Introduction to GNOME Shell

The GNOME Shell is the core user interface of the GNOME Desktop environment.



Development versions of BLFS may not build or run some packages properly if dependencies have been updated since the most recent stable versions of the book.

Package Information

GNOME Shell Dependencies


evolution-data-server-3.46.4, Gcr-4.0.0, Gjs-1.74.1, gnome-autoar-0.4.3, gnome-control-center-43.2, GTK-4.8.3, libgweather-4.2.0 (runtime), Mutter-43.2, sassc-3.6.2, startup-notification-0.12, and elogind-246.10


Recommended (Runtime)


GTK-Doc-1.33.2 and bash-completion

Runtime Dependencies

adwaita-icon-theme-43, DConf-0.40.0, GDM-43.0, gnome-backgrounds-43, and telepathy-mission-control-5.16.6

User Notes:

Installation of GNOME Shell

Install GNOME Shell by running the following commands:

mkdir build &&
cd    build &&

meson --prefix=/usr       \
      --buildtype=release \
      -Dsystemd=false     \
      -Dtests=false       \
      .. &&

This package does not come with a working test suite in a SystemV environment.

Now, as the root user:

ninja install

Command Explanations

--buildtype=release: Specify a buildtype suitable for stable releases of the package, as the default may produce unoptimized binaries.

patch ...: This patch fixes a bug when trying to start an xwayland application on non systemd.

-Dsystemd=false: Prevents installing systemd files, which are not needed in this version of BLFS.

-Dtests=false: Remove this switch if you want to build the tests. But then meson will fail if Mutter-43.2 tests are not installed.


Installed Programs: gnome-extensions, gnome-extensions-app, gnome-shell, gnome-shell-extension-prefs, gnome-shell-extension-tool, and gnome-shell-perf-tool
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /usr/lib/gnome-shell, /usr/share/gnome-shell, /usr/share/gtk-doc/html/{shell,st} (optional), and /usr/share/xdg-desktop-portal/

Short Descriptions


provides the core user interface functions for the GNOME 3 Desktop