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Installing Gnome 3 on Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)

If you are reading this article, chances are that you have tried the Unity interface on Ubuntu. Although Canonical has done a great job with the development of Unity, some of us still prefer to use Gnome as a default GUI. In addition, the Gnome team has also done an excellent job improving Gnome and released this as Gnome 3. Since Gnome 3 comes with both the classic (similar to Gnome 2) and the new Gnome 3 interface, I decided to focus on installing Gnome 3 in this article.

Installing Gnome 3

Before we continue, it is worth mentioning that there is a gnome package in the default Ubuntu repository for Gnome, however from what I understood from several articles this version is outdated and does not include all the beauty that is included in the latest Gnome 3 release. So you may want to skip installing the default package from the repository.

The good news is that installing the latest Gnome 3 on Ubuntu 12.04 is extremely easy. Just copy-paste the following lines for the latest release from the Gnome team into a terminal (type Ctrl-Alt T to open a terminal window):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

Now be sure to reboot your computer and when you are prompted with your login screen you have the following additional options (click on the little Ubuntu icon next to your login name):

I recommend using the first option, Gnome. However if you are interested in going back to a familiar environment, feel free to choose one of the two Gnome Classic options. You can log in and log out to try the different versions.

Gnome 3 Shell Extensions

One of the great new features of Gnome 3 is the possibility to add “shell extensions”. These are small user interface elements which can improve the overall user experience.

To install a shell extension visit the Gnome Extensions website with your browser (the default Firefox works fine for this) and install extensions by switching the “ON/OFF” button to “ON” (you can find these buttons on the individual extension pages, in the left upper corner).

You may also want to consider installing the Gnome Tweak Tool which will give you greater control over your shell extensions and several other Gnome settings. You can install this tool directly from the Ubuntu Software Repository, or by copy-pasting the following lines into a terminal:

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

You can now find this tweak tool by searching for “Advanced Settings” in your applications or in System Tools menu.

Recommended Shell Extensions

Experiment and try out some shell extensions. Personally I recommend to at least try out activating/installing the following shell extensions:

Alternatively, if you prefer to install a small collection of popular shell extensions in one go (including most of the listed above) you can copy-paste the following lines in a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extensions-common

And once you have finished installing extensions, visit the Installed Extensions page on the Gnome Extensions website or the “Shell Extensions” option in the Gnome Tweak Tool. There you will be able to see, enable/disable and customize settings of the individual extensions from the collection.

An important note about using Gnome shell extensions: Unfortunately any installed shell extension will not automatically be updated when newer versions are released. You will need to manually remove and reinstall any shell extension which conflicts with future Gnome 3 or Ubuntu updates. This is something the Gnome team is aware of and (I hope) is working on fixing.

Getting Around In Gnome 3

As mentioned earlier in this article, there are a lot of exciting new features in Gnome 3. I decided to highlight the two features that have the most impact on my daily usage of Gnome.

Multiple Workspaces

One of the first things I noticed when I logged in was that there were only two workspaces in Gnome 3 (use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Alt Up/Down-arrows to navigate the workspaces). So my first impulse was to browse through a lot of different settings windows in the system settings and try to increase this number (I like working with four or more workspaces). However, I could not find where to change this anywhere. Only after watching this video I understood that this is not needed anymore as the number of active workspaces is dynamic to what you actually using. Watch the video below to understand what I mean.

Searching For Apps / Switching Windows

Quickly accessing popular apps and opened windows is similar to how Unity does this, however the approach from the Gnome team allows you to have more screen space for the apps and windows you have open. In the video below Jason of the Gnome team explains you what I mean.

Be sure to also check out the Gnome YouTube channel for more demos from the Gnome team.

Do you have a favorite shell extension or Gnome 3 recommendations? Please share them in the comments below!

Installing Gnome 3 on Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) by
About the Author

is a former member of the Google Search Quality team and the Google Ad Traffic Quality team. At Google, Fili spent 7 years hunting web spam and click spam, defining spam policies, educating webmasters and improving the quality of Google search results worldwide. From Berlin in Germany, Fili nowadays works at SearchBrothers.com as a SEO Consultant helping clients to optimize their websites for search engines and recover from Google penalties and Google algorithmic updates.


