Monday, May 2, 2011

How to switch from the new Ubuntu 11.04 Unity Desktop to the classic GNOME Desktop

The newly released Ubuntu Linux 11.04 has a new default Unity Desktop interface, which brings different experience from the classic GNOME Desktop in all its previous releases which you are already familiar with.

If you dislike this new Unity Desktop for whatever reason, here is the easy way for you to revert back to the Ubuntu classic desktop.

When you are at the Ubuntu login screen, click on the user to login, and you will be able to see the taskbar at the bottom of the screen as shown below. One of the item on the taskbar is the session selector.


Change the session from the default "Ubuntu" to "Ubuntu Classic" and proceed with the login, your desktop will now changed from the new Unity Desktop to the traditional Ubuntu GNOME Desktop. You just need to apply this setting once, and it will be the default for all subsequence login.

If your Ubuntu is set to automatically login the default user, you can get to the login screen by logout the user.

6 comments:

Dud said... Reply To This Comment

Hi - thanks for the tip, but my login screen does not have the menu buttons at the bottom as you describe. My hardware isn't able to support Unity (warning message at first boot) - I get a lot of ghost and flickering windows. Is there another way to switch? Thx.

Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment

@Dud

The bar will appear after you select a user and before you key in the password for the user to login.

If your hardware doesn't support Unity, the system will automatically revert to the classic GNOME desktop.

You might need to adjust the display refresh rate to get rid of the ghost and flickering.

Dud said... Reply To This Comment

@Voyager8
Thanks Voyager - I just discovered that I was running standard Gnome when I tried out a fix suggested by another forum and got the exact same desktop envmt back! I didn't get the login menu bar until I logged in as normal, went to system preferences under the 'power' button (top right), selected 'ubuntu classic' in the 'login screen' menu item and rebooted under a slightly earlier setup (smaller number - can't remember all the numbers! - when the screen comes up during boot-up that asks how you want to boot (normal, safe, etc.)) Then I selected ubuntu classic at the login menu (as you say after entering my user name), put in my password and got a marginally improved screen but not much. Must be something other than the desktop version I'm thinking. How do I change the screen refresh rate? Pls bear with me - sometimes I can only read a window while I'm dragging it around - when I stop dragging it disappears!! BTW I'm using very old hardware. Thx.

Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment

@Dud

In Ubuntu Classic, drop down the "System" menu, select "Preferences" then "Monitors". There you can set the display resolution and refresh rate.

In Unity Desktop, click the "power" icon (should be the right most on the top bar, after the userid) and select "System Settings", go to Hardware section and select "Monitors" there.

Dud said... Reply To This Comment

@Voyager8

Thanks again. I tried changing the refresh rate. On my hardware, you can only do this by changing the resolution, so I changed to 800x600 to get an 85Hz refresh rate and selected to keep the configuration. However, it does not seem to be doing any better. When I downloaded the 11.04 upgrade it did lose the connection and have to re-connect some time later. Might that have affected it? Maybe I should just do a re-install or revert to Maverick Meerkat 10.10?

Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment

@Dud

Probably the display card driver is not installed correctly.

You can try install the driver in "Additional Drivers" section under System Settings.

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