How to get GNOME Classic in Ubuntu 20.04

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to get GNOME classic mode in Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04.

GNOME classic provides a more traditional desktop experience to Linux users, including Ubuntu.

It is based on GNOME 3 technologies, and brings back traditional user interface, such as the Applications and Places menus on the top bar (gnome-panel), and a window list at the bottom of the screen.

To bring back the traditional GNOME feels to Ubuntu, its only takes a simple command, and this post shows you how to do that.

If you’re a student or new user looking for a Linux system to start with, the easiest place to start is Ubuntu Linux OS. It’s a great Linux operating system for beginners and folks looking for easier Linux distribution to use.

Ubuntu is an open source Linux operating systems that runs on desktops, laptops, server and other devices.

Getting started with enable GNOME classic mode in Ubuntu.

Install GNOME shell extension

To get GNOME classic in Ubuntu, simply open your terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on your keyboard.

When the terminal opens, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install gnome-shell-extensions

The installation should take a few seconds to get done.

Switching from GNOME to classic

After installing GNOME shell extension above, use the steps below to switch from GNOME to GNOME classic.

First save any open work in your current desktop session, and then log out by clicking the system menu on the right side of the top bar, and selecting Power Off / Log Out as shown in the image below:

A confirmation message will appear. Select Log Out to confirm.

Now that you’re logged off, at the login screen, select your name from the list or type your username if not found. Enter your password in the password entry box.

After that, click the options icon, which is displayed to the bottom right of the Sign In button, and select GNOME Classic.

Then press Enter.

That will get you into GNOME Classic.

Switching from GNOMOE Classic to GNOME

To get back to your previous desktop experience without GNMOE classic, simply do the reverse steps above.

Save your work if you have any open, then logout.

At the login screen, select GNOME from the login option at the bottom right screen and sign in.

That should get you back into Ubuntu default desktop experience.

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to install GNOME Classic desktop on Ubuntu. If you find any error above, please use the form below to report.

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1 Comment

  1. After upgrading to Ubuntu-20.04, I wanted to continue using Unity, rather than GNOME-3. Following instructions elsewhere to install `lightdm` along with Unity, lightdm was hanging on boot. Needed to figure out that at GDM3 login screen, I have to select my username *first*, then *after* that the session-chooser circle becomes available at bottom right – thanks for explaining that clearly.

    “If you find any error above, please use the form below to report.” – OK:
    GNOMOE -> GNOME
    GNMOE -> GNOME

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