Ubuntu 11.04 Change From Unity To Classic Gnome

By | 2011/03/05

Classic Gnome fans, fear not. You can still use standard Gnome in Ubuntu 11.04 if Unity is not your bag.

To change to traditional Gnome, logout and then after clicking on your username, select Ubuntu Classic Desktop at the bottom of the login screen.


Enjoy the latest and greatest Ubuntu with regular Gnome!


Edit! Alternate method:

Click the Power icon > System Settings


Find and click on Login Screen where you can set your default session as well.


Edit2! Or why not try KDE:


Install KDE with:

$ sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

196 thoughts on “Ubuntu 11.04 Change From Unity To Classic Gnome

  1. Christoffer Veng

    Excellent that Unity will be optional after all. Which version of Gnome lies beneath? V3 would be great, I think! πŸ™‚

    1. Matt

      Unfortunately GNOME V3 was made for Fedora, so this is probably V2.

      1. ActionParsnip

        Got any credible website to back that up? I suspect this is simple conjecture…

    1. Kosgei

      Placement of the menus and the control buttons is PERFECT for me. I love everything about Unity. Ubuntu developers should not change it! Grt work

        1. NonSek

          To me: Ubuntu-Unity is dead. Long live Linux Mint!!!

  2. kutalion

    Unity is replace of gnome-shell as far as I know. Ubuntu Natty Naval USES Gnome3.0 but with Unity so you guessed it – everyone saying Ubuntu 11.04 isn’t using Gnome anymore is pretty dumb. The guide here explains how to log in to Gnome 2.3.x or whatever… Greetings πŸ™‚

  3. Christoffer Veng

    2.32.1. I found that “Ubuntu Classic” is my deal. Unity and Gnome Shell annoys me big time. So Gnome 2.32.1 is just fine.

  4. Wayno

    I have been monitoring #ubuntu (irc.freenode.net) and it looks like Unity breaks a lot. Issues with inadequate Nvidia support, and grub issues. Seems like Natty (11.04) is VERY problematic.


    1. pixelsyndicate

      I’ve spun through 3 reinstalls in 5 days. Inadvertent updates appear to cause nvidia issues for a cuda based onboard card. Lose unity and desktop controls.

  5. Christoffer Veng

    No issues here with 11.04, Unity AND Nvidia…. none technical anyway. I just don’t fancy it All that much…

  6. Me

    I don’t have this option on my laptop, all I have is the keyboard power icon, date/time and Universal Access thing.

    1. scott Post author

      Click on your username first. Then the options should appear at the bottom. Cheers,

  7. Kuroi

    Thanks, that’s a relief.
    When I saw the Unity interface, I freaked out.

  8. Hariku

    Thanks scott, that’s what I needed to know but too late for me I wasted a day trying then gave up and left the ubuntu flock.

    1. audriusa

      I am truly happy I have made the backup image of the hard drive before migration so it was possible to step back. They likely still assume that nobody is using Linux desktop for serious work so does not matter if they suddenly turn everything upside down. Surely, OK to experiment but they should keep the classic theme as well. People are focused on they direct work and have not time to learn this new interface. Users even do not like to migrate between KDE and GNOME that are much less different.

      1. Jesse Chisholm

        On the other hand, Microsoft changes their look-and-feel every version of Windows that comes out. No matter that the change annoys more people than it pleases. Their customers eventually get used to and say they even like it. πŸ˜‰

        1. nmn

          Which users get used and say they like it? The amateurs that are using the PC for musig and pictures. I have no time to contemplate special effects, I don’t need any dumb feature to locate music and pictures (because I have enough brain to organize them myself) so why should I be happy with new interface every time? Only stupid people are using computers just to discover and admire new special effects because they are bored and they don’t use (and don’t know how to use) the PC for anything else anyway. I just want a stable and clean interface.

        2. eromana

          It is because Microsoft changes the look and feel of their o/s whenever they like it that I migrated to Ubuntu. Whew What a relief πŸ™‚
          From a test install, migrating to Unit is not for me. I just could not find anything, all the menus have changed – yuck. Hated the big icons on the desktop.
          I like to place all icons on a ruler, so that after all my homework is done the desktop is clear – The deck has been cleared !.
          I am stinking with Natty Narwhal .
          Ed πŸ™‚

  9. Christoffer Veng

    @Hariku…. Then you didn’t really want it in the first place!

  10. ABNormal

    my Ubuntu starts WITHOUT showing me users as login. so i’m directly into this new interface. HOW/where can i change from unity to “classic” gnome again please?

    1. scott Post author

      Make sure to logout first, then you will see the login screen.

  11. Christoffer Veng

    When you click your username, a menu appears at the bottom of the screen. “Ubuntu” is Unity and “Ubuntu Classic” is Gnome 2.32.1

  12. Michael

    I don’t have it set to show me usernames. I type in my username.

    Is there another way to set back to classic?

    1. scott Post author

      Ah indeed there is! I’ve updated the post with an alternate method. Let me know if that works,

  13. Hawk


    Hey, I love you, man! πŸ˜‰ I was cranky as hell after the upgrade and seeing the new UI. Then you rescued me!


  14. kutalion


    Aw, I am totally wrong then… My excuses if you please πŸ™‚

  15. Newbie

    I am new to Linux with 10.10 and it worked very well and very intuitive. I cant’ even figure out how to switch tasks with 11.04 and the help file didn’t explain how. What is improved with 11.04?

  16. Newbie

    Thanks for the instructions to set default to ‘Classic’ but after a few minutes in Classic mode my screen became unreadable. When I loaded 10.10 I was very happy to find that Linux was finally usable for the average guy and have been promoting it to all who would listen. After ‘upgrading’ to 11.04 I am discouraged again. I know long time Linux people take this stuff for granted but the average guy doesn’t know what ‘Unity’ or ‘Gnome’ is. I do appreciate all the dedicated individuals that have gotten Linux as far as it is but please keep it simple for us and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  17. Hans

    My mouse (and wifi) doesn’t work with 11.04. I don’t have access to the menu at the bottom of the logon screen.
    How can I force Ubuntu to use gnome as default? I can logon (using keyboard) and use terminal to edit config files if needed.

    1. Neeraj

      I had the same problems on my Acer Aspire 4740 i3 4GB RAM laptop – mouse stopped working after upgrading from 10.10 to 11.04.

      I have configured my laptop to show GRUB OS selection menu at start up because I dual-boot with M$ Windows (fallback). In there are listed all the previous kernels from the time you first installed – I have like from 2.22.xx-xx. There are two options for each number – regular and (recovery).

      I just worked my way back from the latest (topmost) selecting previous kernels and checking if the mouse worked. When I finally found a kernel where it did, I relaunced Update Manager who informed me that the upgrade had been partial – don’t ask me why, I just use Ubuntu. Haven’t been able to get a handle on Linux since I first started experimenting with RHL 5.2 way back in ’98. In fact, Ubuntu was the first time I let it remain on my primary computer and use it for so long. Otherwise it was M$ all along.

      Anyway, after completing the partial upgrade and rebooting. Now, I can boot into the latest 11.04 kernel and still have the mouse working.

      Not as savvy as editing config files – I’ve burnt my fingers there – but grunt work which just gets the job done.

  18. John

    Unity is a horrible mistake. I dread the thought of having to use it — thank God that there is still Classic. If canonical goes for this interface-for-idiots to appeal to I-don’t-know-who then at least preserve a sane interface for grown-ups. I won’t use Unity. I HATE it because it SUCKS!!!

    1. airtonix

      Just an observation:

      > “for grown ups”
      > “I HATE it becuase it SUCKS!!!111oneoneonepony!!!11”

      The irony. It kills me.

  19. Gerald

    Unity definitely sucks and the Ubuntu Classic doesnt really work for me. when you open an app in unity, the menu of the app is shown in the top panel. when you switch to Ubuntu Classic and Gnome, this menu is lost – at least here for me. So I switched back to Unitiy and installed avant-window-navigator. This is a great alternative. It looks great, has lots of nice applets (install the awn-applets-all) and easy to customize. So i’ve hidden the unity menu (alt-f2 / about:config / autohide). Still miss my Gnome Desktop here and decided not to upgrade my other notebooks to 11.04…

  20. barra

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚
    simple but working full… haha

  21. Joakim Jalakas

    Thank you for this post. I think it’s great that Ubuntu/Gnome is moving in a more “i look as hipster as the others” because i think that is important for many people… But i, personally, just hate it πŸ™‚

  22. Gerald

    pitty if ubuntu wants to be osX or Win7… I’m seriously considering to switch to Fedora. they’ll come out with version 15 end of month and are switching to gnome 3. I haven’t heard much of gnome 3 and what I’ve heard was not that good either. or kubuntu, too many colors for me though πŸ˜‰ Or Mint? arrghhh loosing my hair here πŸ˜‰ I thing unity has some good ideas. it feels a bit like a copy of awn/avant-window-manager – but rather a bad one. why not offer some applets and more configurability options for unity? what’s o hard about it? if they already copy awn, then they should at least also copy the good stuff πŸ˜‰ argghhhh, now my mousepointer gets gaga, I have always to point 5mm above what I want to click, when the window is not in full mode… ok, no I really hate all the Narwhals!

