A Quick guide on how to install the good ol’ GNOME Flashback in latest Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

GNOME Flashback is a lightweight version of GNOME 3 shell which uses the layout and underlying technology of GNOME 2. It is faster and less CPU intensive and do not use any 3D acceleration which makes it a perfect for older hardware, old PCs.

With the release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS which comes with the latest GNOME DE, it might sometimes necessary to look at the alternatives which is less CPU, memory intensive.

GNOME Flashback (metacity) fills that gap.


Here is a quick look at GNOME Flashback (Metacity):

After installing the GNOME Flashback (Metacity), at the Ubuntu 18.04 login prompt, you can see the option of logging in to GNOME Flashback. Select it and provide your credentials and login.

When you first login in to GNOME Flashback Metacity, you would be greeted with a nice and clean interface with old application menu categorized with items.

GNOME Flashback on Bionic Beaver
GNOME Flashback on Bionic Beaver

At the top left, the application menu is available. System notifications, icons is available at the top right section of the top panel.

Bottom panel is available with the options of available windows, workspace switchers.

There are lots of utility applets available which you can add to panel for quick access of the applications/functionalities.

The panels also can be modified with options such as auto hide, size modifications, background colors etc. Pressing ALT+Right click on the panel opens up the context menu for properties dialog.

If you want to give it a try, here’s how you can download.

Download and Install

To download and install classic GNOME Flashback (metacity) in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, follow below commands via terminal:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install gnome-session-flashback

After installation, reboot. In the login prompt, choose GNOME Flashback (Metacity).

Drop a comment using comment box below if you like Classic GNOME or having trouble installing using.

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