Return to Gnome Classic in Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)

This brief tutorial shows you how to switch your Unity Desktop to classic Gnome Classic in Ubuntu 12.04. As you may well know, Ubuntu comes with Unity Desktop by default and fallback to Unity 2D if your graphic card isn’t capable of running the 3D version of Unity. Now, if Unity is not what you’re used to, you can still switch your desktop session to the classic Gnome Desktop easily by running just one command. And to do that, just continue below to learn how.


  • Install Gnome Classic Desktop in Ubuntu 12.04
  • Enjoy!

To get started, press Ctrl – Alt – T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the commands below to enable Gnome Classic.

sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback




Restart and on the logon screen, click the option to change your session.




Then choose Gnome Classic to logon.




Enjoy your classic desktop.




To add applications to the top panel, hold-down the Alt key and right-click on the panel.




That’s it! You shouldn’t always have to select Gnome Classic from the logon screen before logging in. Once you’ve select a desktop session, it will stay your session until you switches to another.

5 thoughts on “Return to Gnome Classic in Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)”

  1. Thanks — I like the Unity desktop just fine (which somewhat invalidates my hatred of win 8, I suppose, since I use Unity by hiding the app bar and using a mouse movement to display it) but it’s good to have the option of another desktop.

  2. Didn’t work for me. I get
    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    gnome-session-fallback : Depends: gnome-panel (>= 3.0) but it is not going to be installed
    libxml-libxml-perl : Depends: perlapi-5.10.0 but it is not installable
    Depends: libxml-sax-perl but it is not going to be installed
    E: Unmet dependencies. Try ‘apt-get -f install’ with no packages (or specify a solution).
    And if I then do
    sudo apt-get -f install
    all I get is
    /var/lib/dpkg/info/libxml-libxml-perl.prerm: 11: /var/lib/dpkg/info/libxml-libxml-perl.prerm: update-perl-sax-parsers: not found
    dpkg: error processing libxml-libxml-perl (–remove):
    subprocess installed pre-removal script returned error exit status 127
    Errors were encountered while processing: libxml-libxml-perl
    E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

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