  1. Nicely written! Personally Gnome3 Shell really changed my way of working for the better. I wasn’t aware of the possibility to install extensions through the Gnome Extensions website, which is a great addition to the usability of it all. In my opinion Gnome is definitely on the right track

    Btw, are you sure that shell extensions wouldn’t be updated if installed through a PPA repository? I always figured that the PPA owner would have version control over those packages on your system. If the PPA is managed properly this does includes updates.

  2. Is it possible by now to remove Unity safely? The last time I tried it messed up my system.

  3. Roberto Longobardi says:

    Great post, thanks a lot!

    Actually I really didn’t like Unity from the very beginning, and in my opinion it’s getting worse from release to release…

    I even switched to Linux Mint in the last months just to have Gnome back, but with the new 12.04 I think I may give it a new try.

    Let’s see what happens with 12.04 and Gnome 3 ;-)


  4. @Filidor Thanks, and yes you raise a good point: if a PPA package is managed properly you do have a good chance that the shell extensions would update next time you run the update manager :)

  5. @Sawa Good question! I haven’t yet because I did not run the risk of messing my system up. if you do try, please let us know if it is safe :)

  6. @Roberto Thanks! I tried Linux Mint as well. I agree that they did a great job but I am happy enough with Gnome 3 on Ubuntu 12.04 so I will stick to this :)

  7. Thanks for the post; I never got on with Unity and on my last upgrade resorted to a Gnome + Docky desktop.
    Thanks for helping me to Pimp my Pangolin!

  8. Fili Wiese,

    Thanks for the useful info.
    Look at this website https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/14/shut-down-menu/
    for Gnome customization. You just On or Off on the lefthandside for having that installed.


  9. Not sure how you deal with content theft, but this article was ripped and reposted over at http://zakymubarok.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/cara-menginstall-gnome-3-di-ubuntu-12-04-precise-pangolin/.

    They may have ripped other articles (they ripped two of mine).

  10. @Richard Thanks for letting me know!

  11. I feel like moving from Windows to Ubuntu for using Gnome after reading this!

  12. Glad to hear that. I have been Windows-free for several years now and am loving every moment of it :)

  13. Sabbir Ahmed says:

    Thank you for your kind information and instruction. :)

  14. To start off, this is a great article but I have one question, I run Ubuntu from an old laptop so it is not that fast. So what computer do you need to run gnome 3 smoothly?

  15. Great question, luckily ubuntu runs pretty good on older machines so I recommend just giving it a try :-)

  16. I have just installed Gnome 3.0 with ubuntu on my netbook and I am already loving it. It runs very smooth, I think it might even be faster than the unity interface.

  17. Glad to hear that! I also get the impression that it is faster than unity.

  18. It might be good to add that if you’re doing this from a bare-bones install of Ubuntu 12.04 (i.e. no desktop installed), that this installation will not behave as expected. This is only the gnome-shell, not the xorg components needed to produce the graphical desktop login.

  19. Good Work !!!!

    love genome 3 on ubuntu default !!!!!

  20. James Bear says:

    This is very refreshing indeed, and very encouraging, to encounter an IT technician who knows how to write clear and correct English, instead of the usual linguistic-bypass patients. Not only this, but he contributes useful, comprehensive and well-documented content. I shall stay with this site in the future, instead of looking elsewhere for comparatively poorly-written Ubuntu information.

  21. For long time I was trying to have best of the both world( gnome3 and ubuntu) :D. I got it with your help.
    Testing phase begins from now and on. thanks for this post….

  22. Thanks for the tips. They seem to work except the GNOME that gets installed seems to be somewhat castrated (same problem under Ubuntu 11, by the way). What I mean by that is that functionality I am used to, for instance, ability to add menus, etc. to a panel via right-click is not there, the menus seem to all be different, etc.

    Do you know what I may be missing?

  23. Hi Boris,

    I am guessing that you noticed the difference between gnome2 and gnome3. I haven’t used the classic interface for gnome3 much so I probably can’t say much about that. Let us know what you find out :-)

  24. Carlos H says:

    Hi Fili,

    I like the clarity of your tutorial. I am wondering if you could go a step beyond and give me a hand. You see, I followed your instructions, but when I try to log into Gnome, I get a blue screen, the tob bar shows choppy text (some of the letters are “missing,” although there is space for the letter. For example, my name would display as C rl s). If I move my mouse to the top right corner and click, I can see the Gnome UI for a split second before it disappears completely, leaving me with just my background picture; no top bar, no side bar, no nothing… Where did I go wrong?

