Is it possible to completely purge anything Gnome3 and completely revert to gnome 2 with the panel and stuff. I do not want to get suggestions on how to get to the classic session, I want to know how to uninstall the GTK3 stack from 11.10 and replace it with GTK2

I know Gnome is no longer maitaining Gnome2/GTK2 so, I know the concerns.. backward incompatability e.t.c


3 Answers 3


Ubuntu 11.10 is built on the premise of the GTK+3 software libraries. Therefore, removing GTK+3 will effectively mean no "ubuntu". What you will be left with is a newer kernel and a few additional slightly upgraded packages.

If you are not interested in backward compatibility etc, then it would be simpler to start from a GTK+2/gnome2 based distro such as Natty and upgrade from that.

Thus, at a minimum - look to installing the 11.10 kernel - either from the mainline or compiling your own.

If the tenor of your question is simply that you don't like the gnome-classic option then personally I would look at similar gnome-2 workflow options such as Cinnamon or excellent panel based options such as LXDE/Lubuntu or XFCE/Xubuntu.

I would also mention MATE that delivers much of the GTK+2 based libraries onto on Ubuntu. If you take this option, you can use questions like how to remove unity to remove the GUI shell without touching the fundamental core of ubuntu.


I don't believe it is possible to completely uninstall Gnome 3 on 11.10 but you can install the Gnome 'Classic' session from the repositories which when selected at login will give you a close match to the Gnome 2 DE

Type the following in a terminal sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback then log out and select the Gnome Classic session at the log in manager.

There is a good guide to further customizing the appearance of it here


You can install MATE, a GNOME 2 fork, and uninstall Unity. Install MATE Remove Unity

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