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I have installed default 12.10 desktop - Gnome from CD. Everything working fine. Have installed some software - mostly Python 3.2.3 and some related commercial tools - using software center and synaptic and spent time configuring etc.

I would like to try moving to kubuntu - new to Ubuntu now, but several years ago I was using RedHat and I preferred KDE to Gnome.

What will happen if I install Kubuntu on top of my default 12.10 install - will it give me the option of maintaining the current installation and just use KDE instead of Gnome? Will my application settings remain intact, or will this be a complete 'do-over'.

What's the best path to take here?

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Although, the first answer given by Uri Herrera is correct, I would personally not recommend using KDE. In my experience with KDE on different computers, it is buggy, many applications crash repetitively without any reason. It is however good to have access to some of the KDE applications like Kate, KDevelop etc. – Indian Nov 19 '12 at 19:48
I am going back at least 10 years with KDE when I used it, and I did not use RedHat very much - I just know that I found the KDE environment to be more to my liking back then. If it is buggy now under Ubuntu then it's probably not worth it for me. There are thing I'd like to be improved, but Unity is OK. My main development tools are Wing for Python and Code::Blocks or QtCreator for C++. I suppose I can install KDE and then remove it easily if I find it buggy, correct? – Vector Nov 19 '12 at 22:27
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Installing another Desktop Environment will not remove any settings nor it will change anything in the system. It will simply install it, then at the login screen you will have the option to select KDE or Unity.

Also you don't need to use the Kubuntu ISO for this, simply install the kubuntu-desktop metapackage.

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