MkLinux:Using Gnome
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Installing Gnome 1.0 in MkLinux DR3

In order for gnome to build and run on MkLinux DR3 (and presumably LinuxPPC R4), it is necessary to upgrade a large number of packages. For this reason, I have put together a consistent set of packages and an installation script. The original source rpms and spec files were taken from the RedHat RawHide distribution. The only changes made to the packages were those necessary to build them on MkLinux. These packages should work equally well on a LinuxPPC R4 distribution.

These packages are not appropriate for LinuxPPC R5. Packages for R5 are already available from

The complete set of packages can be obtained at

Due to ISP problems the archive has had to be relocated from its original home. Thanks to Jon Harms for providing a new home to the DR3 Gnome archive.

Some Useful Advice

If you have been running a version of gnome previously, you should consider moving aside the .gnome directory in your home directory. My previous gnome installation was in /opt/gnome, but these packages install in /usr, the same as the redhat distribution. Bad paths in my .gnome/ configurations files caused problems with core dumps. (GNOME isn't perfect by any means.) So if you have used gnome before and these packages cause core dumps rename the .gnome directory.

If you want to reduce the number of packages installed, you should edit the installation script to remove references to the packages you don't want.

I've generated a file named sizes.orig which contains the name of all of these packages and their sizes. You can use this to verify that you have a complete and valid set of rpms before attempting the installation. Put the file sizes.orig in your /usr/src/redhat directory. Download the packages and run

   ls -l *.rpm | awk '{print $9, $5}' > sizes
   diff /usr/src/redhat/sizes.orig sizes

and look for any discrepancies. If a file is missing or the wrong size download it again.

I don't have a working copy of pgp on my system, so I did not sign the packages.

I made very few modifications to the spec files.

I originally suggested that people strip the installed libraries to save space, but it turns out that there is a bug in the strip utility which can result in corrupted libraries. I would suggest that you not strip the libraries for the time being unless you absolutely must. This is a problem which is specific to the PPC architecture.

Xscreensaver and Mesa

I have Mesa 2.6 installed on my systems. The default xscreensaver package has several modes which are linked to this library. If you do not have Mesa installed (or you have a later version installed) you have several options:

  1. Install Mesa 2.6 -- This is available from
  2. modify the installation script to use the nogl version of xscreensaver: xscreensaver-3.07-nogl-1a.ppc.rpm. This is available in the same directory as the default xscreensaver.
  3. Rebuild the xscreensaver package from the source rpm on your machine and install this package instead of the one I provide.

Imlib and libpng

The latest version of libpng (1.0) is not compatible with imlib, a vital component of GNOME. If you have this package installed, you will need to downgrade to libpng-0.96 before running GNOME. Libpng-0.96 is available from and I attempted to build imlib against libpng-1.0, but the two are simply incompatible.

Download and Installation Procedure

In order to install gnome successfully, you will need to follow a few simple directions.

First, download the files in the gnome/RPMS/ppc directory and place them in the directory /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/ppc on your machine. It is important that they be located in this directory for the script to work correctly.

Second, download the file install_gnome and place it in the directory /usr/src/redhat on your machine. It is important that the script be in this directory to work correctly. You may want to use the alternate script. See the section below for an explanation of this script.

You do not need to download the contents of gnome/SRPMS unless you intend to rebuild the packages.

Log in as root and give the following commands.

  cd /usr/src/redhat/
  chmod +x install_gnome

The installation script will check to see if you are root before continuing. It will then check to see if the binary rpms are in the correct location.

The script will ask you if you want to install the development packages. These are the packages which contain various static libraries and header files. They are used for compiling applications which use the gnome libraries.

Answer [ y | Y | yes | Yes | YES ] if you want these packages installed.

Answer [ n | N | no | No | NO ] if you do not want to install these packages.

The script will then check to see if all of the files are available. If you said that you did not want to install the devel packages, the script will not check for those packages.

If any packages are missing, the script will print out their names and exit.

If all the requested packages are present, then the script will ask you if you really want to install these packages. You will be replacing a large number of packages on your computer. This is just to make you stop and think before you continue.

To continue you must answer yes...the entire word...all three letters. Any other response will cause the script to exit.

The first thing which must be done is to decide if you want to upgrade your version of rpm. I built these packages using rpm-2.5.5. If you have an older version of rpm, then you may want to upgrade. The script will print out the info on your installed version of rpm. Check the version number and see if it is lower than 2.5.5.

The script will then ask if you want to upgrade rpm. If your version is older and you want to upgrade, then a new rpm package will be installed.

Answer [ y | Y | yes | Yes | YES ] to install rpm-2.5.5.

Answer [ n | N | no | No | NO ] to skip this step.

If you answer yes, then rpm-2.5.5 will be installed and your rpm database will be rebuilt as a precaution. The database is only rebuilt if you install the rpm package.

You will get one more chance to back out of the installation process.

Answer [ y | Y | yes | Yes | YES ] to continue with the installation.

Answer [ n | N | no | No | NO ] to stop the installation.

At this point, the script will begin installing the packages. The development packages will be installed last if you requested them.

At this point you are done! Have fun.

The install_alternate script

I have built an alternate script which breaks the installation of the packages into smaller sections. This is intended to give you a little finer control over what gets installed. It also helps to show you which packages depend upon the others. For instance, enlightenment requires fnlib and freetype, but no other package does. Thus these packages are only installed if you choose to install enlightenment.

The rest of the script should be fairly self explanatory.

After Thoughts and Information

I have placed a file named gtkrc in the gnome directory as well. This is the gtk configuration file I use on my computers. It is not necessary to use this file. I've provided it as an example. (There are much better examples out on the web.) To use it, place the file in your home directory and rename it from gtkrc to .gtkrc.

Enlightenment is the default window manager. I have not yet figured out how to alter the default. GNOME has facilities for configuring this, but they don't seem to work. I don't know why yet, but I will continue to look into the problem.

I have provided two other window managers: icewm and WindowMaker. They have both been built with the options --enable-gnome. This allows them to communicate with GNOME's pager, set window hints, etc.

The "Don't Blame Me" Statement

And now for the legalities and disclaimers.

No guarantee is made that this script will work successfully. I did the best job that I could. If the script fails, you can still install the packages by hand. If there are more packages than you want to install, you may want to edit the installation script to reduce the number of packages. But this is what I built for my machine, and I know that these packages work well together.

Some of the programs are still fairly buggy. The games, in particular, seem to have a number of problems, but mostly everything works. I have not tested the audio support. I'm not fond of computers which make beeps and burps. However, I have still supplied the audio packages. This may be the place where people will have the most problems. If my audio packages don't work, then you should probably grab the appropriate source rpms and rebuild on your machine.

Most importantly, whenever you make a massive upgrade to your system, you run the risk of doing serious damage. These packages have, at this writing, been tested on two machines. I haven't had any problems, but maybe I was just lucky. Installing and using these packages is your decision and responsibility.

Finally, if you, or someone you love, are concerned about security, then download the SRPMS and build new packages.

Fred Bacon
March 6, 1999