How To Enable "Fallback Mode" in Gnome3?

Gnome 3 brought many many changes in comparison with the, now "old" gnome 2+. But from another perspective nothing haven't really changed actually. Anyhow, one of the main differences between the Gnome3 or Shell and the old version is that, Gnome Shell needs your GPU to support hardware accelerations to deliver its "effects" and various GUI features.

Gnome2 in Gnome3 :P...

So, if your GPU or PC in general does not support or meet the requirements, then Gnome will fall back to a mode called "fallback-mode", which is basically a redesigned Gnome2+. In this mode, you won't be getting any of those new window based (or the desktop in general) controls or "effects". But, since it does not need a powerful GPU or hardware to render its environment, we can still get a "taste" of some of the Gnom3's new features without having to buy a new GPU with hardware accelerations.

Or, even if you have superior hardware but still would like the "old" Gnome desktop... then you can manually/forcefully "tell" Gnome to always run in the fallback mode.

To do that, first go to "Gnome Control Center" -> "System info" -> "Graphics" and choose Forced Fallback Mode to "ON". See the below screenshot.


Anonymous said...

But what if Force Fallback Switch (in Ubuntu 11.10) is missing? How can i turn Fallback mode on?

Gayan said...


Try the below command and the log-out and at the log-in screen (LightDM) you should see an entry for the Gnome-Fallback mode (named - "Gnome Classic").

sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

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