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I installed Unity window manager and love it, except that it is always crashing, When I say crashing, I mean that it is unrecoverable, I can't kill anything even from TTY.

It occurs usually once a day, but twice in the last hour. Here is my question in the Ubuntu forum about the proble. I'm on 64bit Ubuntu with ATI drivers and old software. Have sufficient RAM.

Some crashes tend to be specific application related (mainly Nautilus, Rhythmbox or Firefox), but some are related to (what I think is) Unity or compiz or maybe my ATI driver.

I would like a super-stable desktop environment to use when I can't afford to have crashes. What are some alternative window managers there? Are any preloaded? I see that there are various gnome window managers. Which would be the most stable.

How do I download alternate window managers, and how do I change them to be the default?

How do I turn compiz OFF, and is that recommended?

Finally, is it fair to assume that these kind of Unity(and apps) related errors are likely to be fixed fairly soon (because 12.04 is for long term support).

What timeframe is reasonable to expect more desktop stability on 12.04?

Thanks.

Once again, I love Ubuntu 12.04/unity when it works. I just want to have a realistic expectation about when it will be more stable and whether downgrading will help.

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You are asking multple questions in a single post. The site works better when asked on one question at a time. (there is at least two seperate questions) –  Anwar Shah Jun 18 '12 at 6:19
    
"It is unrecoverable,... [even] from TTY" points to hardware issues or an X failure--Xorg is probably the fail point if it's not hardware as Xorg is responsible for listening to keyboard shortcuts to switch tty's. –  hexafraction Jun 20 '12 at 18:40
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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There is a lot of window managers available. Below are some of them, and how to install them.

Gnome

KDE

Just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

XFCE

Just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

LXDE

or

Just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install lxde 

As far as turning Compiz off. The easiest way is to use a session that does exactly what you want.

  1. Log out.
  2. At the login screen choose the Ubuntu Classic (No effects)session
  3. Log in.

You will be in a classic GNOME session without Compiz. Subsequent logins will use this session as default.

Another way to turn off compiz with just one click you need to install an application called compiz-switch. Download compiz-switch

With compiz-switch you can turn off and turn on the compiz easily with just one click.

For a detailed list of windows managers that explains everyone, give technical detail, and then a comparisson between all of them, then Check this site out!

On a personal note, I have tried most of these managers, and I'm very happy with LXDE. I have been using it since I made the switch to Ubuntu.

Source: https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/

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Thanks for all the information and the links. This stuff was hard to find.... –  idiotprogrammer Jun 14 '12 at 20:38
    
Also; perhaps worth mentioning is that by installing multiple window managers on one profile you are bound to get some very messy menus, home directories etc. –  Sukminder Jan 16 '13 at 14:23
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I personnally use Awesome-wm. It offers a bit of tiling and is more shell-oriented, optimized for keyboard use. You can find the soft and doc at :

http://awesome.naquadah.org/

Also installable with apt-get install awesome* if I remember.

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I like fluxbox a lot. I use it on my server which I typically only reboot once every 90-180 days, and I leave my VNC session open that whole time. It has been very stable. I think in the last year I have only had one VNC session die [and it's not clear whose fault that was, it was while launching firefox].

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What are some alternative window managers there?

You can use openbox, lxde, gnome-shell, kde, and XFCE window manager.

  • To install openbox(default in Lubuntu): terminal -> sudo apt-get install openbox.
  • To install LXDE: terminal -> sudo apt-get install lxde
  • To install XFCE(default in Xubuntu): terminal -> sudo apt-get install xfce4
  • To install KDE(default in Kubuntu): terminal -> sudo apt-get install kde
  • To install Gnome-Shell: terminal -> sudo apt-get install gnome-shell. (You might want to install gnome-shell-extensions with gnome-tweak-tool as well)

Is it fair to assume that these kind of Unity(and apps) related errors are likely to be fixed fairly soon?

Yes, Unity related errors will be soon fixed (most are already fixed).

What timeframe is reasonable to expect more desktop stability on 12.04?

I assume you are asking about Unity. You can expect it in 1 year or so.

To install only the KDE window manager, without all the application with KDE, install it with sudo apt-get install plasma-desktop.

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