GNOME package guidelines

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Revision as of 10:47, 4 May 2013 by Trontonic (talk | contribs) (GConf schemas, what is it?)
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Template:Package Guidelines

The GNOME packages on Arch Linux follow a certain schema.

GNOME profile initialization

There is no GNOME profile initialization anymore. The old line below should be stripped from any PKGBUILD:

[ -z "$GNOMEDIR" ] && . /etc/profile.d/

GConf schemas

Many GNOME packages install GConf schemas. These schemas get installed in the system GConf database, which has to be avoided. Some packages provide a --disable-schemas-install switch for ./configure, which hardly ever works. Therefore, gconftool-2 has a variable called GCONF_DISABLE_MAKEFILE_SCHEMA_INSTALL, whenever this is set, gconftool-2 will not update any databases.

When creating packages that install schema files, use


for the package installation step in the PKGBUILD.

GConf schemas need to be installed and removed in the .install file using pre_remove, pre_upgrade and post_upgrade and post_install. Use gconf-merge-schemas to merge several schemas into one package specific file, install or uninstall them with usr/sbin/gconfpkg --(un)install $pkgname The usage of gconfpkg requres a dependency on gconf>= (or gconfmm>=2.20.0).

GSettings schemas

The GConf schemas will be replaced by GSettings schemas in the near future, but some applications (e.g. Empathy) already using it. GSettings uses dconf as backend, so all packages that contain GSettings schemas require dconf as dependency. When a new GSettings schema installed on the system, the GSettings database should be recompiled, but not when packaging. To avoid recompiling GSettings database on packaging, use the --disable-schemas-compile switch for ./configure. To recompile it on install, add the following line to the .install file using post_install, post_upgrade and post_remove:

glib-compile-schemas usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas

Scrollkeeper documentation

Starting from GNOME 2.20 there is no need to handle scrollkeeper anymore, as rarian reads OMF files directly. Scrollkeeper-update is a dummy these days. The only required thing now is to makedepend on gnome-doc-utils>=0.11.2.

.desktop files

Many packages install compatible .desktop files and register MimeType entries in them. Running update-desktop-database -q in post_install and post_remove is recommended (package should depend on desktop-file-utils in this case).

GTK Icon cache

Quite some packages install icons in the hicolor icon theme. These packages should depend on hicolor-icon-theme and should have gtk-update-icon-cache -q -t -f usr/share/icons/hicolor (WITHOUT leading slash) in the post_install, post_upgrade and post_remove function.

.install files

For many GNOME packages, all .install files look almost exactly the same. The gedit package contains a very generic install file:

Basically, the only thing that has to be changed is the pkgname variable on top of the .install file. As long as pacman does not supply us with the pkgname variable, we need to supply it in the .install file. When packages do not have gconf schemas, hicolor icon files, or .desktop files, remove the parts that handle those subjects.


For an example of above rules, take a look at the gedit PKGBUILD and the .install file supplied above: