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Is there a "best practices" guide for switching from Unity to Gnome3 now that Unity is being deprecated?

There are frequent warnings that this switch can be problematic -- leaving one with a disabled desktop if one isn't "careful" whatever that means.

It would seem the safest way to switch from Unity to Gnome3 is, as is frequently given as an answer to similar questions, to use "Ubuntu Software Center". Aside from the fact that "Ubuntu Software Center" is nowhere to be found -- only "Ubuntu Software" -- when one brings up "Ubuntu Software", "Gnome3" is nowhere to be found as an option. If one searches for "gdm", one is offered "GdMap" only.

I've taken one precautionary step, which is to pre-install the 'Adwaita theme' as some Unity themes are "incompatible with Gnome3". How many more "gotchas" are waiting to snare those that aren't "careful" and how can know one is being "careful"?

  • The safest way is to wait for Ubuntu 18.04. Another safe way is to install Ubuntu GNOME 17.04. – Pilot6 May 17 '17 at 19:02
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The safest way is obviously to know exactly what you're doing, hence, the terminal is actually the "safest" way to do it. That way, you get all the output from all the commands, so if something fails, you'll know exactly where it has gone wrong.

That being said, according to this article on OMG Ubuntu, it's relatively simple to install the latest version of Gnome 3. All you have to do is install the correct repositories and packages.

Add repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3-staging
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt update

Install gnome packages:

sudo apt install gnome gnome-shell

During the install, you should be asked to pick which Display Manager you want to use by default. If you plan just to use Gnome, go with GDM. Otherwise, run lightdm and configure it to pick gnome by default.


This being said, Ubuntu 18.04 is going to ship with Gnome, so you do have the option of waiting till it gets there and installing fresh (this is likely what I will do.

| improve this answer | |
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    Why add both gnome3-staging and gnome3? And it is not a safe way anyway. – Pilot6 May 17 '17 at 19:01
  • According to GNOME3 Staging, "The packages here have been deemed not ready for general use, they have known bugs and/or regressions, sometimes of a critical nature.". – Colliot Sep 30 '17 at 21:04

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