When operating system versions are radically updated users often attempt to find ways to revert back to the classic UI features. We saw this earlier with Windows when the classic start menu was removed from newer Windows distributions such as Windows 7 and was overhauled with Metro Start Menu in Windows 8. In recent months Ubuntu has suffered from the same dilemma after the announcement that Ubuntu 11.10 will no longer have the classic start menu. After the recent release of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot it has become clear that the classic menu has been replaced by Unity 2D and 3D. However, despite the recent Oneiric change it is still possible to get the classic start menu in Ubuntu 11.10.
To get the classic start menu, open the Terminal and enter the following command to install the Gnome Panel package:
sudo apt-get install gnome-panel
Once installed, log out, click the gear icon from the logon screen and select Gnome Classic before logging back in.
This will give you the Classic Start menu back in Ubuntu 11.10. If you login with the Classic Session, the Unity Launcher will not be available and all of the Classic Session options will appear as they did in earlier version of Ubuntu.
To find out what’s new in Ubuntu 11.10, check out our guide here.