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[ How to Guide] Ubuntu Switching Desktop Environments

FOR DE HOPPERS>> MINIMAL INSTALL AT BOTTOM SEE $MINIMAL BELOW

IF YOU FIND THIS GUIDE HELPFUL.. Please Like it.. and link it when helping others THANK YOU! :D


Alright so I can see there are a lot of beginners coming to the linux forum topic area as well as others. I also have seen a lot of people want gnome in Logans recent show of his system. So I am going to use my many years of experience with linux to write this guide. Have FUN! and as always keep learning!
@Logan Nice theme by the way... Consider the Numix Icon theme.. It compliments well.



Installing GNOME

Step 1: Open your favorite way to access the terminal (TTY SESSION RECOMMENDED Ctrl+Alt+F1)
* All asterix are mandatory in the code I am providing so please type it in as written
**If you use the TTY session login with your username and password

sudo apt-get remove unity unity-asset-pool unity-control-center unity-control-center-signon unity-gtk-module-common unity-lens* unity-services unity-settings-daemon unity-webapps* unity-voice-service

After running this in the terminal we need to add repositories and grab the latest version of gnome while we are installing so we do not have to do so later.
** Please note that I am using the staging repository which is not fully stable. If you wish to use only the most stable software OMIT the first line
*** Please select GDM as the main display manager
**** Omit build dependencies step if you do not want to. It simply helps avoiding dependency errors

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3-staging
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get build-dep ubuntu-gnome-desktop gnome-session gdm gnome-shell
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop* gnome-session* gdm* gnome-shell*

[optional below here] <<Getting some more gnome applications
sudo apt-get install polari gnome-sound-recorder bijiben gnome-clocks gnome-music gnome-photos gnome-boxes

Fixing the Pixel Buffer error that often happens (recommended if switching from unity
This does not always happen but if you do encounter the error which looks like this:

(gtk-update-icon-cache-3.0:29077): GdkPixbuf-WARNING **: Cannot open pixbuf loader module file '/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/gdk-pixbuf-2.0/2.10.0/loaders.cache': No such file or directory

This likely means that your installation is broken.
Try running the command
  gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders > /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/gdk-pixbuf-2.0/2.10.0/loaders.cache
to make things work again for the time being.

You should run this

sudo apt-get install libgdk-pixbuf2.0-dev

32 Bit computers (legacy) Run the following --

sudo -i
gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders > /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/gdk-pixbuf-2.0/2.10.0/loaders.cache

64 Bit systems (most modern computers run--

sudo -i
gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders > /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/gdk-pixbuf-2.0/2.10.0/loaders.cache

REBOOT ( I can not stress this enough. Logging out and logging back in or restarting your x server is not enough)

If you have any issues PM me. If you would like to add to the gnome section PM me and I will add it. I am never perfect and I am happy to admit where I have made errors


IF YOU FIND THIS GUIDE HELPFUL.. Please Like it.. and link it when helping others THANK YOU! :D


INSTALLING KDE

We can actually install KDE and the Kubuntu Desktop environment along side Unity since it does not break anything. Though it should be noted that your GTK(unity and gnome) applications will not look as good because KDE is programmed with QT [cute]

Step One: Open a terminal [ctrl + alt + T]
If you want the Kubuntu Oriented desktop and all of its settings and apps (STRONGLY RECOMMENDED)
**This will take a very long time 2+ hours on the avg connection in america
** You do not have to use KDM as your display manager but if you want all the eye candy for the login.. KDM is recommended

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop* kdm* Kde-full*

Do this if you want only the Vanilla KDE environment

sudo apt-get install plasma-desktop* kdm

Reboot and select KDE Plasma Desktop in the drop down list for your DM (display manager) at login

If you decide you want to remove unity. GO ahead and do so this way

sudo apt-get remove unity unity-asset-pool unity-control-center unity-control-center-signon unity-gtk-module-common unity-lens* unity-services unity-settings-daemon unity-webapps* unity-voice-service

IF YOU FIND THIS GUIDE HELPFUL.. Please Like it.. and link it when helping others THANK YOU! :D


XFCE


========

Step One: Open a terminal [ctrl + alt + T]
If you want the Xubuntu Oriented desktop and all of its settings and apps (STRONGLY RECOMMENDED)
**Choose your favorite DM .. XFCE plays nice

