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

Perhaps the solution to an old machine (underpowered, no 3D) is to switch to a lighter weight DE, like XFCE. That is what I did.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.