How to Install Classic GNOME Flashback in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

2 min

A quick guide on how to install the good old Classic GNOME Flashback in the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

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

With the release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS which comes with the latest GNOME DE 3.36, it might sometimes be necessary to look at the alternatives which are less CPU, and memory intensive.

GNOME Flashback (Metacity) fills that gap.

Features of Classic GNOME Flashback

Here is a quick look at GNOME Flashback (Metacity), before you install it. (instruction at the end).

After installing the GNOME Flashback (Metacity), at the Ubuntu 20.04 login prompt, you can see the option of logging in to GNOME Flashback. Select it and provide your credentials and log in.

GNOME Classic Session
GNOME Classic Session

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

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

GNOME Classic Desktop in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
GNOME Classic Desktop in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

The bottom panel is available with the options of available windows, and workspace switchers.

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

Add to panel widgets
Add to panel widgets

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

Panel Context Menu
Panel Context Menu

If you want to give it a try, hereโ€™s how you can download it.

Download and Install Classic GNOME Flashback in Ubuntu 20.04

To download and install classic GNOME Flashback (metacity) in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, follow the below commands via terminal:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install gnome-session-flashback

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


Creator and author of Connect with me via Telegram, ๐• (Twitter), or send us an email.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments