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I am on ubuntu 11.04 using ubuntu classic desktop environment and I want to try Gnome3, How should I install it and will installing it remove ubuntu classic?

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Yes, 11.04 uses Gnome 2, Gnome 2&3 can't co exist together. There's is already a Question on How to have Gnome 2 like Desktop in Gnome 3, search it. – Uri Herrera Jan 26 '12 at 9:16
ok..... Thanks! – jsandhu Jan 26 '12 at 9:44
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Upgrading to 11.10 will move you over to Gnome 3. I do not recommend upgrading to Gnome 3 in 11.04 since that can make things difficult for you later. When people refer to Ubuntu Classic, they're really talking about a shell called Gnome Panel. In a fresh install of Ubuntu 11.10, you won't have it. I don't remember if it'll be removed when upgrading. If so, you can easily reinstall it from the official archives: This is the one we've used in all versions of Ubuntu prior to Unity. This shell is still available in Gnome 3 (hence also Ubuntu 11.10), but there are a few changes:

  • Since Gnome now uses the Gnome Control Center for settings, there's no longer a System menu in the menubar at the top left.
  • Applets are now grouped either to the left, center or right. You can't have applets outside of these groups. This is due to an old bug that caused applets to be moved around randomly when changing resolutions, etc. You can still order them however you like though.
  • You now have to press and hold the alt-key (or super+alt) when customizing the panel. In other words; instead of right-click > Add to panel, you now use super+alt right-click > add to panel. The same is true when moving applets. You have to press and hold alt and then middle-click and drag.
  • You no longer have to lock applets. They're automatically locked in place when you move them.

If you use indicators, you'll need to install the indicator-applet-complete from a PPA. Open a terminal and use the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jconti/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-applet indicator-applet-complete indicator-applet-session

If you also want application menus to integrate with the panel, you can also sudo apt-get install indicator-applet-appmenu from the same PPA.

None of these will be automatically added, so you'll need to add them to the panel as you would with any other applet.

Since the underlying technologies have changed in Gnome 3, applets need to be ported. That's why you have to install these from a PPA and not from the Ubuntu archives. If you use other panel applets, you should check first to see if they've been ported. If you don't, then these instructions will give you an almost identical experience to the one you had in 11.04, except for the differences I mentioned above.

This is an example of a Gnome Panel desktop in 11.10:

Gnome Panel desktop in 11.10

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Thanks for the detailed info.. There is a Gnome Desktop environment in Ubuntu Software center is that different from Ubuntu Classic? – jsandhu Jan 26 '12 at 9:45
First of all Gnome Desktop Environment, despite the name, is not just a desktop. It includes a browser, email client, etc. But yes, Gnome has switched to Gnome Shell, which is very different. The instructions I presented above is the way to get the classic Ubuntu experience. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Jan 26 '12 at 10:00
ok.. thank you very much. – jsandhu Jan 26 '12 at 11:28

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