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What is GNOME?

The GNOME project provides two things: The GNOME desktop environment, an intuitive and attractive desktop for end-users, and the GNOME development platform, an extensive framework for building applications that integrate into the rest of the desktop.

How to install the GNOME Desktop

To install the base GNOME Desktop, type the following at a command prompt:

pacman -S gnome

To install the rest of the GNOME Desktop (highly recommended, see Gnome Tips), type the following at a command prompt:

pacman -S gnome-extra

To start the correct processes at system startup, edit the file /etc/rc.conf and add "portmap", "fam", "dbus" and "hal" to the DAEMONS=() line.

Running the GNOME Desktop

To start GNOME from the console, run:


If you add the following to your $HOME/.xinitrc file (and make sure it is the only line that starts with "exec"):

exec gnome-session

To make it a global setting which has effect on all users in stead of only one, in stead of $HOME/.xinitrc add the line to the file /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc:

exec gnome-session

Note: Only needed for gnome 2.14, gnome 2.16 and up do this for you:

exec dbus-launch --exit-with-session /opt/gnome/bin/gnome-session

GNOME will start when you enter the following command.


Note: I never got Gnome started with gnome-session; had to use GDM instead. (Lenni)

GDM (GNOME Display Manager)

If you want a graphical login, you will need to install GDM (which is also part of gnome-extra). To do so, type the following at a command prompt:

pacman -S gdm

To make the graphical login the default method of logging into the system, add gdm to your list of daemons in /etc/rc.conf

If you are used to using the $HOME/.xinitrc file to pass arguments to the x server when it is started, such as xmodmap or xsetroot, you should note that you can add the same commands to the $HOME/.xprofile file. My .xprofile looks like this:


# ~/.xprofile
# Executed by gdm at login

xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 2 3 6 7 4 5"  #set mouse buttons up correctly
xsetroot -solid black                 #sets the background to black

For more information about Graphical Logins (DMs), see this excellent page.


Your computer crashes and gnome won't startup anymore.

solution: delete ~/.gnome2/session

Panels wouldn't work correctly

Sourced from this forum page

Solution: Clean out your gnome config with the command. THIS WILL REMOVE ALL YOUR GNOME CONFIGS.

rm -rf .gnome* .gconf*

GDM won't start

If you get this message: "The greeter application appears to be crashing. Attempting to use a different one"

One possible reason is that your /tmp folder has the wrong permissions set. Run:

chmod 1777 /tmp

As root and try again.

See also

External links