Matt Jones

Setting gnome-shell as the default window manager

Gnome Shell will be the new window manager in Gnome 3, but it can be used in the current version of Gnome by installing the gnome-shell package, and running ‘gnome-shell –replace’ in a terminal.

To have Gnome Shell as the default window manager, setting the WINDOW_MANAGER environment variable won’t work in Gnome 2.28. Instead you need to install ‘gconf-editor’ using your package manager, then go to:


and set the ‘windowmanager’ key to ‘gnome-shell’ instead of ‘metacity’.