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Ditch Unity and restore Gnome in Ubuntu

Do you like the new Unity desktop that comes with the latest version of Ubuntu Linux? Personally, I dislike it, a lot and it really bugs me. I was about to ditch Ubuntu and switch to Mint, which is apparently what some other disatisfied Ubuntu users are doing, when I discovered the desktop options on the login screen. They are easy to miss because your attention is focused on entering your password.

It is actually quite easy to select an alternative desktop and thankfully good old Gnome is still there. I don't know how long for, but if Ubuntu ditches it completely I'll defintely switch. In the meantime setting the Gnome desktop as the default gets rid of most of Unity's irritations and restores some sanity. If you're like me you'll find it a relief to get back to normality.

When you get to the login screen the only options available are an accessibility pop-up menu and a suspend/restart/shut down pop-up menu. Click the icons at the bottom for these.

Ubuntu desktopClick your account name, but do nothing else. Normally you would type your password and hit Enter to log on, but clicking your name displays several new menus at the bottom of the screen that you may have missed in your eagerness to get to the desktop.

Click the Session pop-up menu on the right and select Ubuntu Classic. This is the Gnome desktop. It's not the latest one, but it's the one most people are familiar with - v2.32. Now type your password and log in.

Ubuntu desktopUbuntu should remember your choice of desktop and the next time you log on it should automatically select the classic (Gnome) desktop.

If it doesn't though, click the power button at the right side of the top panel and select System Settings.

Click Login Screen and click Unlock so you can make changes. Set the default session to Ubuntu Classic. That should make the setting stick.