No Unity – Whatsoever!

On my development machine, a recent huge set of updates to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) stalled while trying to update grub. Rebooting the machine produced a message indicating that the display was running in low-resolution graphics mode, followed by the boot process simply hanging.

Now, since the previous LTS version (10.04 – Lucid Lynx) will soon no longer be supported, and my plan was to migrate my production machine to Precise, rather than trying to fix the problem, I decided to simply do a complete re-installation of the OS – just to make sure that I could eventually produce a viable system for my main computer.

I had previously downloaded an updated release of Precise (Version 12.04.2) and installed this on a multi-boot USB memory stick and so I used this to overwrite the disk partition holding Ubuntu. The installation seemed to go flawlessly; however, once this was completed and I restarted the machine, I was surprised to find no Unity interface in evidence. In fact, there was very little evidence of anything useful that could be accomplished, just a File-Edit-View menu at the top-left of the task bar, and a few icons, including the Settings cogwheel, on the right.

Now, readers of previous posts may be thinking that not having Unity available was no great loss. And, indeed, I have no wish to use Unity, preferring instead the Gnome Classic desktop through the installation of gnome-session-fallback. But, how was this to be achieved with no GUI?

It was possible to bring up a Terminal window (using the Ctrl-Alt-T keyboard shortcut), and I suppose I could have installed everything from the command line, but a little web surfing suggested that using the Ubuntu 2D logon option would provide a version of Unity.

Sure enough, this proved to be the case and soon I was able to load Terminal from the Dash home lens and follow my checklist of modifications to give Ubuntu 12.04 the look and feel of Version 10.04.

References:

My launcher disappeared
http://askubuntu.com/questions/67948/my-launcher-disappeared

Ubuntu wiki – Releases
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases

Time for more long-term support?
https://linuxnorth.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/time-for-more-long-term-support/

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