Tuesday, February 1, 2011

GNOME 3 live CD / USB test image

Hi everyone,

to help as many people as possible to test the (not yet released) GNOME-Shell (and GNOME 3), I've been working on a test image, which can be easily burned on any CD or dump on USB sticks, without the hassle of compiling the entire GNOME 3 stack with (the excellent) jhbuild.

This image does not modify your system in any way.

This image does not contain proprietary drivers (ie no Nvidia nor ATI fglrx proprietary drivers).

This image is a persistent image : if you dump it on a USB stick, the first boot will be very long (don't worry) because the free space on the USB stick will be allocated to store the changes done on the running image.

User name on the image is tux and password for this user and for root is linux.

Initial version of this image was created with the excellent SUSE Studio appliance generator but starting with this version, I'm using kiwi (which is also used by SUSE Studio) and OBS to generate the image directly on our build infrastructure (where GNOME 3 packages are also being build for openSUSE).

For people wondering, this image is based on openSUSE 11.3 with additional GNOME 3 packages and branding has been modified to follow GNOME 3 as close as possible (you won't see much Geeko around ;)

You can download this image (in both x86 and x86-64 flavors, but I didn't test the 64 bits version yet) from http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/GNOME:/Medias/images/iso/ (file with the name starting with GNOME_3).

To install this image, you can either :

  • burn it on a CD / DVD with your favorite ISO burner
  • dump it on a USB stick, either with Mdv Seed (available for Linux or Windows) or Abock image-usb-stick or MeeGo image-writer (which is a small python wrapper around dd) like this :
    • as root :
    • chmod a+x ./image-writer
    • ./image-writer img_file.iso
  • test in in a virtualized environment (Virtualbox, ...), either using this image or the VM available from SUSE Gallery, but beware 3D support might not work properly and you might not see GNOME-Shell but the old GNOME panel instead
Live install is also available (but hidden ATM) in the image : just add "liveinstall" on the boot command line and you will get the live installer which will allow you to install the image on your favorite computer.

Linux is becoming hot in Thailand CD shops

Among the various caveats found already :
  • on some ATI chipsets, you might need to add "nomodeset" on the boot command, if GNOME-Shell doesn't start properly
  • sometime, on first boot, GNOME-Shell won't be start but classic GNOME will be. Just logout and login again
  • empathy is not yet on the image (as well as other GNOME 3 components)
As always, comments are welcome.