(Not) running 3.2…

Dear lazyweb, I’ve successfully built GNOME 3.2 using jhbuild (on Fedora 15), I’ve done all the dbus hackery suggested in the jhbuild manual, but I still can’t run it, either in Xephyr or from the login screen.

In all cases, the problem seems to be:

GConf Error: Configuration server couldn't be contacted: D-BUS error: Method "GetDefaultDatabase" with signature "" on interface "org.gnome.GConf.Server" doesn't exist

which is thrown in my face a dozen or so times before it dies. Google turns up nothing similar. Any helpful hints?

(Yes, I could just install the F16 alpha, but that doesn’t work sensibly in VirtualBox as yet…)

7 thoughts on “(Not) running 3.2…”

  1. You could try open a normal session using the gnomedev user. After that, try it again.

    It’s just a desperate action to try, no idea if it will work 🙂

  2. I don’t know exactly the problem but seems that the GConf DBUS service is not running so you can watch if “gconfd”l, which should register that service in DBUS, is launched before gnome-shell or whichever process failing with that message.

  3. Xephyr won’t work. It’s dead

    The problem here is that your system GConf and the jhbuild libgconf are built with two different backends: one with DBus and one with ORBit.

    Assuming that your system GConf daemon is built with ORBit, add:


    to your ~/.jhbuildrc. Otherwise, use ‘–disable-orbit’

  4. There is a new Virtualbox 4.1.4 that should work with Xorg 1.11. The F16 Beta will be released tomorrow Oct 4. So if you update your Virtualbox and Guest Additions and get the F16 Beta tomorrow you should be golden. For more info about Virtualbox and the required Guest Additions see: https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/9519

  5. GConf as provided by F15 uses Orbit for IPC, while gconf from jhbuild defaults to DBus – as a result, running applications linked against jhbuild libgconf with a system gconfd fails.


    module_autogenargs[‘gconf’] = ‘–enable-orbit’

    to ~/.jhbuildrc and rebuilding gconf should fix it.

  6. @Jasper/Florian Yep, that was it. Works perfectly now, thanks!

    @Pieter Psh, typical 🙂 Great that the VirtualBox team are keeping right on top of the latest Linux requirements too, though.

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