With Ubuntu pushing Unity, what distribution would you recommend if I just want to run Gnome 3 with the new Gnome shell?

Personally, I'm interested in distributions which have the polish and support of Ubuntu, but feel free to recommend anything that makes it easy to run Gnome shell.


6 Answers 6


Fedora is an obvious choice. Frequent (6 month) releases, lots of community support, and on top of that its a pretty good operating system.

Fedora 15 with Gnome 3 releases later this month, but you can download the beta now.

Fedora Project


It seems like the debian guys are working on this.

And maybe you can have a look a Linux Mint (the one that is based on Debian that is).


OpenSUSE 11.4 is smooth and polished, and has great support and community. You can actually download a livedisk already running gnome 3 from http://www.gnome3.org/tryit.html, or you can just update/upgrade the default install.


Ubuntu minimal command line install from mini.iso and apt-get install gnome-shell gdm gnome-terminal (and firefox maybe).


Fedora 16 currently uses Gnome-Shell 3.2.1 and it's very well integrated.


The GNOME project recommends on their Getting GNOME page:

  • Fedora

    Fedora provides GNOME 3 straight out of the box - just install or try it live.

  • openSUSE

    GNOME 3 can be selected in the latest version of openSUSE.

  • Ubuntu GNOME

    […] try the official GNOME Ubuntu flavor.

It also notes that it can be installed in Arch Linux, Debian, and Ubuntu.

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