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I have Kubuntu 11.04 installed on my laptop, and I want to try, and probably switch to, Gnome-based Ubuntu. What is the best way to do so, by using the package manager, and not overriding the installation? I tried it before, but every time I had unwanted leftovers - The welcome or shutdown screen didn't change, dangling packages remained, etc.

For generality, the question goes also the other way around: How can one replace the KDE-based distro with Gnome, without any leftovers?

Is there a systematic way to completely replace Kubuntu <-> Ubuntu, and make sure that the only remaining things are the home partition?

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If you want to experiment, you'd better off with a virtual machine. – Lekensteyn May 8 '11 at 9:42
up vote 5 down vote accepted

To have both installed, you can install ubuntu-dekstop for Gnome-based ubuntu, and kubuntu-desktop for Kubuntu.

If you have both installed, you can configure the default display manager with

sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm    (or kdm)

Either way you can choose whether to use Gnome or KDE at the login screen.

To remove one, you can uninstall ubuntu-desktop or kubuntu-desktop, then run

sudo apt-get autoremove

Depending on any additional packages you installed, some dangling packages may remain.

If you have a separate home partition, you can just reinstall Ubuntu/Kubuntu, formatting your root partition, without touching anything in your home partition. This will give you a clean installation, except for some config files remaining in your home partition. Of course, still make sure you have a backup of your important data.

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Beware! Be sure to have your password prompt enabled. When KDE failed to correctly install due to a conflict, I ended up with a dead system and am having to reload ubuntu. I'm guessing because of this: "Either way you can choose whether to use Gnome or KDE at the login screen." But with no password prompt, I could not switch back to ubuntu from the broken kubuntu. – Eliptical view Jul 22 at 4:19

sudo apt-get autoremove

will not work as stated above . You have to find out the whole list of dependencies from the meta-package 'kubuntu-desktop'

Look at

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