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Converting Between the Ubuntus

Discussion in 'Ubuntu' started by DevynCJohnson, Dec 11, 2014.


    Aloha! Many of you may know or have seen for yourself that the only difference between Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and other *buntus is the software and appearance. You may have wondered "Can I just convert one *buntu to another?". Guess what, you can!

    For example, the only main differences between Ubuntu and Xubuntu is the software installed and the appearance of the system. To convert any form of Ubuntu to Xubuntu, type the command below in a terminal. (All of these commands require Root privileges)

    apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
    Then, uninstall any software that is not in an official installation of Xubuntu. For instance, when converting from Kubuntu to Xubuntu, uninstall KDE and related software (unless you wish to keep them).

    Some other conversion commands are below.

    Ubuntu: apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

    Kubuntu: apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

    Xubuntu: apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

    Lubuntu: apt-get install lubuntu-desktop

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    Ubuntu GNOME: apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop
    Ubuntu Cinnamon: (http://cinnamon-remix.sourceforge.net/) [This install may not work well; Cinnamon may have issues with Ubuntu]
    add-apt-repository ppa:lestcape/cinnamon; apt-get update; apt-get install cinnamon

    Ubuntu Mate: http://ubuntu-mate.org/
    Basic Install: apt-get install mate-desktop
    Advanced&Complete install: apt-get install --no-install-recommends mate-desktop-environment mate-desktop-environment-extra mate-archive-keyring caja-gksu caja-sendto mate-indicator-applet mate-media-gstreamer mate-icon-theme-faenza; apt-get remove gcalctool gnome-screenshot gedit file-roller eog gnome-system-monitor gnome-system-log baobab gnome-terminal gnome-applets gnome-media gnome-power-manager gnome-screensaver; update-alternatives --install "$(which x-terminal-emulator)" x-terminal-emulator "$(which mate-terminal)" 30; update-alternatives --set x-terminal-emulator "$(which mate-terminal)"

    NOTE ON THE INTERFACES: Ubuntu = Unity; Kubuntu = KDE; Xubuntu = XFCE; Lubuntu = LXDE; Ubuntu GNOME = GNOME

    To undo the distro conversion, reinstall the applications you may have installed and then type

    apt-get remove --purge *ubuntu-desktop
    Replace the "*" with the appropriate letter to uninstall the added software used to convert the system. Such software removal can be cleaned up the following way.

    apt-get autoremove --purge
    Here are some other examples. To remove KDE entirely, try this -

    apt-get remove --purge kde-plasma-desktop kde-workspace kubuntu* plymouth-theme-kubuntu-logo plymouth-theme-kubuntu-text; apt-get autoremove --purge; apt-get auto-clean
    NOTE: Try "autoclean" if "auto-clean" fails

    Recently, I have noticed that after running "apt-get clean; apt-get update" that some packages are listed as "Autoremovable" in the Synaptic frontend for apt-get. So, you may want to run this command after purging packages.

    Feel free to post some topics you would like me to write about.

    General troubleshooting

    This section is here to answer @Nederjaard 's question. The server will not let me do a reply until later, but I want to answer the question now.

    Try "autoclean" instead of "auto-clean". Some people on the Internet claim that one works and not the other.

    Perhaps, a needed package was accidentally removed or not installed. Try reinstalling the desired interfaces (XFCE and dependencies) and removing the non-desired ones. Be sure that all needed and unneeded "metapackages" and "transitional packages" are in the desired states.

    This link may help - http://askubuntu.com/questions/3167...en-the-options-autoclean-autoremove-and-clean
    #1 DevynCJohnson, Dec 11, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  2. arochester

    arochester Guest

    1 person likes this.
  3. Thanks for the links. I understand what Psychocats are doing and why they do it, but I feel that their method is not entirely correct. What if someone converting from Lubuntu to Ubuntu wanted to keep certain applications? So, I still feel that my method is the better one. However, readers on this thread can go to your link if they feel otherwise.
  4. lobo

    lobo Guest

    You should probably mention the actual DEs involved.
  5. What do you mean and why do so?
  6. lobo

    lobo Guest

    Well it seems sensible for the sake of completeness to explain that Xubuntu is the distro with the Xfce desktop and Kubuntu is the one with the KDE desktop...
  7. Read the post now after the bold text. Like it now?:)
  8. No. A better way would be:
    Kubuntu: apt-get install kubuntu-desktop (KDE)
    Xubuntu: apt-get install xubuntu-desktop (XFCE)
    Lubuntu: apt-get install lubuntu-desktop (LXDE)
    Ubuntu GNOME: apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop (Gnome)

