You can not download GNOME!

One might think that this should be a simple task. I have continuously written about what GNOME does wrong. I should not care. but sometimes I re-check if things changes. But they do not.

Simple thing: Let’s say you think you like GNOME and want to download it. If you are smart you go to the GNOME main website. You even might now that GNOME is not just some Windows software, but you have to do more. But even then. I already wrote about the GNOME Live Disc problem. Which does not really have beend fixed. You do not see any Download link on the GNOME main website:

The only thing you see is a link to the latest release: GNOME 2.30. But why should you care? GNOME developers always think people just want to know about what ahs changed, because thats how they think about it. But lets say you have trust in thins link and get to the release notes page of GNOME 2.30. What now? You can go to the Bittorrent downlaod page if you even know what Bittorrent is and that this can be a way of downloading. But you cant, because all GNOME 2.30 releases have a “Coming soon!” – But wait – we now see the “Download” button on top! We click it and where are we getting to, which this time again leads us to the release notes of the latest stable release (today that is GNOME 2.30). So we look what else we find and we are successful, because there is another link:

You can get a list of distributions that ship GNOME and discover the latest versions they ship on our Get Footware page.

Aha. This should be it – so lets click on that page. But at least on the german page version this link is broken (And because there is still now 404 page we would be lost). On the english version it works. But now we are facing the fact that we only reached a page of links to DistroWatch. Though the page is nice to have, this is much away from any direct ability to download. This page is much more like a wiki page, which keeps geting updated every now and then.

The problem is: downloading GNOME should be the most important thing for GNOMEs people to consider a general user wants. This is still true – but still nobody cares. But you even have “Support” twice in the main page.


Filed under Free Software, GNOME, Technology

3 responses to “You can not download GNOME!

  1. Is this supposed to be an indictment of Gnome as a project or as a piece of software? Of course you can’t download it: most parts of it are heavily integrated into distribution-specific parts of the operating system. Also building it takes a really long time as it is composed of many, many components.

    If you want to use Gnome, you download it from your distribution-specific software source. The only reason you would “download Gnome” is to look at the source code.

    • I know that. But still you sure can. If marketing suggests that people should use GNOME rather than Windows or MacOS, then you have download a Linux. And thats what the private page tells you. But the real links to download it look like this:

      And about the rest what you wrote: The why doesn’t the page tell the people. I am saying that GNOME is in fact doing nothing to encourage people to use it. 99% is about developer issues and there is not one official web page that tells potential users how to get and use it. Which would be, from my view, the whole point of – because developers arealready informed via mailing lists. The kind of marketing we wittness is good if you really want very few people to ever get the chance to use it. If you look at the website it is really like that the GNOME Community is not for users at all, besides sponsoring. The attitude is very wrong – thats different to KDE. Technically I like GNOME more, but from the community side KDE is much more friendly to potential users.

  2. It’s right here:

    7.  Installing GNOME

    You can try out GNOME 2.30 with GNOME Live Media, which contains all of the software included in GNOME 2.30 in a virtual machine. Using virtual images, you can try out the latest GNOME in QEMU, KVM, Virtualbox or VMWare. GNOME Live Media can be downloaded from the GNOME BitTorrent site.

    To install or upgrade your machine to GNOME 2.30, we recommend you install official packages from your vendor or distribution. Popular distributions will make GNOME 2.30 available very soon, and some already have development versions with GNOME 2.30 available. You can get a list of distributions that ship GNOME and discover the latest versions they ship on our Get Footware page.

    If you are brave and patient, and would like to build GNOME from source, we recommend you use JHBuild, which is designed to build the latest GNOME from Git. You can use JHBuild to build GNOME 2.30.x by using the gnome-2.30 moduleset.

    While it is possible to build GNOME directly from the release tarballs, we strongly recommend the use of JHBuild.

    I got there in two mouseclicks: click on “Latest release” and then “Installing Gnome” in the Table of Contents. Gnome doesn’t need marketing: it’s basically system software. If you download a distribution that mainly uses Gnome, you get that information from the page where you download the distro. Take Fedora for example: go to the download page and under “Other options” it has their KDE version. As I said, many Gnome components are integrated with operating system components, and thus you need to install the right set of Gnome and non-Gnome packages so that they work together.

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