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After preliminary exploration of Ubuntu 12.04 beta, I decided that Unity is simply not my cup of tea.

Installing gnome-session-fallback looks (perhaps?) like a solution, but there is some doubt in my mind whether or not this will be an "official" part of 12.04 when it is released, and whether or not using gnome fallback will be available and problem-free through the lifespan of the 12.04 release?

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Hard to predict the future. If you do not like Unity, there are several alternates to choose from. If fallback works for you, great, but there is no answer that works for everyone. gnome 2 is now a dead project, so you will need to find an alternate. – bodhi.zazen Mar 18 '12 at 13:58
If you dont like unity you can try other official distros like xubuntu or lubuntu too, I am using unity with classic menu indicator ,it provides the beauty of unity and simplicity of gnome classic – Tachyons Mar 18 '12 at 14:08

Yes - it is a directly viable solution for 12.04.

You need to be aware that both gnome-panel and indicator-applet-complete (the key packages behind gnome-fallback) are part of the Universe repository. Thus it is up to the community to maintain the integrity of these packages, not Canonical itself.

enter image description here

I would surmise that since the Ubuntu developers included the following, this already shows the commitment to this solution:

  1. the backport for ubuntu indicators,
  2. fix to include Compiz as the Window Manager by default

The question of "problem-free" is crystal ball-gazing - not something any of us can foresee.

For more information on how to revert to gnome-classic:

How to revert to GNOME Classic?

There are plenty of panel-based alternatives such as Cinnamon, XFCE & LXDE for you to consider as well.

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yes, but the question also includes "gnome fallback will be available and problem-free through the lifespan of the 12.04 release" – bodhi.zazen Mar 18 '12 at 14:00
[gnome-session-fallback]...will be available and problem-free through the lifespan of the 12.04 release... – Michael Mar 18 '12 at 15:55
@Michael - please see my update. – fossfreedom Mar 18 '12 at 16:22
"problem-free" is crystal ball-gazing...: agreed; I do not expect a guarantee that no bug will ever surface, but I hope for some Ubuntu statement that such bugs will be treated the same as those in Unity, and that the gnome fallback will not be neglected (or even sabotaged) in order to force Unity on reluctant users. Michael – Michael Mar 18 '12 at 17:14
Since it is up to the community - and knowing how the community operates, any show-stopping bugs are often quickly fixed. However, you will not get an "ubuntu statement" from this site. This is a question you need to pose on the official canonical mailing lists. – fossfreedom Mar 18 '12 at 17:18

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