Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have installed gnome shell, loged in to it, but on boot the computer logs in to a ubuntu session. I have automatic log in enabled. How can I fix this. How can I make ubuntu remember my choice of desktop enviroment.

share|improve this question

Edit lightdm.conf with gedit and change the user-session=ubuntu to user-session=gnome

gksudo gedit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf 

Edit gnome.desktop with gedit and change Exec=gnome-session --session=ubuntu to Exec=gnome-session --session=gnome

gksudo gedit /usr/share/xsessions/gnome.desktop

After this you will login directly to you gnome desktop ;)

share|improve this answer
Already edited the lightdm.conf and now I login directly to the gnome desktop, but I'm still waiting for a solution that better fixes this. – Florin Oct 14 '11 at 13:43
If you want to report it as a bug please feel free to do so, unfortunately there is nothing I can do about that. ;) – Bruno Pereira Oct 14 '11 at 15:55
This works, thanks. Only problem is that normal Ubuntu updates will overwrite these config files (at least they appear to have done so for me). We should probably file a bug to get it resolved in the long run. – Liedman Nov 8 '11 at 6:44

The answer that worked: Reinstall and make sure password is required to sign in is checked. This allows the gnome to install and work properly.

share|improve this answer

If you use either of the two answers:

edit lightdm.conf & gnome.desktop


apt-get remove unity

be sure to edit /usr/share/xsessions/gnome.desktop and change

Exec=gnome-session --session=ubuntu


Exec=gnome-session --session=gnome

From terminal...

sudo nano /usr/share/xsessions/gnome.desktop
share|improve this answer

I wish this worked. I had to remove Unity-desktop to get it to allow me into gnome-shell

sudo apt-get remove unity
share|improve this answer
This is to much, way to much radical. It's much more simple to edit a 4 - 5 line file than remove unity. Plus I want to have them both. – Florin Oct 26 '11 at 18:06
I was going to downvote this, but I think the point is already made that there are much better ways to solve this problem. – zookalicious Oct 27 '11 at 19:46

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.