How to Install GNOME 3.16 On Ubuntu, Mint and Arch Linux

GNOME 3.16 is out now with many exciting attributes. Its new features include improvements in the areas of User Interface, Nautilus File manage, Overlay Scrollbar, Mutter, Control Center, Gaming and and Documents viewing. Not only improvements to the exiting features, but many new have been added in this new version. We have already covered its prominent features in details in our previous article.  Let’s see how we can install it under different Linux distributions.

Disclaimer: Please note that although GNOME 3.16 is out now but currently Linux distributions are not having any stable/officially recommended packages for this. Almost all Linux distributions are still getting ready to equip their new releases with this version. But we can still test it on our Linux system, currently Linux distributions have GNOME 3.16 packages in their testing or staging repositories, which means it has unknown bugs or behavior and still being worked on by developers, and installing such testing packages on production systems is not recommended because it may break your system. Before proceeding to install GNOME 3.16 from test repositories, its high recommended that you back up your important data.

Installing on Ubuntu and Linux Mint

GNOME 3.16 is currently under staging repositories for ubuntu based operating systems. If you are running ubuntu or any ubuntu based operating system like Linux Mint, you need to first add following GNOME staging repositories to your package manager. Launch your terminal and run following command to add this staging repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3-staging
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3


Since its testing repository, package manger will ask you to confirm its addition by understanding the consequences, hit “Enter” key to proceed.

PPA Testing

Once done, we need to update our package manager repository by running the following command:

sudo apt-get update

That’s all, let’s install GNOME3.1y by running the following:

sudo apt-get install gnome

GNOME Desktop

Installing on Arch Linux

Arch Linux distributions are well known for keeping the latest releases of software packages. But GNOME 3.16 packages for arch Linux are not yet production ready at the time of writing. However, it has been added to the testing repositories. In order to test this new GNOME version, you need to enable arch Linux testing repositories first. Once done, you will be able to install the new version of GNOME.

First of all enable "Testing" arch Linux GNOME repositories. As you might know already, arch linux based operating systems use "pacman" package manager.  Now edit Arch Linux Package Manager pacman’s  configuration file in graphical text edit "gedit" by running the following command on the terminal.

sudo gedit  /etc/pacman.conf

Pacman edit

Now add following lines in this file to enable Testing GNOME repos.


Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist


Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

pacman source
Now simply update your package manager and your arch Linux system with following command, as soon it completes its processing, you will see GNOME 3.16 running on your operating system.

sudo pacman -Syyu

Update : Thursday, 16 April 2015

GNOME 3.16.1 officially released with many fixes, many improvements, documentation and translation updates.


GNOME 3.16 is on the way to becoming one of the best desktop environments as it offers both graphically and functionality wise complete environment. All next releases of major Linux distributions will have this version by default; Fedora 22 and Ubuntu 15.10 are noteworthy of them. Enjoy!

Aun Raza 12:36 am


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  1. actually these are the required steps for ubuntu

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3-staging
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    1. Thanks for the feedback and info, although not yet tested myself, but "apt-get dist-upgrade" should install it as well.

    1. We updated the article with additional repo info, can please try adding it and then testing GNOME 3.16 install. Also please update which ubuntu version you are using? thanks for your comment.

  2. Hi,
    I did the actual steps written above

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3-staging
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    but it always install 3.14, not the 3.16

    I'm using latest stable Ubuntu Gnome 14.10 with default Gnome 3.12

    Any idea?

  3. The Ubuntu repositories upgrade Gnome to the next version in relation to what that release originally came with. 14.04 came with Gnome 3.10, so it gets upgraded to 3.12; 14.10 came with 3.12, so it gets upgraded to 3.14. To get Gnome 3.16 in Ubuntu, you need to be running 15.04, which is currently in beta. I tried the upgrade earlier this week when I make a YouTube review of the 15.04 beta, and the result was a crashed system.

  4. I'm right now installing Arch Linux and found this article. Now I can have GNOME 3.16 on Arch! Thanks!

  5. I use ubuntu 15.04
    I did the above steps ans installed gnome 3.16 but
    gnome-shell --version
    shows 3.14 only.
    Any ideas what more is to be done

  6. My suggestion is to wrap all commands into a function

    newgnomeshell () {
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3-staging
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    } && newgnomeshell

    # just copy the above code and press Ctrl-Shif-V