Ubuntu – Difference between gnome-shell & ubuntu-gnome-desktop


I am running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (32-bit). Now I want to install Gnome Desktop Environment (without removing unity). I know I can install by following command:

  1. sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

  2. sudo apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop

But I don't know exact difference between them. (may be i've misunderstanding with them)

So, What is difference between installing Gnome by gnome-shell and ubuntu-gnome-desktop?

And Which should I use to install Gnome Desktop Environment?

Best Answer

ubuntu-gnome-desktop will install a full GNOME desktop environment (including gnome-shell), along with a few standard applications and optimizations for Ubuntu.

gnome-shell will only install the GNOME shell, and its dependencies. In contrast to ubuntu-gnome-desktop, it won't install the package gnome-session (among others) automatically, which you need to actually use the GNOME desktop.

So, to get the desktop environment, you should install ubuntu-gnome-desktop.

Following will cleraly show that ubuntu-gnome-desktop depends on gnome-shell so it includes the package gnome-shell:

$ apt-cache depends ubuntu-gnome-desktop | grep gnome-shell
  Depends: gnome-shell
  Depends: gnome-shell-extensions