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I saw a question where someone mentioned having GNOME3 + Unity on the same system. When will it be possible?

NB: I'm referring to installing from the GNOME3 PPA. Please do not tell me how to add the PPA, about installing from GIT, or skinning unicorns :)... Read the question carefully and provide a relevant answer :D.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

No, it is not yet possible.

You might need to wait ~5 months for the next release of Ubuntu(11.10 Oneiric Ocelot) if you use the final releases only.

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The reason is that Unity in Ubuntu 11.04 is based on GTK+2/GNOME2, but the Gnome-Shell is based on GTK+3/GNOME3. – kv1dr May 31 '11 at 5:43
Currently 11.10 uses GNOME 3, and as I read today, GNOME Shell became available (in the repos) as well. Check OMG! Ubuntu! for screen shots. – Oxwivi May 31 '11 at 12:24
Oops, I meant Web Upd8. – Oxwivi May 31 '11 at 12:27

The installation via the gnome3 ppa in Ubuntu 11.04 natty is possible but will break your Unity and your gtk2 stuff. But you can install Gnome Shell via git. It will create a directory in your home folder without touching your Unity. The detailed description can be found on

Here's the link. How to install Gnome Shell via Git

It worked for me so I am able to switch betwen Unity and Gnome Shell whenever I want to do that.

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I'm sorry but this is not an answer to my specific question. – RolandiXor Jun 2 '11 at 15:45

I disagree.

It is possible - but it might not be desirable. It will mess with your GTK theme look, but it's perfectly possible to have both installed and usable.

Edit: Installation method:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install gnome-shell gnome-tweak-tool

Bam. You're done.

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Care to tell me how it is possible? – RolandiXor Jun 1 '11 at 17:31
Roland Taylor asks if it's possible to use gnome3 and unity together on the same system on Ubuntu. On Ubuntu 11.04 this is impossible, because installing gnome3 breaks unity, if you install it, while on Ubuntu 11.10 is this possible, but Ubuntu 11.10 is really unstable.(It's not even alpha) – kv1dr Jun 2 '11 at 9:12

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