How To Install GNOME 3.20 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

If you have updated to Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 or are running Ubuntu 16.04, chances are you want to get GNOME 3.20 right away! It comes with a plethora of new features and has a number of improvements from the previous versions. In this article I will be showing you how you can easily upgrade to GNOME 3.20.

Why doesn’t Ubuntu GNOME ship with 3.20?

Ubuntu’s release schedules generally have a deadline where packages have to published before that deadline. As GNOME 3.20 was released on March 23, Canonical has something called ‘feature-freeze’ which means that new features cannot be implemented beyond this point. Although this is annoying for many users, we can go around this by using ‘staging’ PPAs.

Things to note

  • Some apps are missing from the PPA which we will install (Envine, Epiphany Browser and Vinagre)
  • It is reccomended that you do this procedure on Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 flavor since it will be a smooth transition. There is a possibility for problems to occur in the Unity Desktop.
  • Default Ubuntu apps like Nautilus will get the stock GNOME equivalent when doing this upgrade. In my opinion the GNOME version is better than the Ubuntu-patched one.


Open a terminal and enter the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3-staging
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3

Update software repositories
sudo apt update

For Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 OR Existing GNOME Users Run:
sudo apt dist-upgrade

And if you don’t have it installed yet:
sudo apt install gnome gnome-shell

You might be prompted when installing GNOME shell to pick a display manager. If you are planning on sticking with GNOME, GDM will deliver the best ‘uniform’ experience. If you have multiple desktop environments, LightDM is recommended.



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