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Complete, Concrete, Concise » Ubuntu 12.04 » Ubuntu 12.04 – Installing the Xubuntu Core Desktop

Ubuntu 12.04 – Installing the Xubuntu Core Desktop

These instructions are for installing the Xubuntu Core Desktop in Ubuntu 12.04 running the Unity Desktop.

Installation instructions may be the same or similar for other versions of Ubuntu or for other Linux distros, but no guarantee is made.

Installing Xubuntu Core Desktop installs only the GUI part of Xubuntu Desktop without all the extra applications that are part of the Xubuntu Desktop package (the only extra application it installs is the Thunar file manager)

The Xubuntu Desktop is a custom configured version of the Xfce Desktop.

Xfce is smaller than Xubuntu Core Desktop. Installation instructions can be found here.

An article listing alternative desktops for Ubuntu 12.04 can be found here.

If you are changing desktops because you are totally lost / confused by Unity, I suggest reading this tutorial and giving Unity a chance.

Of course, if you really hate Unity, then Xubuntu Desktop is an alternative desktop.

Xubuntu Core Desktop will install 111 MB of files and data to your hard disk.

Some images may be clicked for full sized versions.

What it Looks Like

The basic, straight-out-of-the-box, look of the desktop is:

Compared to the Xubuntu Desktop, there are some minor differences.

Installing From the Command Line

If you are comfortable with Linux and know how to use the command line and apt-get then the command is:

sudo apt-get install xfce4 xubuntu-artwork xubuntu-default-settings

Detailed instructions for accessing a command line can be found here.

Afterwards, restart your system. It should be enough to just log out and the log back in with the new desktop, but it doesn’t hurt to restart.

Installing From the Ubuntu Software Center

Some images may be clicked for full sized versions.

This requires you to install 3 separate packages, so a few more steps are required than usual.

1) Launch the Ubuntu Software Center by clicking the icon on the Launcher:

The following steps will install Xfce.

2) Enter xfce4 into the search field. This will bring up related entries.

3) Click on the entry Meta-package for the Xfce Lightweight Desktop Environment – this will highlight it in orange:

4) Click on Install:

5) Enter your password and click Authenticate:

The following steps will install the Xubuntu artwork (backgrounds, colours, etc).

6) After installation is finished, enter xubuntu-artwork into the Ubuntu Software Center search field. This will bring up related entries:

7) Click on the entry Xubuntu themes and artwork – this will highlight it in orange:

8) Click on Install:

You should not be asked to enter a password again, but if you are, then enter it and press Authenticate

The following steps will install the settings necessary for Xfce to look like Xubuntu.

9) After installation is finished, enter xubuntu-default-settings into the Ubuntu Software Center search field. This will bring up related entries:

10) Click on the entry Default settings for the Xubuntu desktop – this will highlight it in orange:

11) Click on Install:

You should not be asked to enter a password again, but if you are, then enter it and press Authenticate

12) After installation is finished, click on the System icon in the upper right corner of the desktop and select Shut Down… from the drop down menu:

Note: it may be enough to just log out and log back in using the new desktop, but it doesn’t hurt to restart either.

13) Click on Restart:

Selecting the Desktop

After the system has restarted, it is necessary to select the new desktop from the login screen.

It is only necessary to select the desktop the first time after installation. Ubuntu will remember your your desktop for future logins.

You can even install multiple desktops and switch between them.

14) Click the icon in the top right of the Login box:

15) Select Xubuntu Session:

Xubuntu is a customized version of Xfce. This is why an Xfce session appears as well.

If you select Xfce Session then you will get the standard Xfce desktop.

16) Login:

Notice the icon in the upper right hand corner has changed to a different icon. Some, not all, desktop environments will present an icon there.

If an icon is present, this provides a quick way to see which desktop environment you are logging into.

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