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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
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    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
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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
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    @Rahul I've edited text including the commands to rollback – lrkwz Oct 18 '17 at 10:22

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