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I have Ubuntu 13.04 32 bit. Recently, I installed Gnome 3 because I wanted to try something new. It looked and felt awful, so I removed it via ppa-purge.

Unfortunately, some of my setting were altered by Gnome 3 which are mainly cosmetic but nonetheless annoying. Some examples:
- "Lock/Switch Account" in the upper right menu does not show the beautiful Unity lock screen any more but an ugly white box
- The GRUB bootloader screen is now blue
- When booting Ubuntu, the standard Gnome Wallpaper appears before lightdm shows
- Window title font looks different now

Does someone know how I get back to a clean Unity?

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2 Answers 2

Make sure you run ppa-purge first like so (assuming you added the standard Gnome team PPA. You also need to do this for every PPA you installed. Do this before uninstalling the packages.

ppa-purge ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3

Then remove all of the gnome related stuff (if it's installed):

sudo apt-get remove --purge gnome-shell 
sudo apt-get remove --purge ubuntu-gnome-desktop 
sudo apt-get remove --purge ubuntu-gnome-default-settings 
sudo apt-get remove --purge gnome-tweak-tool

Then run

unity --reset
unity --reset-icons

That should take care of it.

On a purely personal note, you may want to give Gnome 3 a try for a little longer and just read through the keyboard operations (especially the "Windows" key) and the available Gnome extensions. It is a truly amazing work of UI engineering and design, fine-tuned for efficiency and customization. The appearance can be micro-managed to be perfectly you. Now that I know how to use it, I don't think I'll ever be able to use anything else and be happy.

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  1. you need to install unity-tweak-tool. It should be in the official repository.

    Then open it. Choose 'theme' and select 'Ambiance'.

    In addition you can tweak Fonts: The default Unity font is 'Ubuntu', and the efault Window title font may be 'Ubuntu Medium'.

    And tweak scrolling: choose Overlay.

  2. Edit /etc/default/grub

    You should respect your own defaults. Change echo debian to echo Ubuntu on the line:

    GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=\`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Ubuntu\`
    

    And change quiet splash to quiet on the line

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet" 
    
  3. No let we need to set up some links

    These commands will require root permission either from sudo or switching to root with su. Use the terminal and run.

    cd /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo
    ln -s -r ubuntu-logo.plymouth ../default.plymouth
    ln -s -r ubuntu-logo.grub  ../default.grub 
    ln -s -r ../ubuntu-text/ubuntu-text.plymouth ../text.plymouth
    

    You should check if these targets exist. If not, you can simply remove them (../default.plymouth, etc). This step only affects whether a purple background or some console info would be shown after grub and before unity-greeter.

  4. Finally , (better backup your /boot directory and) execute

    sudo update-grub
    
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The following line GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Ubuntu\` gives an error of /usr/sbin/grub-mkconfig: 15: /etc/default/grub: Syntax error: EOF in backquote substitution on sudo grub-update command in Ubuntu 13.10. It seems it has to be without the ending slash \ after Ubuntu. –  Vladimir S. Apr 9 at 4:20
    
It's worth to comment that in step 3 could be used: # update-alternatives --config default.plymouth and # update-alternatives --config text.plymouth –  Lourenco Jun 14 at 14:54
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