Gnome 3 on VirtualBox

With all the fervor for Unity vs. Gnome 3, I've been itching to see a live demonstration of the two interfaces. The irony of course is that Unity has dis-unified the world of desktop Linux by branching from the otherwise Gnome standard, but I'm enjoying the differentiation and new options for customizing my computing environment.

I turned to the trusty VirtualBox to test each of them in a virtualized environment, and Unity turned out to be the relatively straightforward, if not entirely exciting, install. Gnome 3, on the flip side, has a revolutionary interface involving an entirely new workflow, complete with a beautiful cascade of window previews and application overlays and slide-out workspaces to quickly and seamlessly shift back and forth from focused to bird's-eye view for each task and make fuller use of the entire desktop space.

The initial effort to get Gnome 3 working on VirtualBox was a slight challenge, so here are a few tips that might streamline your experience:
  • Upgrade to VirtualBox 4.0.8, which has some handy fixes for Gnome 3.
  • Fedora 15 works almost out of the box with Gnome 3. I downloaded and installed the Live 64-bit version to (virtual) hard drive.
  • My first install hung, for unclear reason. On my second pass, I deferred encryption, but the eventual installation success may also be from preventing power management, which was a problem I faced in Ubuntu on Virtualbox, or some other hidden cause.
  • After install, Gnome 3 failed and dropped back into old-school mode. I updated the packages via the command line (the graphical package hung), using the "sudo yum update", then "sudo yum upgrade" commands.
  • Apparently, SELinux can also conflict with Gnome 3 on VirtualBox, so I disabled it by editing the file, /etc/selinux/config.
  • After rebooting, I also had to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions. Prior to installing the additions, I also had to install gcc and kernel-devel to compile the additions kernel modules. "sudo yum install kernel-devel gcc" does the trick. Then I mounted the additions media and installed the .run package from the command line.
  • On another reboot, Gnome 3 was good to go!
Freezes and crashes also come with the install, but the experience gets smoother with each Fedora update.


ukrayna vizesi said…
moldova vize said…
thank you for sharing.

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