How To Enable GNOME Classic Mode in Fedora / CentOS / RHEL Linux

GNOME 3.8 introduces the classic mode:

Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions.

Fedora 19 shipped with GNOME 3.8 but it does not come standard with Fedora. CentOS / RHEL 7 also ship GNOME 3.22 with the static mode package available. This tutorial introduces how to enable and use GNOME classic mode.

Install the gnome-classic-session package

The needed package gnome-classic-session is not installed by default. Let’s install it using yum:

# yum install gnome-classic-session

Use the classic mode of GNOME

Select the “classic mode” for the “Session…” in the login manager and GNOME will start in the classic mode.

Screenshots of GNOME classic mode in Fedora 19

2 screenshots of GNOME in the classic mode in Fedora 19.

Eric Ma

Eric is a systems guy. Eric is interested in building high-performance and scalable distributed systems and related technologies. The views or opinions expressed here are solely Eric's own and do not necessarily represent those of any third parties.


    1. gdm should remember the last choice by default. If you don’t make another choice later, it may works like “permanently”. But for how to make it permanently the default, I don’t know any way..

  1. how can you make gome-classic be default when using Xrdp. ?
    there is no cog to select a desktop..
    doing gnome-shell –mode=user -r & after im logged in from a terminal will do it.
    but that is annoying …
    ive tried a number of different suggestions and it doesnt work. I always get gnome instead of classic.. even tried adding a user in /var/lib/AccountsService/users/
    and i also have gnome-classic.desktop in /usr/share/xsessions

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