>> You are referring to the "fallback" mode of Gnome3.
> Still no clue how I triggered it.
This tells gnome3 to use fallback mode:
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.session session-name 'gnome-fallback'
Separately, in case you are interested, please find my interim solution at
also on Fedora forum
Using GNOME2 on Fedora 16
Tim Taiwanese Liim