14 thoughts on “How to get Gnome back! — Ubuntu 11.04 Switch From Unity To Classic”

    1. Thanks for the comment/compliment Brad, I appreciate it! Indeed, you’re welcome for the info, enjoy your reunion with Gnome 🙂

  1. The new gnome interface is a disaster. like KDE4, the reason why i started to use gnome. and now the gnome devs are makeing the same big mistake. make a gui so difficult as posisble in use.

    I hope the change there mind and bring a good gui back with stat of the art support.
    Now i go try to reverse it first…

    1. I think I agree with you to some extent Richard. However I don’t believe the issue (at least in regards to the new interface of Ubuntu 11.04) has to do with Gnome. The Unity interface (the default interface for Ubuntu 11.04) is something Ubuntu developed on their own and is not Gnome’s doing (not their fault so to speak).

      I think the reason they went to this new interface is a way to preempt the current trends in today’s technology. With mobile devices (including tablets) becoming more and more popular and with Google — Chrome OS — (and now Microsoft — Windows 8 ) developing Operating Systems with completely different styles than what we’ve been used to for the past 25 years or so.

      Gnome is still supported by Ubuntu and can be accessed (and even set as the default GUI) quite easily. Please see the instructions I’ve set forth in this article. 🙂

      Don’t get too frustrated, there are numerous people who share the same sentiment as you and simply abhor the new interface. Nothing wrong with that at all. As long as we have options, people will find a way to be happy.

      1. I agree Alex, OSes are swifly moving towards a new direction. However, I think this will fail. Oversimplifying, like what Unity tried to do, often leads to dumbing down the interface so much you can’t even select what windows you want to maximise (no, really, Unity doesn’t let you do that).

        Good job on the article!

        1. Thanks Rodrigo, I appreciate your comment. You make a good point and it will be interesting to see where things go from here. I’m glad you mention it because I think it is an interesting point at this time especially. Apple is going to release OS X 10.7 Lion pretty soon which features an iOS like launcher or springboard. So it’s basically like having an iPhone or iPad right on your computer screen… I personally don’t like this idea (and I have an iPhone). Windows is working on Windows 8 which has a completely different GUI from any of the others. Do a quick search on you tube for “Windows 8” and if you find the one on the Microsoft channel you’ll see what I’m talking about. Scary and Interesting all at once…

          While Making Unity the default interface was a bit of a risky move, I must say it was a very smart move to include the original Gnome (Ubuntu Classic) interface and make it easy to switch to. Perhaps it might have been a better idea to do the reverse and have Gnome be the default and have Unity as a pre-installed and easily choosable option?

          You can select a window to maximize (or bring to the foreground) on the Unity interface, it just takes an extra step from what it would on Gnome. For example let’s say you have 3 Firefox windows open and you want to switch from one to the other. In Gnome you would just select the other from the task bar on the bottom, but with Unity you would click on the Firefox icon on the left “Launcher” bar (or click it twice if you’re currently using a different program), then it will show an “expose” like feature where you can see all the open windows, then click one to bring it to the front.

          This is indeed quite clunky, but I suppose it’s not a bad thing when it comes to mobile interfaces or tablet/netbook computers with smaller screens.

          Thanks again!

  2. For OS makers, I want a desktop, not a mobile phone. Please, keep desktops away from mobiles. I know, OS makers, you don’t know how to sell more of your OS, so you make it with a new style. But you target mobile phones with PC owners. It just doesn’t fit. May be, at 34 years old, I’m now too old for new technologies.

  3. None of the above worked for me on my Ubuntu 11.10:

    (1) At the Login Screen the options are: Recovery Console, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 2D, User Defined Session. No Ubuntu Classic!

    (2) No Login option in System Settings.

    (3) Only User Accounts appears if I search for Login.

    Any other suggestions?

    — tsf

    1. I worked partly after I installed Gnome extras (using Synaptic). Only at login those additional choices do appear. However some things do not work. First, the upper bar shows only Applications and Places, but System disappeared. Besides, I tried to put some favorite application icons on the tool bar but nothing happens when I click on it! Anything else I should install?

      A less important remark: the LogOut/Shutdown menu does not offer the Restart option.

      — tsf

    2. Hey Tad, sorry you’re having trouble getting back to gnome (or ‘classic ubuntu’). Which version of Ubuntu are you running? That guide was written for 11.04 and I’m not sure it applies to 11 .10 or not.

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