  23. Gerald

    ps. Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu Natty) 11 will also be shipped with gnome 3… they have btw a version which is directly based on debian (http://www.linuxmint.com/) . Anybody experience with mint?

  24. Ozma

    I just upgraded to 11.04 and new desktop appearance definitely sucks. I doesn’t work like it used to and I can’t make even simple modifications like I did with Gnome. All applications are put in same place which causes a mess. Even finding a terminal was real pain in the ass. I also can’t use my wifi. Any ideas? oh, and search bar in application menu etc. doesn’t let write anything to it.

  25. Ramachandran

    Wonderful! Thanks a lot! That “Unity” was driving me crazy!
    Is there anybody out there who knows how to revert that awful Firefox 4 interface to something alike the great 3.6?

  26. Gerald

    Ramachandran, I’ve switched to chrome here in ubuntu. fast and less problems with flash. nice developer tools as well. check it out…

    1. Wayno

      for some reason, Firefox crashes my Ubuntu 10.10 (64 bit system) – Chrome and Opera work fine.

      the v 6 beta of firefox seems stable. I had one release I was able to keep open for 18 hours or more. Usually it hoses my system with 10 minutes (hard lockup) – nope not java or flash related.


  27. hell kitten

    I HATE Unity in 11.04. The hideous sidebar is the worst because it cannot be deleted or removed. Hard to find terminal, which I use often. Its a very unappealing ugly interface with many bugs. If I cared for Windows(evil), I would still be using it.
    I have been using Ubuntu for a long time and have converted many Windows(evil) users. WTF? why is it forced upon us?
    I use Ubuntu on all my pc’s and laptops including my business one. From what I have been told, the next version will not even offer the ability to switch interfaces at login. This is a bad move for Ubuntu, it is ok for the unity interface to be optional for those who, for whatever reason like it, but not forced.
    Whats next, no more open source software? Is Ubuntu trying to be like the horrible, evil Microsoft windows, which I refuse to ever use again? I Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.

    1. Me

      Where did you hear about the next version not having an option to switch? I have an external HDD, that has Ubuntu on it, that I use for testing things sometimes. II always install an OS that I plan on switching to on a HDD that not my default one to try out first. If Ubuntu forces us to use Unity (which kinda sounds like Microsoft) then I will not upgrade. It’s common for software companies to force people to new versions of stuff when it’s got a lot of negative feedback. Why? Because the time and money they put into it, they’re not just gonna throw it away it. They will force people to use it, as much as possible in hopes people will actually get used to it and like it. Like Windows Vista.

      It was hard to switch back to XP when I used to use Windows, It turns out, it had RAID drivers pre-installed. I had to make a copy of the Windows XP CD an include RAID drivers with it, using a software called nlitoes (or something like that). That was the only option because my laptop at the time, didn’t give my an option to disable it. Every OS had to have RAID drivers. I had two more laptops since then (Toshiba Satellites), the one I use using at the time was a crappy Sony VAIO, which I thought was good, when I bought it. The Toshiba Satellite lets me disable RAID in the BIOS. However on my latest laptop (this is my 2nd Toshiba Satellite) Windows XP wouldn’t work well, it would freeze alot, so was forced to use Windows 7, which was full of bugs, but managed to fix most of them.

      Sorry about the long rant, but I am some glad I found out about Linux. I tried Ubuntu and made it my defualt OS a day or two after trying it out. Windows went Bye Bye. Never even thought about having to use Windows again and I used to be a Windows fan awhile ago.

      1. KP

        Mark Shuttleworth (Ubuntu CEO) says 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) WILL NOT have the classic desktop (Gnome) option:

        “we have the Classic desktop fallback in Natty, but will not in Oneiric.”

        1. dadaism

          That should read “…, but will not be preinstalled in Oneiric”.
          Anyway in 11.10 you can do
          sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
          and life is good again.

    2. East India Co.

      Only ONE WAY to hit back at the EVIL M$ Windows empire – P-I-R-A-C-Y

      Hit ’em where it hurts.

      Me? I’ve been sockin it to ‘da MAN’ since DOS days

      Rants don’t affect them at all…

  28. Wayno

    I am 99.8% sure I may migrate to Debian over the summer, or some other Debian based Linux distro. Hell I might even go back to SuSE where I cut my teeth.

    I wish Mr. Shuttleworth could be bff’s with gnome, but that doesn’t look like it’s in the cards. I feel this is clearly the WRONG direction. And users are agreeing in droves.

    one has to only spend 10 minutes or so on #ubuntu (freenode.net), to see all the broken systems.

    Unity aside, I think 11.04 has been the worst release of software I’ve seen since windows 95. It has broken more systems for more different reasons, then I have time to share. Pity.


  29. hell kitten

    Have you tried Kbuntu with KDE? My niece likes it, but I have stuck with Ubuntu till now. Not so sure though now, I might try an different linux dist.. you are right about the broken systems etc. Its a big nasty mistake in the wrong direction. I don’t like many things about 11.04 but I can’t stand the bugs, bugs, bugs and once again that HORRIBLE UGLY SIDEBAR, it is not only ugly, it
    It is a pain in the Ass to use and it doesn’t function smoothly, bulky and it makes the desktop look like crap. Very annoying.
    Is Mr Suttleworth trying to be like or compete with Windows(evil)? Or maybe he has made a secret pact with them…? Most Ubuntu users hate windows. Let me know if you have tried kbuntu..

  30. Gerald

    I think, I’ll wait for Mint 11 and check out Gnome 3, if this sucks to – I go back to Windows 95 (just kidding). Kubuntu might be an option too… Checked out the Live-CD and it looks pretty ok and it looks as it has finally become stable. check it out πŸ™‚

    uuups, just read the news, that Mint’s decided to go with Gnome 2.32 instead of 3. They say you should be able to install Gnome 3 and Gnome Shell from standard repository if you feel like. I’ll give that definitely a try when it’s out…

  31. Wayno

    The xfce gui is very stable, and looks a lot like windows.

    Let me qualify that: It is stable on 10.10.

    sudo apt-get install xfce4



  32. Me

    You can switch to the Gnome version as you log in. You have to click your username first, then you’ll see the option at the bottom of the screen, select “Ubuntu Classic” from the drop-down menu.

    You can also go to System>Administration>Logn Screen and Select Ubuntu Classic from drop down menu


    My Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop.

    How to make Firefox 4 look like 3.6:
    Here’s a video, it’s a quick video and shows you how to change Firefox to look like 3.6:
    How To Make Firefox 4 Look Like 3.6

  33. Other than Michael

    Awesome.. Cannot log into my file server.. Upgraded from maverick and now after boot:

    It seems like you do not have hardware required to run unity phase choose ubuntu classic
    Unfortunately I can neither click close button with usb keyboard or usb mmouse. Cannot alt + c to use buttonhot key either
    It is a grey dialogue in the middle of 52 inches of black on my tv
    There is nothing else to “choose”
    On boot user is selected I guess as I’m prompted for password but have not seen that login screen since the day I installed 10.04. I only upgraded to 10.10 with the hope the more current evolution would caldav yahoo.. It didn’t.
    they’ll be nothing to watch on tv apparently samba isn’t running
    ..I prefer white space where I set it so used dots to simulate white space in this comment.. Can’t edit lines bello w thanks android

    posting with android is it’s own kind of joy

  34. Other than Michael

    Could not read all text in error dialogue.. Very scrunchy.. 6 point screen font in poor resolution

    The above is my JID since I cannot generate yahoo AddressGuard from ANY web browser on droid x.. Fennec, firefox, miren, droid built in.. So checking the form email address is problematic at best

    Thanks linux gurus for kind help… I wish i had bothered to setup vnc on droidx.. It never seemed like the right time


  35. Other than Michael

    Is there a flash usb tool I can use to edit (system) files to force use of ubuntu classic? Leaving user auto login preferences as is?
    “ssh in” Or something like that is masochism from only other available device, droidx

  36. Gerald

    Just switched to Linux Mint for the meantime… very nice distro (based on Ubuntu). and back to gnome!

  37. Harriet

    We have the exact same problem, get a message saying ‘you don’t have the hardware etc’ and cannot use mouse or keyboard to navigate to the menu at the bottom of the screen.

    Level of ability to sort this out is nil, not just noob – sigh.

  38. paul

    Thank you x 1,000,000. I was very upset after upgrading to 11.04, and was ready to go back to 10.11, but this saved me. The decision to move to Unity will likely prove to be the Vista of Ubuntu.

