I have Ubuntu 13.04 32 bit. Recently, I installed Gnome 3 because I wanted to try something new. It looked and felt awful, so I removed it via ppa-purge.

Unfortunately, some of my setting were altered by Gnome 3 which are mainly cosmetic but nonetheless annoying. Some examples:
- "Lock/Switch Account" in the upper right menu does not show the beautiful Unity lock screen any more but an ugly white box
- The GRUB bootloader screen is now blue
- When booting Ubuntu, the standard Gnome Wallpaper appears before lightdm shows
- Window title font looks different now

Does someone know how I get back to a clean Unity?


Make sure you run ppa-purge first like so (assuming you added the standard Gnome team PPA. You also need to do this for every PPA you installed. Do this before uninstalling the packages.

ppa-purge ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3

Then remove all of the gnome related stuff (if it's installed):

sudo apt-get remove --purge gnome-shell 
sudo apt-get remove --purge ubuntu-gnome-desktop 
sudo apt-get remove --purge ubuntu-gnome-default-settings 
sudo apt-get remove --purge gnome-tweak-tool

Then run

unity --reset
unity --reset-icons

That should take care of it.

On a purely personal note, you may want to give Gnome 3 a try for a little longer and just read through the keyboard operations (especially the "Windows" key) and the available Gnome extensions. It is a truly amazing work of UI engineering and design, fine-tuned for efficiency and customization. The appearance can be micro-managed to be perfectly you. Now that I know how to use it, I don't think I'll ever be able to use anything else and be happy.

  1. you need to install unity-tweak-tool. It should be in the official repository.

    Then open it. Choose 'theme' and select 'Ambiance'.

    In addition you can tweak Fonts: The default Unity font is 'Ubuntu', and the efault Window title font may be 'Ubuntu Medium'.

    And tweak scrolling: choose Overlay.

  2. Edit /etc/default/grub

    You should respect your own defaults. Change echo debian to echo Ubuntu on the line:

    GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=\`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Ubuntu\`

    And change quiet splash to quiet on the line

  3. No let we need to set up some links

    These commands will require root permission either from sudo or switching to root with su. Use the terminal and run.

    cd /lib/plymouth/themes/ubuntu-logo
    ln -s -r ubuntu-logo.plymouth ../default.plymouth
    ln -s -r ubuntu-logo.grub  ../default.grub 
    ln -s -r ../ubuntu-text/ubuntu-text.plymouth ../text.plymouth

    You should check if these targets exist. If not, you can simply remove them (../default.plymouth, etc). This step only affects whether a purple background or some console info would be shown after grub and before unity-greeter.

  4. Finally , (better backup your /boot directory and) execute

    sudo update-grub
  • The following line GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Ubuntu\` gives an error of /usr/sbin/grub-mkconfig: 15: /etc/default/grub: Syntax error: EOF in backquote substitution on sudo grub-update command in Ubuntu 13.10. It seems it has to be without the ending slash \ after Ubuntu. – Vladimir S. Apr 9 '14 at 4:20
  • It's worth to comment that in step 3 could be used: # update-alternatives --config default.plymouth and # update-alternatives --config text.plymouth – Lourenco Jun 14 '14 at 14:54

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