After reading through all of the documentation with regard to getting started in developing for elementary OS, I am still a little unclear on how one actually tests their code for bug fixes.

As an example, lets say that someone wishes to fix a few bugs in a Switchboard plug. They pull the trunk and after reviewing the code believe they see the issue and modify it accordingly. They then compile/build it with no issues but now that it is built, how do they add it to their Switchboard for testing it?

It is quite likely I am missing something here and hopefully someone could point me in the right direction so that I can begin helping.


2 Answers 2


I also had this question when I first tried to fix bugs. And really the answer I've found is: It depends on what you're trying to fix. Not every part of elementary OS is compiled the same way and most of the time each project will have files HACKING or INSTALL with information about this. In general this is what I've found:

Standalone applications

This may me the most common case, and applies when dealing with applications like Videos, Terminal or Scratch, you compile by using the procedure found on the HACKING or the INSTALL file of the project, which is usually (but not always) something like

mkdir build
cd build/

Then you can run the executable created on the build directory.

Switchboard plugs

These are special because they are developed as shared libraries loaded by Switchboard at runtime, so the output of the build is an .so file and not really an executable.

For this what I do is install the development version of the plug directly to my system by calling sudo make install after compiling as before, then call Switchboard either from the terminal or from the Dock.

If I ever mess up and want the stable version of the plug back I will reinstall it using apt-get.


After digging further and actually running the build, I noticed that the updated files were copied over onto my actual machine and I could see the changes.

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