  39. kaspin

    I didn’t like the sidebar, but struggled along with it for a few days thinking that there must be some advantage in it. Luckily, thanks to this forum I was then able to go over to classic view. Even so, 11.04 seems full of bugs – from Tomboy notes which deletes the file above the one you select to delete, to trying to open directories etc. using a media player! The only thing which seems to be slightly better is the wireless connection on my Samsung netbook.

  40. Elliot

    Thank you my friend!! I worked like a charm… Hello from Mexico.

  41. alfabravo

    Did the move from maverick to 11.04 beta. Didn’t like either gnome 3 or unity. Then I give KDE 4.6 a try after many years… and I’m thinking about going back and enjoy classic gnome as long as it’s available. Bugs on kdelibs, plasma desktop and even the files’ metadata adquisition fail sadly. If this is considered stable stuff, I just can’t keep on reporting bugs and dodging bugs that stop me from using things.

    I reached you weblog because I was looking for info about gnome classic on 11.04, I’m done with KDE.

  42. Gerald

    @alfabravo: really, you’ll be happy with Linux Mint πŸ™‚

    1. scott Post author

      Yeah Linux Mint is pretty sweet. I’m trying out LMDE now. It seems faster as well. I don’t care for the Ubuntu enhancements (ubuntu one, evolution, unity, social networking apps, etc). I just want something simple and fast. πŸ™‚

  43. David

    Thank you very much for posting this tip. I reluctantly upgraded to 11.04, as I have heard that if you skip a release, it can cause problems if you want to take a release a couple or more cycles latter. That Unity interface was freaking me out and making me regret taking the release.

    I like the Ubuntu Classic hierarchy and how everything is split into categories. With the Unity GUI, my many, many apps were all in one flat interface, like a giant blob of apps from hell. HA HA.

    Plus, I just found the whole Unity toolbar irritating. Like how if you minimized a window, it put a tick mark on the icon and only by clicking on the icon could you expand it. But if you had minimized 10 of the same type window there were more ticks and which tick is the one that you really want to expand again? Etc. Etc. It seems like my brain and fingers would have to work 10 times harder to get what I want, when I want it.

  44. Wayno

    No amount of lipstick can make Unity seem like a beneficial tool.


  45. Some Useless Geek

    I tried the “Netbook” version of Ubuntu 10 and immediately hated the Unity craprod UI. So, when 11.04 became available I naturally wanted to update to that. I wasn’t aware of Canonical making the decision to force Natty users into Unity before installing the “upgrade” on to my netbook. I am using a tiny little Acer Aspire One, so the “upgrade” process took all day long.

    Sorry, all you Unity phanbois, but Unity sucks major league wind. What a craprodical interface. Nothing is user configurable. Nothing is where it belongs. Everything is different for the sake of being different — just like Crapple does with OS X. You know what?

      Different =/= Better

    I really hope Canonical gets their act together and drops this Unity turd into the bowl in which it belongs. In the mean time I guess I’ll look for another distro.

  46. Wayno

    Fwiw, I have the desktop edition of Ubuntu 10.10 on my Acer Aspire Netbook. The netbook remix was on their long enough for me to determine I hated it.

    I am playing with the pinguy os, and may put that on my netbook. Some of the navigation is a bit cryptic though. (trying to find system tasks like adding a user, synaptic, etc)


  47. prantor

    Unity is driving me nuts. I cant switch between windows fast enough when there are many windows as the task bar is missing. The window decorations occasionally disappears and I cannot move/resize the windows. FireFox crashes.


  48. kaspin

    Further to my rant above, I’ve reinstalled Ubunbtu 10.4, as it is supported until 2013, when I’ll see if Conical has got its’ act together. It was really nice to get back to the slick, easy-to-use desktop, and to have programs that do what I want, and not what the developers think we ought to have.I’m now a happy bunny again.

  49. Steven Powers SMP

    Thank you very much. I had done an upgrade to 11.04 on my desktop and was able to keep Gnome but had issues when I installed it on a laptop and Unity installed. I definitely like Gnome over Unity. Thanks for the post.

  50. donaldt

    I believe I will have to give up on Linux Ubuntu. I’ve changed my 11.04 installation back to the old gnome desktop so I can find what I need. I hated the new one, however it had play on linux and I had a need for that.

    Now that I have changed, play on linux is installed, but does not show up in the applications menu so how do I get it started and run the program? It is really maddening when things like that change and those of us that are not computer programmers can’t do a simple, normal task. I need to load an aviation navigation program that will not run on Linux.

    thanks for any help…


  51. Sarah

    Unity is really awful.
    I liked Ubuntu since I installed it first about 4 years ago. But with this idiot’s interface driving me mad I really think about switching to another OS.
    I have a Dualboot Ubuntu 11.04/Windows7 and during the whole last week the levels of annoyance I experienced with either OS were quite equal – Windows seems always busy actualizing itself and never seems to have time for me, and in the new Ubuntu desktop I just couldn’t find anything anymore.
    I switched back to Gnome and I hope all the other things that are supposed to be horrible with the new distro don’t happen to me…

  52. Sarah

    I am thinking about it. There are so many people recommending it, I might give it a try!

  53. Gerald

    @ Sarah, if you take http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php ‘Linux Mint 11’, its based on ubuntu, just with everything you need already installed, a different menu (the classic one is available as applet for the panel) and the the likylike gnome ui πŸ™‚ enjoy πŸ™‚ G

  54. sodex

    ubuntu itu memeng lebih unggul dari pada windows….

  55. anco

    Dear All, I have used ubuntu since version 5 on my production machines. I have not used windows for work in the last 7 years. I have tried unity for a month to see if I can get used to it, but it is horrible. Not finding things is an issue that is gone after a week, but the real annoyances for me is that Unity is so slow to be effectively used during work. I’m way more moving my mouse to the exact right spot to for example select the scrollbar in Evolution. On a dell latitude xt2 so relatively small screen, Unity absolutely sucks.

    Besides this very often during the usage of libre office (who asked for this change from openoffice anyway) the automatic menu does not want to come up anymore. I have to minimize all open screens to reactivate the menubar.

    I have experience several lockups during one month of work, flash is not running properly. finding the right program to open takes more clicks. Extremely annoying. I give up on Unity. The classic gnome interface let’s me work faster when there are several programs open at a time.

    Very sad that this is the default interface in Ubuntu 11.04. I will no longer advise ubuntu for nontechnical colleagues, who simply need a well working stable intuitive desktop.


    1. DaveDixon

      YES about the tiny disappearing scroll bar – mousing around on a laptop on a plane, train or bus trying to hit that just right gave me repetitive motion injuries. I tried Unity for three weeks thinking I would get used to it, but when I found myself thinking seriously of doing everything from the command prompt, I decided it was time to go gnome.

      1. DaveDixon

        AAAARGH – the tiny scrollbar is still there!! What now?

  56. Gerald

    @Anco, as mentioned before, check out Linux Mint, its actually based on Ubuntu but with Gnome and everything you need already installed. give it a try πŸ˜‰ G

  57. Matt

    I’ve grown to like Unity, but there are a couple of MUST do configuration changes to make it usable IMO:
    In CompizConfig Settings Manager, under the Desktop Category, click Ubuntu Unity Plugin:
    Behaviour Tab:
    – set Hide Launcher = Never
    Experimental Tab:
    – set Launcher icon size = 32 (or to your preference)

    I also prefer
    Launch Animation = Blink

  58. Gerald

    ok ok, I have to admit that I’m getting used to unitiy… Still have Mint/Gnome on my Desktop but installed Ubuntu 11.04 on an Asus EEEPC 1000H and a new Dell Zino (which feeds my TV with movies). Installations was flawless, everything worked out of the box.

    Now the point is:

    Unity and Compiz dont get along well

    So if you want to have a stable Unity, dont even think of starting up the compiz settings manager and play around with goodies like rotating desktop cube or anything else sweet but not really necessary…

    have fun

  59. heath

    running ubuntu 11.04 switched to classic desktop ,but no bottom taskbar when i minimize windows they disappear to bottom right corner of screen. cant maximize them cause i can not see them , when i logout they splash on screen for a second please help?

  60. Alex

    I like Ubuntu 11.04 very much.
    It is one of the best distros I tried in the last three decades.
    Of course there was always room for improvement since my first experiences with Xenix, Nixdorf, Solaris or Slackware.

    Most of the comments just point to one think: nobody seems to like changes…
    What is overlooked: ubuntu gets better and better with every single release.