  25. I’ve installed Gnome 3 but have now realised that I’ve got used to Unity and want to keep it and get rid of the GNOME installation.

  26. Hi Tony,

    You can try to uninstall the Gnome shell again through the Ubuntu Software center. Just look for Gnome in the installed software list.

    Hope this helps :-)

  27. Hello Carlos,

    That sounds really scary. I am afraid I don’t know what went wrong with your installation. Have you tried downloading a fresh copy and installing from scratch again? Make sure to first backup any personal data and wipe the hard drive. If that doesn’t work, do check for bad sectors on your hard drive (there could be a remote possibility that this is the problem).

  28. michael says:


    You can choose to boot into gnome classic on the login screen, like always. Click the ubuntu symbol by the login name and it brings up the menu.

    You don’t have to remove it.

  29. All goes well until the second restart. At the login screen in front of gnome selection i have ubuntu icon, only clasic gnome has gnome icon. ok , i click “gnome” and i have some shell errors reported. After that nothing happens. The background picture and mouse pointer is on the screen, i can move the mouse… nothing else on my screen (no top bar, no side bar…). With ctrl +Alt + delete an small window appear on the screen with the log out option. After this selection login screen appear. How can i uninstall and reinstall? I try to make the instalation steps again. No errors and not change. I installed some shell extensions before this problem.

  30. well…
    thanx a lot, I tried and it works :D
    but some installed extensions disappear after upgrade.
    and tweak tool got crash. and I cant fix those bugs.
    afterall your website is very usefull.
    sorry for bad english :)

  31. It has been hardly two months since I ‘upgraded’ to Unbuntu from Windows. I followed the instructions and installed the Gnome3 environment, however after a restart I find that the Gnome3 desktop is all garbled. Gnome Classic works fine though. Does it have something to do with the fact that I did the installation from behind a proxy server at my workplace? Or maybe my laptop is not good enough for Gnome3?

  32. Luis Guerrero says:

    Good content and well written post.

    I had also installed Gnome 3 on Ubuntu 10. Worked fine, and Gnome 2 classic was my default desktop. Then I tried LXDE, a light, good desktop for not-so-new computers but with some limitations, e.g. when connecting to Samba shares from Windows (make it with Gigolo). Then I went to Linux Mint. Finally went back to Ubuntu, this time 12.04, and am using Unity for some 2 months now. Tired of it. Reverting to Gnome.

    Thanks for the post.

    Luis Guerrero

  33. Luis Guerrero says:

    By the way, I installed Gnome 3 on Ubuntu 12.04 by using thesoftware installer that is included in Unity. Searched for Gnome, selected Gnome Desktop and installed it very easily. It is working OK, as expected.

  34. Just fnished installing Gnome 3 on ubunto 12.04. Beautiful desktop. I like it so much better than Unity. Thanks for the help.

  35. and what I can do if i disabled the login at the start?

  36. Hello Jpas,

    Try disabling this option from the settings once you are logged in. Then log out and you should get the login screen, if all goes well.

    Hope this helps

  37. The Unforlorn says:

    God bless you for this article. I’m still using Lucid due to my hatred of Unity, and was looking at changing to Mint Linux next year when the LTS expires for Lucid. Now I’ll try an upgrade to Precise on another computer and see how a Gnome install goes. Hopefully the result will be that I’ll still be using Ubuntu this time next year!

  38. The Unforlorn says:

    All done! I love it. Now to do the rest of the computers.

  39. Ram Cadag says:

    Loving every moment of using gnome 3! keep it up guys!

  40. Nice article!

    Did any of you guys try this on Ubuntu Server? I’m curious because I always have issues with the graphics installer, I really could care less about Unity (it’s clunky and unpractical), and I like to have a system with only on it what I use.

    So my thought was to install Ubuntu Server, and then add the Gnome desktop to it. Of course, if it is not confirmed to be working, I am not going to risk a 3 day tweaking session to get it to work. Hence the reason for my question.

