How to install Gnome3 on ubuntu 11.04 (Natty)/Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick)

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For GNOME 3, the GNOME Project has started from scratch and created a completely new, modern desktop designed for today's users and technologies.

Gnome 3 Features

Simply beautiful

GNOME's new desktop takes elegance to a new level. We've swept away the clutter and made a simple and easy-to-use desktop, and we've made this the most beautiful GNOME desktop ever, with a new visual theme, a refined new font and carefully crafted animations.

An overview at a glance

The activities view provides an easy way to access all your windows and applications. It is also a great way to keep track of all your activities. We have provided several fast and convenient ways to access the activities view, including the activities keyboard key (often known as the Windows key) and the activities hot corner.

Messaging built-in

Communication is an important part of the modern desktop, but it's a hassle when you have to switch windows to reply to a message. That's why GNOME 3 will let you continue your conversations without changing focus. The ability to enter a reply straight into messaging notifications makes instant messaging quick and effortless.

Distraction-free computing

GNOME 3 is designed to reduce distraction and interruption and to put you in control. Our new notifications system subtly presents messages and will save them until you are ready for them, and the GNOME 3 panel has been styled so that it is part of the background, not the foreground. These changes allow you to focus on your creative tasks.

Everything at your fingertips

With the new GNOME desktop, everything can be quickly accessed from the keyboard. Press the activities key and search: it's as simple as that. You'll love this feature if you're a user who likes things to happen fast.

Redesigned system settings

Our system settings have been completely redesigned for GNOME 3, making them easier to use than ever before. GNOME 3 also provides a new way to browse your settings, and our settings categories have been reorganised, making it quick and straightforward to find the setting that you want.

And much, much more

GNOME 3 is crammed full of new features. Here are some of the other things that you can look forward to from GNOME 3:

Side-by-side window tiling to make using several windows simple and easy
A redesigned file manager
Redesigned workspaces so you can easily organise your windows
Major changes under the hood to give you a faster, smoother experience
A satisfying experience, whatever kind of computer you use: GNOME 3 will feel right at home on netbooks as well as larger machines

Install Gnome3 on ubuntu 11.04

Open the terminal and run the following commands

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

For ubuntu 10.10 users

Open the terminal and run the following commands

Note:- This PPA works but it is outdated

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-desktop/gnome3-builds
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome3-session

After completing the installation Log out and back in, selecting the GNOME Session in GDM

Remove Gnome3 from ubuntu 11.04

Open the terminal and run the following commands

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3

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75 thoughts on “How to install Gnome3 on ubuntu 11.04 (Natty)/Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick)

  1. Nice tip, but before I try that I need to know: After uninstall the Gnome3 (if i don’t like it) I will get the Gnome 2 back?

  2. I installed it and everything went okay. But when I logged into the gnome-shell from the login manager, i just get a blue desktop screen

  3. you can use the ppa from 11.04:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

    it worked for me like charme

  4. Guys for Maveric use:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-desktop/ppa
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install gnome3-session

  5. It completely FUBARed my Natty 11.04 test system. I couldn’t log in into any kind of session. Had to reboot to recovery mode and then purge the whole thing as per the remove instructions. I suspect it does not play well with the proprietary Nvidia video drivers.

  6. I changed the PPA by editing the apt sources.list

    $ sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ubuntu-desktop-gnome3-builds-maverick.list

    and change maverick main


    deb maverick main

    At least I can apt-get update without problems but now get the following error

    W: Failed to fetch 404 Not Found

  7. I already have Ubuntu 11.04 Beta + Gnome 3, all 64 bits. I like it more than Unity, in fact, much more.
    I still don’t know if I should Update frequently, and if these updates will come from Ubuntu or the Gnome Project.
    If the update is from Ubuntu, will it damage the Gnome 3?

  8. I installed Gnome 3 in ubuntu 10.10. When I logged in with the Gnome 3, I cannot see any panels and I have no way to access any applications, etc. What can I do? Is there any way to get back to old desktop? Login does not give me the option to choose another desktop.

  9. Like Andrew Sam, my install went smoothly but then could not log in to a session – I just goet a gray desktop. Like Blitzko, was finally able to get to recovery mode and purge Gnome3. This was on an IBM T42.

  10. If thats what Gnome3 is then it absolutely terrible. I couldnt do hardly anything. Couldnt right click on anything or customise anything at all

  11. Not able to purge Gnome3. I get error message in the terminal “Warning: could not find package list for PPA: gnome3-team gnome3” Any other ideas?

  12. I have the same problem that Andrew Sam has. Install went fine but when I login, I get a blue desktop and a bunch of errors making it mostly unusable. Need to rollback the install tonight.

  13. Hi Bhaskar

    I’ve resolved my situation. Can you tell me if you have another DM to log in to your desktop? Access to terminal with Internet?

  14. But my windows look like windows 3.1. Some crap theme has got selected and I’m unable to change it

  15. Went ok for me. In synaptic I had to chose an earlier version for gnome-session-bin and remove gnome-themes-accessiblity before I could get gnome3-session to install.

  16. Hi Andrew,

    I think I will be able to go to terminal from Gnome Shell. Unity is broken but I remember seeing another DM called Ubuntu Classic. Is that Gnome 2?

    If you can let me know how you fixed the problem, I would really appreciate it. Not a big fan of Unity and I am trying to stay away from KDE.


  17. Well I’m using KDE 4.6 everyday in Kubuntu and KDE never felt better. in fact from kde 4.3, the user experience in KDE has been impressive. well it’s your choice 🙂

    now then. if you happen to hit the terminal, let me know what happens when you issue this command.

    gnome-shell –replace

    Let me If it shows the error regarding not found.

  18. I have nothing against KDE. In fact, I love it. It was very slow on the netbook on which I installed it and I had to, regrettably, give it up.

    I will let you know about the output after I get home and try out the command.

    Thanks, again.

  19. I am gathering that this is either a dangerous or breaking move from Mav… Is that correct? if not, what is the method we mavs use?

  20. Comment bump. Would like to know how to install this in maverick without dire consequences.

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