How to Install GNOME on Linux Mint 20

install gnome on linux mint 20

Installing an additional desktop environment allows more user experience without installing another Linux distro. Gnome is the default desktop environment for many Linux distributions. Gnome is based on GTK+ and has a new release every 6 months.

Linux Mint by default supports Cinnamon, MATE, or Xfce desktop environment. Cinnamon and Mate are a fork of GNOME with a codebase of GNOME 3 and GNOME 2 respectively. Switching desktop

In this article, I will guide how to install the GNOME 3 (gnome-shell) desktop in your Linux Mint 20.

Read Also: How to Install XFCE Desktop Environment in Linux Mint


  • Linux Mint installed ( Cinnamon, MATE, or Xfce)

1) Install GNOME on Linux MINT using apt

First, you need to upgrade all packages in the Linux Mint system. So, open the terminal and issue the following command.

Get a list of all available packages and their versions:

$ sudo apt update

Now install all packages that have new versions:

$ sudo apt upgrade -y

In order to install the Gnome environment, you need to install gnome-session and gdm3. Use apt to install them.

$ sudo apt install gnome-session gdm3 -y

Just accept the message information. Click on ok

Accept the message information - click on ok
Click on ok

Again another screen prompt, choose either gdm3 or lightdm.  Gdm3 is GNOME display manager that provides graphical login and handles user authentication. It uses a minimal version of gnome-shell due to which you will feel GNOME3 session. Similarly, lightdm is a cross-desktop display manager which is lightweight and supports different display technologies.

Here,  I'm going to choose gdm3.

Choose gdm3
Choose gdm3 or lightdm

It can take some time to install all the dependencies and packages. When everything finishes, reboot your system.

$ sudo reboot

When the login screen appears, choose Gnome and enter your password.

Choose GNOME during login
Choose GNOME

Your desktop should be changed as shown in the below picture.

To check gnome version go to Settings and open Details/About panel. From the repository, it has installed Gnome 3.36.8 version.

check gnome version from gui

To check version from the terminal, type:

$ gnome-shell --version

2. Install GNOME Desktop Using tasksel

An alternative way to install Gnome is by using tasksel. If tasksel is not installed on your system, first install it using:

$ sudo apt install tasksel

Now, to install Ubuntu desktop (gnome 3), type:

$ sudo tasksel install ubuntu-desktop

Remove GNOME on Mint

If you want to remove GNOME from Mint 20 then follow the procedure.

  1. Log in to another desktop environment.
  2. Issue following command to remove GNOME package.
$ sudo apt purge gnome-session gdm3 -y
$ sudo apt autoremove -y


Many Linux distributions such as  Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, POP OS use GNOME by default. You can easily install Gnome if it doesn't come with the distribution.

In this article, we learned how to install Gnome on Mint Linux 20. Please feel free to comment on your experience and give us valuable feedback.

5 Comments... add one

  1. Linux Mint and the two together make the perfect computer. Also Linux Mint comes with all the drivers I need for everything, including my wifi, ubuntu does not.


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