How can I install an alternative desktop on an existing Ubuntu install without installing the restricted extras (or any other non-free or known patent-encumbered packages)?

For example, if I install the xubuntu-desktop package, it installs packages like gstreamer1.0-libav, which would normally have to be installed from the restricted-extras package instead. I could just install the desktop environment itself (xfce4 package), but that would leave off all the normal packages that Xubuntu comes with, including desktop themes, etc.

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    Related: Xubuntu desktop minimal installation - you could also consider installing xubuntu-desktop with the --no-install-recommends option – steeldriver Jan 5 at 0:16
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    I have xubuntu-desktop installed, there are no packages from the restricted-repository installed. Your example gstreamer1.0-libav is in the universe-repository. – mook765 Jan 5 at 0:23
  • @mook765 however the gstreamer1.0-libav package appears to be pulled in as a dependency of the (recommended) parole media player – steeldriver Jan 5 at 0:37
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    You really need to edit your question and add that you don't want the non-free or patent-encumbered packages in your desktop at all. However, this sounds to me like you might have to build your own desktop and not go with one that is prepackaged. – Terrance Jan 5 at 1:01
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    Unfortunately, I don't know all the distros that have Core installs. But yes, it is per desktop. You might also look into the Minimal installs that allow you just to choose the packages that you want. help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/MinimalCD But those are only for clean installs. – Terrance Jan 5 at 1:13

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