What version of GNOME will ship in Ubuntu 12.04? That was the topic of discussion at one of today’s Ubuntu Developer Summit sessions.


For those that don’t know, GNOME releases on a six month cycle just like Ubuntu does.

The current version of GNOME shipping in Ubuntu 11.10 is 3.2 (except Movie Player, which is currently running at version 3.0). GNOME 3.4 scheduled for release roughly one month before 12.04 is scheduled to hit.

Version 3.4 of GNOME promises to be an interesting release given all of the potential changes currently earmarked for it.

These include the idea ofGNOME applications no longer relying on a menubar, and instead taking a more elementary-like approach of fitting everything possible into the UI and overflow into the GNOME-shell AppMenu; there are new applications like Boxes (a virtualization application); as well as various UI changes to well know programs.

GNOME 3.4 Boxes App

‘The Bullets’

Ubuntu, in the past at least, has not been averse to the idea of holding back the version of GNOME shipped in Ubuntu for the sake of extra stability. Ubuntu 11.04 is a case in point.

But it’s not a decision that comes lightly. That is why everything written below is strictly provisional and will be subject to further discussion and change over the coming months.

With that warning in mind, let’s fire out some bullet points…

  • 12.04 willlikely be moving to GTK 3.4
  • 12.04 will,if GTK 3.4 is accepted, usesome GNOME 3.4 applications*
  • Everything else in the default stack should stay at version 3.2
  • Packages that are not on the default CD (like the GNOME-Shell package) may be bumped up to their 3.4 version

Meta Cycles of the Future

As an added bonus, among the discussions mooted during the hour-long session was the idea of GNOME itself adopting its own meta-LTS cycle much like Ubuntu has.

This would eliminate the need for these discussions of what GNOME version to use in an Ubuntu LTS cycle as the Ubuntu cycle could be shifted to more align with the GNOME LTS if they opt into this idea.

This was strictly discussion that is to be passed on to the GNOME advisory board, but the general opinion was that this would be a good thing to accept for everyone that uses the GNOME stack, allowing for patches to be moreeasily utilized between distributions.

*Simple applications for switching like GNOME games or GEdit

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