Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Completely Uninstall Gnome-Shell and All Extensions

Ubuntu 15

In this article, we will walk you through the process of completely uninstalling the Gnome-Shell and all its extensions. This guide is intended for users who want to start afresh with their Gnome environment or switch to a different desktop environment.

Quick Answer

To completely uninstall Gnome-Shell and all its extensions, you can use the Terminal to remove the Gnome-Shell package and its dependent packages. Additionally, you can remove all Gnome-Shell extensions and the Gnome Tweak Tool if installed. However, please note that if you want to completely remove the Gnome desktop environment, including all programs and libraries, different commands will be required.

What is Gnome-Shell?

Gnome-Shell is the graphical shell of the Gnome desktop environment. It includes various features like switching between windows and launching applications. Extensions are small pieces of code that add functionality to the Gnome-Shell, such as adding a weather indicator, a system monitor, or customizing the user interface.

Uninstalling Gnome-Shell

To uninstall the Gnome-Shell, you will need to use the Terminal. The Terminal is a command-line interface that allows you to control your system.

Open the Terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or search for Terminal in your system’s application launcher.

Removing Gnome-Shell

To remove the Gnome-Shell and its dependent packages, use the following command:

sudo apt-get remove --auto-remove gnome-shell

Here’s a breakdown of the command:

  • sudo: This command gives you administrative privileges. You will be asked for your password.
  • apt-get: This is the package handling utility in Ubuntu. It allows you to add or remove software.
  • remove: This command removes the package.
  • --auto-remove: This option automatically removes the packages that were automatically installed to satisfy dependencies for gnome-shell and are now no longer needed.

Removing Gnome-Shell Extensions

To remove all the Gnome-Shell extensions, use the following command:

sudo apt-get remove gnome-shell-extensions-*

The * in the command acts as a wildcard, meaning it will match all packages starting with gnome-shell-extensions-.

Removing Gnome Tweak Tool

If you have the Gnome Tweak Tool installed, it’s a good idea to remove it as well. You can do this with the following command:

sudo apt-get remove gnome-tweak-tool

Conclusion

After running these commands, your system should be free of Gnome-Shell and all its extensions. You can now start fresh and reinstall the desired components one by one, or switch to a different desktop environment.

Please note that these commands only remove the Gnome-Shell and its extensions. If you want to completely remove the Gnome desktop environment, including all programs and libraries, you will need to use different commands. Always be careful when removing packages to avoid accidentally removing essential system packages.

Can I uninstall Gnome-Shell without affecting other desktop environments on my system?

Yes, uninstalling Gnome-Shell will only remove the Gnome desktop environment and its associated components. Other desktop environments, such as KDE or Xfce, will not be affected.

Will uninstalling Gnome-Shell remove all my personal files and settings?

No, uninstalling Gnome-Shell will not affect your personal files and settings. It only removes the Gnome desktop environment and its extensions. Your personal files and settings will remain intact.

Can I reinstall Gnome-Shell and its extensions after uninstalling them?

Yes, you can reinstall Gnome-Shell and its extensions after uninstalling them. Simply follow the installation instructions for Gnome-Shell and the desired extensions to reinstall them on your system.

Will uninstalling Gnome-Shell improve system performance?

Uninstalling Gnome-Shell may slightly improve system performance, especially if you switch to a lighter desktop environment. However, the impact on performance may vary depending on your system’s specifications and the specific desktop environment you choose to use.

Can I remove Gnome-Shell extensions individually instead of removing all of them at once?

Yes, you can remove Gnome-Shell extensions individually by using the package manager or extension management tool of your Linux distribution. Refer to the documentation or support resources for your specific distribution for instructions on removing individual extensions.

Will uninstalling Gnome-Shell remove all the applications installed in the Gnome desktop environment?

No, uninstalling Gnome-Shell will not remove the applications installed in the Gnome desktop environment. It only removes the desktop environment itself. The applications will still be available in your system and can be accessed from other desktop environments or the command line.

Can I switch to a different desktop environment without uninstalling Gnome-Shell?

Yes, you can switch to a different desktop environment without uninstalling Gnome-Shell. Most Linux distributions allow you to choose the desktop environment at the login screen. Simply select the desired desktop environment and log in to use it instead of Gnome-Shell.

Are there any alternative graphical shells or desktop environments I can use instead of Gnome-Shell?

Yes, there are several alternative graphical shells and desktop environments available for Linux. Some popular options include KDE Plasma, Xfce, LXQt, Cinnamon, and Mate. You can explore these options and choose the one that best suits your preferences and needs.

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