  41. Hello Marc,

    I have not tried it on a server but it should be possible to quickly test this. Also if you would like a minimalistic approach I would recommend lubuntu or xubuntu instead.

    Hope this helps :-)

  42. Well, I’ll give the server install a try.

    I tried both Lubuntu and Xubuntu, of which I like Xubuntu the most due to its resemblance with Gnome 2. Though I have to admit, it is a bit too minimalistic to me.

    I have a good hardware system, so resources are not an issue for me. It is just that Unity is slow, no matter what hardware you use. And for this reason I wanted to give Gnome 3 a try and see how it work. Preferably without any lingering Unity components in the system though.

    Once I tried it out, I will let you guys know how it went.

  43. pradeep kumar says:

    its nice UI compare to any other platform. Its far better then unity UI also.

    still I have a one question here how can we put the desktop workspace in same order of unity because its easy to go from one to other workspace which is better then gnome3…

  44. hey i installed it and it worked good for the first time…after a reboot no matter which option i select in gnome options i get oly the gnome classic effect not the gnome 3 effect …..help

  45. gnome shell can not be used in acer aspire one d270
    I make use ubuntu lts 12:04

  46. I’ve one question I’m looking for an answer on, so far no-luck. But, this has some very handy pointers.

    I got really used to having a couple of users with sub-1000 UIDs. Yes, I needed to pop in the username to log in to them. Is there something similar to the 12.04 user selector that also has an option to manually enter another username?

    As-yet I’ve not found one. :S

  47. @LRC good question, I am not sure. I haven’t had a need for it so I haven’t explored that option. Be sure to share your findings here when you figure it out.

  48. @dinu did you install a fresh copy? From scratch, on an empty hard drive? If not, you can try that.

  49. Hello Akbar,

    Sorry to hear that. It is indeed possible that certain computers are not supported. I recommend to always search for compatibility online before installing and / or buying a new computer.

  50. Hello Pradeep,

    Did you try to find a gnome extension for that? Also I always just use the keyboard shortcuts for switching workspace and almost never a graphical UI. Try it and maybe you don’t need a graphical UI either :-)

  51. Hello Marc,

    How did you server installation go? Did you manage to get gnome 3 running without any remaining unity modules? Do share! Thanks :-)

  52. Thanks for the detailed instruction. I was able to install Gnome 3 effortlessly!

  53. Switching on the sub-1000 user access.

    Found it!

    $ sudo gedit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

    By adding the following line, you’ll have the option to manually input the username for any unlisted users:


    Next time lightdm starts you’ll have the extra option.

    More handy options in there include:
    allow-guest=false // disable passwordless guest account login

    From ‘clues’ i’ve found elsewhere, /usr/share/xsessions contains multiple .desktop files, which define the available shell types you can select. I renamed the two ubuntu*.desktop files to ubuntu*.desktop-sux, the following should restart lightdm, but I keep having to power-down and back up with this:

    $ sudo service lightdm restart

    But, no more options to start with “Ubuntu” or “Ubuntu 2D”. I am one happy bunny.

  54. @LRC that is absolutely fabulous. Thanks for sharing your findings here and I am glad you found your solution :-)

  55. Sudeepto Dutta says:

    Nice Post Sir :)

    I always wondered why UBUNTU have only one type of UI.. since I am a complete noob in LINUX world . I thought of starting my LINUX journey with UBUNTU :)

    I am happy with it but the USP of UBUNTU 12.04 Precise Pangolin i.e. the HUD didn’t suffice me much :(

    Every time I typed anything on it… it never showed me the desired result…I know that I have to be on the required page for that …

    then also when I am on desktop & press ALT and typed “terminal” it showed nothing…

    ANYWAYS… My question to you is.. Is it safe to use GNOME 3 ..??

    Is there a safe way to revert back to unity in case somethings goes wrong inside GNOME 3…??

    Do reply ASAP :)

    Thank you :)

  56. Hello,

    The good news is that when you install gnome 3 like described in the article above, you don’t replace unity but just add another independent UI to your Linux installation. In the login menu where you select which version of gnome 3 you want to use, you can also select unity. So switching back to unity doesn’t involve any additional installation or undoing anything, just select the option from the menu and you are back in unity.

