Nightly development builds using xdg-app

When reporting a bug in some software it is often common that the developer asks you to check if the bug is fixed in the latest development version. This makes a lot of sense from the perspective of a developer that gets a lot of bug reports. However, unless you are very experienced with building software this is prohibitively hard.

This is an area where xdg-app shines, because it allows you to create binary builds of desktop applications that work on any distribution. In order to demonstrate this I set up an automated build system that builds Gimp and Inkscape from the development branch every day and produces a new binary that you can easily install and run:

screenshot of app icons
Launching the apps

To make it easy to use I also created packages of xdg-app for some common distributions.

For more information about how to use these builds, see the nightly builds page.

18 thoughts on “Nightly development builds using xdg-app”

  1. Alex, thank you so much for making these builds available!

    One question – you included a screenshot showing launchers in GNOME shell for these devel build apps… I followed the instructions on the wiki that you linked to, but I don’t end up with launchers for them. The xdg-app command to launch them is hard for me to remember and launchers would be more convenient – how do I create them?

    1. marin: They should show up automatically for you in the shell, once you logged in/out once after having installed the xdg-app package.

  2. Works like a charm here on debian jessie.

    I updated the wiki to fix wrong apt commands and multiarch warnings.

  3. Hi,

    I am on fedora 23 , I installed xdg-app , after installing i tried the following command as normal user.

    xdg-app install-app –user nightly org.gimp.GimpDevelGtk3

    I am getting the following error:

    error: While pulling app/org.gimp.GimpDevelGtk3/x86_64/master from remote nightly: Remote “nightly” not found

    What do you think the problem can be? Same error is happening for GimpDevel


    Sajid Zaman

    1. Sajid: That is weird, the remote called nightly should have been created from this part:

      xdg-app add-remote --user --gpg-import=nightly.gpg nightly

      Did you run that?

  4. Hi Alex, thank you for this fantastic overview!

    I installed GIMP nightly a few weeks ago on Fedora 22, now if I try to install InkscapeDevel I get a 404 error:

    ~ LC_ALL=C xdg-app install-app –user nightly org.gimp.InkscapeDevel

    error: While pulling app/org.gimp.InkscapeDevel/x86_64/master from remote nightly: Server returned status 404: Not Found

    Any suggestions to get it working again?

  5. Of course, I saw the error in my command right after I submitted the comment, it should be org.inkscape.InkscapeDevel and it works nicely. Sorry for the unnecessary noise here… :-/

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