I am currently using elementary OS 5.1.7 Hera and I had an idea to improve elementary/files. So I cloned the repo and I was trying to build it using the provided instructions in the README.md

However,the compilation fails because I have an outdated version of valac:

meson.build:35:4: ERROR: Problem encountered: Valac >= 0.48.2 required!

When I try to install/upgrade vala with aptitude I get:

valac is already the newest version (0.40.25-0ubuntu1~18.04~valateam0)

I found this and I know that I can find the source code for newer versions in gnome's gitlab, but I was trying to avoid to have to compile the valac myself.

Can someone tell me how to upgrade valac so that I can start developing?

Thanks in advance

1 Answer 1


Files code is no longer compatible with Hera unfortunately, it is not just that the valac compiler required is newer, it also depends on libhandy which is not provided by Hera. There are probably other requirements not met. The best way to develop File is to do it on elementary 6 (beta version now available). You probably want to install it on a separate partition or in a VM as it is not suitable for production use yet. You can also compile Files on the latest LTS of Ubuntu, I think, but you will need to install the elementary themes otherwise it will not look right. It would be a good idea the raise the issue as a feature request on https://github.com/elementary/files/issues to check that what you intend is in line with the UX team opinion.

To answer your exact question, you can get all versions of valac from the the vala team ppa page: https://launchpad.net/~vala-team/+archive/ubuntu/ppa

  • So, the version being distributed right now (Hera) is no longer supported? What a shame. I really like elementary and I am now using it as my main OS, but I do not want to install a beta version to be my main OS... On top of that it is annouced that the beta version won't be able to upgrade when elementary 6 comes out :( Thanks for your answer.
    – pfxr
    May 10, 2021 at 20:04
  • In the case of Files there can be no more Hera releases - the development focus is now on elementary 6. There aren't the resources to maintain a separate Hera branch of Files unfortunately. May 12, 2021 at 9:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.