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Disable Unity on Ubuntu 11.04


ubuntu-logo-smQ. My netbook is really slow after upgrading to 11.04. Videos are choppy and the computer heats up a lot more. Is there any way to fix that?


A. One solution is to get a better netbook, with a better video card, but its not practical for most of us. A quick way to fix this is on the login screen, to select Ubuntu Classic Desktop. This should bring back the desktop you've had before the upgrade:

Update: Below is for Ubuntu 11.04 - here's how to disable Unity for Ubuntu 11.10



You have to select user first, but not enter the password, before this drop down shows up at the bottom of the screen

Keep in mind that this is only a temporay solution. Mark Shuttleworth has stated that the next version of Ubuntu (11.10) will most likely not ship with the Ubuntu Classic Desktop.

Update: Here's another method, if the one above doesn't work (thanks Michael!):

  1. Click on the power button in the upper right corner (mine looks like a light switch) and choose the last option, System Settings.
  2. Search for Login Screen
  3. Double-click to display
  4. Choose Unlock and enter your password
  5. Select Ubuntu Classic as default session.

Good luck!


Comments (18)
disable ubuntu unity
18 Saturday, 20 December 2014 01:33
disable ubuntu unity
i found best and working solution here..
17 Friday, 04 May 2012 07:58
Ken Ashton
I was an Ubuntu convert until forced to upgrade Ubuntu 11.10.
I don't normally ponder aesthetics too much, but Unity is pretty ugly, but more importantly, misses the mark and is not very intuitive.
Surely development time would be far better spent providing a decent 'Windows Explorer' style file manager, program/drive installation methods - emphasising appearance over functionality will start the rot for Ubuntu distributioringns, I'm already considering other distros.
Love it
16 Sunday, 25 March 2012 02:29
Love Unity 3D & Ubuntu 11.10 - Windows expatriot who is extremely pleased with it! You have an option to uninstall or not run it... isn't that the beauty of linux after all?
15 Sunday, 19 February 2012 11:01
It'd be nice if they'd offer a means of polling general users as to what sorts of changes could be useful in the up and coming distro. I do not think "Unity" would have been chosen.
The issues it (and other changes in the 11.x series) has caused in both mine and client's machines have left me searching for an alternative to Ubuntu entirely. I am left with systems that refuse to display videos, load wifi network drivers and many other problems. Some other *nix will likely get my vote from now on.
14 Sunday, 25 December 2011 19:35
Alex R
Unity should be stopped. It's ugly, not convenient, handy... It kills all advantages of Linux. I've been very disappointed when seen it ant spent time to get rid of it...
11.x & unity
13 Friday, 18 November 2011 16:21
Personally? 11.04+ should go back to the drawing board....

I (like others) have tried to FORCE MYSELF to use the new UI. Too buggy, too slow (6Gb RAM, 3Ghz Core2 Duo). Seems the creative side of the table got too much rope on this release.

Let's stick with something that works well - dump Unity & it's baggage. Back to what works...
Unity dumbing down & Masonic 33 in circle
12 Tuesday, 15 November 2011 02:09
Linda Thom.
I'm starting to believe Ubuntu has been taken over by the new world order.
The circle broken into three parts with three dots = 33. Many Ubuntu and Linux for that matter distributions have Luciferian symbolism if not names. Now i don't care what people believe but when the people are getting screwed, it's time to speak up.
Ubuntu User
11 Sunday, 13 November 2011 01:19
I prefer to use KDE version Kubuntu for netbooks. You will find that it's much better than unity.
I tried ubuntu 11.04 on my imac and was tragicly slow ! ...
10 Friday, 19 August 2011 17:29
I tried ubuntu 11.04 on my imac and was tragicly slow ! ...
launching applications takes too much time for it ! Come on i wanted to launch firefox not the cia database !!

After that apps were frozen (gray window) very often.
I can't download torrents because of that (tranmission was frozen!!! lol)

This is ridiculous i got the feeling that i have a 2000 old pc.
I have 8gbytes of ram and 3.0+ghz dual core intel cpu.
Ubuntu and maybe in general linux just sucks, dont loose your precious time with nonsense.
It doesn't have any professional apps =its ok for me
It hasn't very good hardware support (for some kind of hardware for example usb tvtuners)= It's ok for me

But being so slow without any reason no!
9 Wednesday, 03 August 2011 07:48
Everyone suffers silently with this one.
re: how to enable unity
8 Wednesday, 13 July 2011 06:30
You don't want to go back! Believe me, I've been there - nothing to see. :-)

Seriously though, which part doesn't work? The above steps just outline how to select a session - you're not uninstalling anything.
how to enable unity
7 Wednesday, 08 June 2011 19:40
e rod
I took the plunge and am good with it, had some issues and had to reinstall a couple of times, but it helps to get better at it. Anyway, i disabled unity, but now want to enable it and it does not seem to work when i reverse the steps to disable.
unity is a joke
6 Tuesday, 07 June 2011 14:40
you can't even get multiple terminal windows from the launcher. Why would something this unfinished even be released, let alone set as the default?
Speed up Unity
5 Friday, 27 May 2011 14:22
Steve B
I know lots of people are expressing their dislike of the new Unity desktop on 11.04. I made myself use it for a week and really started to like it. It was abysmally slow however - an issue I tracked down to something that happened to my Nvidia drivers when I upgraded. I reinstalled nvidia-common, rebooted, and Unity runs like a dream. And for those that still have problems with speed, there's always Unity 2D (sudo aptitude install unity-2d).

Still, it takes some getting used to, and not everyone is going to like it. For me though, its a welcome addition to my desktop.
4 Sunday, 01 May 2011 08:56
another solution:

Don't upgrade to 11.04. resist the impulse, especially if you've got an older computer running well on 10.04 or 10.10.

Won't hurt to wait at least two months after a new release.

Plus with everyone wanting to upgrade, servers are slow.

Also i dont think this release includes gnome3.

But this is a good post for those who have taken the plunge. thanks.

and for those who really want the newest stuff no matter what the cost, remember to back up your important files before you upgrade. Or your whole partition, in case you want to revert to the way you set up your computer before.

Helpful comment too, Michael.
Disabling Unity in System Settings
3 Saturday, 30 April 2011 10:00
My login screen doesn't give me the option to log in with a different mode or as a different user. But here's how I disabled Unity in System Settings:
2 Thursday, 28 April 2011 19:04
fairly simple
1 Saturday, 23 April 2011 10:40
Its not obvious, but those options appear only when you select a login user. Otherwise you only see the accessibility button.

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