    11.04 and unity is not perfect, but it is very good. And most of you know how to change the things you do not like anyway. Right πŸ˜‰

    1. JohnJ


      Yes you are correct BUT… a simple search of the interwebs and in particular the Ubuntu forums will show that there are SIGNIFICANT problems that people are having. When I upgraded I lost virtually all of my settings (had a backup of course), the Unity launcher kept crashing, the black bar at the top seems to be a problem as well – on different machines with different memory/graphic cards etc -, and a multitude of other ridiculous things that are totally illogical. Search for a mouse odometer and you will see what I mean; I use one machine in a place with limited desk space and have worked easily with this for 4+ years until switching to “Naff Narwhal”, equally there are many options which previously required 2 clicks that now require 3-4, an application grabbing the whole deskspace is another issue. Note, I too am not averse to change but where the change introduces ways of working that make it difficult to get even the most basic things done then there is clearly something wrong. I use my PC’s to GET THINGS DONE, not to have to spend time making major tweaks just in order to gain stability. There is a significant difference between “most of you know how to change the things you do not like anyway”, gaining familiarity to a different layout, and HAVING to make tweaks just because Canonical did not spend time testing and actually doing some proper user acceptance. Now, where are my Windows CD’s… <=== I for one NEVER thought I would actually type that but it has seriously come to that with this ridiculous interface which is clearly targeted at the smartphone/Pad market. The BIG mistake Canonical are making is that there are many 'tech' people who will actively promote an OS / release they think is good. I for one would lose all professional integrity were I to do so. Plus, most of the apps appearing in the smartphone/Pad market are created by developers like me who need to have a stable OS and nearly always have multiple windows open at one time. The demonstrations I have seen of this on the Ubuntu site – I tried to 'copy' the layouts shown – require such convoluted jiggery-pokey that it would be comical were it not so pathetic. What a shambles this release and Unity are…

  61. Wayno

    YMMV applies (Your Mileage May Vary) — besides the nvidia issues, broken grub issues, and automount issues.

    Absolutely the most “quality challenged” release I have seen, since Windows 95.

  62. Matt

    YMMV is right. I’ve found no issues with nvidia drivers / performance and have been suitably impressed by the 3D effects etc. No problems with the other components you mention either.
    The only thing I’ve had issues with are the VPN connections through Network-Manager.

    1. Gerald

      Ubuntu + Nvidia + HDMI = Video – Sound

      If you get a new computer as a ‘mediacenter’ with TV together with Ubuntu, just get one with ATI graphics. It’s just perfect and HDMI (Picture and Sound) works out of the box.

  63. kobemaze

    I need help pls.! I cannot install simple ccsm it says that ther a package unresolve dependecies and then this will show on my synaptic package manager:

    Depends: python-compizconfig but it is not going to be installed
    Depends: compizconfig-settings-manager but it is not going to be installed

    please anyone can help me!

  64. Wayno


    You can try a:

    sudo apt-get -f install

    Sometimes the fixes broken links. No guarantees, and easy to try.


  65. kobemaze

    still it’s the same i cannot install it
    pls somebody help me! I am dying to try compiz config!

  66. Roezer

    When I installed 11.04 I had been having problems with this crazy unity desktop that is only really good for netbooks or tablets. I also noticed that when I changed back to gnome there were some problems like transferring files from my external hard drive and frequent desktop crashes I was no longer experiencing.

  67. Russ

    How do I change to classic using the command line? I have a totally blank desktop with unity which I am currently trying to resolve but it would be a great help if I could try classic in the meantime. Cheers

  68. Russ

    Sorry, should point out I don’t have the login option you give as it boots straight into the desktop

  69. Gurumurthy

    Hi All,
    I have one issues regarding Gnome.
    Gnome is displayed all the icon on the desktop but on my machine it was not disabled any icon so any one would help us to resolve this issue.

    Linux Fedora

  70. techpain

    Thanks, I hate Unity, it was driving me crazy.

  71. Brian

    Hey all,

    Brand new to linux and I love it I’m slowly adding linux into everything I use my computer for. The unity desktop has been annoying me my launcher bar had a bad habit of “sticking” and staying on top of anything in my workspace. I switched to “classic” and I think its much more user friendly for me at least. I’m installing the kde interface now though so I can try that out too.

  72. donaldt

    Unity. Ugh! Those that like it are welcome to it. It doesn’t work for me. My upgrade (in April) to 11.04 went smoothly. I don’t know why Unity became the default, but I soon got rid of it and gnome works (almost) as well as it did. However, I still have programs that force me to keep a working windows program as they will not run on Ubuntu.

    If adding Play on Linux is the Ubuntu 11.04 solution for issues like mine, it doesn’t work on any of the programs I have tried. If Linux/Ubuntu want to create a true alternative to windows, some one should put some effort into making an easy to use program for situations like this. Yes, I know I can use virtual box and other work around programs, but why should I have to do that? If play on Linux worked the way it is supposed to, that would not be necessary. Some programs won’t load (into POL)and others load and then don’t work. If some effort were devoted to making sure there was an easy way to run windows programs, more Linux early adopters would stay on board and the number of users would continue to grow. As it is, a lot of adventurous souls eagerly try Ubuntu and end up going back to windows because it is more comfortable and easy to use. Ease of use is what computers are all about, not fixing problems with patches and work arounds.

  73. arbit

    thank you very much!!!!!! you don’t know how much this saved for me πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  74. kowalski

    I think we can all see where Canonical are coming from (and going to) with this new interface. There are rumors and predictions in the industry that computer technology will soon shift far away from the architectures of Intel and AMD, moving solidly into the grip of the ARM chipped super-smart-phone generation. The Unity interface and the ‘Dash’ set-up of 11.04 is (as has already been observed by some) obviously aimed in the direction of touch screen technology.

    I’m sure that Canonical and their development partners believe that they are, in a way, giving us a taste of things to come with this new interface. I’m sure they believe that this sort of interface is the future and that, in time, users will get used to the new lay out; that the only reason people dislike it is because ‘people don’t like change, do they?’.

    Well, to some extent, this may be true. Unfortunately for Canonical (but mainly Ubuntu users everywhere) the real reasons people don’t like the Unity interface (aside from it’s odd, contrived operation and layout) is it’s rigidity. The true beauty of Linux generally (and Ubuntu in particular) is its ‘customizableness’ (if that’s a word); its FREEDOM! The freedom it gives the user to work as he or she wants; to set the layout and the menus and the docks and the task-bars and whatever else THE WAY WE WANT!

    I understand why Canonical have set this course to brave new world of touch screens and tablets and super-smart-phones that will (probably) one day take over the Earth! And if that’s the way technology goes, then so be it! But please, Canonical… if you are out there reading this… then remember these words – YOU HAVE MISSED THE POINT! YOU HAVE TAKEN AWAY OUR FREEDOM! Please don’t take away peoples options; their choices. This upgrade will be the death of Ubuntu if something is not done. It’s a step too far, too soon and in slightly the wrong direction.

    It’s not too late to go back to Gnome for 11.10.
    think long and hard about it, because honestly, a lot of people will walk away over this…
    …and they wont come back.

  75. Azeeezz

    Hi, I am personally don’t really like unity, it’s too confusing.
    this what just hapened to me:
    after i upgraded my ubuntu to natty, the option to switch to gnome classic is not there anymore, I tried to re install gnome and it said gnome-desktop-environment dependency problem, and then i uninstall unity, now I don’t have any login option. I just stay forever in gdm screen. even I tried to install gnome from tty console it didn’t work.

    Actually my ubuntu was a pentest distro (Node Zero) it was working fine even after i upgraded it to maverick, and it fucked up after upgraded to natty, just because the fucked up window manager (unity).

    is there any way to re install gnome clasic, at least like the one installed on maverick?

    or is the any body have the sourcelist to install gnome classic without screwing up my current installation?

    as info my sourcelist at the moment are generated through sourcelist generator website


  76. Dimitri

    Thank you, I was in such distress over the new desktop.

  77. martin gugino

    How do I get back to Unity from classic?

  78. Qaxe

    TOOOOOTALLY useful page here. Very happy now since I have used Natty for a week and was trying to decide if I would go back to a previous Ubuntu or give Mint or Fedora another try. (Though it looks like Fedora 15 has been infected with a new Unity-esque mess too…so no thanks) but NOW I don’t have to do anything more than switch to Classic. You saved my Ubuntu. Thanks!

    FYI I hated “New Coke” too. Bleh.

  79. Atman

    Thanks a lot. It helps me go for my conventional desktop.

  80. nakster

    Thanks for restoring my sanity. I don’t mind change, but the interface provided as the default in 11.04 is soooo user unfreidndly. I switched on my KDE plasma desktop machine from the old style icons-on-a-desktop to the widget-based workspace concept a while ago; the switch took some time to get used to, but once I did I knew I wouldn’t go back. But this change in Ubuntu inflicted to much cognitive friction as to be almost painful. And I really tried to spend some time with it.

