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I have a slower computer that I would like to use the Lubuntu desktop environment with. However, I do not want to install any of the software that is not related to the desktop environment. I am talking about programs like Abiword and Lubuntu Software Center. How do install the desktop environment and the desktop environment ONLY?

Also, if someone could point me in the right direction for research, when I use multiple desktop environments, I notice that certain elements of one desktop environment (e.g. scrollbars, color schemes, program themes) are present no matter which desktop environment I log into. Is there a fix for this?

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Well, what if you download the Lubuntu ISO?. – Uri Herrera Jan 15 '13 at 4:12
I would start by just installing openbox. This will create an "openbox" option in lightdm. Then just install the individual parts of LXDE, of which there are only a few and configure your openbox to use them. Then use the openbox session to use your LXDE-only setup. – Chan-Ho Suh Jan 15 '13 at 5:01
@UriHerrera I already have Ubuntu installed and I don't want to wipe my installation. – Josh Jan 16 '13 at 4:27
up vote 16 down vote accepted

You can also use

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends lubuntu-desktop 

Which will install the Lubuntu desktop without all the recommended applications, though things that rely on these applications will not work.

I think a better way to do it would be to install all of lubuntu-desktop with:

sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop  

and then use the Lubuntu Software Center to remove applications you aren't going to use. You can then remove lubuntu-software-center with:

sudo apt-get remove lubuntu-software-center

The only difference between this approach and Ringtail's is installing lxde will give you the generic LXDE desktop, while installing lubuntu-desktop will give you more of an Ubuntu specific LXDE, with custom wallpapers for example.

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+1 for your approch to solve - upvoted – Ringtail Jan 15 '13 at 19:07
I don't want to go through the software center to uninstall everything I don't want because that would be a lot of work I could avoid by just not installing those packages in the first place. – Josh Jan 16 '13 at 4:29
Right, so you could use sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends lubuntu-desktop to get it without the applications. A few things might not work exactly right, but the only way to find out is to try. You can always uninstall it again with sudo apt-get purge lubuntu-desktop. – Seth Jan 16 '13 at 4:30
OK, I'm going to test both solutions on a VM first. Thanks! – Josh Jan 16 '13 at 4:31
WARNING WARNING - I've installed ubuntu-desktop while having Lubuntu from stock. It messed up my UI and packages so I had to reinstall the whole OS. Be cautious. – Yehonatan Tsirolnik Jun 9 '14 at 6:07

Kinda like asking for a vanilla ice cream cone but I don't want the cone

That being said. Lubuntu-Desktop will bring in a lot of dependencies.

For a list of Applications

How to get Lubuntu

How to Install Lubuntu

If it were me I would just open a terminal and

sudo apt-get install lxde

Which gives you the lightweight distro without the extras.

See LXDE wiki

do the Minimal Ubuntu + LXDE Installation

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I recently installed Lubuntu from the latest alternative disk as a minimal install by installing it to command line.

Then I installed lubuntu-core

sudo apt-get install lubuntu-core

It then had none of the extra software install. Originally I tried with --no-install-recommends but this left it too bare and seemingly with missing dependencies. After doing this I installed lxappearance and obconf to allow me to change the themes easily

sudo apt-get install lxappearance obconf

I installed firefox without any recommended software as the addons are for Gnome.

sudo apt-get install firefox --no-install-recommends

I had some errors in my xsession-errors file that cleared up after installing the below

sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-pixbuf

Network manager needs setting up after lubuntu-core has been installed from a minimal install The nm-system-settings.conf is now called NetworkManager.conf as written below

Change Network Manager settings Start an LXTerminal session, then issue:

sudo nano /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf

In section [ifupdown] find the line managed=false and replace it with managed=true. Save and quit. Get back to LXTerminal and issue:

sudo service network-manager restart

After a short while you should see "Connection established" message above the Network Manager applet tray icon.

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