Install Gnome3 on Ubuntu 11.04 Natty (impressions)

I decided to take a leap of faith and install Gnome3 and gnome-shell on my Ubuntu box.

First the installation:

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

Some fixes after restart:

$ sudo apt-get purge unity scrollbar* gnome-accessibility-themes
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-themes-standard

Extra installs:

$ sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool dconf-tools gnome-shell-extensions-common gnome-shell-extensions-user-theme

Edit startup applications (the shortcut is missing from the applications list):

$ gnome-session-properties

If you want to revert everything:

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

Nice features I discovered so far:

  • the interface overall (nautilus looks great)
  • the quick access to applications using the Super key (this made me remove Gnome Do)
  • Alt+Tab separates applications from different workspaces, groups instances of the same application
  • dynamic workspace adding depending on your open applications
  • on dual monitor setup the second monitor does not flip over when switching workspaces (this behavior is configurable)


  • a little slower than expected
  • crashes sometimes (not very often though)
  • a bug with menus inside maximized applications that use JDK (bug #777425)

On the way I stumbled upon a great Ubuntu resource site:

I found some nice gnome-shell related articles there: