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I have a friend who is new to Ubuntu, and he wants to find the right Desktop Environment. I'd like to be able to recommend that he simply install several of the major DE's simultaneously, then try them out one at a time, selecting between them from the login screen. But I'm reluctant to recommend this. In the past, I've been bitten by installing more than one DE at a time. Here's a past example:

Does anyone know of any current nasty bugs where any of these DE's will "step on each other's toes"? Can I just trust that it's safe to install all of the following simultaneously?

  • Unity
  • Gnome 3
  • XFCE
  • LXDE
  • Cinnamon
  • Mate
  • KDE
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Is virtualization an option? – Rinzwind Mar 30 '13 at 13:26
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I have unity, gnome 3, cinnamon, xfce, lxde, kde4 installed and have no problems. Just don't run distribution setups like xubuntu kubuntu-full, etc

You might run into a problem on a low resolution monitor which is lightdm the one unity uses won't be able to display all at once. If that happens run the following

sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm and switch it to gdm, kde, or something besides lightdm.

I find cinammon the best, especially if your coming from windows. And it looks beautiful and simpler than kde. xfce4 is 2ed choice and I would reccomend if you have a low end system. Forget about unity, gnome3 to introduce to linux. Also tell your friend to check out this video before trying cinnamon or to watch any of her videos for desktop environments or distributions to try. Mom tries it and loves it, was also her favourite OS after her son got her into linux in this video.

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