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.
My launcher disappeared
Ubuntu wiki – Releases
Time for more long-term support?