Status update on GNOME3 and natty

Sebastien Bacher seb128 at
Thu Jan 20 09:03:41 UTC 2011

Hello everybody,

This email is doing a status update on what the Ubuntu Desktop Team
decided to do with GNOME in natty.

The corresponding specification can be find on

The summary from the blueprint was "GNOME is working toward GNOME3, we
will want to update what we can without risky stability and clean our

We are mid-cycle now and about time to decide what to do for natty. We
started the work on GNOME3 in the ubuntu-desktop ppa at the start of the
cycle and said we would move components to natty when ready. It turned
out that it's not really possible to bring some updated components or
softwares in without bringing the GNOME3 desktop (see the blueprint
whiteboard for details). So the choice is on whether to switch to GNOME3
this cycle or not. The topic has been discussed several times between
the Ubuntu Desktop Team members recently and we decided to stay on GNOME
2.32 for natty and ship GNOME3 in a ppa for this cycle and land it early
in Ubuntu proper next cycle.

To give some details on the decision:
- GNOME3 is still far to be stable, work is going on upstream and the
integration in the distribution proved to still require extra work as
- GTK3 is over a month late on schedule and has been breaking
compatibility a lot which made difficult to track updates
- the GNOME3 stable release is one week before the natty hard freeze,
which let very little margin to deal with eventual upstream delay or to
do proper integration work in the distribution

In summary we don't feel integrating GNOME3 with a high quality level in
Ubuntu is a job which can be done in one cycle and we prefer to delay it
to be default next cycle.

That doesn't mean that GNOME3 will not be available in Ubuntu though, a
new team has been created to work on it in launchpad:

The team is open to contributors and we welcome help getting GNOME3 in
shape. We aim at shipping a full GNOME3 there by the end of the cycle
including gnome-shell and to reach the quality required to have it
landing in Ubuntu at the start of next cycle. 

The ppa will has the advantage to make contribution easier, to not be
blocked by the Ubuntu freezes and to make sure we can include the
updates and fixes that will come even after natty.

Sebastien Bacher,
in behalf of Ubuntu Desktop

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