Changing from 'unity desktop' to 'Classic view' ? [SOLVED]

Just installed Ubuntu (18) having run LinuxLite prev. Not doing badly with the default desktop, but would like to have a look at “classic view”. So how do I swap ? TIA.

You can install Classic View in addition to the Unity Desktop, so you will always have the choice of which to use.

  1. Start a Terminal Session (Ctrl+Alt+T) and to install Classic View enter:
sudo apt-get install gnome-session-flashback
  1. If your system is set up for automatic log-in (so you don’t enter your password), then change that behaviour in System-Settings/User-accounts so that automatic log-in is disabled.
  2. Re-boot the computer but don’t enter your password yet.
  3. At the log-in screen you will see a symbol like a footprint in a circle just to the right of your username (in Ubuntu 16. U18 might be different). Click on it.
  4. In the menu that appears click on “GNOME Flashback (Metacity)”
  5. Enter your password as usual.

The Classic screen is much less cluttered than the Unity Desktop. You will see “Applications” and “Places” at the top left-hand corner. “Places” gets you to the File Manager. “Applications” is self-explanatory.
At the top right of the screen you will see, amongst other things, a gear wheel icon. You click on that to get to System Settings quicker than via the Applications menu, and to the shut-down controls.
The icon that looks like a wedge of cheese or a windscreen-wiper is the wireless connection symbol, and there will be Bluetooth and battery symbols, too. Ubuntu 18 might be slightly different in appearance from U16 that I use, but I’m sure you will sort it out as the differences will be minor.
The top bar is very configurable. You can add quick links to favourite applications such as Firefox and Thunderbird and a very visible “Stop” button, for example

I hope you find this Desktop useful and our readers would appreciate your views.

At last got round to doing this.
For U18 users re-boot goes like this:
User log in/select screen - select as usual.
Password screen - the icon to look for is a small cogwheel type thing, immediately to the left of the sign in “button”.

Initial thoughts are favourable. It IS much less cluttered. This still has a familiar feel to it but is not so windowsy as Linuxlite (which was designed - allegedly - to be friendly to people moving away from windows).

I’ve not yet figured how to put short cuts onto the desktop (or the top bar) but I can search for that. I have a feeling this will be my default desktop. (surprise.)

Keith - what’s the “Stop” button & what does it stop?

I’m please that you like the Classic View.

To add a (e.g. Firefox) short-cut icon to the top bar:
Navigate to Firefox in Applications/Internet/Firefox but instead of clicking on it, click-and-drag it up to the top bar to the right of “Places”. A Firefox icon will appear there that you can click on to start Firefox.

The Stop button
is an icon you can add to the top bar to shut down your computer gracefully. To add it, Alt+right-click somewhere on the top bar to the left of all the right-hand-side icons. In the menu that appears select Add to panel, scroll down to power off and select it. Exit the menu and you will find the icon in the top bar. One can move icons around, too.


Stop/off button has been added as it’s useful. Others to follow.
Thanks yet again for your help. :slight_smile:

You’re most welcome.

Please mark the topic as Solved. Thank you.


Just doesn’t enter my head ::slight_smile: