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According to the Wikipedia page for Ubuntu, Ubuntu ran GNOME only until version 10.10, which is when Unity was released.

However, according to Sysinfo, my computer has GNOME.

I have Ubuntu 15.04.

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5 Answers 5

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Here a picture of unity desktop:

enter image description here

and here a picture of gnome desktop:

enter image description here

I think you will be able to recognise which of the two is your desktop.

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  • 2
    Yup, I have Unity for sure. But damn does GNOME look good! Nov 12, 2015 at 17:19
  • 2
    @SarahofGaia why does it look good? the only difference is the background!
    – M J
    Jul 17, 2017 at 1:32
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Screenshot your desktop and we can tell you what version at-a-glance you're running.

If you're running plain old standard Ubuntu 15.04, then you'll have some GNOME components, but you're using Unity.

If you're running Ubuntu GNOME 15.04, then you're using the GNOME environment. This is a specialized variant, though, which has GNOME as the primary desktop environment and not Unity. (It's a different installer ISO as well)

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  • When you say "screenshot your desktop", you mean the part with the wallpaper, right? (I feel so stupid right now, but I'm having a brain-fart. Yay.) Nov 12, 2015 at 17:17
  • 1
    Correct, that's exactly what I meant.
    – Thomas Ward
    Nov 12, 2015 at 17:35
  • Wootety-woot. In that case, yay, I have Unity. :) Thank you! ^_^ Nov 12, 2015 at 18:17
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Unless you have manually changed it, you should be running Unity. The only Gnome update which i read that will be applied is on the Software Center, removing the Unity one

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  • I didn't manually change it, but I wasn't the one who installed it on this computer, either. My friend did it for me, and he just said Ubuntu with Unity, but Sysinfo confused me for the reason mentioned above. Nov 12, 2015 at 17:19
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Just look at your desktop. If you see a bar in the left side with some icons and your "close" and "maximize" buttons are in the left, you're running Unity. By default, Ubuntu comes with Unity, but there are tons of other Desktop Environments.

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  • Yeah that's how it is. Nov 12, 2015 at 17:18
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Check your running processes to see if you're running Unity or Gnome

Try checking for running Unity and Gnome processes with:

# look for running unity processes
ps aux | grep -i unity

# look for running gnome processes
ps aux | grep -i gnome

On my Ubuntu 18.04 machine, the fist cmd shows only this, which is the grep process itself:

gabriel+ 24941  0.0  0.0  14436  1092 pts/16   S+   11:44   0:00 grep --color=auto unity

And the 2nd command shows this:

