From what I understand, Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu Gnome 16.04 are 2 different OS.

My question is, is it possible to convert my installation of Ubuntu 16.04 to Ubuntu Gnome 16.04? Or maybe I got it all wrong and gnome is just a desktop environment that I can switch to from unity? Maybe?

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Apparently the forum found a possible duplicate so lemme clear that up :). I am not asking what the differences between Unity and Gnome DE are, I'm asking about the entire OS flavors if I can convert one to the other without a complete reinstall.

  • howtogeek.com/189912/… – n32303 Aug 18 '16 at 11:22
  • 1
    This is not a duplicate of the linked question, That question was about switching to gnome classic and it is gnome shell – Anwar Aug 21 '16 at 19:17
  • The second answer of the aforementioned question deals with the installation of GNOME 3: askubuntu.com/a/650966/271 Is there anything else that you need to know which is not addressed by that? – Andrea Lazzarotto Aug 22 '16 at 18:39
  • @AndreaLazzarotto One thing is very different. OP here wants to Convert, not install another DE ubuntu-gnome-desktop. Yes, it's possible, but that's not pure Ubuntu Gnome 3. Many things will unity + mix up of settings here and there. – Anwar Aug 23 '16 at 6:08
  • @Anwar your answer here is clearly better than those on the other Q, however they are still duplicate. One solution would be to reopen this A and flag the other one as duplicate. – Andrea Lazzarotto Aug 23 '16 at 8:47

One way to switch to a Ubuntu gnome is installing ubuntu-gnome-desktop metapackage. But, that you give you two DEs aren't much pure. Unity settings sometimes causes problem in Gnome-Shell and vice versa.

To completely remove all components of Ubuntu and install Ubuntu-gnome instead, I suggest using this script. The script was developed by the person who was providing the command for these kinds of Switching till 15.04.

  • Download the purebuntu.py file from this GitHub repository.
  • Install the apt-rdepends package using the terminal command

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install apt-rdepends
  • Run the purebuntu.py file using this syntax:

    python purebuntu.py --remove ubuntu-desktop --keep ubuntu-gnome-desktop
  • This will generate an apt-get command which will remove Ubuntu related packages and install ubuntu-gnome-desktop metapackage.

This will give you a fairly clean Ubuntu gnome desktop. Take note though, You might lost already installed extra packages because of this operation.

P.S.: You can generate the commands to switch back using:

    python purebuntu.py --keep ubuntu-desktop --remove ubuntu-gnome-desktop
  • Is it safe? It would be great if you add some procedure for roll back in your answer or here – Rahul Nov 25 '16 at 13:27
  • @Rahul Safe in which term? It is better when you don't want to re-install. However, it can remove all other custom installed packages as I said in the answer. Though you can always save package names as a backup and re-install those packages if failed. – Anwar Nov 25 '16 at 13:30
  • 1
    @Rahul I've edited text including the commands to rollback – lrkwz Oct 18 '17 at 10:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.