No Unity Here. Enable Classic GNOME In Ubuntu 13.04

Fans of the classic GNOME Desktop can rejoice that it hasn’t been completely removed from Ubuntu 13.04. You can still enable the classic GNOME Desktop by installing gnome session fallback. Some folks out there are still not sold on the new Ubuntu Unity. They still love the classic desktop even if it’s over 20 years old. For others, that’s all they know. It’s easy to access applications, easy to setup and not too difficult to get around. All of these give these users the reasons to stay with the classic desktop.

This brief guide is going to show you how to enable it in Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail.

GNOME is a desktop environment that runs on top of Unix-like operating system. It original goal was to make a desktop environment made of entirely free and open source software. It was the default desktop environment for most Unix-like operating system, including Ubuntu.

Ubuntu has since changed to Unity and may not be the end of the story. Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu is also thinking of replacing Unity with something else.

To get started with enabling GNOME Classic, press Ctrl – Alt – T on your keyboard to open the terminal. When it opens, run the commands below to install gnome session fallback, a fallback to GNOME Desktop.

sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback




After installing the package, log out of your current desktop. On the logon screen, select the Ubuntu logo as shown below




Next, choose ‘GNOME Fallback’




Login and you should be greeted with your favorite desktop environment.




That’s it!

If you don’t want to install the fallback mode, you can install Classic Menu Indicator. It allows you to add GNOME Classic Menu to the top panel in Ubuntu. Read about it below.


11 thoughts on “No Unity Here. Enable Classic GNOME In Ubuntu 13.04”

  1. Thanks — though I didn’t stick around in Classic Gnome for long (hey, I almost like Unity now …), this process mysteriously fixed my Unity menu bar volume control. So, thanks!

  2. But with Gnome Classic (gnome-session-fallback) under 13.04, I now have a Nautilus without menu bar (no Files, Edit… menus in the Nautilus application window). I guess the menu bar is supposed to be part of some general Unity or Gnome 3 top bar, which is lost in Classic.

  3. First I genuinely love using Linux, however the new Unity has some serious flaws. Unity seems to be designed for people who have ten thumbs and are intimidated with too many details. I personally like the fact that the Classic Gnome allows me to reduce the huge size of the “Idiot-Cons” (yes “Idiot”) cute as they may look I outgrew “picture books” a long time ago shortly after learning how to read!
    It is nice to be able to reduce the sizes of the Idiot-cons and be able to show more data on the desktop than is possible with Unity. Another failing of Unity are the “4 Tabs” located in the lower right corner of the desktop. Good grief if you are going to use “Tabs” (no matter what you call them) why limit them to just 4? If I wanted to look at only one thing at a time I would get an Apple “Idiot Pad”. Finally Windows has what both Apple and Linux don’t have, the ability to connect up to seven definable, separate and independent displays using Sabrent, Diamond and other USB to VGA, DVI, HDMI interfaces. If Linux is to enter the Business and Entrainment fields this must be fixed! I really hate having to go back to windows to write very lucrative business and gaming multi-display programs. Thank you

  4. Thank you for sharing this info! I really like the Ubuntu operating system but can’t stand the unity desktop, it looks like it was drawn with a crayon by a five year old, and when you open something system related it takes up the whole darn desktop. I have been running Kubuntu but there are so many glitches in KDE, so many things that either don’t work or don’t work correctly that it is a royal pain. So now I can go back to a real desktop environment and still have the stability and great software provided by Ubuntu. Thanks so much!!! I am going to go download it and create my dvd right now!

  5. From what I’ve read you can also install Gnome 4.x on Ubuntu 13.10 (and probably 13.04, but you should not be running 13.04 anymore!)

    You have to install some PPA from Gnome and then just apt-get install. Would be neat to have those instructions shown nicely like you have the classic gnome here. 8-)

  6. Regardless how old the “icons on desktop” interface may be, it is still one that just works. Sort of like light switches and steering wheels; both are very old concepts that just work. New is not always (or even usually) better.

    Canonical made a grave mistake with Unity, much to the delight of the folks over at Linux Mint, who are seeing thousands download their Mate and Cinnamon versions and foregoing Unity altogether.

    I wanted to give Ubuntu another try; sadly, even if I install it, I still have to disable Unity. I prefer an OS that doesn’t require being disassembled in order to function :D

    I know Unity has its fans, much as does the Windows 8.x “UI”. I guess there is no accounting for taste.

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