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Recently I installed a copy of Oneiric Ocelot 11.10 on my ThinkPad. Everything went fine, I installed the gnome shell and gnome-tweak-tool to customize everything. I changed the shell theme, the GTK+ theme and the icon set.

After everything fit my needs perfectly, I installed some updates from the update manager (no upgrades, just small updates). I had to restart, and after I restarted, my gnome shell was broken. In tweak-tool, it showed the customized shell as the default one, and my gtk theme was broken as well (it looked like two themes "frankensteined" together...). The bad thing was - I couldn't get things back into the default settings!

So the only thing left was to use the -non broken- unity shell.

What can I do to stop these things from happening? (I mean...sure I could avoid the updates, but that would be kind of stupid, too.)

I only have these PPAs installed:

  • ferramroberto-gnome3-oneiric.list (and .save),
  • playonlinux.list (and .save)

And how can I fix the broken gnome-shell?

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Do you have any ppa's enabled ? – severin Nov 25 '11 at 11:32
yes, I think so... I didnt change the ppas after install, except I added one or two custom ones (which were necessary for the themes), and I enabled the ppas from canonical partners. – Niko Nov 25 '11 at 13:48
open a terminal. cd /etc/apt/sources.list.d/. Do you have an entry ricotz-testing-oneiric ? if yes, you should delete that. – severin Nov 25 '11 at 13:52
I am not at my computer right now, but I'll give you an answer as soon as I get home! – Niko Nov 25 '11 at 13:58
nope, just ferramroberto-gnome3-oneiric.list (and .save), and playonlinux.list (and .save) – Niko Nov 25 '11 at 16:08

I think I found my answer - at least for the messed up GTK+ theme.

An application named "unico" has to be installed to activate this theme.

At deviantART (where I found the theme), the following sentence is listed under "known bugs":

"Because gnome-shell and gtk3 is still in development there may be a lot of bugs present after each update of the packages gnome-themes-standard, unico engine and gnome-shell."

I guess I'll just have to stick with the default theme...

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Same problem here, thinkpad T410, fixed by uninstalling gnome-shell from oneiric updates 3.2.1 and reverting to 3.2.0

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GNOME Shell is provided natively (package gnome-shell) in Oneiric, so you don't need to use a PPA to get it, and doing so is not recommended, unless the PPA is providing an alternate version which you know you need.

I recommend removing the ferramroberto/gnome3 PPA, by running these commands in the Terminal:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:ferramroberto/gnome3

Check to see if gnome-shell is still installed. It should be.

apt-cache policy gnome-shell

If it's not still installed, install it (this will now be from the official repositories):

sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

If it cannot find gnome-shell to install it, then you probably don't have the Universe repository enabled. To enable it, open the Software Sources window (Edit > Software Sources in the Software Center, or Settings... in the Update Manager, or Alt+F2 and run the command software-properties-gtk) and check the box labeled Community-maintained Open Source software (universe). Then click Close.

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Hello eliah, you know - out of frustration (customized for hours, then the theme broke...), I deleted the ubuntu partition a few days ago. I will now install it again, the same way I did before. I think ferramrobertos ppa was added because I wanted to install the VLC player. If your advice fixes the gnome-shell (which wasnt really -that- broken, I just couldnt get it back to the default setting), there is still the problem with the GTK+ theme. how would you fix that? I will install 11.10 and get back to you soon :) – Niko Nov 26 '11 at 11:51
@Niko You don't need any PPA to install vlc either (and never have). Do you have specific needs regarding VLC that are not met by the version provided in the official repositories? As for the GTK+ theme, my guess is that the problem is specific to the build of GTK+3 that is provided by the ferramroberto/gnome3 PPA and that it will go away by itself when you stop using that PPA. – Eliah Kagan Nov 26 '11 at 21:03
Hello eliah! Okay, so now I installed everything on the laptop again, and the system really fits my needs now. I updated everything with the update-manager and then started to change the theme again (you know, just to see if it works...). I now have "webupd8team-gnome3-oneiric.list (and .save), and webupd8team-themes-oneiric.list" in my sources.list.d folder. From the first source I got the gnome-shell-extensions, and from the 2nd one I got a theme. So I guess you want me to remove those two ppas to stop everything from breaking again, correct? :) Thanks a lot for your support so far! – Niko Nov 27 '11 at 12:46

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