I wanted to try gnome-shell in 11.10 (also 12.04 now)

I removed it, however, classic Gnome is still there and the battery icon is changed (too big and can't use a icon pack on it like faenza)

Also, numerous applications were added and the entries remain on the login screen.

How can I remove it completely, rolling back all changes made when installing gnome-shell?

  • What is the effect of removing gnome-shell? I'm not sure I understand the reasoning of why you want to do this. Anyone know the answer?
    – djangofan
    May 23, 2012 at 23:57
  • @djangofan I installed it while testing something else, and no longer need it. I want the space back, that's all. May 24, 2012 at 23:34

4 Answers 4


software center

Gnome-Shell and Gnome-Classic (also known as gnome-fallback/gnome-session-fallback) can be simply removed from the Software Center:

search for gnome shell

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search for gnome-session-fallback

enter image description here

remove all packages

However, removing from the software center does not remove every package originally installed.

To do this, copy and paste the following into gnome-terminal:

to remove gnome-shell

sudo apt-get purge alacarte cups-pk-helper gir1.2-accountsservice-1.0 gir1.2-caribou-1.0 gir1.2-clutter-1.0 gir1.2-cogl-1.0 gir1.2-coglpango-1.0 gir1.2-folks-0.6 gir1.2-gconf-2.0 gir1.2-gdesktopenums-3.0 gir1.2-gee-1.0 gir1.2-gjsdbus-1.0 gir1.2-gkbd-3.0 gir1.2-json-1.0 gir1.2-mutter-3.0 gir1.2-networkmanager-1.0 gir1.2-panelapplet-4.0 gir1.2-polkit-1.0 gir1.2-telepathyglib-0.12 gir1.2-telepathylogger-0.2 gir1.2-upowerglib-1.0 gir1.2-xkl-1.0 gjs gnome-applets gnome-applets-data gnome-contacts gnome-icon-theme-full gnome-panel gnome-panel-data gnome-session-fallback gnome-shell gnome-shell-common gnome-themes-standard indicator-applet-complete libcaribou-common libcaribou0 libclutter-1.0-0 libclutter-1.0-common libcogl-common libcogl-pango0 libcogl9 libgjs0c libmozjs185-1.0 libmutter0 libpanel-applet-4-0 mutter-common python-gmenu

to remove gnome-classic

sudo apt-get purge alacarte cups-pk-helper gir1.2-gconf-2.0 gir1.2-panelapplet-4.0 gnome-applets gnome-applets-data gnome-panel gnome-panel-data gnome-session-fallback indicator-applet-complete libpanel-applet-4-0 python-gmenu
  • +1 Now that is a very thorough answer, well done. May 25, 2012 at 21:02

Sounds like you're logging in to the Gnome fallback session, which is installed along with gnome-shell. Remove that, too, and things should be back to normal.

The following terminal commands will take care of that:

sudo apt-get remove gnome-session-fallback
sudo apt-get markauto
# sudo apt-mark auto # → for newer versions

The second command (apt-mark) will remove any other auto-installed packages whose dependents are no longer installed (like gnome-panel and gnome-applets).

You might want to change your theme back to Ambiance, if you changed it to Adwaita for Gnome Shell, and you can do that in System Preferences under Appearance.


Hey I had the same problem. All you have to do is go to terminal, type

sudo apt-get purge gnome

If all goes well, further type

sudo apt-get autoremove

This should completely remove all gnome related packages. Then go to appearance and restore your original theme. You may have to restart your computer. After that everything should work fine.

  • 1
    oops. the terminal commands don't have full stops at the end of course. Sorry, first timer...
    – Sidharth
    Oct 14, 2011 at 10:10
  • @James Henstridge Does this also remove the applications that get installed, like Gnome Contacts and Linux Feed Reader? Also, what about the options presented at login? May 20, 2012 at 19:01
  • @TomBrossman: the autoremove command will remove any package that isn't required by one you explicitly installed. So if those packages were only installed as a dependency of gnome, then they would probably be removed. May 21, 2012 at 0:58

If you installed using Gnome3 ppa you would better use ppa purge. it is now integral part of Ubuntu tweak. So download Ubuntu tweak and check purge ppa and there you are Also see: How do I install and use the latest version of GNOME?

  • The 11.10 tag and should give you an Indication he did not install it through a PPA... Oct 11, 2011 at 16:16
  • 2
    So you think it was good thing to add that -ve to my answer and ignore the IF completely? It was completely unnecessary to down vote it simply because I didn’t see the tag Oct 12, 2011 at 14:45
  • 1
    Yep, Not only in the tag it says 11.10, the question itself says 11.10 and never does he mention the installation of a PPA nor he needs to install Ubuntu tweak to solve this. Oct 13, 2011 at 2:08
  • Alright then, I have up voted your comment! Oct 13, 2011 at 11:05

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