Howto install gnome-shell on Natty Narwhal 11.04

There are two ways to install gnome-shell on Natty. First is to use jhbuild to compile from source and second is to install binary package. In this tutorial, I will show you how to do so with the second method.

Natty repository ships gnome-shell package but this gnome-shell is outdated and is not even working because it’s not compiled with gtk3. So I go for ritcoz’s version. Some people said ritcoz’s gnome-shell no longer works and he discontinued the project but I find it quite not true. In fact, ritcoz still works on it right now. Now I opt for the official gnome3-team PPA. If you happened to use ritcoz, please remove that ppa and all of its packages and replace it with gnome3-team PPA instead.

Now first you need to have Ubuntu Natty beta installed on your machine, and then adding ritcoz’s PPA official GNOME3 PPA:

sudo deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/ricotz/staging/ubuntu natty main
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnome3-team/gnome3/ubuntu natty main 
sudo apt-get update

next we install gnome-shell and its dependencies:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

and we can start using gnome-shell:

gnome-shell --replace

if gnome-shell works well, you can have it started up by default by changing the /desktop/gnome/session/required_components/windowmanager key from metacity to gnome-shell with gconf-editor. But I prefer gnome3-session, this gnome-session variant will do all that tedious job for you. You need to remove gnome-session before install gnome3-session:

sudo apt-get remove gnome-session-*
sudo apt-get install gnome3-session

then log out, once you are at GDM, choose your Session GNOME3 and give it a try if it works. If it does, we could remove all GNOME2 stuff like gnome-panel

sudo apt-get remove gnome-panel* gnome-applets*

There are more libs and packages to be deprecated, I will try to update this post with more unused GNOME2 packages as I could. Feel free to subscribe to this post and let me know your experience with gnome-shell.

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About Jones Lee

Nothing much about me..

12 responses to “Howto install gnome-shell on Natty Narwhal 11.04

  1. Pingback: Como instalar Gnome Shell en Natty Narwhal 11.04 « Ubuntu Life

  2. Pingback: ¿Cómo instalar GNOME Shell en Ubuntu 11.04?

  3. Gorex

    It works like crap lol. I did exactly what you said here.

    I am using the latest version of Ubuntu 11.04.

    And when I ran gnome-shell –replace… the hell broke loose. :))

    Brb w/ more details. 🙂

  4. Jason Matsoukas

    Works great, thank you.
    Can we do anything to change the theme? It kinda sucks bigtime? Feels like 1995 😛

    • Jones Lee

      there is only one default theme right now and there is no control panel pref to change theme.

      • dacres

        im sure that there is only one theme but i doubt its the one that me or him are looking at. you’ve seen the screenshots, does that look like 95? Raleigh is the Gtk+ theme and User Theme Extentioin is not enabled according to the tweek tool.

  5. Jason Matsoukas

    second post, sorry… subscribing to page 🙂

  6. dacres

    I found what my conflict was, but im not sure what I did. there is still a bit of fiddeling a bit to do with gnome3-session which doesn’t install via synaptic but gnome-session-bin does.

    • Jones Lee

      Just remove gnome3-session, and just 3hrs ago, the new gnome-session from Gnome3 PPA does all the hard job for you. Give it a try

  7. Tried it, but the system broke 😦 Fortunately I dropped to a recovery shell and managed to remove Gnome3 with ppa-purge (instructions here). That got me back to Unity without a problem.

  8. Pingback: Install GNOME 3 on Ubuntu Natty (10.04) » NowhereLAN

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