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop*

Do this if you want only the Vanilla XFCE environment

 sudo apt-get install xfce-session*

^^ YES THAT REALLY IS ALL YOU NEED LOLS
Reboot and select XFCE/Xubuntu Session/Desktop in the drop down list for your DM (display manager) at login

If you decide you want to remove unity. GO ahead and do so this way

 sudo apt-get remove unity unity-asset-pool unity-control-center unity-control-center-signon unity-gtk-module-common unity-lens* unity-services unity-settings-daemon unity-webapps* unity-voice-service

IF YOU FIND THIS GUIDE HELPFUL.. Please Like it.. and link it when helping others THANK YOU! :D


Lubuntu --LXDE


==================

Step One: Open a terminal [ctrl + alt + T]
If you want the Xubuntu Oriented desktop and all of its settings and apps (STRONGLY RECOMMENDED)
**Choose your favorite DM .. LXDE plays nice

 sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop*

Do this if you want only the Vanilla LXDE environment

 

sudo apt-get install lxde-session*

or

sudo apt-get install lxde*

^^ YES THAT REALLY IS ALL YOU NEED LOLS
Reboot and select LXDE/Lubuntu Session/Desktop in the drop down list for your DM (display manager) at login

If you decide you want to remove unity. GO ahead and do so this way

sudo apt-get remove unity unity-asset-pool unity-control-center unity-control-center-signon unity-gtk-module-common unity-lens* unity-services unity-settings-daemon unity-webapps* unity-voice-service


Less known but still Great desktops MATE AND CINNMON

For Mate (easiest of the pair)


YOU MUST remove Unity for the desktop environment

" sudo apt-get remove unity unity-asset-pool unity-control-center unity-control-center-signon unity-gtk-module-common unity-lens* unity-services unity-settings-daemon unity-webapps* unity-voice-service "

Now for installing MATE

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment-core
[optional below here are EXTRAS]
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment-extras

Its literally that easy.. ! Reboot and login after slecting mate as the default login. Mate may or may not install MDM as I have actually done this 3 times and for some reason one time it did not stall mdm..
IF YOU WANT MDM then please add

sudo apt-get build-dep mdm
sudo apt-get install mdm*

IF YOU FIND THIS GUIDE HELPFUL.. Please Like it.. and link it when helping others THANK YOU! :D


Installing cinnamon


Guys I have seen this break gnome so tread carefully. It also breaks unity so remove unity as detailed in MANY STEPS BEFORE

Run these commands afterwards

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-nightly
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon

Reboot and Enjoy


IF YOU FIND THIS GUIDE HELPFUL.. Please Like it.. and link it when helping others THANK YOU! :D


Uninstalling Any desktop you had and reverting to unity

** I am not going to get detailed but I will be detailed enough
Run these commands

We need to purge the software packages from our system to prevent dependency issues

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge

Lets start getting rid of the stuff we dont want

sudo apt-get purge [insert all the packages used to install your environment here]
sudo apt-get autoremove

** special to the Cinnamon Environment.. Run this

sudo ppa-purge ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-nightly

LETS GET UNITY BACK

sudo apt-get install unity*

In case of lost dependencies

sudo apt-get build-dep unity

I hope this was extremely helpful to anybody who wants to do this. Now I know what some of you experienced guys are going to say. Why not let them google it. Well I just spat out the stuff they would find. It saves them time since they will end up doing the same thing. I also hope to make this sticky.. onyl because I think its is EXTREMLY relevant to the linux threads. This is a UBUNTU only guide though. Its derivates may or may not work with this guide.

Happy Coding everybody!

IF YOU FIND THIS GUIDE HELPFUL.. Please Like it.. and link it when helping others THANK YOU! :D




$MINIMAL

TO all who like to hop around like @MisteryAngel ... Here are some notes below that will just give you the minimal DE. READ THE COMPATIBILITY DISCLAIMER. DE hopping is a good way to figure out what you like so let me save everyone time ;)

@Kai Feel free to IRC me editied directions for minimal DE installations and I may commit them If you have better ones

Disclaimer: IF you install gnome either uninstall the other DE's including unity (directions above) or get the i3 window manager or some other wm that handles them all well so they dont conflic

