Disabling the Unity Desktop
In the current release of Ubuntu (11.04), Canonical have included a facility to disable Unity and revert to the "classic" Gnome desktop. For those of us used to previous versions of Ubuntu, the temptation is to do just that but, as Ubuntu is rumoured to be removing this option in not too distant future releases, it may be better to invest the time in retraining sooner rather than later (-especially as any new documentation is likely to refer to the Unity setup rather than to Gnome directly).
.. Ubuntu is rumoured to be removing [the] option [to disable Unity] in not too distant future releases, [therefore] it may be better to invest the time in retraining sooner rather than later..
If you do decide to turn off Unity, there are two basic ways to do it:
You can choose to disable Unity for the current session only at login time by choosing the "Ubuntu Classic" option from the drop down menu at the bottom of the screen at logon time (-i.e. before you type in your password):
You can choose to disable Unity by default for a given user by doing the following:
Click on the power icon ()
From the menu that displays, click on "System Settings":
A window will open showing all the System Settings, click on "Login Screen":
A dialogue box will display showing the login options however they will all be greyed out. This is because only an administrator is allowed to change the settings. Click on the "Unlock" button at the bottom of the dialogue box:
Enter the administrator password when prompted and click the "Authenticate" button
The login options show now be enabled. Select the drop down box for the "Select X as default session" field:
Choose the "Ubuntu Classic" option:
If you have lingered a while in the dialogue box, you may have to re-enter the administrator password and click the "Authenticate" button in order to continue
Click the "Close" button to end the dialogue and then log out and back in: you should see the standard Gnome Desktop display instead of Unity
Note: it will take several seconds for Ubuntu to logon to your user for the first time following a change of desktop configuration: this is a one-time set up and future logons should be much quicker