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Gnome 2.2 Backport for Debian Woody

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Security support for Debian 3.0 ("Woody") ended on 2006/06/30. As stated in the Goals section of this backport, security support for the Gnome 2.2 backport also ended on this date. It is recommended that you upgrade or install a supported version of Debian at this time.


This project provides an updated Gnome 2.2 desktop for Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 on i386. Almost all of these packages originated from Debian unstable, and were 'backported' or recompiled using Debian woody compilers and libraries. As such, these packages are unofficial packages, and are not part of Debian GNU/Linux.

In addition to the core gnome desktop, several other applications have been backported. Highlights include updated packages for xfree86, Mozilla, evolution, gnome-meeting, gaim, gnucash and glade-2.


The project was created by James Strandboge and has been in existence since February of 2003. It was first announced on Debian Planet and was then listed on the GNOME 2.2 Desktop and Platform release page. Its use spread quickly, and pretty soon updated installation instructions and a troubleshooting section was announced. The project provided base packages for Linex to build upon, which eventually led to the GNU/Linux deployment for Extremadura Spain. The backport also provided the base packages for earlier versions of Gnoppix.


The goals of the project are simply to provide an updated, stable desktop environment for Debian GNU/Linux 3.0. Specifically, the goals are:
  • Stability: provide tested bugfix and important feature updates when general usability of the packages are affected.
  • Security: provide timely security updates to packages within the backport.
  • Upgradeable: provide an upgrade path to Debian Sarge. Please read 'Upgrading to Debian Sarge' before upgrading.
  • Maintenance: maintain the backport until Debian woody is end of lifed.
  • Free and Open: document all changes in changelog.Debian and send relevant patches to Official Debian maintainers.


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You must have Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 installed with all current security updates. Other backports may work with the gnome2.2 backport (eg, however mixing backports is not recommended or supported.

Currently, binary packages for the backport are only for i386. However, the packages originated from Debian unstable, so it should be possible to recompile the source packages on other architectures.


If you are currently running gnome, it is recommended that you log out of gnome and reboot before installing the backport. Gnome leaves a lot of daemons running and rebooting makes sure they are not running when you upgrade. If you don't want to reboot, logout, then login to the console and kill any processes that are running under your username. If you don't know how to do this, just reboot. ;)

Add to /etc/apt/sources.list one of these, making sure that it is all on one line:

deb gnome2.2/
deb gnome2.2/

and have ONLY these Official woody lines (using an appropriate mirror):

deb stable main contrib non-free
deb stable/updates main

Then do:

apt-get update && apt-get -u dist-upgrade
apt-get install gnome-core x-window-system

and optionally:
apt-get install gnome gnome-core-devel gnome-fifth-toe gdm

The initial 'apt-get -u dist-upgrade' is to properly upgrade xfree86 to the required 4.2.1 version.

I recommend NOT having any other lines in sources.list. If you have other lines, there may be conflicts. It is recommended that you remove any unofficial woody packages from your system before installing this backport. This includes using XFree86 4.3 for woody (see the FAQ for a workaround). You have been warned.

When you login for the first time, you may be prompted to upgrade your gnome 1.4 settings. Unless you have a very simple gnome 1.4 desktop, this probably won't work and it is recommended that you discard your previous settings.

Please see the FAQ for additional information.


All original work is released under the terms of the GPL. Please view individual package documentation for licensing information on packages provided by the backport.


Join the gnome22-user mailing list. Important announcements regarding the backport will be made here, in addition to discussions relevant to its use.

Visit the main gnome22 project page on alioth.

Reporting Bugs

Bugs should be filed primarily for:
  • packaging issues (it doesn't install correctly, etc)
  • a newly updated package is broken
  • upgrade problems to sarge
  • a package in Official woody breaks as a result of the backport
Do not send bug reports if you have another backport installed.

Before filing bugs with the backport, please check and

Do NOT file new bugs with the Debian BTS as these are not Official Debian packages.

Please file bugs at the gnome22 bug report page.

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