Minimal Just that desktop to try type installation explained

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends

This command basically grabs all the basic bells and whistles to make the DE work. Keep in mind this will only include the most BASIC things needed to run the DE and save you time downloading... Please note that im not gonna include compatibility instructions here just the commands you need to getting the minimal. See above for more information. In additon this does not install extras like bootloaders and plymouth themes and all the dumb stuff. We are talking bare minimum to run the DE. It also prevents a cluttered desktop and SIGNIFICANTLY reduces incompatibility and conflicts

Unity

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends unity

GNome-- NEEDS REPOS SEE ABOVE

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends ubuntu-gnome-desktop gnome-session gdm gnome-shell

KDE

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends kubuntu-desktop

XFCE

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends xubuntu-desktop

LXDE-- AS IF IT wasnt small enough already haha

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends lubuntu-desktop

MATE-- This one is unique ;) no extra flag required.. arent you spweeecial mate

sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment-core
sudo apt-get build-dep mdm
sudo apt-get install mdm*

Cinnamon-- NEEDS REPO SEE ABOVE

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends cinnamon

@DeusQain yes I can edit this wiki.. Test test

34 Likes

personally i dont need this guide, but its good reading and awesome job :)

2 Likes

Thanks. Yeah no its not meant for the experienced or those who know what they are doing but because TS has made a push for linux which I strongly admire because they need people.. Normal everyday people to use and feedback to the devs. The guide is meant for those who are very new and saw logans awesome desktop or someone elses and want to do it themselves.

By request I can make special guides in a PM or new thread for another distro as its relatively easy on most largely widespread distros. I have been working with linux since I was a kid so I know quite a bit.. I was using it back in the early version 9.xx versions of ubuntu days haha!.. GOOD OLD KARMIC KOALA!! :D

1 Like

maybe teach one thing i am tackling with, and that is OpenSUSE gnome themes, i just cant get them to damn work ;_; i started using linux as my daily driver a couple weeks ago after the first teklinux video, i've been using linux a long before that, but mainly in small things and not for long, i know the core basics, but not much more

Lols Yeah Ill do that when I get home for lunch.. Its actually the same for every distro running gnome so.. I will make a generic How to theme Gnome thread maybe.. Or ill PM you depending on whether I want to make a thread or not... Sound Good?

make a thread, sharing information like this is really good, so everybody does not have to ask the same questions multiple times, and actually i cant install themes like RAVEFinity on my openSUSE somewhy, even though it should work(according to few sources i've found)

Hmm I will definitley have to look up that theme and maybe make the thread generic but use it as an example... I am going to look into it now and create the thread

thank you for helping linux n00bz like me :)

THANKS!!!! ive been switching to and from linux for a while although I am still very new to it and need help like this.

Just a point of note (not just for you but anyone else who is tallented enough to be able to teach linux), even though this guide is great the better kind of help for one of these guides is to explain what is happening with these commands. eg ive seen "apt-get" and "add-apt" before but still don't know exactly what they do or how to go out and use them in another context by myself.

Again thanks and ill be doing this tomorrow i think :)

Thats better left to wendell.. or I may explain the backend of commands in another seperate write up.. I have my hands busy at the moment but Ill let you know when I get a chance

if @wendell or even @qain could do that sort of guide that would be awesome.

No need to rush off and do it now, just a note for future guides :)

Again thanks a ton

I wish this was sticky so much :D

BUMP BUMP BUMP lols

me 2

Bare in mind that installing various desktops significantly increases the danger of breaking something.

1 Like

I know because there not freaking self contained its dumb

Useful guide as some Desktop Enviroments break others when installed alongside each other,

Having a guide which makes sure this doesn't happen and tells people how to remove the conflicting DE if it does it very useful.

You've earned a bookmark off me. Although maybe tone down the asking for likes a little, eh?

2 Likes

Thats my like troll :D i just do that for kicks and giggles

This is a great tutorial for just finding out what you like in the beginning narrowing down the options, but on a production machine I would never install multiple desktop environments. :)

IF anybody wants any more instructions that I should add Let me know in PM THANK YOU :smiley:

1 Like

Hi guys,
Just to be sure, doing this will not wipe any data right?
Also will i be able to keep my firefox tab open while doing this or do i need to write this all down?
Thanks @R00tz31820