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tl;dr: Can I install gnome 3 on ubuntu 11.04 and not worry too much? Tutorials say installing gnome 3 results in an unstable system.

I am using ubuntu 11.04, and although I am quite ok with unity (not so terrible after all), I would like to install gnome 3 to see if it is any better.
All the tutorials I find (such as this or this) warn that "the system might get unstable". But I can't find what is that instability they are referring to. What does it mean? Does it simply mean some tasks are more complex (such as getting software in the main menu for example) or really unstable (such as surprise reboots)? Does this instability stems from the fact that G3 is not a final release or some compatibility problem between ubuntu and gnome3? Lastly, is it possible to simply purge the package and get a stable system again?

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I'm using Gnome 3 on Fedora and it's amazing. I don't think there would be much difference on Ubuntu. – tjameson Jun 26 '11 at 21:14
Ok after trying it for myself, I find that nautilus can be launched anymore. Everything else works fine. I have switched to thunar as a file manager for the time being. Everything else seems to be working fine. – Xananax Jun 27 '11 at 12:05
and I confirm that purging gnome3's ppa fixed everything (but I had to use ppa-purge, which is available in the repos) – Xananax Jun 27 '11 at 12:47
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm not an expert user, but I can tell you that the main instability I have experienced is that sometimes the system appears unable to log in, with a black screen and solitary mouse after the login screen. This happens once every three to five logins, so i classify it as instability. I have a triple boot with:

  • Windows 7
  • Fedora 15 (KDE)
  • Ubuntu studio 11.04

With Ubuntu Studio I use Unity and Gnome3 as desktop environments. My computer uses a sandy bridge motherboard and Nvidia Graphics Card

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From my own personal experience, I have run more than one Desktop Environment on Ubuntu and had no issues. I even once had Xfce, Gnome, and KDE on there. Since you can get Gnome from the Official Ubuntu repository, it should have no issue working on Ubuntu. They may also include extra files to make sure Gnome runs smoother on their distro.

In short: You should not see an issue. If there is one, you should be able to remove it using apt-get

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thank you for the clear answer. You both answered my question, but I decided to mark Davide's answer as correct because you have more rep – Xananax Jun 27 '11 at 2:17

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