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Howto: Install Gnome Shell 3.x on Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)

I have been working for many years with the Gnome 2 shell now, but the recent positive reviews on Unity and Gnome 3 have also reached me. As I am not a huge fan of Unity for variety of reason (including its lay-out and lack of customization), I have decided to try out Gnome 3 within Ubuntu. Since Gnome 3 is finally ‘supported’ for Ubuntu, the method of upgrading Gnome has slightly changed. Using the second beta of Ubuntu I have written this small article so everyone install Gnome 3 within Ubuntu.

1. Out of the box, Ubuntu will boot into using the Unity shell. Although in some ways nice a nice shell, we are going to alter Ubuntu significantly. To start, use the key combination [Alt] + [F2] and type ‘gnome-terminal’. Now hit [Enter] to open a new terminal window.

Gnome Shell 3.x on Ubuntu 11.11 (step 1)

2. In your terminal window, type the command sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gnome-shell to update your repositories and install the latest version of the gnome shell. Once prompted whether you want to continue, you should type ‘Y’ followed by an [Enter] to continue with the installation.

Gnome Shell 3.x on Ubuntu 11.11 (step 2)

3. Once the installation is done you can close your terminal window. It looks like nothing has changed, but looks can be deceiving. To make use of the Gnome 3 shell you will have to log out first.

Gnome Shell 3.x on Ubuntu 11.11 (step 3)

4. You can now select the gnome shell before you log in again. Select it, enter your password and hit [Enter] to continue.

Gnome Shell 3.x on Ubuntu 11.11 (step 4)

5. You should now have your new gnome shell, ready for use! There are exciting opportunities to explore with this new shell. For example, you can change the look and feel of your desktop by following this tutorial. Have fun!

Gnome Shell 3.x on Ubuntu 11.11 (step 5)

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