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In the next few weeks I'm going to be seriously trying KDE. I've noticed that I'm slowly ripping more and more out of the default Ubuntu system so I can stick with one panel on the bottom of the screen (Win95-style) so it seems to make sense to move to a KDE than stay with the sinking, unmaintained ship that is gnome-panel.

I'll be testing in a persisting Live USB environment but assuming I like KDE, I'll want to migrate my existing install. A fresh Kubuntu install would take me too long to re-set-up all my server stuff.

So, what's the best way to install a proper KDE environment and then clean out the Gnome environment?

In the past, I've installed kubuntu-desktop to play with but this has trashed both environments with extra applications and dodgy file associations.

In a slightly separate vein, is it possible to have Gnome and KDE installed on the same instance of Ubuntu without them trashing each other with their own applications?

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I tend to create separate partitions for '/' and '/home' so that a fresh install can be done without losing files and settings on the home partition... That way you can try as many different distros as you like with a fresh install...

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This may be one thing that does help with a clean installation but that's really not what I'm after. As I say the difficulty comes from needing to migrate system settings (servers and the like) and that's not something I want to do. – Oli Dec 18 '12 at 18:43

You could use Mate, the Gnome 2 fork that is used in Linux Mint. That would not be sinking that badly.

I think that the problem with file associations is that they are not specific for the desktop, but saved in some central folder. There is mimeopen and xdg-open, which do not have anything to do with either desktop. So I do not think that you can separate that, without using different user accounts.

There should be a KDE minimal package, that does not install too much stuff.

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