    Hope this helps :-)

  57. Sudeepto Dutta says:

    Thanks for the reply sir…

    Just installed GNOME 3.4 its cool… fast indeed :)

    Now going to install the tweak tools …

    BTW.. can you tell me if GNOME gets a update in near future , how will I get to know about it..and how can I update it..??

  58. Hello Sundeepto,

    If you followed the instructions mentioned above then your gnome 3 should update automatically with the rest of your system (you will be occasionally prompted to apply updates and these include gnome 3 updates as the PPA mentioned above is that of the official gnome team).

    That is most definitely one of the big advantages of Linux :-)

    Hope this helps :-)

  59. Sudeepto Dutta says:

    Yes SIr … I followed your instructions carefully… But now I want to add new themes and theme effects…

    But I am not sure which one are safe… there is one GTK themes …do’nt know much but please tell me some sites or PPA’s that can help me solve my problem … :)

    Thank You :)

  60. Bharadwaj says:

    Thanks for such a nicely written information, with the help of it i successfully installed Gnome3…. Thanks again

  61. Hi Fili
    Thanks for your instruction. but i cannot see the sliding button you mentioned in gnome extention page and all extention in first page seems to be inactive.
    What should I do?

  62. Just an FYI, PPA repository does NOT work on Ubuntu 12.04 PowerPC (on a Mac Mini G4). If you want Gnome on PPC, just use the default repo’s.

  63. @renato

    Good to know, thanks for sharing!

  64. dear Fili Wiese ,

    your post was very helpful it helped me to install gnome finaly.
    and the installation was sucessful



  65. Hello Nishad,

    Did you try restarting once or twice? If not, something may be wrong with the video drivers.

  66. I installed Ubuntu two days ago and have been working on a php dev project. Just messing around, I decided to try the Gnome desktop. Ran the install through the Ubuntu installer (as opposed to a terminal install) and now can not get past the login screen. Choosing any of the Ubuntu or Gnome desktops results the same – can not get past the login screen. This is a bit troubling since all of my work is trapped on a separate partition and I can’t access it from Windows. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  67. Nevermind – just took the loss and did a fresh install and started over

  68. @Eric, sorry to hear that! I assume you tried restarting the computer. I had a similar problem once with the login screen and a restart (or two) seemed to solve it.

  69. I am running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS in Parallels and Virtualbox on my 2011 Mac Mini Server and neither VM’s display Gnome 3. I am also running Fedora 17 and Gnome 3 displays perfectly. How can I fix this?

  70. I had the same problem as Marius, I was driving nuts with that problem.

    So i googled out until i found a command-line: “gnome-shell –replace”

    That made gnome3 work! :-) but very very slow! :-( in terminal some outputs warned me: “OpenGL Warning: Failed to connect to host. Make sure 3D acceleration is enabled for this VM.”

    I was running ubuntu inside a VirtualBox with the 3D acceleration disabled! =P

    A simple checkbox click in the VM configuration solved my problem.

    I hope this helps someone with a similar problem!

  71. @Robson

    Great find! Thanks for sharing :-)

  72. @Ryan check out Robson comment. That may solve your problem

  73. thanks dude i got the beauty of gnome 3 by your easy steps..

  74. This is really useful.. thanks

  75. I have not read all the comments(i read some of them). it is too long.

    My problem is after installing gnome-shell, i am not prompted with the options.

    Is that because i don’t want the login screen to come.(i am the only one entering this building so i don’t want a login screen).

    My second question is there a way i can configure gnome as my default desktop?

  76. @Chadayan I understand that you automatically log in as user when starting up your computer. Have you tried logging out of Unity? So not shut down, but log out. This should (hopefully) return you to the login screen where you can then select Gnome as default desktop environment.

  77. What I do not like about unity is that you can only have so many icons on dash before you have to start scrolling.
    The other thing I do not like about Unity is trying to find the app when I forget the name.
    I have not used the gnome 3 before so I cannot comment on it.
    You cannot have a second dash column. I still prefer the old gnome.

  78. @Frank luckily you can run a similar interface as the old interface with Gnome Shell 3. Just choose the classic option at the login menu.

