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What different desktop environments and shells are available?

11.10 graphic menus, is there a way for users that came from 11.04 to enable classic gnome menu? Also how do I change colors of application backgrounds, menu items etc, I would like to tweak around with colors and configurations.

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marked as duplicate by jrg May 1 '12 at 21:57

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This is not a place to question or rant. Please take a look at the FAQ/Guidelines of the site and follow them. –  nitstorm Jan 15 '12 at 6:38

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You have a few options.

  1. You'll probably want to make sure Alacarte (Gnome's menu editor) and the Advanced Settings utility are installed. If it's not, run sudo apt-get install alacarte gnome-tweak-tool
  2. For a classic menu in Unity: You could install the Menu Indicator. It can be installed via a PPA in Ubuntu 11.10. Run sudo apt-add-repository ppa:diesch/testing, then sudo apt-get update, and finally sudo apt-get install classicmenu-indicator. Then launch it (from Unity Dash) or simply log out and in again.
  3. For configuring colors in Unity: You could upgrade Unity to its latest version from a PPA. I can't guarantee stability, but it seems that Ubuntu hopes to offer more tweaking to Unity (including colors) to users. To do this, run sudo add-apt-repository ppa:unity-team/staging, then run sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
  4. For configuring colors in general: Now that you have access to advanced settings, why not try some different Gnome3 themes? They ship with different colors. If you insist on sticking to the default theme (Ambiance) yet want to change the colors, run gksudo gedit /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc, then change the value of selected_bg_color (default is orange, you'll have to find the HTML color code for the color you want), save and exit, changes will kick in eventually (I believe logging out and in should do the trick).
  5. Consider not using Unity. The nice thing about Linux is that it offers choice, letting users of all proficiency in Linux find a desktop where they feel at home. You could use Gnome Shell, there's a Gnome Shell extension that's a little similar to the Menu Indicator for Unity. You could use Gnome Classic. Granted you'd probably want to tweak Gnome Classic a little if you're considering using it, but it'll give you the traditional applications menu.
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You may wish to give GNOME Classic a look. It gives you the classic panels and menus back, which is what I think you're asking for. Please note that it won't be supported forever, though.

If you need to choose different colors to use, you will most likely need to edit the theme files yourself (making sure to back them up first in case you mess up or change your mind).

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It was only called Gnome Classic for a few months. They call it Fallback now. The real name, of course, is Gnome Panel. –  Jo-Erlend Schinstad Jan 15 '12 at 11:12

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