I know it used to be possible to install several different flavours of Ubuntu into the same Ubuntu base. I could log out of flavour 1 and log back into Flavour 2, and so on I have forgotten how to do this :-( Please advise.

  • For testing I would use VirtualBox – nobody Nov 25 '20 at 15:09
  • That is most helpful. Thanks. – Brian Nov 26 '20 at 11:17

Yes you can install multiple desktops on a base system.

The system I'm replying to you on is originally a artful (17.10) Ubuntu desktop install, on which I added lubuntu-desktop, xubuntu-desktop & ubuntu-mate-desktop. It's been upgraded every six months (I don't remain on LTS or long-term-support releases).

I have since removed ubuntu-mate-desktop (because of disk space issues; I used it least).

Take note:

  • On adding the second desktop I would not expect any issues.
  • On adding the third desktop there is a minor chance of issues.
  • On adding the fourth desktop there is a substantial risk of issues.
  • On adding the fifth desktop, issues are to be expected.

I installed my 4 (GNOME, XFCE, LXDE [now LXQt] & MATE) many times in different orders before I calculated the best order without issues, then formatted the system and installed them for real (and it's still running now, where I'm replying from).

I also wanted KDE (or kubuntu-desktop) but decided that was too much, the problems got annoying.

It's not just the desktops, but also the order they are added.

The above is from my experience, as a multiple-desktop user for over a decade on Ubuntu (longer on Debian).

  • THE answer I was seeking PLUS advice about problems. Great. – Brian Nov 26 '20 at 11:19

You can install different desktops from the terminal e.g.

sudo apt install ubuntu-mate-desktop xubuntu-desktop

You can choose which one to use when you log in.

  • Problem was I had forgotten I had to get desktops from the terminal NOT from a mirror.:-( Thanks to everyone! – Brian Nov 26 '20 at 11:21

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