Answers like this make it seem like there is a difference between Ubuntu Gnome, Gnome-Shell and running Gnome on Ubuntu (like one that started with Unity).

What, if any, is the difference between the official Ubuntu Gnome and just installing the Gnome shell as a desktop environment on Ubuntu?


1 Answer 1


Ubuntu used to come with LightDM, and Gnome desktop as default.
Ubuntu with a different DM and GUI was given a prefix (Kubutu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu).

When Ubuntu switched to Unity DM and Desktop, the phrase Ubuntu Gnome was coined to refer to the old installation while Ubuntu referred to the new.

With the release of 17.04, Ubuntu has gone to a new DM (gnome-shell) and returned to the gnome desktop (named ubuntu-desktop).

Removing one DM and desktop and installing another is no different than installing the flavor of Ubuntu that originally has that DM and desktop. For example, if you remove the Unity DM and desktop then install KDM and Plasma/KDE desktop, you would now have Kubuntu. Note:in most cases the greeter (login) has to changed with the DM.

  • 1
    So following the naming conventions, plain Ubuntu version 18.04 could be be called Gubuntu :) Sep 24, 2017 at 5:54

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