How to install GNOME on Ubuntu

I’ve been using Ubuntu as my primary operating system for a couple of years now, but choose to support the default Unity shell which has recently been announced to be ending.

This guide documents the simple steps I’ve taken to install GNOME without reinstalling Ubuntu.

To install GNOME itself:

sudo apt install gnome gnome-shell

During the installation, it will ask a couple of questions. I recommend selecting the default answers.

To customise mine:

Following the installation above, you will need to Log Out, or reboot, and select “GNOME” from the list of available shells on the login screen.

I then add extensions by visiting the GNOME extensions site below (you maybe asked to install a browser extension to enable the page to integration with the shell).
https://extensions.gnome.org/

I recommend installing and enabling:

Activities Configurator by nls1729
https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/358/activities-configurator/

AlternateTab by fmuellner
https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/15/alternatetab/

Applications Menu by fmuellner
https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/6/applications-menu/

Dash to Dock by michele_g
https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/307/dash-to-dock/

Freon by UshakovVasilii
https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/841/freon/

Places Status Indicator by fmuellner
https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/8/places-status-indicator/

Tweaking extensions:

I make the following tweaks, to make the extensions provide the look and feel I’m after.

Using the Tweak Tool application, then selecting “Extensions”, I choose the cog icon to edit extensions as appropriate:

Activities Configurator
Hide icon = ON
Set Panel Background = Choose a dark grey
Panel Transparency = 50

Dash to Dock
Position on screen = Bottom
Appearance->Opacity = ON – 30%

Themes:

I prefer to use the themes below. Download them:
sudo apt-get install numix-gtk-theme numix-icon-theme

Then use the Tweak Tool to select (in Appearance tab):
GTK+ = Numix
Icons = Numix
Cursor = Adwaita

Done. What do you think?

James

I'm passionate about technology, and particularly helping people make the most of it. I've spent the last 30 years helping others make the most of technology. My career started in IBM, and I've since moved into smaller business environments, to find those that have the biggest steps to take. My skills range from user based technology, through business systems (applications) to infrastructure. I also have a long background in IT security. I focus on what I consider to be "productivity technology", i.e. adding genuine value to peoples lives. I'm not a big gamer, or hold much interest in the disposable consumer technologies. During the day, you'll find me consulting with businesses or heading up an IT department. At the weekend, you'll find me sat at my Linux desktop PC, writing PHP or Python code, or trying to help others on Twitter, this blog, or my YouTube channel: Artexic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.