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I just saw UI of GNome 3.8 and it is awesome. I want to have it, but I don't want to disturb my current setup of ubuntu 12.04. Please tell me if I can install GNOME 3.8 UI on my ubuntu 12.04 without disturbing my current OS and how?

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migrated from Apr 29 '13 at 10:26

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Give a try to – Chris-Top Apr 10 '13 at 12:29
up vote 2 down vote accepted


The way repositories are added and used on Ubuntu, is the main reason why I believe this distribution is the easiest and fastest way to give GS 3.8 a try. You basically need to add two more repos, or three if you are adventurous!

The first repository is the Gnome 3 Team repo that contains all things missing from Ubuntu’s default repositories. You should add this one before the other two and run the usual update on your system. You can do this by typing the following commands on a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Then you need to add the Ricotz testing repository that contains cutting edge git versions for the shell, gtk, glib, clutter and many Gnome applications and utilities.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

If you want to get some more latest Gnome components and risk the stability of the system even further, then you can use the Ricotz staging repository that can be correctly used only if you added the previous two.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/staging
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

After upgrading, you will have the latest available Gnome Shell version with many applications and utilities of the corresponding version. Note that some will still stay in 3.6.x version at least for now.

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You must run this as sudo:

# add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3 && apt-get -f update
# apt-get -f install gdm gnome-shell gnome-tweak-tool

You will be asked to configure the display manager and you must choose gdm (however there is no need to uninstall lightdm, I still use it because I'm running plymouth).

Once you restart, you will see the gdm login screen, and there you can choose gnome instead of unity. This also means that you can leave that desktop environment, so you can switch to it whenever you want.

Then you will be under gnome3 desktop environment, which is quite raw, so I recommend you to install some useful extensions to improve gnome3 behavior →

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Gnome3-team PPA for 12.04 only gives you Gnome 3.4. – ptomato Apr 5 '13 at 11:10

I believe you can always go back to unity on login screen as well as uninstall installed packages.

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