I have just installed the final version of Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS desktop system from bionic-desktop-amd64.iso.
And I completely do not like its graphical interface - the GNOME Shell.

So I want to completely remove the GNOME Shell with all its trails from my system without re-installation.
Just want to start from scratch like it was approximately if I have installed Ubuntu from minimal network boot ISO.

1 Answer 1


The single long command for GNOME Shell removal is below

sudo apt purge adwaita-icon-theme gedit-common gir1.2-gdm-1.0 \
gir1.2-gnomebluetooth-1.0 gir1.2-gnomedesktop-3.0 gir1.2-goa-1.0 \
gnome-accessibility-themes gnome-bluetooth gnome-calculator gnome-calendar \
gnome-characters gnome-control-center gnome-control-center-data \
gnome-control-center-faces gnome-desktop3-data \
gnome-font-viewer gnome-getting-started-docs gnome-getting-started-docs-ru \
gnome-initial-setup gnome-keyring gnome-keyring-pkcs11 gnome-logs \
gnome-mahjongg gnome-menus gnome-mines gnome-online-accounts \
gnome-power-manager gnome-screenshot gnome-session-bin gnome-session-canberra \
gnome-session-common gnome-settings-daemon \
gnome-shell gnome-shell-common gnome-shell-extension-appindicator \
gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock \
gnome-startup-applications gnome-sudoku gnome-system-monitor gnome-terminal \
gnome-terminal-data gnome-themes-extra gnome-themes-extra-data gnome-todo \
gnome-todo-common gnome-user-docs gnome-user-docs-ru gnome-video-effects \
language-pack-gnome-en language-pack-gnome-en-base language-pack-gnome-ru \
language-pack-gnome-ru-base language-selector-gnome libgail18 libgail18 \
libgail-common libgail-common libgnome-autoar-0-0 libgnome-bluetooth13 \
libgnome-games-support-1-3 libgnome-games-support-common \
libgnomekbd8 libgnomekbd-common libgnome-menu-3-0 libgnome-todo libgoa-1.0-0b \
libgoa-1.0-common libpam-gnome-keyring libsoup-gnome2.4-1 libsoup-gnome2.4-1 \
nautilus-extension-gnome-terminal pinentry-gnome3 \
gnome-settings-daemon-schemas gnome-software-common libappstream-glib8:amd64 libgdm1 ubuntu-sounds

sudo apt autoremove --purge

Note: if one have previously installed Vanilla GNOME desktop manually by sudo apt install vanilla-gnome-desktop and/or Ubuntu GNOME desktop by sudo apt install ubuntu-gnome-desktop and/or GNOME FlashBack by sudo apt install gnome-flashback gnome-panel and/or full GNOME by sudo apt install gnome - one have to execute extra removal commands below:

sudo apt purge adwaita-icon-theme geogebra-gnome gir1.2-gtd-1.0 \
gnome-accessibility-profiles gnome-applets-data gnome-audio gnome-backgrounds \
gnome-cards-data gnome-common gnome-desktop-testing gnome-dvb-daemon \
gnome-exe-thumbnailer gnome-extra-icons gnome-flashback-common \
gnome-humility-icon-theme gnome-hwp-support gnome-icon-theme \
gnome-icon-theme-gartoon gnome-icon-theme-gartoon-redux \
gnome-icon-theme-gperfection2 gnome-icon-theme-nuovo gnome-icon-theme-suede \
gnome-icon-theme-yasis gnome-mime-data gnome-nds-thumbnailer \
gnome-packagekit-data gnome-panel-control gnome-panel-data \
gnome-pkg-tools gnome-recipes-data gnome-settings-daemon-dev \
gnome-shell-pomodoro-data gnome-software-common gnome-software-doc \
gnome-theme-gilouche gnome-video-effects-extra gnome-video-effects-frei0r \
guile-gnome2-dev guile-gnome2-glib libgnome-autoar-doc libgnomecanvas2-common \
libgnomecanvas2-doc libgnomecanvasmm-2.6-doc libgnome-todo-dev \
libopenrawgnome7:amd64 libopenrawgnome-dev libreoffice-gnome libxine2-gnome:amd64 \
nautilus-sendto pidgin-gnome-keyring plymouth-theme-ubuntu-gnome-logo \
plymouth-theme-ubuntu-gnome-text ubuntu-gnome-wallpapers \
ubuntu-gnome-wallpapers-trusty ubuntu-gnome-wallpapers-utopic \
ubuntu-gnome-wallpapers-xenial ubuntu-gnome-wallpapers-yakkety

sudo apt autoremove --purge

Then one can install any desktop environment of interest with commands like:

  • Cinnamon - sudo apt install cinnamon-desktop-environment
  • KDE as in Kubuntu - sudo apt install kubuntu-desktop^
  • MATE as in Ubuntu MATE - sudo apt install ubuntu-mate-desktop^
  • Unity - sudo apt install ubuntu-unity-desktop
  • Xfce as in Xubuntu - sudo apt install xubuntu-desktop^

then reboot, select newly installed desktop session and login to it.

  • Does this equals to minimal network boot ISO?
    – UnKNOWn
    Aug 14, 2020 at 10:00
  • I think, yes. You can run diff for dpkg -l yourself to confirm or get list of extra packages to be removed. The GNOME Shell is removed, so objective is really reached. On resulting system one can install any desktop
    – N0rbert
    Aug 14, 2020 at 10:04
  • Ok noted @N0rbert..
    – UnKNOWn
    Aug 14, 2020 at 11:37

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