    PLEASE do not take Ubuntu in this direction. It is absolutely WRONG! (BTW KDE’s netbook desktop is only slightly better than Gnome/Unity). Some points to consider:
    (1) The menu-at-the-top was a design feature built to work around the limited space on the first Macintosh machines. It was not (or at least should never have been) a permanent design solution. We are well beyond this design limitation, so why would EVER go back to this? It is one of the major annoyances of Max OS desktop systems. Ubuntu should stay away from this and really think about how to move to something modern
    (2) Never hide options from the user if you are going to migrate to an icon-based touchscreen-friendly interface over a menu-driven one. The idea of having icons (most of which don’t make clear sense to me what they mean at a glance) in a single scrollable column on the left is annoying as I have to search hard and long for where the right icon is that I want to use
    (3) If you are going this route, find an easy way for users to create various workspaces with customizable collections of applications on each workspace. And provide an easy way (like on Android) of vieiwing all available workspaces at a glance.
    (4) Remember that Apple products are design for the technologically incompetent. More and more people are becoming tech savvy, so yes, provide a simple interface, but also provide the means for the tech power user
    (5) Netbook/touchpad interfaces need to be simple; but desktops (for hardcore developers or power users) should be able to utilize a greater set of functionality. You should think long and hard about providing a single user interface across these disparate systems. I have a dual-head display — how will you acommodate that. I also run many apps at once (XML editor, code editor, display and browser for quick API lookups, etc.) Please provide a user interface that allows the user to multitask with multiple apps showing at once. Don’t assume I’m using my desktop as a limited idiot box like an iPad or touchpad and can only focus on one app at a time.

  81. Matt Welland

    Unity is great on my netbook, a eeepc. However I have to switch to something different on my 22″ monitor workstation where I do CAD etc.

    The only suggestion I have is that as part of installation give the user a recommendation and choice on Unity vs. Normal Gnome based on some heuristic of the screen size, processor, etc.. Perhaps ask if the device is a netbook, notebook or desktop and then recommend Unity for the first two.

    Can I move the menus back to the app windows? Again putting the menus on the top bar works great on the small machine but is a pain on the big monitor.

  82. Alf L

    The Systems Settings doesn’t work for me – I set it to Lubuntu, but at the log-in screen (after I select the username) …. it’s ALWAYS set to Ubuntu.

    1. demon

      hey there Alf L i want to ask from u a simple thing
      pls start the terminal and type in it “chsh” n see what it does if it ask for password: enter ur password n if it does not respond then press enter n then as quickely u can try typing any thing n pls reply me what happnes

      1. Alf L

        $ chsh
        Changing the login shell for alfl
        Enter the new value, or press ENTER for the default
        Login Shell [/bin/bash]:
        $ asdf
        No command ‘asdf’ found, did you mean:
        Command ‘asdfg’ from package ‘aoeui’ (universe)
        Command ‘sadf’ from package ‘sysstat’ (main)
        Command ‘sdf’ from package ‘sdf’ (universe)
        asdf: command not found

  83. anirban

    Unity problems: Many of them may have workarounds, please point them out inline
    1. Was not able to alt-tab between the open windows (tried compiz but could not get it going)
    2. could not make the side bar to dock permanently, Auto hide feature was too annoying
    3. the search bar, for applications, doesn’t remember last or most frequently searched stuff
    4. default terminal client is not multi tab capable
    5. found difficult to remove unity and go back to gnome classic, went to fluxbox my all time fav

  84. David

    why is there no command line instructions? I can do this via GUI but I’m actually trying to fix my sister’s PC at the moment, which she’s always using, so I set up SSH so I can work on it while she uses it…

    I was really hoping for command line version :\

  85. Ugh!

    Who came up with this Unity crap? Thank goodness I can revert – what a waste of developmental resources – Unity=crap!

  86. Ugh!

    @David – umm, of course there is a command line – at the ugly Unity screen go to Applications and in Search type Terminal – voila – command line. Better yet, dump Unity and revert to normal. Unity sucks.

  87. cleber

    I did’t like unity at all .I like to use things that are simpler and quickly acessible to work. But ubuntu 11.04 is still very stable !I will run it in classic mode on my laptop and wait Ubuntu go back normal!!!!

  88. Grayham

    I tried unity and hated it so took a look at gnome 3 and it is just as bad. I jumped ship originally from Kubuntu to Ubuntu a few years back when we were forced to uses KDE4 before it was obviously no where near ready and the same is going to happen again.
    I have had a look at Kubuntu 11.04 and on the surface it looks excellent. It seems KDE is now at a stage where it can be used for some serious use. If you need or want to upgrade to 11.04 and Ubuntu is not going in the right direction and in my opinion its not then try Kubuntu. When Ubuntu and gnome get their act together a year or so down the road you can switch back if you want.


  89. Erez

    Unity caused me to nearly disintegrate….
    As a long time UNIX person, used to change UIs, I gave it a chance, just to go back screaming to the old gnome interface.
    There are some features I liked — but too many that were unacceptable:
    1) the disappearing launch bar
    2) the way the selected apps were presented in the secondary launch window (when you expand the “+” tab)
    3) the target you end up on when a multiply-invoked app window is clicked on in the launcher tab
    4) the app menu “integration” into the top bar.

    just to name a few…

  90. matt

    ugh, unity is horrible!

    – why has a large percentage of usability features been thrown away in place of (unusable) bling?
    – why was my previous desktop config completely ignored?
    – why can’t i right click and customise the dock?
    – why can’t i drag the dock/panel to where i want it?
    – why is the app launcher so restrictive and frugal in the apps it lists?

    in 1-2 hours of use i haven’t seen 1 good usability improvement over the old desktop. horrible horrible horrible.

  91. Mark

    Okay, this is good to know. I was all ready to just throw out 11.04 and switch to Debian 6.
    Also, “Why not switch to KDE?” Because, so far KDE does not support LibreOffice…unless that’s changed recently.

  92. Mark

    On second thought, I think I will switch to Debian. However…what do folks think of the latest LTS, 10.04? I had upgraded recently from 8.10. No Internet connection to my desktop, so…no automatic upgrades without dragging the box to my office on a weekend.

  93. CicsoGeek

    I’m really surprised all these comments are against “Unity” – I actually like it. I have a cheap dell vostro 3550 ($499) and it works awesome. The only comment I have is being able to move the Unity bar on the left.

  94. Grayham

    KDE 11.04 does come with Libre Office as default and is working well for me at the moment.
    Ubuntu 10.04 LTS was/is the best distribution I have ever seen from Canonical and is definitely worth moving to if you are coming from 8.10. Its is immensely stable and I don’t think I ever had it crash on me.

    The only issues I found with 10.04LTS was HDMI audio support was hard to configure and the supplied graphics driver for the Nvidia chip set was not the best.
    Mind you shipping with dodgy graphics drivers is about the norm for Canonical and Kubuntu 11.04 had the same problem. These days I just download the latest driver and install it manually instead of waiting for the repositories. Its a shame Canonical do this though as it must put off so many new users when they get weird desktop artifacts and corruption.

    Having shifted from Ubuntu 10.04LTS to Kubuntu 11.04 I was blown away with what KDE can do these days. The OS has its own compositing to rival Compiz(including a desktop cube), desktop widgets, Libre Offcie and if you switch the kick start menu back to classic its just great to use. Check it out on a live DVD when you get your self some Internet access.

  95. Maximoose

    AH, thank god!
    You have saved the narwhal for me. The release of narwhal seems to me a little like canonical are just looking for things to change. Why change the default session like that, especially without giving users a choice or an intuitive method for changing the session. On the course of my journey to fix this i found a LOT of negative feedback about the unity interface, no doubt that will have something to do with where i looked, but i hope canonical have taken heed and ensure future updates don’t swing anything as dramatic on us again! at least not without a get out clause!

  96. svegress

    I perceived with 11.04. Even changed my graphics card to conform with the needs of Unity in the belief that, every now and again, Ubuntu takes a brave leap into the future that eventually has a happy ending. Thanks to the Ubuntu community, and the steady stream of fixes, I now have a reliable Unity on 11.04 and love the workspace switching. However the speed is dreadful and what appears to be severe memory leaks means that I can only work for about three hours before having to rebooting. So I am back to the Classic until 11.10 when I hope Unity will be more responsive.

    1. svegress

      Update: I bit the bullet and moved to the Beta 1 of 11.10. I figured that I would rather be part of the fight to make Ubuntu right than running away to another distro, hiding in a previous release or whining about what is wrong. So, nearly every day I submit my quota of crashes and nearly everyday get a download of fixes. Yes, it a pain but very rewarding being part of the solution than part of the problem.
      Incidentally, I am not a fanboy. I quite agree with many of the complaints about the awkwardness of the new interface but feel that all the issues are solvable. I remember much the same discomfort when we moved from terminal screens to graphic windowing–the horrors of driving the first Macintosh! I really missed vi and that I couldn’t use my Wordstar keyboard shortcuts. Unity is a paradigm shift necessary to deal with the new world of touch screens and tablets. Canonical has realised that either it makes the move or Ubuntu will die. I am glad they were brave.

