Looking at this answer, it says the recommended method of installing Gnome Shell is installing Ubuntu Gnome (added a while ago in this edit, the 'recommended' bit seems to have been added in this edit )

This is silly, as if you already have Ubuntu installed, why do you need a new and/or separate Ubuntu install just for a desktop? I have Gnome 3, Unity, Xfce and LXDE on one Ubuntu install and it works fine (occasional silliness with screensavers, but easy enough to rectify)

This may be part of the cause of confusion in this question, unless it is recommended elsewhere.

Also, wouldn't it be better to just install ubuntu-gnome-desktop?


Basically, should I edit it to say 'run apt-get install gnome-shell or look at this question' as the best way to install (I think it is if an install already exists, downloading another thing and installing that over it would be weird), or is it right to leave it as what it vaguely says which is 'reinstall to this instead' (a few other edits could be done anyway)

(or look at this question's title)


1 Answer 1


You certainly can install other desktop environments over the top of Ubuntu but some issues arise when you do:

  • Duplicate core applications
  • Sometimes claggy start-ups (again, from duplicate system utilities)
  • A lack of stock default settings

These are fixable problems but they're not always simple. autoremove isn't as capable as I'd like and you end up with people using guides like this and nuking their whole desktop (I personally saw that last week).

Whereas when you use a LiveCD of Gnomebuntu (what is the name?) Kubuntu or whatever, you're getting it as it was designed to be consumed. That's often a useful thing if you're new to a desktop environment and you're shopping around to see how good it is. You want the defaults and not the clag.

  • Ubuntu-Gnome-Desktop or something - So what would I put as the best way to put to install it - because I think re-installing just for a desktop that could added with one command is silly... I could edit and add in the advantages/disadvantages...
    – Wilf
    Jun 11, 2014 at 19:27
  • I'm just going to start calling it "Gnubuntu". (the offical seems to just be Ubuntu GNOME {with all caps ~})
    – Mateo
    Jun 11, 2014 at 19:29
  • I consider "trying out another desktop" and "migrating to another desktop" two dramatically different things. I think if you're shopping around (like the question you mentioned is about), I'd favour just playing with them in a LiveCD or through virtualisation. The question would probably be the place to sell that idea.
    – Oli Mod
    Jun 11, 2014 at 19:31
  • But yeah, if you're moving desktop to one you know you want to stay on, (as the one Jorge mentioned is) give instructions for just installing the packages and helping people clean up debris.
    – Oli Mod
    Jun 11, 2014 at 19:32
  • Still puzzled, as installing it with apt-get works fine. I have done a small edit, hope its OK
    – Wilf
    Jun 11, 2014 at 19:38

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