Linux For Cynics One user's experiences with Linux

4Jan/120

Changing Desktop Environment in Ubuntu

I mostly write about Ubuntu because it is my distribution of choice, and one of the most popular. However, I think the default desktop environment (before it was GNOME, now it's Unity) is far from ideal on many machines, including netbooks and older laptops. So I set out to try another DE, and thankfully it is very easy to install them. There are also other distributions based on Ubuntu except they come with other default DEs. In order to try them out, I recommend to only install the DE, and not a whole distribution or worse, one of the "*buntu-desktop " packages (this is what psychocats.net recommends. Don't do that.).

Fair warning: installing multiple DEs means you'll have multiple applications that do the same thing, and many of them will be available from either DE, meaning cluttered menus full of redundant applications. Keep in mind that you are just experimenting. Do this in a VM or non-critical system.

The process is the same for each DE: Install the DE, log out, choose the new DE, log in.

KDE:

sudo apt-get install kde-standard

XFCE:

sudo apt-get install xfce4

LXDE:

sudo apt-get install lxde
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