      1. Grayham

        I guess if you don’t use your PC for anything that matters, mind having to relearn an OS from scratch or have a spare PC to do this on then you can afford the luxury.. However I don’t think thats the majority of users but I could be wrong..
        I think the Ubuntu team seem to forget or don’t care about the problems and disruptions they can cause by doing things like this.

        Imagine if Microsoft or Apple completely changed there OS’s overnight and just said tough to everyone that was using it.

        As for your touch screen argument I can’t see myself leaning over my desk and keyboard trying not to knock over my cup of coffee to poke my monitor any time soon. Forcing a user to use an obviously tablet oriented OS on a desktop top PC is just plain stupid.

        Just my opinion obviously but as you can tell from my tone its not the first time I have had a Linux distribution become completely unfamiliar and consequently almost pointless over night.


      2. The Big H

        A Unity-style interface is the right way to go for small things like iPhones and tablets. The small size of the screen makes it necessary that several different things occupy the same spot, so the slidy things and pop-up things are a necessary evil. But I use a computer with a screen substantially larger than four inches wide. A tablet OS interface is clearly the wrong choice here.

        Grayham is completely right that Unity is a bad interface if you’re using your computer for serious purposes. I use my computer for scientific research; saving screen space is not an issue, nobody will ever use a touch screen for the kinds of things I do, and cartoony icons in gaudy colours are unwelcome. Precision, predictability, and stability are important to me, and Unity-like interfaces will never be able to provide those things even once the numerous bugs are corrected.

        If Canonical are serious about inflicting Unity on me and depriving me of the ability to configure my interface to what my needs and tastes dictate then I will walk away. I know I won’t be the only one. The trouble for Canonical with this is going to be that serious computer users- programmers, scientists, etc.- the people who are most able to provide Canonical with sensible suggestions and assistance, are the very people who will be driven away by Unity.

  97. The Big H

    I can’t stand Unity. It doesn’t let me customise my computer easily, the stupid launcher takes up too much space and pops up over the top of useful stuff all the time. Finding and running your applications is a tedious ordeal; I have to click an extra two times from the applications menu and then scroll through a huge alphabetical list to find things I’ve installed, while the rest of the applications menu is taken up by “helpful” suggestions for other poo things it thinks I ought to download. What’s next, billboard ads? To scroll, you have to somehow find this tiny thin little orange thing on the side of the window. There’s no task bar so it is impossible to keep track of all your windows if you have several open. The menus are not attached to the top of the windows where they belong, and are invisible until you hover your mouse over the very top bar and then the menu items tend to jiggle from side to side. How is anybody supposed to click anything when everything seems to pop up, slide around the screen, or jump in front of what you actually meant to click? It’s just a rubbish interface and I hate it. It behaves the wrong way in every respect. Most galling of all, I hear from Unity fanboys that I just don’t like it because I’m a stick-in-the-mud who fears change- what crap that is, it was because I wanted change that I switched from Windows in the first place. It’s BAD changes I don’t like, and there is no way Unity can be considered anything other than malformed, bug-ridden crippleware.

    I’ve successfully switched the default back to Classic mode, but I hear that future versions of Ubuntu will disable even that. Is this true? Will I at least be able to get and install packages the give me back the behaviour I like? If not, can someone suggest another distro that behaves roughly analagously to Classic mode?

  98. Stef Sass

    I’m in a pickle. My new laptop didn’t manage to install neither 10.10 nor 11.04, both installations were cut at some moment (i tried several times). In extreme despair i downloaded 11.10 beta and for some unknown reason it installed perfectly. Unfortunately the lower panel at the login screen is missing (there’s an option to alternate between “Ubuntu” and “Ubuntu 2D” but that does no good for me) and neither is there any “Login Screen” tool under System Settings. Both ways to get back classic is hampered in beta – could it be that in 11.10 there is ONLY Unity? Also, if anyone knows how to change back to classic via command line, please comment.

  99. blackdevour

    Why have they taken away the god damn categories?! In gnome you have nice neat menus with clear categories for all your apps. Now, with the accursed unity, I have to scroll through hundreds of apps all jumbled together! Why? How is this helpful? And in order to do that I have to Click on the ‘dash’ thing, and then on somthing else – not very intuitive. Would it not be easier to just have simple menus, like we had in… what was it now? Oh yeh… GNOME!

    Dumb. Just dumb.

    Sort it out please, Canonical. Because it’s terrible.

  100. Dave Bean

    I’m trying out the ubuntu- 11.04 DVD. It is confusing to have the default screen layout be unity on my laptop and classic on my desktop. I’ve not found a way to switch from unity to classic without possibly rebooting (Logon options), but looks like might have to reboot to take effect, which won’t work if running from the DVD.

    My very limited impression is that the unity looks fancier, but that the classic might be easier for me to use, especially to be consistent. It would be nice to be able to toggle back and forth.

  101. Mistofeles

    Unity sucks
    Is there any way to change to Gnome in Live CD ?

  102. fr33

    OMG! Thanks you so much! I mean I literary installed the Ubuntu 10.04LTS just because this Ubuntu 11.04 had that thing called “Unity” sort of “Apple” thing I don’t like that much. The only thing I like of it, is the left side bar that looks like a Dock-Bar, but that can be fix using Cairo. yes is true this “Unity” was available in past versions of Ubuntu or other Linux distros, but as an add-on, not as the main GUI/menubar…

    I rather use Ubuntu Classics, thanks πŸ™‚

  103. Thomas

    Unity has its ups and downs. I like the way the menus all use the same bar and you can full screen an app by dragging it to the top of the screen. I don’t much care for the app selector and yes, it’s a pain to find our less than daily used programs. Even so, I’m keeping it for a while. You have to admit that out of the box, 11.04 is great for media with functioning flash built in. Instead of spitting on it, give it a spin and send your feedback to the designers.

  104. ActionParsnip

    FINALLY someone who says “Unity sucks” but suggests other DEs. So refreshing!!

    Install gnome-session-fallback and you’ll be fine, it even makes Oneiric look like Maverick. Also you may want to know that Gnome is NOT the only DE, install LXDE, KDE or XFCE and you will also be fine.

  105. Williebob

    Just wanted to say thanx. I appreciate the instructions you provided to switch back to the classic. It was relief to find such handy and easy to follow instructions. I have added them to my “How to do Ubuntu stuff” folder. Again Thanx

  106. Chris

    Unfortunately, this does not help users of the 11.04 live cd…we’re forced to use the horror that is Unity. Can’t select windows. Have to search just to bring up a termianl… If I wanted random unintuitive unusable changes to the UI that takes me hours to relearn basic actions, I would have stuck with Windows.

  107. fr33

    Why not simply change the dang Unity to Classic as they show us to do here πŸ™‚ That simple. Unity for crazy ppl and Classic for nice ppl :p

    I had it with Ubuntu, so I installed XUBUNTU, and I know it is Ubuntu with other GUI (XFCE), faster, lightweight and doesnt have the dang Unity as default or even as a choice lol. Put probably you can put it on, but that would be stupid! So no, thanks πŸ™‚

    I did the change cuz Ubuntu takes much space in disk even when you just installed, and I was doing some kernel compiling, to test some Custom System Calls and the motherF&#$ took long and then didnt had space >.<! So I used XUBUNTU, just to say UBUNTU smucks! lol as pretext… And use a 1TB (not the whole TB, but only 175GB), a partition ext4 with some GB on just for compiling in 4 jobs. It worked great, with no errors and pretty fast, I think 2 hours or so… well with 2 cores, is fast enough πŸ™‚

    Still Ubuntu is the core kernel, so works great when GNOME is not the GUI, or perhaps Unity is not present at all.


  108. tianwen

    fuck, Classic Gnome will always be what I choose 。。。

  109. klein

    The GNOME Project is a community that makes great software. GNOME is Free Software: all our work is free to use, modify and redistribute.

    so all we need is a smarter person than me to rip unity out and install gnome 2.3 or whatever gnome 11.04 was, i would through in a couple of bucks, i downloaded xubuntu it is nice but not the same also setting or should i say trying to setup samba sharing is starting to seem imposable.

    i have 10.04 running on an compaq p3 headless and i use x11vnc to connect to it, it runs 24/7 it sends out text messages to cell phones as reminders, wakes other computers up for updates, it will never run unity as will alot of other computers out there being used everyday running 10.04

    i have 11.04 running in classic ubuntu mode on a dell 2400 set up with wol, vnc , this is on a computer was built 10 maybe 12 years ago do you think unity is going to run on that nope

    gentlemen there have been forks in the Linux road before i’m thinking there should be a fork now!

