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I would like to be able to install XFCE to run alongside unity so I can choose on startup which DE I use, without breaking any features of either DE.

Following this: https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/xubuntu

Note: don't install Nautilus in Xubuntu! This will cause system conflicts.

I don't want to affect ANY of the features in unity, i.e. I want to be able to use the two interchangeably, so I can't follow some suggestions of just cleaning out all the old stuff as that would mean using Unity would be changed.

Can I install Unity aside with XFCE and switch them as I want? Is this possible in 12.04?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 70 down vote accepted

There are no conflicts between XFCE and Unity, and Nautilus works perfectly fine on Xubuntu 12.04 and 12.10.

If you wish to install XFCE in Ubuntu, install either xubuntu-desktop (for XFCE + Xubuntu branding + all Xubuntu default apps), or just xfce by itself if you don't want to end up with two sets of default apps.

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop


sudo apt-get install xfce4

Additionally - and I stress that this is based only on my own personal experience on one laptop - I've found that Xubuntu boots and runs much more quickly than Ubuntu whether Unity is installed or not. Based on this experience, I always prefer to install Unity on Xubuntu instead of XFCE on Ubuntu if I want an OS with both desktop environments. You may wish to try the same next time you reinstall your OS and see if you notice any performance improvements.

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Thanks, this is on a desktop that runs most of the time so the latter isn't a problem, but certainly something I'l bare in mind for the future! –  James Nov 29 '12 at 19:22
I'm having a sound problem. When I mute the sound, un-muting it only shows that it's un-muted, but I can't hear anything. Only the master level is responding reasonably to the muting\un-muting. Other sound levels get muted, but not back to un-muted. –  Muhammad Gelbana Jan 16 '14 at 7:27
Afterwards, you may want to restore the Unity greeter. –  nobar Nov 16 '14 at 23:07

Just install xubuntu-desktop and it should work :). It should not conflict anything (never did for me).

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