Restoring the old gnome desktop

Avi Greenbury lists at
Thu Apr 26 16:14:44 UTC 2012

Bill Stanley wrote:

> I knew I was going to regret switching to the Unity desktop and I was 
> right!  I was assured that I could choose to use the Classic Gnome 
> desktop if I didn't like Unity.  I ungraded to version 11.10 and I
> can't find how to choose the classic desktop.

Gnome 2 was available in 11.04, but 11.10 used Gnome 3, so you cannot
have the Gnome 2 environment in anything later than 11.04. There's a
few options:

* Use XFCE. This is another desktop environment that used to be
  basically a less polished Gnome (way back it was a lighter weight
  Gnome, which is where it's reason for existing came from). It is not
  Gnome 2 and a lot of things are different, but the overall feel is
  similar. To do this, you want to do
    sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
  or find and install xubuntu-desktop in the software centre. This wont
  remove anything else.

* Use LXDE. This is another deskop environment that's a bit less like
  Gnome 2 than XFCE generally, but some people feel it's better (and in
  some things it's also a better Gnome 2 impression). To get this, you
  want to do
     sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop
  or find and install lubuntu-desktop in the software centre. This wont
  remove anything else.

* Use Cinnamon or MATE or Gnome-Panel in Gnome 3. These attempt to
  emulate the look of Gnome 2 atop Gnome 3 with varying degrees of
  success. I don't think any are officially supported in Ubuntu right
  now, but there's probably PPAs for each, or at least instructions
  knocking around.

> What must I do to get back to the Gnome desktop.

If what you want is exactly the old Gnome desktop, you need to run the
old Gnome, which means an old version of Ubuntu (or other Linux


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