  110. Graham M Whittenberg

    Scott the logout method worked very well to get to the classic view. Thanks for the tips. I am much happier now.

    There are a number of things that are missing, but I can live with it and I may find ways to get around the deficiencies.

  111. Xander Bilmonchuk

    Can I just suggest that the only rational explanation for how horrible Unity and Gnome 3 are is that Microsoft or other terrified proprietary competitors have planted moles on the dev team to destroy this once awesome interface and cause the slow death and abandonment of Ubuntu. Nothing less could explain this unspeakably horrible trainwreck of an “upgrade” to such a previously awesome system.

  112. fr33

    I just had it with UBUNTU and had to switch to XUBUNTU thanks to this UNITY 0_0! It is AWKUARD how this UNITY tear us apart instead of Unite us more(as the name suppose to imply…) Well it wasn”t just Unity, because you can simply switch from that thing to Classic, but still… I blame Unity! lol

  113. VaporTrace

    So finally I gave Unity, Gnome3, a try both and found that my productivity hit an all time low. “Alt+TAB+TAB+TAB+TAB+TAB+TAB+TAB+ what the was I doing again? ” has convinced me to plunkit to the toilet.
    GL, GLX, GLUT all good but compiz effects? Forget it on my machine. So how does one change the desktop count in Unity anyways? All my cool little panel alerts apps that jump up and say “multiping alert” “port probe alert” gone.
    So its time for me to say Good bye until someone comes up with a quick launch popup. No more wrestling with that stupid scrollie thingie trying to figure out at a glance what is a running app and what is a launcher.
    And where did my NoScript icon go in firefox? What a pain in the …..

  114. Fritz

    Huh. I never knew that with one easy OS install, I could turn a moderately expensive and powerful home computer into a clone of a $39 cell phone. Way to go, Ubuntu!

    Fear not, readers. With another easy OS install, you can turn it back into a powerful home computer – and, in fact, surpass the level you were at before. Ultimate Edition linux ROCKS! Thank you, Thee Mahn for (as usual) stomping out the bugs and issues in every version of Ubuntu that you grind up and turn into UE. Thank you, also, for being a true Gnome fan (and kind enough to include KDE and several other desktop environments in your odd-numbered releases for those who are not).

    I hope that everyone who is miffed at Mark Shuttleworth for snatching defeat from the jaws of defeat with the direction he is taking Ubuntu will visit ultimateedition.info and check out Ultimate Edition linux. It’s the linux that’s all grown up – and on steroids. And it’s all about choice. Expect a new version by the end of January (probably before the end of this month). Or enjoy one of the current ones including “Lite” and “Gamers” versions for both 32 and 64 bit systems.

    Irony: “This is no way to lead a project. This is a recipe for a project that loses great people to environments that are more open to different ways of seeing the world. Elementary. Unity.” -Mark Shuttleworth, earlier this year speaking out against the powers-that-be behind Gnome – just before he began his very successful campaign to drive users away from Ubuntu. I’ve read that some of them have even gone back to Windows, lol. That’s not necessary – just try UE.

    1. ActionParsnip

      Shame the community is microscopic compared to Ubuntus, and logging in by default as root and doing yourdaily tasks is massively foolhardy. Ultimate is based on Ubuntu so it would not take much effort to make it behave and look the same as under the hood they are the exact same OS. People only write on websites in a petulant childlike manner that they are moving back to Windows. It’s pretty pathetic but I bet 90% of them don’t and are just venting. The 10% that do, let them change, why does it affect you what OS people use…

  115. blackdevour

    Does anyone think it’s possible that someone involved in developing Ubuntu has actually read any of this?

    …I really hope so.

  116. Pioneer11X

    I have downloaded ubuntu 11.04 LTS 64 bit and when i have installed it along side windows,I don’t get unity interface i have tried the methods mentioned above to change from gnome to unity but all I get is gnome.. can some one please say how to do it. I have tried to download unity 2D from the software center(in case my graphic card doesn’t support unity 3D but I cant find it in software center. I have got unity interface when I installed 11.04 32 bit.

  117. Risto Ranta

    Since this damned Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity appeared, I have installed Ubuntu seven times. And all these installations from old 10.04 CD:s.
    There is so much to do in Linux environment and somebody thinks it appropriate to spend our time and resources with stupidities like Unity.

    1. fr33

      Well said mate! >:L
      The only posible way I see Unity as an UI in UBUNTU or any of their flavors is in a Tablets or TouchTablets devices, since is a crap to handle normal UI as PC has, well UNITY Being all pretty and “ACCESSIBLE” when you only have a touchsrceen with minimum size, that would be comprehensible πŸ™‚

      Until then I’ll keep using xUbuntu and my Win7 in mah pc they way suppose to be, with no UNITY at all πŸ™‚

      wE dOnT nEEd no uNITY!


  118. Maxei

    Linux is NOT for idiots, ignorants, lazy, unwilling to learn, uncurious. Developers: Are you becoming nuts? Just because Linux is used for few people, are you going to destroy the beauty of Linux functionality, the almost unlimited customization? Linux is NOT windows or MAC OS. Those idiots who dont want to learn stay away.

    1. dave

      don’t be so harsh on the ignorant Maxei, you know, my entire family is complete idiots when it comes to computers and it has taken time, but I’ve helped them all learn how to use the basics of GNU/Linux. Learning takes time. Also I don’t understand what some of you are talking about, ubuntu 10.04 coming with Unity? I’m running 10.04 and it does not have unity.

  119. robert

    I’ve installed Ubuntu on over 100 pcs from 8.04 to 10.10 versions. I have to say, 11.04 to 11.11 sucks! you can’t find the shut-off button (w/out spending 5 to 10 minutes searching for it). Control alt delete that would automatically get you to shut down the pc, You now have to Google where to find the shut off button. I am trying to sell Linux to customers, but with 11.04/11.11 I feel that they went backwards, and it’s a hard to sell against vista/win 7. 10.04/10.10 versions were perfect. This/ese new version(s) is a dramatic step backwards from 10.10. Ultimate edition 3.0 would have been the next step evolution to ubuntu 10.10, not the current version of 11.11 ubuntu.

    1. fr33

      Yeah, is a pain looking for stuff using the UNITY interface, I see that interface better off for tablets and smartphones, now that UBUNTU is thriving for that objective UNITY or a better version of it will have its place in the hand of mobile users on the go as it should be from the beginning…

      Cheers Scott! Over 9,000 comments! LOL

  120. Mistofeles

    Unity is maybe for mobile phones and tablets.
    Still: My desktop and laptops are not phones nor tablets !

    I have left Ubuntu 11.04 behind and installing Xubuntu and Lubuntu to my and my customers computers until we get rid of this Unity.

    Maybe there should be separated Uubuntu, Gubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Edubuntu, Officebuntu, Multimediabuntu, Playgroundbuntu, Kioskbuntu, Serverbuntu, CADbuntu, Classbuntu, Labbuntu, …
    If we go that way we will in a moment have zillion uncompatible versions of Ubuntu.
    I’d rather see that there should be one good core of Ubuntu and light upgrade packets to get the right functionality for each user.
    -” You don’t know me enough to decide for me what I need. “

  121. Maxei

    at Mistofeles:
    You forgot to mention iphonbuntu, ipadbuntu, idiotsbuntu, and lastly, androidbuntu, all using that vomiting-inducing “unity” stuf ;-(

  122. ullivilli

    Than you very much.
    didn’t get the new look and all the stuff was allways missing.

  123. yeppers

    My favorite Ubuntu version is Lucid Lynx, after that, they went down-hill. It’s true, Unity is a dramatic step backwards, gnome 3 is also a dramatic screw up, but what can one do? The developers screwed it up because they feel (somehow) this is the right thing to do, so you either go with it, stay with the old version forever, switch distributions or program your own. Really, none of the options are very friendly, I just wish they hadn’t made the choices they have. There is no way to reverse that now unfortunately. They have heard a lot of bad review but also a lot of support.

    There is nothing to be done it seems to change their minds. They’ve made something once beautiful turn to crap, and they love it, and expect everyone else to love it too.

  124. Mic

    This is awful.

    I cant even find preferences: Where is “Desktop Sharing”

    I can only f*ing find if I know its name! I should be able to browse the Preferences menu!

    This like what vista did to the control panel: Some shit is hyperlinked, some shit is icons. But only god knows where to find them!

    I just spent 5minutes trying to find the Applications menu!

    This is god dam awful, Canocal! Give it up!

  125. Mic

    And what happened to system settings anyway, that thing used to be a wealth of configuration, now all I can do is change my background??!

    What is goin on?!

  126. Mic

    Just install gnome classic, and logged into it.

    Log off shutdown button is missing

    What a complete f*ck up from what was a perfectly good product.