  79. I’ve installed Ubuntu 12.04 from the mini.iso so I have no GUI yet, when following these instructions I don’t get everything that will make it Gnome 3. It looks like a mix of Gnome 2 and 3. What other packages do I need to fully install Gnome 3 from command line.
    I’m trying to minimized the software that gets installed as I don’t need/want everything that comes with the desktop install of Ubuntu.

  80. David Hartung says:

    I have installed gnome using the following commands:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

    When I reboot, there are no options to switch to Gnome.

  81. @David Hartung

    There really isn’t a menu. If you are using lightdm (the default for 12.04) there is simply the tiny icon in the corner of the login window.

    Click the little icon and you can change environments.

  82. Thanks for the information. Great post.

  83. Hi,

    Can anyone please point me on “how to install GNOME-3 on Centos 6.2”? I have been searching in the google but no luck till now. Please advice on this.

    Thanks a lot.


  84. Thanks Sir, for the wonderful effort you made by writing this article. I want to understand Linux language, let me know the easy way or they way that can understand my understanding easily. Regards,

  85. Great post , i just need gnome classic and im happy ! Thanks for the tutorial!

  86. Wow. I’ve been running Lucid for the past two years or so, and just finished installing Precise. All I can say is that I’m in shock. It used to be that you could get a nice, simple, familiar windowed GUI up and running without much difficulty. Now you get this weird touch-screen optimised Unity nonsense. But it seems other OSes are doing the same. I guess they don’t expect desktops to last much longer, and everyone to be running around with tablets.

    Anyway, I did try to install Gnome 3 using these instructions. It … worked, but …

    Well, firstly, even classic isn’t like the Gnome I’m used to. Fiddling with settings is made much more difficult — before I could just right click on the taskbar to add, remove or move widgets. Now that’s disabled. Also, before there was a nice GUI allowing the configuring of appearance in great detail. But when you install Gnome 3 from the PPA, the only way to configure things seems to be to use gconf (or manually edit the configuration files). The Gnome-tweaker allows some of this, but does not even allow something as simple as moving the window controls to the right.

    So I’m busy trying downgrading to the Gnome 2 officially supported by Ubuntu, but I don’t have very high hopes.

  87. Max Weber says:

    One thing is for sure, the system menu is gone as well as some cancel/close buttons no longer show up. If you know you can hit “ESC” for cancel, then you are OK. Otherwise, you’ll be locked up in Eclipse with Android SDK. Similarly, if you know about alt-space-n for minimize then you can survive. It looks nice but so far has made me do in 3 clicks what I used to do in 1. But I hadn’t setup that quick launch thing on the left. Maybe it will work. I did click around there and did not see how to do it. But now that I watched the video maybe I can.
    I don’t have time to play with Linux any more. I actually use it as a development workstation platform. Random massive changes in the UI are of negative value to me. Especially when they hide the UI elements needed to use various tools. But, surely these kinks will be worked out in the future. I also didn’t know about the dynamic desktops. But one thing is for sure, I was able to get Ubuntu running on my hardware when two other leading distros would not. I still cannot recover from a low power mode – but at least it works otherwise. On my other systems I never upgraded from Fedora 14 because I don’t have time to hassle with changes in UI, folder locations, and such. Running Linux shouldn’t be a hobby requiring 10-40 hours of learning with each new release. That can DEFINITELY be said about Windows too of course. And Apple Mac’s have a terrible UI. The Motif UI was much more usable for desktop computing. Too bad Windows and, now, several Linuces abandoned it. In reality, all of these UI motifs are wrong. Users don’t think in terms of “apps” users think in terms of tasks. Too bad no OS has been written with UI design in mind. Developers work in terms of apps. Other than the Unix stdout>stdin design paradigm, haven’t seen many apps written in terms of tasks. Android Intents are such a framework but don’t see it used much other than Contacts…

  88. After I just bought an SSD (20 seconds from bios to completely booted and ready system!) I dared to uninstall Unity to see what happens. I think there are some zombie components of it still floating around now (I still received updates for it), but the obvious program components were removed and everything runs flawlessly.

