I have previously installed the 'gnome-session-fallback' package to get the standard Gnome desktop instead of unity. I normally just select 'Gnome Classic' when I log in. Just now, I logged in with unity instead just to test it, and now I can't get back to Gnome.

If i select 'Gnome Classic' on the login screen, I get unity instead. 'Gnome Classic (No effects) does launch Gnome instead of unity, but I want the real thing.

How can I have my Gnome desktop back?

1 Answer 1


This is not exactly as you said. I had this problem in the past. Gnome-classic loads the gnome-classic environment with effects. Sometimes is not disable the Unity plugin (it should do) and you have a gnome-classic environment with Unity Launcher.

Try 2 things.

First try to re-install gnome-classic environment with this command

sudo apt-get install --reinstall gnome-panel


Install the compizconfig-settings-manager with this command

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Open it via terminal with this command (or you can call it from Dash)


and disable manually the Unity Plugin. (but this is just a workaround)

  • I already use CCSM, so disabling the Unity Plugin was very quick and easy. Thanks for providing such a simple solution! Nov 8, 2012 at 15:22
  • In at least 12.04 and newer, "Gnome Classic" should be loading GNOME shell, which does not use compiz, nor gnome-panel.
    – dobey
    Nov 8, 2012 at 15:23

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