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I've Googled this extensively and can't seem to find an answer. Where can I find a plain vanilla version of Ubuntu (or anything related) that uses GNOME 2.x? It seems to me like the developers of Ubuntu have decided to make it as easy as possible for grandma to use the OS, but they keep making it harder for power users.

I don't mind if its an old version, but it needs to be a plain vanilla GNOME 2.x. I'm planning on forking it for internal use in my small software company.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could try Mate Desktop ( but the website is currently not available and its as far as i know, currently only available for Arch. But there is a blog post about installing it for ubuntu ->

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Is there any reason you can't just download 10.04? That was the last version to use GNOME2.

11.04 is the last version of Ubuntu to use Gnome 2.x (specifically, it comes with 2.32.1). 10.04 will most likely be the last LTS version of Ubuntu to have Gnome 2.x (we'll see next month when 12.04 LTS comes out)

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The problem with 10.04 is they've added all sorts of goofy modifications that make the os much worse than regular gnome. For example, if you remove the little mail icon it also removes the volume and time icons as well. – user114558 Mar 19 '12 at 14:50
Try here. They seem to have everything. – Yitzchak Mar 20 '12 at 13:41
@user114558: That's because you need to quit/terminate the applet, not remove the notification area. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Mar 26 '12 at 0:03

Have a look at Debian 6 (current stable release). It's GNOME desktop will have a lot of Debian-specific modifications, though nowhere near as heavy as those of Ubuntu. Another advantage is that the OS should be very familiar since it's what Ubuntu is based upon.

An alternative is RHEL (currently 6.2). I expect that it doesn't do extensive changes to GNOME upstream, so you may want to have a look either at that or at CentOS (essentially a gratis RHEL with branding and formal support stripped).

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