Guide for installing the preview GNOME 40 build in Manjaro (and maybe Arch)

Mods, if this is in the wrong place, please let me know.

Let me start this off by saying I’ve never written a guide like this, but I’ll try my best to make it easy to follow.

My reason for writing this guide is to help people like me who wanted to try out GNOME 40 but didn’t feel like switching to a development build of GNOME OS or Fedora. I run Manjaro and wanted to try get it to work on there. I messed around with the Buildstream package, but never having heard of Buildstream in the first place I couldn’t really make heads or tails of it. I couldn’t figure out how to build the packages from source either, as there were missing dependencies I couldn’t solve.

Back-up any important data. This might break your install or otherwise break your system. I tried this on a clean install of Manjaro. I downloaded the GNOME version, but I suppose that isn’t necessary (in fact - it might be easier with other DE’s but I don’t really touch those so I wouldn’t know).

Don’t expect this to work flawlessly out of the box. The alpha currently released is heavily in-development and not yet ready for production use. It might crash, be unstable, or behave unexpectedly in other ways.

If you wish to proceed, here are my step-by-step instructions. A kind fellow by the name of Marcio uploaded a packager to the Arch User Repository called gnome-shell-40alfa. This caught my eye, and I set to work trying to install it. This is how I have managed to do it.

  1. Update your system. Open a terminal and run sudo pacman -Syyu. Enter your password and let it run, you probably know the drill.

  2. Install yay, which we will use to install the GNOME AUR package from a terminal. You can use Pamac and search for yay (it’s in the official Manjaro repositories).

  3. Next, before we proceed, we will have to remove the current gnome-shell, as well as a bunch of dependencies. To do this, press control + alt + F3. A black screen with a text prompt will ask you to log in. Log in using your account, then enter sudo pacman -Rcns gnome-shell manjaro-gnome-assets. It will show you what packages are going to be removed, confirm by pressing Y.

  4. Once that’s finished, we can start installing GNOME 40. Enter yay -S gnome-shell-40alfa. It will ask you whether you want to remove some build dependencies, I wasn’t sure so I chose not to by pressing N.

  5. Now, it will start downloading and building a bunch of packages. It will ask you multiple times whether you want to keep or remove specific conflicting packages. I chose to keep the packages ending in -git, as they appear to be the newer versions that you want to install. The first conflict I got was jack and jack2. I chose to keep jack2 by pressing Y. Then I proceeded the installation by pressing Y again. After that, we need to replace gsettings-desktop-schemas with gsettings-desktop-schemas-git. Press Y to confirm, then proceed with the installation by pressing Y again. Follow these steps by pressing Y again, twice.

  6. Now, after the new version of Mutter has been built, press Y to remove the old Mutter install when prompted to do so, then press Y again to proceed with the installation.

  7. After this, you should be finished. Type reboot to, unsurprisingly, reboot your machine. There currently is no login manager installed, so you will be dropped in a terminal. Log in, then enter gnome-shell --wayland and you should be dropped into the alpha release of GNOME. Congratulations :slight_smile:

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to let me know.

I just want to emphasize that resolving package conflicts at random is a really good way to end up with a broken system. Beware dragons people.

I’m not sure if you’re implying that that’s what I’m doing here - because I’m not. Like I state in the guide, the git versions are the newer ones we want to keep. As for jack and jack2, they are different implementations of the same thing and as long as you’re not into music production or otherwise work with low-latency audio, it doesn’t matter which one you keep. Other than that, you are right about needing to be careful when deleting or replacing packages.

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