Ubuntu 11.10, Unity and Gnome 3

Heaven almighty. What has happened? Unity and Gnome 3 have been forced upon us. Luckily there is salvation.

I don’t know about you but after installing Ubuntu 11.10 I nearly had a heart attack. Hello Canonical! My massive wide screen display is NOT a tablet. It’s part of a work station. There is a reason I have a massive high resolution screen. It’s because I want to display as much stuff on one screen as possible. However, these days massive 512×512 pixel icons are all the rage. Time for some tweaking.

Out of the box Gnome 3 isn’t much better but luckily we can tweak Gnome 3 to be a slightly more pleasant experience. After a fresh Ubuntu 11.10 install (with Unity), open a terminal and run the following commands:

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sudo apt-get remove overlay-scrollbar liboverlay-scrollbar-0.2-0 liboverlay-scrollbar3-0.2-0
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sudo apt-get install synaptic gconf-editor gnome-tweak-tool

This will install Gnome 3. Now, reboot and on the log in screen make sure that you select a “Gnome” session. You do this by clicking on the little “cog” icon in the top right corner of the log in panel next to where you type your password.

Once you’re logged in you can now start to modify your fresh Gnome session. E.g. I always have my task bar at the bottom of the screen. To move it I ALT-Right clicked the panel at the bottom of the screen and deleted it. I then ALT-Right clicked the top panel and set it’s location to the bottom. By ALT-Right clicking the elements on the panel you can either Delete or Move them. E.g. you can Move the clock to the right hand side if the middle is a bit to prominent for you. Anyhow, you can customize the panel by adding more applets to it such as a Workspace switcher. Again, ALT-Right click the panel and select “Add to Panel”.

There are still a few bugs in Gnome 3, such as the prominent Nautilus menu at the top of the screen, but hopefully this will all be worked out in due time.

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