I am able to run sessions over an ssh connection but I rather use the "Ubuntu classic desktop (no effects)" version on Ubuntu 11.04 instead of the new Unity since I don't have 3d support on the laptop I'm using to display the graphical User Interface. How can I startup the older gnome-session without the 3d effects? I tried gnome-session but it seems to be the option with the 3d effects and I want a more stripped down session over my ssh session.

  • What exactly are you trying to achieve? Invoke GNOME applications over ssh from another machine? Mar 15, 2011 at 21:58
  • I'm trying to invoke a full Gnome session so that I can use the Gnome menus and notifications on screen to invoke different applications. I want it to be the same as when I login to my desktop using the "Ubuntu classic desktop (no effects) without needing to be sitting at my desktop. Mar 16, 2011 at 17:57

1 Answer 1


From the command line the GNOME Classic Desktop is started with:

gnome-session --session=gnome-classic

Other session types are installed by default in /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/ and can also be opened with the gnome-session --session=SESSION command where SESSION is the name of the SESSION.session file stored.

  • The correct path seems to be '/usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/' and I see the following in the directory: 2d-gnome.session classic-gnome.session gnome.session ubuntu.session Apr 6, 2011 at 16:33
  • Note that the version 11.10 doesn't have the classic-gnome by default so you have to use 'ubuntu-2d' instead. Oct 14, 2011 at 23:16
  • Note I found this to readd the classic gnome desktop: liberiangeek.net/2011/08/… Oct 14, 2011 at 23:18
  • I tried those, and none of them worked Jul 11, 2018 at 5:39
  • @anonnymouse: we can only call sessions that are predefined in our system. The answer was valid in 2011 but today we need to install the gnome-session-flashback package and then may be able to call this session with gnome-session --session=gnome-flashback-metacity (can't try atm, if it works I'll edit my answer later)
    – Takkat
    Jul 11, 2018 at 7:14

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