I already know that I can uninstall Unity if I'm using Gnome-Shell exclusively, but I'm also wondering if it's safe to uninstall Compiz when I'm only using Gnome-Shell, since as far as I know, Gnome-Shell doesn't use Compiz.

2 Answers 2


Removing compiz also removes the packages unity & ubuntu-desktop.

Thus you will lose the ability to log into the unity or unity-2d desktops.

ubuntu-desktop is a meta package - normally you would need this to allow a successful upgrade to ubuntu+1. Therefore - just reinstall this package before you next upgrade to 12.04.

On my quick test, removing compiz did not stop me logging out and logging back into gnome-shell. You are correct - gnome-shell does not use compiz as its compositing manager, it uses mutter.

  • Removing ubuntu-desktop does not remove unity as ubuntu-desktop is a meta-package so it will only bring in packages and most of the time removing the meta-package does not result in a removal of the packages it brings in. Removing compiz will also not result in a complete removal of Unity because unity2d will still remain because it has no dependence on compiz at all, it has no fancy effects (not that Unity normal does either.) Nov 16, 2013 at 16:52

It depends on how much you want to remove and change.

Yes, you can remove compiz, it will take a little work to remove unity and potentially unnecessary packages.

See the linked question on how to remove Unity.

Use the following to remove all compiz related packages:

sudo apt-get purge compiz compiz-plugins-main-default libcompizconfig0

If you do not want to do all this, you can re-install and try the gnome 3 remix

See the UGR (Ubuntu Gnome Remix)



UGR Home page (check the LP and wiki page if you think this link is spam) http://ugr.teampr0xy.net/

Linked Question:

  1. How can you remove Unity?
  • Thanks for that list of packages to uninstall. That'll be helpful if I decide to ditch Unity, which may or may not happen over this weekend. Or maybe Christmas break when I actually have some free time, lol.
    – Icedrake
    Dec 12, 2011 at 23:26
  • Definitely review that list, I am not sure how much or little you wish to remove, and you will not do any harm by leaving compiz and unity installed.
    – Panther
    Dec 12, 2011 at 23:27
  • @fossfreedom - my list is unity + compiz, not sure how you would feel best to edit my response.
    – Panther
    Dec 12, 2011 at 23:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .