Ubuntu – Are Ubuntu and Gnome drifting apart because of Unity


After upgrading my laptop to 11.10 from 11.04, Gnome was removed entirely, and the interface was Unity when I first logged in.

Unity underwhelms me entirely. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm sure some people like it. I just don't care enough about it's features to learn how to use it when I'm already so familiar with Gnome.

I installed Gnome, and I was given three session options at the log in screen. Gnome, Gnome Classic, and Gnome Classic (No Effects).

Gnome (without qualifications) simply does not work. I log in, and I have no menu bars, just a desktop. Right clicking on the screen does nothing. All I can do is press ctrl+alt+del and get out again.

Gnome Classic and Gnome Classic (No Effects) both work, but the appearance is a little messed up. The icons on the top panel have odd sizes and the colours of the panel and the icons don't quite match.

It's not a huge problem, but the whole experience is making me feel like Ubuntu is going entirely into Unity, and Gnome, if supported, will always be faltering for lack of official support.

Are the problems I'm seeing with Gnome symptomatic of Ubuntu's break from Gnome, or can I expect to solve this issues and work with Gnome/Ubuntu as I always have?

Best Answer

Gnome has not been removed from 11.10. Unity in 11.04 is based on Gnome2, and in 11.10, on Gnome3. The Gnome you are familiar with (aka Gnome2) is no longer supported by the Gnome Foundation - the decision that has nothing to do with Unity. If you want to try Gnome3's default shell, install the gnome-shell package.

If you wish to keep using Gnome2, your best shot is a distro that still supports it, such as Ubuntu 10.04 - 11.04, Scientific Linux, Debian, etc.