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We're looking at deploying 12.04 across the entire enterprise (several hundred desktops). We've selected KDE as the default desktop for all users for the current distribution but we have a policy where people can run Unity or Gnome3 if they want to.

What is the best deployment approach? Is it installing kubuntu and then installing the appropriate gnome packages. If so, then which gnome packages?

Or is it installing ubuntu and then getting KDE recognized in /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions? If so, which packages to install?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you install Kubuntu across all computers (which I would suggest since it seems like you have decided that KDE will be the default desktop environment), users who want to run Unity or Gnome Shell can run either of the following commands:

For Unity:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

For Gnome Shell (commonly referred to as Gnome3):

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

Or Gnome Fallback (similar to classic Gnome)

sudo apt-get install gnome-fallback

Alternatively either package can be searched for and installed from Ubuntu-Software-Center.

Users will then be able to choose their desired desktop session when they log in. (this will be automatically set up, and should be fairly obvious, I just forget how KDE's login screen shows it, so I won't say exactly).

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Thanks, this is working like a charm. I did notice a few things. 1) Installing ubuntu-desktop updated the alternative for /usr/bin/x-session-manager but this doesn't seem to have an impact on running KDE. 2) There isn't a gnome-fallback currently in 12.04. Classic gnome got installed with gnome-shell. – Blair Zajac Nov 4 '11 at 2:29
Yeah classic gnome got bundled with gnome-shell for me in 11.10, but it's supposed to be seperate, which is why I mentioned it seperatly :P Also I'm sure you already know this, but if this is for wide-scale deployment 12.04 is in a pre-alpha state right now. – zookalicious Nov 4 '11 at 15:55
If you are using kdm as your display manager, make sure you also install the kdm-gdmcompat package. Without it it won't be possible to shutdown or restart the computer from within Unity (and probably Gnome Shell) – agateau Nov 5 '11 at 23:07

Well I had installed ubuntu then installed all the desktop environments like Gnome-Shell, Xfce and KDE and everything works fine. But still there is lot of fine tuning which I had to do with each Desktop Environment installed especially with KDE since gnome applications look awkward in the first instance while using them in KDE. If you wanted to go this way, you need to install gtk libraries for KDE.

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