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How do I install and use the latest version of GNOME 3?

In Natty you can install Gnome 3 via a PPA.

For future versions such as Ubuntu 11.10, how would I install Gnome 3?


1 Answer 1


"Gnome 3" is often confused with "gnome-shell".

Trying to simplify, Gnome 3 is basically the

  • Graphical User Interface (GUI) called gnome-shell
  • a number of key applications and
  • an extensive set of underlying libraries of code for the above.

Future versions of Ubuntu will use many of the key applications and the vast majority of underlying libraries of code. The remaining "Gnome 3" applications from above can be installed via Software Center.

Thus, this just leaves the GUI from the list above. From Ubuntu 11.10 onwards, the default GUIs available will be Unity-3D and Unity-2D. Assuming you need the GUI "gnome-shell", this is available to be installed through the Repositories as well.

There is a package in Software Center (or synaptic manager - if installed) called gnome-shell.

Install that and it will be available in your sessions menu to be selected when you next logon.

At the time of writing, 11.10 (oneiric) is in alpha. A number of issues relating to integrating gnome-shell exists. You should consult this AU Question before posting further more specific questions about Oneiric.

  • gnome shell is not gnome 3 - he probably asks for gnome 3 itself not one of its shells
    – Chriskin
    Aug 1, 2011 at 11:23
  • 2
    Really? I bet he asks for GNOME Shell, not for GNOME 3. :P
    – htorque
    Aug 1, 2011 at 11:34
  • Isn't Gnome 3 used by default in 11.10? Aug 1, 2011 at 12:12
  • 1
    Ya. GNOME 3 is used in 11.10. GNOME Shell is not the same as GNOME 3.
    – JohanSJA
    Aug 2, 2011 at 4:19
  • 1
    yes - here to - it was working a couple of weeks ago. Looks like it is broken again. I expect it will be fixed in a week or so.
    – fossfreedom
    Aug 2, 2011 at 15:13

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