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How to Switch from Unity to the Classic Interface in Ubuntu 11.4 ‘Natty Narwhal’

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Ubuntu LogoIn an effort to differentiate itself with a distinctive user experience, the next version of the popular Linux distro, Ubuntu 11.04, would use Unity as its default desktop and netbook interface instead of the classic GNOME. And now that Canonical have unveiled the beta of Ubuntu 11.4, Linux fans can take it for a real test spin.

The adoption of Unity in desktops may be the most significant change ever for Ubuntu but many users feel a bit of disappointment (at least in Unity’s inflexibility) rather than seeing great improvement in the new Ubuntu’s user interface. Obviously there’s much work remains to be done. Unity is not mature yet.

If you’re running Ubuntu 11.4 and don’t like to use Unity, you can switch back to the old classic GNOME interface by going to the logon screen. Here’s how you can choose between Unity and the classic user interface. It’s actually pretty simple:

  1. Go to your logon screen, select the user you want to log in as.
  2. At the bottom task bar you can choose between different modes. Select Ubuntu Classic.
  3. Log in as normal.

Ubuntu Unity

If you want to switch back to Unity, just repeat steps but instead select Ubuntu at the bottom task bar.


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10 thoughts on “How to Switch from Unity to the Classic Interface in Ubuntu 11.4 ‘Natty Narwhal’”

  1. Hey.
    what if in my logon screen i do not see these option at the bottom of the screen?

    these option aren’t there.. I only have the shutdown button…

        1. That’s weird. Can you give me a screenshot of your unity desktop?

          (If you’re using a Nvidia graphic card, make sure you update its driver.)

  2. If you want to switch back to Unity, just repeat steps but instead select Ubuntu at the bottom task bar. (If you’re using a Nvidia graphic card, make sure you update its driver.)

  3. >> well i follow all the steps, but not work, after sign my ubuntu desktop is the same!!!! help???

  4. Got to say i just got an 11.04 upgrade and unity is working damn well. A lot better then my first run. its working like linux should work .. very pleased

  5. solution does not work. No matter what I do, I’m stuck with the worthless utility interface. I can not get rid of the totally worthless interface. I need a machine I can run not one I need to hunt forever trying to find things. Reverting to an older version of ubuntu 10.04 until I can find a different distribution of linux that works for real people and not ipod dummies.

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