Ubuntu 11.10 was the first version to come without any classic desktop to choose from on login after a fresh install. In addition to that: even if you install the classic gnome desktop package, after logging in it doesn't look like classic gnome at all, and screenshots of this where the main reason for people sticking to 11.04 or even 10.10 for now. You might wonder about design changes being pushed through, even though there are a lot of people out there disliking them. But then again you have to remember what always was one big thing about Ubuntu: less discussion but pragmatically incorporating changes. Since changing the window buttons position Ubuntu seems to have moved more in the direction of being attractive for potential new users, while forgetting a bit about the active users. Besides that Ubuntu is still a great distribution and to help still enjoying it we at howtoeverything collected everything to do to upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 and still use the classc look you are used to. All this was tested and is being used on machines in a productive environment without any problems.
1. Installing the Classic Gnome Desktop and Classic Gnome Panel
In 11.10 you have to install the classic gnome desktop, you'll also need the gnome panel, so you can do both in one step:
- open up a terminal window (or use the hotkey CTRL+ALT+T) and copy/paste the following line
sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback gnome-panel
- logout and login again to see the effect
2. Getting back your Classic Gnome Panel
If you look a bit closer, you'd see that the only big thing that changed is the top panel, so rebuilding that one will be the main task. The biggest change you might not be used to is that you now have to hold the ALT key while right clicking on anything on the panels to get options like remove, move, new panel etc. The fastes way to rebuilding your top panel will be to start from scratch:
- Hold the ALT key and right click on a free spot on the top panel, choose "Delete This Panel"
- Hold ALT and rightclick on an empty spot on the remaining bottom panel and choose new panel.
- If the new panel didn't appear on the top hold ALT and rightclick on it and in the General tab choose "Top" as the "Orientation" setting. Close the window.
- You can allready add some of the items you'll need to the panel by holding ALT and rightclick on it and choose "Add To Panel". In this window you'd like to add "Menu Bar" and choose "Application Launcher" to create shortcuts from menu items on your panel. This can not be done anymore by rightlcicking on it in the menu. For adding plugins to your buttom panel, do the same thing, here you'd like to add "Show Desktop"
> All items on the panels can be moved by holding ALT and rightclicking on them and chose "Move".
3. Adding the missing items to the panel
The nicely evolved all in one messaging, network, sound control item is not part of the standard ubuntu installation anymore, you have to add a repository to be able to instal it.
- Open up a terminal window (or hit CTRL+ALT+T) and copy/paste the following line to add the software source you need (no worries, it's an ubuntu development source and safe)
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:jconti/gnome3
> by using this command and not doing it via adding it through the Ubuntu Software Center or other methods you might read elsewhere, you automatically also add an identification key from this software source, what makes future updates safe
- now install the missing indicator-applet by pasting the following line in a terminal and hit enter
sudo apt-get install indicator-applet-complete
After this you can add the applet "indicator-applet-complete" as described with e.g. the "Menu Bar" above.
Because the list of little things you still might want to change became longer and longer, and might expand even more in future, we decided to make an own article of it: