Install Gnome 3 Shell in Ubuntu Karmic Koala [How To]

The Gnome 3 desktop for Linux is planned to be released in early 2010. But you can experience it in Ubuntu Karmic Koala through Gnome 3 Shell. We will show, how you can try out all the features of Gnome 3 thorugh Gnome 3 Shell.

Here is a screenshot of Gnome 3 shell:

Gnome 3 Shell

Step by step instructions:

  1. Open a Terminal and run this command to install the Gnome Shell:
  2. sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

  3. After the installation is complete, you can start it by running the following command in the Terminal:
  4. gnome-shell --replace

  5. If your graphics is rendered by the Intel GPU and you are getting a blank screen after running the previous command, you can fix it by running this command in the Terminal:

Note: Gnome Shell is still in the development stage and there is always a possibility that if may break some parts of your Ubuntu installation. We do not take any responsibility for that, and request you to try it on your own risk.

[Image Credit]

  • Oops! I think I screwed up something somewhere. Any idea how do I go back to Gnome 2.28 layout?

    • Anurag Upadhaya

      Hi Shayon,
      It is most probably that you have an onboard Intel GPU and are getting a blank screen or visual settings look ugly.
      For the first case, you can try out the Step 3, as mentioned in the post.
      For any issues that is not still solved after following Step 3, you can reset your Gnome settings to default. Read about it here:

      But beware ! By resetting you will loose all your customizations and eye-candy, so do it at your own risk.

      • Thanks for the prompt reply. Shall try it out later. For now, trying out KDE 4.4 beta 2 :-)

  • Cool..let me try this stuff.. :P

  • A correction: Gnome 3 has been rescheduled for late 2010.

    • Ubuntuuser10

      Now it's been scheduled for early 2011 lol.

  • and now, it delayed (again) to september 2011