Not sure where to start with this one.

I've installed Gnome 3 by running sudo apt-get install gnome on my netbook, it all installed fine and ran fine didn't have any issues with it for a few weeks, then I turned on my netbook and logged in to be given the look and feel of Gnome 2.

I've cropped down the desktop in the image below.

Gnome 3 Desktop

Edit: Pastebinit as requested by izx



sudo lshw

  • may be your nvidia card driver have set to turn the composite extension off so that it can work fine.
    – user118125
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 7:24
  • @Amod The reason this was happening to me is because the nVidia drivers were installed but there is no nVidia card in the system. askubuntu.com/questions/158297/…
    – Nalum
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 11:24

1 Answer 1


Let's try the simple way to fix it first, because that looks like the Gnome3 Classic look (which is, yes, very similar to Gnome2)

  1. Open a terminal, and type/paste:

     sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get --reinstall install gnome-shell
  2. Logout

  3. Click on the Ubuntu logo:

    enter image description here

  4. Select the Gnome session, and click back:

    enter image description here

  5. Login and see if you still get the Gnome2 look-and-feel.

  • Thanks for the answer, I have done this and it didn't fix the issue. When I log in now I am still getting the Gnome3 Classic look and now my resolution is locked at 640x480.
    – Nalum
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 13:41
  • 1
    You are falling back to 2D because your 3D is disabled, possibly because your graphics drivers are broken. Please share the content or output of the following commands/files to better help us troubleshoot your problem (instructions in this answer): file(s): /var/log/kern.log, command(s): dmesg, sudo lshw
    – ish
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 13:44
  • I've added the pastebinit links to the question.
    – Nalum
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 15:37
  • @Nalum, why is the nvidia driver being loaded although you have no nvidia card? (see dmesg lines 919-921)
    – ish
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 16:24
  • no idea why that is there. so if I uninstall that it should hopefully fix the issue?
    – Nalum
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 18:31

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