I've tried to use the jhbuild system and it refuses to install any of the dependencies erroring out with I: Nothing available to install.
Is there any guide or wiki page or blog post that explains how to build the gnome-shell on Ubuntu 18.04?

If there's any ambiguity, I need to build the gnome-shell itself not a shell extension.

1 Answer 1



sudo apt-get install apt-file


Even if your problem seems similar to this one:

Whats the proper way to install Jhbuild?

your error is Nothing available to install while his error was Nothing to install.

The error can be found here in the sourcecode of jhbuild:


The requirement is given here:


For distributions using APT such as Debian and Ubuntu, this option [--install] requires apt-file to be installed.

  • I'll try this the next time I want to do something with jhbuild or gnome-shell. I gave up after I was unable to get it working.
    – Trinopoty
    May 24, 2019 at 8:57

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