I just did a Debian install on an old laptop, and I don't need Gnome shell on it. I did it with
apt-get remove gnome-shell, and it worked after I restarted.
However, later I did
apt-get autoremove, and I was a bit tired and didn't read any of the package names it listed - turned out it removed a whole bunch of important packages from my system, forcing me to re-install Debian from scratch.
Is there another way to disable Gnome shell as the default?
I tried the following command from the Debian wiki, but it didn't work:
$ gconftool -s /desktop/gnome/session/required_components/windowmanager \ -t string metacity