  127. Mic

    And now after reboot, and auto-logon, I have a blank screen with only a file menu.

    And since you guys turned off Alt-Ctrl-Backspace, I have no way of resseting the session.

    Whos idea was this? Surley a group of community members could not have come to such a disasterous desktop implementation?

    1. ActionParsnip

      You can use:
      unity –reset

      I suggest you install xfce4 then use that. It will look and feel like Gnome2. Gnome is not the ONLY desktop environment. You can make your life a lot easier by simply switching. Your Gnome apps will run just fine in XFCE…

  128. yereverluvinunclebert

    Unity has caused me to abandon Ubuntu for Linux Mint.

    Unity is a terrible interface for a desktop and I just can’t find any of the options that were previously available. It is all so hard to find and stuff is just hidden. It had to go.

    Unity would not let me set the desktop back to Gnome. I tried and tried. I am not a Linux techie but an experienced Windows developer with considerable understanding of operating systems, (Windows/VMS). I still could not get it to work for me except at ‘tele-tubbie’ level.

    I considered Ubuntu 10 which was usable with a ‘proper’ desktop interface. No pint if it is just going to be auto-upgraded to 11. Linux Mint does not have Unity. So, Ubuntu is abandonware as far as I am concerned or it will end up that way unless Unity is dumped.

  129. Lee Shipley

    I have now tried all the alternative interfaces and they all seem to do the job reasonably well. The simplest, and quickest, retrofit has got to be lubuntu and it is a part of the official Ubuntu stable. I ran into serious problems with Unity not just because of its changes to the layout but that it demanded too much of my aging primary computer. It turns out to be even slower than the cheap little Samsung NC110 netbook I picked up for a song recently. Dumping Unity in favour of Lubuntu gave me back my speed on my old desktop–Mint and most of the others did not. XCFE came second but I found the Thundar file manager lacked functions I needed.

    Lubuntu has all of the virtues of previous versions of Ubuntu without the current struggle over the Unity interface. I have faith that, in the longer term, the Unity interface with its powerful search and logging will prove to be a good option so I have no desire to upset the orderly update of the other parts of Ubuntu that I treasure. When Unity is sorted out and I do some hardware updates to my machine, it will be a simple matter for me to rejoin the mainstream

    Installation is simple by firing up the terminal and typing in

    sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop

    Lubuntu desktop will now be available as an option on the Ubuntu GDM login window(click the cog on the upper right of the box) as a different session. It will then be possible to check every now and again on the progress of the other interfaces you have installed. I wish someone had made that facility clear to me a year ago!

  130. Helen Neely

    Thanks for this nice tips. I have just checked my system but could not configure it as described in step 2 above. Will have to revert to the old version or try some other flavour of linux instead.

    Nice job BTW πŸ™‚

  131. bill domenico

    11 is a worthless piece of xxxx. If I wanted an ipad, I would have bought 1.
    11 makes vista look good

    1. ActionParsnip

      Ubuntu ’11’ doesn’t exist. There is Ubuntu 11.04 (Codenamed Natty) and Ubuntu 11.10 (Codenamed Oneiric). You are tarnishing an entire release based on the new Gnome desktop which is ignorant at best. You can use XFCE in Ubuntu 11.10 and it will STILL be Oneiric but you will be using something that looks like, and runs like Gnome2. As I have to tell the ill educated over and over and OVER;


      Try KDE. Try LXDE. You don’t have to use Unity.

  132. svegress

    Bill, no it is better than Vista but not better than Windows 7. Even then, based on the available benchmarks, Ubuntu is still faster.

  133. yereverluvinunclebert

    I still have Ubuntu now but in the shape of Linux Mint, no unity and it simply works. Wherever Unity goes I will start to go elsewhere.

    1. ActionParsnip

      Mint is only based on Ubuntu, the same way Ubuntu is based on Debian. You can use KDE or XFCE in Ubuntu and you will not get the Unity bar.
      Gnome is not the only desktop. You should explore this and educate yourself.
      Mint is not supported in any of the Ubuntu channels, it has its own IRC channel and forums so you have significantly reduced your support base.

  134. yereverluvinunclebert

    I did educate myself in that I already know Mint is based on Ubuntu and that is all I needed to know. I tried to keep Ubuntu and get rid of Unity but Unity kept getting in the way, in the end it would not let me. (see post above) I need an out-of-the box solution as my clients ask me to make occasional suggestions as to the most usable o/s for their needs. They tend to be even more naive than me so it needs to be simple and usable as it comes out-of-the-box. I have to be confident that the choice will be a good one for them and that I can help them navigate around it. Unity is actually an annoying interface. It is neither the useful GUI that you find on a iPad nor a friendly workstation-like environment to sit and work in. It falls between both stools. It was plain annoying to look at and annoying to use. There is no point in getting used to something that is going to change. Ubuntu overhauls the UI regularly, I shall just wait until you get it back in shape again. Re: support, almost all the solutions that apply to Ubuntu apply to Mint. Near enough the same thing.

    1. ActionParsnip

      Install Xubuntu 11.10 and it will still be Oneiric but not have Unity. Problem solved. Your Gnome apps will run equally as well in XFCE as The do in Gnome. No extra steps needed and Unity is not even an insyalled package. A little research would have shown you that. Instead of trying to remove Unity you could have installed a different desktop as there are LOTS of alternatives to Gnome not using Unity.

      RE Support, you won’t be supported in #ubuntu on irc.freenode.net nor in the Ubuntu questions section on Freenode either. You may find forums and duplicate the steps but as for asking your own question you will need to post in the Mint places.

  135. ubuntu 11.10

    Ubuntu 11.10 transform my 28 inch monitor into a huge ipad without touchscreen. I had to do a fresh install of 11.04 which gives me the option to use ubuntu classic mode (YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSs).
    NO I don’t want to use Xubuntu, Lubuntu, KDE,XFCE or anyother ! I just want to use my F* ubuntu with the gnome interface that works well and is more productive instead of this mental diarrhea that is called unit. I never see a distribution screw up that much their users. AND I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANY F* EXCUSE OR ALTERNATIVE so if you try to give one, don’t.

  136. Matt Welland

    Big changes can be painful and Unity has some growing up to do but on my small screen machines I love it. It took a while to get used to but now it is very productive for me and I couldn’t go back.

    On big screens though to be productive with Unity I have to make the following changes:

    1. Setup for focusl follows mouse: http://blog.bodhizazen.net/linux/gnome-3-focus-

    2. Move menus back to the windows: http://www.addictivetips.com/ubuntu-linux-tips/how-to-disable-global-menu-in-ubuntu-11-10-tip/

    3. Get normal scrollbars back: http://www.flynsarmy.com/2011/11/how-to-make-ubuntu-11-10-more-usable/ (look for “Remove overlay scrollbars”)

    Once I’ve made those changes I find Unity works very well on large monitors. The only other customisation I’d like would be access to the traditional program finding menus by right clicking on the background. I’m not sure if that is doable.

    Overall I’m of the opinion that Unity is a good move but the transition is very tough for a lot of people, it was tough for me.

  137. yereverluvinunclebert

    An o/s upgrade should never change the GUI. The GUI should be entirely optional and additional to the o/s. The Unity GUI should have been delivered as an option to plugin later or at initial install. Choice is the important thing.

    If Ford moved the steering wheel to the back seat of the car, faced it backward and gave you a TV to look through instead of a windscreen, do you think they’d sell many?

    I don’t need a tele-tubby style interface. I also don’t have the technical ability in linux to customise it to my requirements. I want to use Linux, not spend my time playing with it. When I’ve learnt an interface I do not expect to have to learn another when the core o/s has an upgrade.

    Upgrade and install interfaces separately. Keep it distinct from the o/s.

  138. xiaojianqiu

    i like gnome ,i don’t know why use unity
    sorry my english is so bad.
    it’s hard to me to learn english as most chinese.

  139. xiaojianqiu

    what linux you are using
    unbuntu studio
    linux mint
    or other

  140. Gillian

    I absolutely can’t thank you enough for this tweak. I hated Unity-it was exceedingly counter intuitive and very confusing and time consuming. I was almost tempted just to run it from a command line-if it wasn’t so hard to find Terminal!

  141. Chlapec z dediny

    Thansk a lot, Unity is not for me πŸ™

  142. error 1722

    Good Day I Am So Happy I Found Your Website, I
    Found You By Mistake, While I Was Searching On Aol For
    Something Else, Anyhow I Am Here Now And Would Just Like To Say Many Thanks For
    A Remarkable Post And An All Round Entertaining Blog
    I Don’t Have Time To Read It, All At The Moment But I Have BookMarked It
    And Also Added In Your RSS Feeds, So When I Have Time I Will Be Back To Read More,
    Please Do Keep Up The Fantastic Job.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.