Try Out the Latest Linux Gnome DE With DistroBox

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Recently, we wrote an article on DistroBox showcasing the advantages of using it, in which one was trying out the latest Linux desktop environment (DE) release before it officially arrives.

In today’s article, we’ll try the latest Gnome 45, officially accessible for Ubuntu 23.10, on our host system running on Ubuntu 22.04 (with Gnome 42) using the DistroBox.

Trying Out the Latest Linux Gnome DE with DistroBox

The first thing you need to do is install DistroBox on your host Linux system, followed by installing an Ubuntu 23.10 container, and then accessing the container, all of which have already been discussed in our DistroBox article.

So, as you can see from the picture below, I am already inside my Ubuntu 23.10 container.

show casing the ubuntu distrobox container

Once you are ready and inside your DistroBox container, follow the below-mentioned steps one by one.

1. Run the following command to make the host systemd session accessible from within the container:

Quick Tip!

If you encounter an error, you must manually create those directories by running:

$ sudo mkdir /run/systemd
$ sudo mkdir /run/dbus
$ sudo ln -s /run/host/run/systemd/system /run/systemd
$ sudo ln -s /run/host/run/dbus/system_bus_socket /run/dbus/


creating symbolic link of host systemd files to distrobox container

2. Then, proceed to install Gnome inside the container:

$ sudo apt install ubuntu-gnome-desktop gnome-session gdm3


installing gnome de inside distrobox container

During installation, if asked to specify a language for the keyboard configuration, choose the one you want and click β€œOK” to proceed.

3. Quit the DistroBox container and fix the common permissions problem with the β€œ/tmp/.X11-unix” directory by changing the ownership from β€œroot” to β€œ$USERβ€œ.

$ exit
$ chown -f -R $USER:$USER /tmp/.X11-unix


fixing the permission issue

4. Create a β€œwayland-session” directory at β€œ/usr/local/share/” required for the next step in creating the desktop file for the Gnome DE running inside the container on the host file system.

$ sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/share/wayland-sessions/


creating wayland session directory

5. Create a β€œdistrobox-gnome.desktop” file at β€œ/usr/local/share/wayland-sessions/” using your choice of text editor.

$ sudo nano /usr/local/share/wayland-sessions/distrobox-gnome.desktop


$ sudo vim /usr/local/share/wayland-sessions/distrobox-gnome.desktop

And then copy and paste the following line:

Make sure to modify the value of the red-colored text according to the situation.
[Desktop Entry]
Name=GNOME on Wayland (Ubuntu 23.10 distrobox)
Comment=This session logs you into GNOME
Exec=/usr/local/bin/distrobox-enter -n ubuntu -- /usr/bin/gnome-session --builtin

Save and close the file.

6. Finally, log out of your host system; upon relogging in, you will find an option to switch to the new Gnome DE in the bottom right corner.

If you keep getting returned to the login screen while attempting to log in, restart your system once and then try again.
switching to new desktop environment

Once you switch and log into the system, you will be welcomed by the new Gnome look.

Gnome 45 home screen

The following is a picture of the new Gnome application menu.

gnome 45 application menu

The following is a picture of the new Gnome settings.

Gnome 45 settings

Final Word

That’s it for today’s article. If you have any questions or queries related to the topic, then do let me know in the comment section.

Till then, peace!

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2 thoughts on β€œTry Out the Latest Linux Gnome DE With DistroBox”

  1. I hope that was a typo where you said you were running Ubuntu 22.10. 22.10 isn’t a LTS release and is only supported for 9 months… unless I’m mistaken. 22.10 + 9 months > now. use a supported version of Ubuntu.