Official GNOME 40 for Debian and Ubuntu is coming. This is guide howto build GNOME 40.3 now and run it as your desktop environment. This is actually a bit more than just building exact GNOME 40 Desktop, this is your Swiss Army Knife to build latest GNOME packages when you want and survival pack to help you live on bleeding edge. GNOME 40 is, of course, a major release, but also all minor releases GNOME 40.1 / 40.2 / 40.3 / 40.4 / 40.5 / 40.6. brings something new. Also GNOME 41 is coming in October 2021

If you are ‘one-click man’, ‘looking always easiest way to do something’ and ‘wonder why I have to do something more than just click somewhere to get something’, then this is definitely not for you. Even if all the planets are in just the right position, this will still take a while and this is so much complicated than one click. You maybe will see errors and you might have to learn something new, but if you still want to run latest and greatest GNOME on Debian or Ubuntu, then this guide is for you.

Check video version of guide. Build GNOME 40.2 on Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo, same commands works Debian users also:

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1. Prerequisites to build GNOME 40/GNOME latest using JHBuild on Debian / Ubuntu

  • Lots of disk space – something like 60 GB is good start
  • >=16GB RAM – also 8GB should work when limit build process RAM usage
  • Good CPU – something like i5, i7 or i9
  • Good nerves – this is long guide and building 200+ packages will take some time
  • A lot of coffee

I have tested this guide on my both desktop PCs and following specs are at least easily enough to build GNOME reasonable time. Of course any other combination should work, but might take some time, also network speed is important factor to total build time. I also tested this on virtual machine with limited cores and limited memory and this works without problems.


128 GB disk


1 TB disk

Ubuntu 21.04 running GNOME 40.2

Ubuntu 21.04 running JHBuild GNOME 40.2