GNOME 3.12 and FreeBSD (and a virtual machine)

As a result of the work that has been going into increasing the portability of GNOME this cycle, I’m happy to announce the availablility (on “day 0”) of a virtual machine image of GNOME 3.12.0 running on FreeBSD.

You can download it here if you want to try it out: FreeBSD GNOME 3.12 VM image (471 MB).

Loading it into gnome-boxes is unlikely to work. You’ll want to use virt-manager’s “Import existing disk image” option with the OS type given as “FreeBSD 10.x (or later)” — you’ll have to choose “Show all OS options” in order to see that (then it will appear under “UNIX”). You’ll want to give it at least 4096MB of RAM.

Rawhide has a known-bad version of seabios which will cause the image to kernel panic on startup. A fix is hopefully on the way soon. Other systems may be affected, but Fedora 20 and Ubuntu Trusty are both known-good. You can work around the issue by changing your VM’s video card to “Cirrus” but this will trigger some pretty awful video corruption, so I’d recommend against that.

There have been reports that some CPU models might not work quite right. If you’re having issues, “core2duo” is probably a good one to try.

Some notes:

  • the passwords for the root and user account are both “beastie”
  • ssh is installed and running by default: don’t expose it to a public network unless you change both passwords first
  • a lot of “non-essential” files have been removed to keep the image small — headers, static libraries, translations, etc.

Some known issues with the image:

  • all applications based on WebKit2 are broken (bug is here: help wanted)
  • the keyring is not unlocked at login time
  • probably many other things are broken — download it and give it a try, and file bugs

This VM image would not exist if not for the break-neck speed of packaging the 3.12.0 release into the FreeBSD “experimental” ports collection by FreeBSD hackers Gustau Perez and Koop Mast. Many thanks to both of them.

Thanks as well to everyone who was involved in making GNOME 3.12.

7 thoughts on “GNOME 3.12 and FreeBSD (and a virtual machine)”

  1. I assume that a new image will be available once the bugs with webkit and gnome-keyring are fixed.

  2. Also many thanks to Matthias Clasen for hunting down the seabios bug and reporting. It is very professional to look into other distro’s bugtrackers. And this zero-day FreeBSD image serves as a living proof that GNOME team is indeed interested in portability to non-linux (i.e. for intentions stated in

  3. Alex: I don’t plan to do another release for 3.12. This is mostly meant as a preview — not for serious use. Hopefully the webkit issue gets fixed soon, but I really have no idea what is wrong there. The keyring issue is a simple misconfiguration that should be fixed on the FreeBSD packaging side very soon.

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