in Arch’s Stable Repo?
The Arch developers treat GNOME’s initial versions (for example, 42.0, 43.0, 44.0, etc.) as unstable. However, despite being a rolling release distribution, shipping another just-released new GNOME version in Arch is not at any price when it comes to such a fundamental component of the operating system as the desktop environment. In other words, stability and care for the user always come first.
For this reason, the Arch developers wait for the release of the first update of the GNOME desktop environment, e.g., 42.1, 43.1, 44.1, etc., before including it in the distribution’s stable repository.
Following the established pattern of GNOME releases, this update typically happens around a month after the initial release. Therefore, the answer to “When do Arch users get updates to a newly released GNOME version?” is about one month following the initial (x.0) release.
However, if you are one of the most impatient people and live by the principle “I want it now, immediately, and right now,” we have a solution for you that will help you get the most recent GNOME version if you use Arch and don’t want to wait until it is available in the distribution’s stable repositories. But be warm; we recommend it only to the bravest experimenters.
How to Install GNOME Pre-releases on Arch Linux
FCGU is a free community project and an independent repository for PKGBUILDs and binaries of GNOME pre-releases based on the original upstream work, not affiliated with Arch Linux in any way.
From there, you can quickly and easily install the desktop environment’s most recent / Beta / RC releases. However, remember that the repository is mainly for testing and bug-hunting purposes. So here’s how to do it on your Arch system.
First, import repo’s signing keys:
sudo pacman-key --keyserver hkps://keys.openpgp.org --recv-keys 6E58E886A8E07538A2485FAED6A4F386B4881229
sudo pacman-key --lsign-key 6E58E886A8E07538A2485FAED6A4F386B4881229
Next, install the “fcgu-mirrorlist” package.
sudo pacman -U https://br-mirror.amanoteam.com/fcgu/fcgu-mirrorlist-3-1-any.pkg.tar.zst
Add repository entry above the “[core]” and every other enabled repo in the “/etc/pacman.conf” file.
Include = /etc/pacman.d/fcgu-mirrorlist
Finally, do a full update of your Arch system with the following Pacman command:
sudo pacman -Syu
You’ll receive all updates for your GNOME environment, bringing it up to the most recent stable / Beta / RC version. So, finally, log out, log in, and enjoy your cutting-edge GNOME desktop environment.
However, if something does go wrong, or if you wish to revert to the stable GNOME release provided by the official Arch repository, run:
sudo pacman -Syuu
The above command will downgrade all packages to the Arch-repo versions. Happy GNOME-ing!