Since released, Gnome 3 has made so many controversies. Major of unsatisfied users said that gnome-shell is too complicated and less in functionality and overall user productivity. Also, for them, the “Classic” mode of Gnome 3 (that called Gnome Fallback) was less satisfying, and although resembles the old Gnome 2 desktop, it is not actually Gnome 2 in UI design.
So later, born a fork of Gnome 2 called Mate. But, after tried, I can say that, even though it is the real Gnome 2 I've been so familiar, Mate is still far from stable and mature (yeah, it is a reborn from death). I've found enough bugs and incomplete features in Mate, and I just can say, I can't use Mate yet as an “operational” desktop. But, can't be forgotten, we must give very big appreciation to Mate developer and its team, for bringing back Gnome 2 alive from the death.
As a gnome user, I always feel incomplete when use another DE like LXDE and XFCE. Maybe KDE could give me an answer, but sadly, this DE is still too resource hungry and slow in my old P4 PC. Then I tried to use “Classic” mode of Gnome 3 (or called Fallback Session) and overall, I must say, that I've enough satisfied ! Even though this is not Gnome 2, but in the functionality, it has given me all I need to work in PC.
The most first thing we must do is install the desktop. In Ubuntu, we just can install it by terminal :
sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback.
Overall, I didn't found any notable bugs in Gnome 3 Fallback, except one bug in appearance. The default top panel, couldn't be resized to gorgeous 24 pixels panel as Gnome 2 had. The panel size is big and looks so ugly and horrible. But, after Googled, I found a solving from THIS PAGE :
1. Create a configuration file
Go to Home, and show hidden files (Ctrl+H)
Create a directory inside .config directory named gtk-3.0 (/home/.config/gtk3-0
Inside gtk-3.0, create a file settings.ini and write these strings :
gtk-icon-sizes = panel-menu=16,16:gtk-large-toolbar=16,16
2. To fix the panel background, I use solid color option, by clicking Alt+Right Click on panel and select properties (same as Gnome 2 panel properties).
3. To change the themes (gtk themes and icon themes), I use Gnome Tweak Tool, and available in Ubuntu repository, so I can easily install it by : sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool.
This is my experience using Gnome Fallback in Ubuntu 11.10, and my conclusion is :
Although it is not perfectly our Great & Gorgeous Gnome 2 desktop, it is NOT BAD. It runs fast enough in my old P4 PC :)
Technical comparison :
OS : Ubuntu 11.10
CPU : Intel Pentium4 2,4 GHz
Memory : 2 GB