Some people (me) would prefer the straight GNOME experience as opposed to the Unity style desktop offered in Ubuntu 17.10.

How can I get the standard GNOME desktop and interface?

  • @Rinzwind I was lead to believe that beta2 (the currently available) is the final beta? – Charles Green Oct 13 '17 at 13:14
  • @Rinzwind final beta is already released, isn't it? – pomsky Oct 13 '17 at 13:16
  • Oh darn it. It is already october :D Sorry! – Rinzwind Oct 13 '17 at 13:26
  • @Rinzwind When you get to be my age, you need a calendar to keep track of the year! :) – Charles Green Oct 13 '17 at 13:27
  • 48 overhere ;-) – Rinzwind Oct 13 '17 at 13:41

There are two methods to easily gain a more GNOME like experience in Ubuntu 17.10.

The first method is to run the program

sudo apt install gnome-session

This will undo many of the features that have been added to GNOME, such as the always-on dock, but will leave the Ubuntu color scheme.

The second method is to execute the command

sudo apt install vanilla-gnome-desktop

This will install the GNOME themes as expected from prior versions of Ubuntu GNOME, change the Plymouth splash screens, and install several common GNOME utilities.

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  • Nice! But don't we have to remove anything? – pomsky Oct 13 '17 at 12:43
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    @pomsky Not that I noticed - I had previously removed gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock, but that (and quite a bit of other stuff) is removed or disabled by the vanilla-gnome-desktop package – Charles Green Oct 13 '17 at 12:48
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    @bodhi.zazen I would have thought so too, except for the 100+ additional packages installed by vanilla-gnome-desktop – Charles Green Oct 13 '17 at 15:01
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    @CharlesGreen: Maybe it would be good then and important for your answer to contain that distinction given that both packages do exist and various guides point to either one of them. – user364819 Oct 22 '17 at 12:51
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    @TrailRider Although not an expert... 'vanilla-gnome' will be what you used to have from Ubuntu-Gnome. Gnome-session is just the gnome screen layout, less of the unity like look, and none of the gnome applications that you got with Ubuntu-gnome. – Charles Green Jan 7 '18 at 0:28

If you want full GNOME, you can install it by using:

sudo apt install gnome

This package installs around 293 packages/utilities and on the other hand vanilla-gnome-desktop package installs around 170 packages/utilities which in my opinion aren't required just to experience Vanilla GNOME. You can install a 'minimal' version of vanilla GNOME which need only 4 new packages using:

sudo apt install ubuntu-gnome-desktop

It doesn't include additional packages (which many of times are useless) and GNOME plymouth but you can experience vanilla GNOME without using much space.

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  • I'll try this on a VM - my personal preference was the Ubuntu-gnome flavor (I've only used Ubuntu since 12.04) and got to prefer that desktop. I think that the ubuntu-gnome-desktop feels more like Unity, which had originally caused me problems with one of my laptops. – Charles Green Jan 29 '19 at 2:41
  • @CharlesGreen I'm using ubuntu-gnome-desktop since Ubuntu 16.04. And currently I'm on 18.04 and using the same. I've experienced no particular difference as far performance and appearance are considered. I can't comment on apps since I've considered only DE. And I'll strongly suggest to stick to at least some default apps. Moreover ubuntu-desktop in 18.04+ is Unity like GNOME. – Kulfy Jan 29 '19 at 5:03

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