The default desktop environment for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Unity. While Unity itself is great, some might prefer the old GNOME 2.8.x desktop environment.

In Natty Narwhal, GNOME 2 is installed by default. To login to GNOME 2 session instead of Unity, follow these steps;

Complementary video guide:

Boot to GDM

After booting your Ubuntu machine, you'll come to the GDM login screen.

Select login user

Select the user you wish to log in to.

Choose desktop environment

After selecting the user, the option to choose the desktop environment will be made available at the bottom of the login screen.

Choose Ubuntu Classic Desktop.


Click the Login button to log in.


You're now logged in to the classic Ubuntu desktop, a-la GNOME 2.x. Do note that there are some differences as compared to the default GNOME 2.x desktop.

Discuss the article:

Comment anonymously. Login not required.