gdm       1899  0.0  0.0 190692  5572 tty1     Ssl+ Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gdm3/gdm-wayland-session gnome-session --autostart /usr/share/gdm/greeter/autostart
gdm       1904  0.0  0.0 625456 13412 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-session/gnome-session-binary --autostart /usr/share/gdm/greeter/autostart
gdm       1916  0.1  0.5 4339956 165784 tty1   Sl+  Dec13   1:10 /usr/bin/gnome-shell
gdm       2201  0.0  0.0 220768  7024 ?        Sl   Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/at-spi2-core/at-spi2-registryd --use-gnome-session
gdm       2691  0.0  0.0 857948 30592 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-xsettings
gdm       2698  0.0  0.0 271088  5816 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-a11y-settings
gdm       2703  0.0  0.0 706580 28788 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-clipboard
gdm       2705  0.0  0.0 1040296 31948 tty1    Sl+  Dec13   0:14 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-color
gdm       2708  0.0  0.0 386616 13464 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-datetime
gdm       2709  0.0  0.0 276640  5088 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-housekeeping
gdm       2710  0.0  0.0 861172 30080 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-keyboard
gdm       2715  0.0  0.0 1436332 31364 tty1    Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-media-keys
gdm       2717  0.0  0.0 194892  4592 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-mouse
gdm       2718  0.0  0.0 871732 30456 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-power
gdm       2721  0.0  0.0 259920  8352 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-print-notifications
gdm       2727  0.0  0.0 194912  4716 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-rfkill
gdm       2728  0.0  0.0 268628  4720 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-screensaver-proxy
gdm       2729  0.0  0.0 298056  7388 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-sharing
gdm       2735  0.0  0.0 371004  9008 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-smartcard
gdm       2738  0.0  0.0 327912  7960 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-sound
gdm       2744  0.0  0.0 791588 29700 tty1     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-wacom
gabriel+  3751  0.0  0.0 576336  8728 ?        Sl   Dec13   0:00 /usr/bin/gnome-keyring-daemon --daemonize --login
gabriel+  3775  0.0  0.0 205028  5724 tty2     Ssl+ Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gdm3/gdm-x-session --run-script env GNOME_SHELL_SESSION_MODE=ubuntu gnome-session --session=ubuntu
gabriel+  3792  0.0  0.0 720132 15716 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-session/gnome-session-binary --session=ubuntu
gabriel+  3878  0.0  0.0  11316   316 ?        Ss   Dec13   0:00 /usr/bin/ssh-agent /usr/bin/im-launch env GNOME_SHELL_SESSION_MODE=ubuntu gnome-session --session=ubuntu
gabriel+  3891  0.0  0.0 220792  6904 ?        Sl   Dec13   0:05 /usr/lib/at-spi2-core/at-spi2-registryd --use-gnome-session
gabriel+  3912  1.6  1.3 4598528 432764 tty2   Rl+  Dec13  18:30 /usr/bin/gnome-shell
gabriel+  3987  0.0  0.0 628064 21392 ?        Sl   Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-shell/gnome-shell-calendar-server
gabriel+  4001  0.0  0.1 710208 33528 ?        Sl   Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-online-accounts/goa-daemon
gabriel+  4351  0.0  0.0 595704 23228 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:01 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-power
gabriel+  4353  0.0  0.0 354196 10932 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-print-notifications
gabriel+  4354  0.0  0.0 416240  5772 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-rfkill
gabriel+  4355  0.0  0.0 268628  4756 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-screensaver-proxy
gabriel+  4357  0.0  0.0 446204  9396 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:08 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-sharing
gabriel+  4360  0.0  0.0 371032  7804 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-smartcard
gabriel+  4365  0.0  0.0 327948  8108 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-sound
gabriel+  4366  0.0  0.0 487956 22064 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:09 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-xsettings
gabriel+  4378  0.0  0.0 421248 21112 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-wacom
gabriel+  4379  0.0  0.0 336496 19872 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-clipboard
gabriel+  4383  0.0  0.0 271116  5768 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-a11y-settings
gabriel+  4386  0.0  0.0 462712 13464 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-datetime
gabriel+  4389  0.0  0.0 1137152 23452 tty2    Sl+  Dec13   0:16 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-color
gabriel+  4392  0.0  0.0 511756 23136 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:01 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-keyboard
gabriel+  4393  0.0  0.0 357808  7372 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:06 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-housekeeping
gabriel+  4396  0.0  0.0 271124  5844 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-mouse
gabriel+  4399  0.0  0.0 1211580 24512 tty2    Sl+  Dec13   0:01 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-media-keys
gabriel+  4447  0.0  0.0 501676 12068 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-printer
gabriel+  4464  0.0  0.0 271940  6268 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/gnome-disk-utility/gsd-disk-utility-notify
gabriel+  4499  1.3  0.1 678248 50200 tty2     Sl+  Dec13  15:24 gnome-system-monitor
gabriel+  4668  0.0  0.1 1141068 63884 ?       Sl   Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/evolution/evolution-calendar-factory-subprocess --factory all --bus-name org.gnome.evolution.dataserver.Subprocess.Backend.Calendarx4587x2 --own-path /org/gnome/evolution/dataserver/Subprocess/Backend/Calendar/4587/2
gabriel+  4706  0.0  0.0 1022136 27600 ?       Sl   Dec13   0:00 /usr/lib/evolution/evolution-addressbook-factory-subprocess --factory all --bus-name org.gnome.evolution.dataserver.Subprocess.Backend.AddressBookx4695x2 --own-path /org/gnome/evolution/dataserver/Subprocess/Backend/AddressBook/4695/2
gabriel+  4981  0.0  0.4 1357716 156320 tty2   SLl+ Dec13   0:11 /usr/bin/gnome-software --gapplication-service
gabriel+ 15949  0.0  0.0 258644 28780 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/bin/python3 /usr/bin/chrome-gnome-shell chrome-extension://gphhapmejobijbbhgpjhcjognlahblep/
gabriel+ 15950  0.0  0.0 258644 28696 tty2     Sl+  Dec13   0:00 /usr/bin/python3 /usr/bin/chrome-gnome-shell chrome-extension://gphhapmejobijbbhgpjhcjognlahblep/
gabriel+ 24984  0.0  0.0  14436  1052 pts/16   S+   11:45   0:00 grep --color=auto gnome
gabriel+ 29329  0.0  0.1 657752 41516 tty2     Sl+  09:45   0:01 gnome-calculator

Clearly, I'm running gnome.

You can count the output lines by piping the output to wc -l too. unity shows 1 line, and gnome shows 56:

$ ps aux | grep unity | wc -l
1
$ ps aux | grep gnome | wc -l
56

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