    (I left out the sudos for philosophical reasons.:))
  9. lobo

    lobo Guest

    It's better. Sorry to nitpick, but it's important new users know what they're installing - instead of thinking that Xfce is "the xubuntu desktop". Ubuntu have done a lot of that kind of thing, e.g. when they referred to gnome-shell fallback mode as "ubuntu classic". I remember when ubuntu switched to unity, there were a lot of migrating users on other distros' forums asking if they could run "ubuntu classic" on it. It's not helpful.
    1 person likes this.
  10. That would not be a good idea. It makes it appear that the command is "apt-get install kubuntu-desktop (KDE)" rather than "apt-get install kubuntu-desktop". Maybe "apt-get install kubuntu-desktop #(KDE)" would be better.
  11. Mitt Green

    Mitt Green Guest


    I have tried KDE Plasma GUI but found Unity more appropriate. So, while booting I still see the sign "Kubuntu" and in User Choice menu I can still choose KDE (actually when I choose it I see Unity GUI).

    So, how to get back the sign "Ubuntu" and remove "KDE Plasma Workspace" in Choose User menu?

    Thank you!
    1 person likes this.
  12. apt-get purge kde-plasma-desktop kde-workspace kubuntu* plymouth-theme-kubuntu-logo plymouth-theme-kubuntu-text; sudo apt-get auto-clean
    # Allow the removal of obsolete packages

    I am not sure what all you have installed, so the above command may be longer than necessary.
    #12 DevynCJohnson, Dec 24, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  13. Mitt Green

    Mitt Green Guest

    Thank you, works perfect!
    1 person likes this.
  14. Do not forget to mark my answer as the "Best Answer" if it helped. What am I thinking, I started this post, so that cannot be done.

    I like your new avatar/user-image.
    #14 DevynCJohnson, Dec 25, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  15. lobo

    lobo Guest

    This will simply purge all deb files from /var/cache/apt/archives

    If you want to remove only obsolete deb package files
    # apt-get auto-clean
    Note: For those running Debian unstable this is not something you would want to do too regularly as it's sometimes useful to have older versions if you need to quickly downgrade a package due to bugs.
    1 person likes this.
  16. Thanks for pointing that out. I made the correction.
  17. And lost the Best Answer reward.:D
    1 person likes this.
  18. JohnSerrano

    JohnSerrano Guest

    thanks for the help as i am installed with the same OS to my system .. thinking now i am more familiar with the UBUNTU
    1 person likes this.
  19. Frankus333

    Frankus333 Guest

    Thanks Devyn

    I installed Kubuntu Desktop to my eeePC 1000H, to compare with XFCE and LXDE desktops, all added to the original installation of Ubuntu 13.10 (Unity desktop). While trying to set up dual display with my TV on KDE Plasma desktop, it broke, and would not load desktop properly. Unbeknown to me, my disk happened to be full, due to some duplication of my Home folder in encrypted form by Kubuntu, I think. My alternative limited account and the guest account seemed to load KDE OK, and the other DEs kept working normally.

    I tried to uninstall Kubuntu as you initially explained (in the XFCE DE, using UXTerm):

    sudo apt-get purge kubuntu-desktop

    followed by:

    sudo apt-get autoremove --purge

    but that did not seem to work; nothing seemed different.

    I thus then tried the full cleanup you provided:

    sudo apt-get --purge remove kde-plasma-desktop kde-workspace kubuntu* plymouth-theme-kubuntu-logo plymouth-theme-kubuntu-text; sudo apt-get auto-clean; sudo apt-get clean

    by pasting this (middle click) into UXTerm. It would not paste the

    #Allow the removal of obsolete packages

    part, so I left that out and proceeded.

    For some strange reason, this not only did not remove Kubuntu, it fixed the problem, without having to re-install; go figure!!! I can now get my main KDE Plasma desktop to come up, the other account and Guest account still load KDE, and the other DEs are still working; I am a very happy but confused man!

    1 person likes this.
  20. wow this is great...I like it...thanks

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