  89. Allen Meyers says:

    I had a little difficulty due to my having automatic logon, but after you told me how to reverse process I now hove full blown gnome 3 and I thank you

  90. @Allen happy I was able to help you out. Enjoy Gnome :-)

  91. I tired installing gnome-shell but i got into this problem. I cannot figure it out. Can anyone help? I desperately want gnome-shell to be installed.

    neal@neal-G50VT:~$ sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    gnome-shell : Depends: gnome-icon-theme-full but it is not going to be installed
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

  92. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

  93. @Lucas, Thanks for mentioning all those useful extensions :)

  94. Thanks for the Gnome 3 guide :)

    When I was comparing KDE and Gnome on Sabayon X I realised I really like Gnome 3 after I customize it with their extensions, IMO the very first thing they should do on first run is show a screen asking you which extensions you want.

    I dislike certain things about Unity, I hope Canonical will fix them eventually but until then Gnome 3 here we go.

  95. Hi, does shifting from unity to gnome 3 doesnt effect drivers? particularly on graphics. because I cross oceans and mountains before I got this present configuration perfect. I dont want to end up with a mess and start formatting annd tweaking for a perfect configuration again.

  96. Thank you for a quick, concise series of commands to get Gnome back and rid myself of that headache they call Unity. You are a gentleman and a scholar.

  97. Fabián Leiva says:

    Thanks a lot!

    Nice post, it really helped me

  98. Been using Gnome3 for almost 2 years now and I must admit there were problems (usability) when it first came out. Gnome 3.6 is working great for me and a great improvement (except for Nautilus features removal) but I still laugh at the people complaining about it. I’m way more productive with G3 than with gnome2 and there are plenty of ppl that like it. Unfortunately the complainers always seem to be the ones that like the old windoze feel which I couldn’t care less. Gnome3 looks fantastic, runs smooth and is quite easy to work with if you give yourself more that 10 minutes with it Lol. But hey, Torvalds doesn’t like it so it must be a dud right? Whatever! If you don’t like it stop bitching about it and use something else. THAT IS WHAT MAKES LINUX SO AWESOME! If you don’t like it, switch to something you do and move on or program a new DM yourself.

  99. you are best, thank you really many! i use this guide every time i install ubuntu.

  100. Will this work automagically for 3.8?

  101. Observer says:

    A well-written article that is unintentionally misleading. Adding the GNOME3 PPA does not get you the latest version of gnome-shell, it is still 3.4.

  102. Hello Observer,

    Thanks for your feedback. However please keep in mind that this depends on a number of factors: mostly which version of Ubuntu you use. In addition, also this guide was written for Ubuntu 12.04 and even though most still applies for Ubuntu 12.10 you may need to use a different PPA to get the latest version of Gnome. That said, the version in the PPA is still very good and often (again dependent on your Ubuntu version) still better than the default in the Ubuntu repository.

  103. Hello Geo,

    If you upgrade to Ubuntu 13.04, then according to the Gnome PPA documentation you should be able to upgrade to Gnome 3.8. I would recommend doing a PPA purge before you upgrade. More information can be found here: https://launchpad.net/~gnome3-team/+archive/gnome3?field.series_filter=quantal

    That said, if you would like to use the NEW official Ubuntu Gnome installation (this may require reinstalling your system from scratch), I recommend you check out: http://ubuntugnome.org/

  104. I followed these directions
    I reboot the server and it just comes up to a text console no gnome
    I installed xrdp and same thing no gnome desktop

  105. Wow, this post made my day,

    Thank you so much!
    I hate what the Ubuntu community is calling “unity bar”, what a non sence?
    when i first upgraded from Ubuntu 10.04, I was chocked by the new gui and layout. I tried to be patient, to get used to it but it didn’t work, It might have something to do with how my brain is wired!
    The Unity bar make me nervous, irritated; I can’t look at it for one hour.
    You instructions helped me get rid of it and i am so thankfull

  106. I sometimes had that too. My solution was to restart another two times and then it often did suddenly work. I would also recommend you have a look at http://www.ubuntugnome.org/

  107. Thank you so much.
    I installed it, but now there is no Unity and No gnome desktop, i just have gnome classic and gnome classic(No effects).
    what is my problem? how to fix it?

  108. There could be several reasons why this may happening. Did you upgrade? Which version of Ubuntu do you use? Also have you tried “Ubuntu Gnome” at http://www.ubuntugnome.org/ ?


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