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I am looking for a somewhat comprehensive guide for customizing either Gnome 3 or Unity to look as much as possible like Gnome 2.

I have seen this question come up, but the most common answer is that people should simply log in with Gnome "classic". The reason this is not a sufficient answer is because, in my experience, within the "classic" interface, not everything that makes up the interface is compatible with each other. For example, some applets not working, and themes not displaying entirely correctly.

The ideal scenario is to have the advantages of the more efficient and updated code that Gnome 3 and Unity are built on, but to customize it so that a user can create the interface they are most comfortable with. In my case, that is a Gnome-2 like interface.

I hope to not have any political discussion about whether or not Unity and/or Gnome 3 changed for better or worse.

I just want to be able to do what I think makes Linux great: customize.

So, what would be the steps to recreate Gnome 2?

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possible duplicate of How to revert to GNOME Classic? – fossfreedom Oct 16 '11 at 11:23
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It is not really possible to change anything on unity. The way it is set up is the default way whether you like it or not.

Gnome shell on the other hand is some what customizable, you can install things called extensions which can add some functionality that does not come with the shell.

To be honest it depends what aspect of Gnome 2 you want in gnome 3.

For example, if you want a normal menu in Gnome shell instead of the "activities" their are a few shell extensions that give you the normal menu back. Here is just an example but my favorite one

Cardapio Menu Extension

Or if you want all the icons in the top panel like on Gnome 2:

Gnome 2 Notifcations

Or if you want a sound menu like the one on unity/all the other Ubuntu variations:

Gnome shell media player extension

So, as you can see if their is something in particular just search around for some extensions, Github is a great place to look.

Edit: Forgot to mention, I am using docky as I don't like going to the activities to see my open windows. Almost all docks I have tried work on gnome shell, e.g. "docky, awn, cairo dock, plank", there are loads out their.

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