Ok, so Ubuntu 14.04 came with Gnome 3 in it's repo and I tried to give it a go, and I didn't like it at all. So I wanted to continue to use Unity desktop, but it kept freezing and I couldn't change background. Right click also isn't working on desktop.

Is there a way to delete all of Gnome 3 and reinstall Unity like it would be after fresh install?


2 Answers 2


Open Terminal or CTRL+ALT+T

To install Unity sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop unity

To Remove Gnome sudo apt-get remove gnome-shell ubuntu-gnome-desktop

and reboot the system sudo reboot

If followed above 3 commands, you should be greeted with Unity session after reboot. In case it still doesn't comes up, open terminal and execute unity --replace

PS: by chance anything from gnome is left, follow https://askubuntu.com/a/244658/86467

  • 2
    Have you tested it? Because removing ubuntu-gnome-desktop will also remove components that are needed by ubuntu-desktop...
    – Rmano
    Apr 21, 2014 at 22:40
  • 1
    Yes, it worked for me in past when I had similar issue. ubuntu-desktop is unity and ubuntu-gnome-desktop is gnome. It is straight. you may remove gnome first and install unity then after to be in safer side, you may do this into Ctrl+Alt+F1 (console mode).
    – Mayura
    Apr 21, 2014 at 23:05
  • I did this (including sudo unity --replace) and after reboot was shown the Unity login screen, however I can't log in. Syslog shows gnome-session Unable to find required component 'gnome-shell' :-( Feb 2, 2017 at 3:23

On Ubuntu 17.10, this answer worked relatively well for me after rebooting (@Mayura's answer did not work for me).

  1. sudo apt install unity
  2. Reboot
  3. At login screen, click the cog wheel next to the sign in button and select Unity.

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