Install GNOME Flashback Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS


GNOME Flashback is a free open-source session for GNOME 3, which was initially called “GNOME Fallback” and shipped as a stand-alone session in Debian and Ubuntu. It provides a similar user experience to the GNOME 2 desktop but uses the newer GTK+ 3 toolkit and associated technologies. The project aims to keep the functionality of GNOME 2 available until all significant applications have been ported to GTK+ 3.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the GNOME Flashback desktop environment on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

Update Ubuntu System

Update your Ubuntu system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Install GNOME Flashback Desktop

Ubuntu features the flashback desktop in its default repository, making the installation quick and easy.

Begin the installation using the following command.

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sudo apt install gnome-session-flashback -y

The download overall is less than 100MB, so the overall install process should be swift.

Next, while you are on the terminal screen, log out and in using the following command.

sudo systemctl restart gdm

Login and First Look of GNOME Flashback Desktop

Once you have successfully logged out, you will return to the login screen.

DO NOT LOG IN STRAIGHT AWAY.

First, click the clog in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen and change the desktop environment to “GNOME Flashback.”

Example:

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Install GNOME Flashback Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Once done, log in to your desktop.

On the first view, this will remind users that have been using Linux/Ubuntu desktops some old school looks, overall the desktop is smooth and straightforward and may be a preferred option over the default GNOME look.

Example (Click to enlarge):

Install GNOME Flashback Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Oldschool lock screen, dig it?

See also  How to Install Flameshot on Ubuntu 22.10/22.04/20.04

Example (Click to enlarge):

Install GNOME Flashback Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Update/Upgrade GNOME Flashback Desktop

GNOME Flashback desktop will be automatically updated when you run the standard apt update/upgrade commands.

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Example:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Remove (Uninstall) GNOME Flashback Desktop

Removing the GNOME Flashback desktop is straightforward due to its light modification; begin by using the following command.

sudo apt autoremove gnome-session-flashback --purge -y

Next, restart your desktop session.

sudo systemctl restart gdm

Log in, and you will be back to the default GNOME Ubuntu desktop.

Comment and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to install GNOME Flashback Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

If you are looking for a more traditional user interface and do not want to switch to GNOME Shell, then GNOME Flashback is the session for you. It provides a similar user experience to GNOME 2, so you will feel right at home if used to that environment.

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