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I am running Xubuntu 18.04, and am using XFCE. I want to try out Gnome, which is the native dm on Ubuntu 18.04. I also heard that GDM comes with gnome as the login screen, but I would like to keep LightDM as my login screen.

What sequence of commands would I use to do this?

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sudo apt install gnome-shell

And that's it, choose lightdm instead of gdm when prompted.

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  • what is the difference between gnome shell and gnome desktop? – Hitomi86 May 17 '18 at 18:36
  • gnome-shell is only the desktop environment, gnome desktop also includes all the default apps – dsSTORM May 17 '18 at 20:33
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You should install gnome desktop with

sudo apt install ubuntu-gnome-desktop

I found two alternatives

sudo apt install gnome-shell
sudo apt install vanilla-gnome-desktop

If that messes your login you can make lightDM default again by reconfiguring it

sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm
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  • won't the first command only work in versions prior to 17.10? – dsSTORM May 17 '18 at 6:23
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    I have 18.04 and have ubuntu-gnome-desktop installed. I think I upgraded from 17.10, but upgrade process should remove the package as uneeded, if it is not in 18.04 any more. Package description in 18.04 says "This package depends on all of the packages in the Ubuntu desktop system. Before Ubuntu 17.10, this was the metapackage for the Ubuntu GNOME flavor. Install vanilla-gnome-desktop instead if you prefer a full GNOME desktop with minimal Ubuntu branding." – nobody May 17 '18 at 6:27
  • Oh ok that clears it, I thought they removed it when they dropped ubuntu GNOME – dsSTORM May 17 '18 at 7:28

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