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I wanted to install GNOME, but there appear to be two GNOME (meta)packages. One is called 'ubuntu-gnome-desktop' and the other simply 'gnome'. I'm wondering what the difference between the two is.

As far as I can tell the latter is a Debian package. Could the 'ubuntu-gnome-desktop' be a version of GNOME optimised for Ubuntu, as opposed to Debian?

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The package gnome is closer to the pure GNOME and the ubuntu-gnome-desktop is more Ubuntu specific.

  • The package gnome

    Full GNOME Desktop Environment, with extra components

    This is the GNOME Desktop environment, an intuitive and attractive desktop, with extra components.

    This meta-package depends on the standard distribution of the GNOME desktop environment, plus a complete range of plugins and other applications integrating with GNOME and Debian, providing the best possible environment to date.

  • The package ubuntu-gnome-desktop

    The Ubuntu GNOME metapackage

    Ubuntu GNOME is an Ubuntu flavor that offers a mostly pure GNOME experience. This package depends on all of the core Ubuntu GNOME packages.

    It is also used to help ensure proper upgrades, so it is recommended that it not be removed.

  • So, if I understand things correctly, the 'gnome' package is optimised for Debian, and the 'ubuntu-gnome-desktop' is optimised for Ubuntu? – Zedfrigg Aug 31 '15 at 9:57
  • right, updated my answer – A.B. Aug 31 '15 at 10:41

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