I want to install Lubuntu on my old desktop with 128MB of RAM. As the memory is not enough to run the graphical installer, I had to follow the minimal install from a minimal.iso file as described here. However, halfway through the installation when the installer asked me which software I wanted to choose (the list that includes mail server, openssh server...) I chose ubuntu-netbook. That was stupid, because my RAM is really too bad for anything standard.

Now let's say I have Ubuntu (actually the netbook thing, but that doesn't make any difference in this question I think). I have also installed lubuntu-desktop so I have Lubuntu as well. How can I remove the things that came with Ubuntu, to keep only a fresh Lubuntu installation?


Run the following command in terminal:

sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop

This may change the GUI to a lightweight Graphical interface. Although it DOES NOT make it Lubuntu.

Lubuntu has less services, less resource consuming applications, and an overall smaller size when compared to Ubuntu.

GRUB 2 will recognize the system installed; I believe the root question is:

"Can I replace my current Linux install with Lubuntu, keeping the current partitions and data intact?"

The answer is Yes.

Once you boot from the Lubuntu Live CD and choose to install, Lubuntu will recognize this install and ask you if you wish to replace with Lubuntu 'keeping data where it can' and erase everything else.

I suggest the tech savvy individuals to play with Grub in a VM before attempting anything of this nature on your real system, and also of course backing up everything. It gets confusing when dealing with multiple installs, where to install Grub and mount points. Boot manager inside Linux can help after an install as well.

If you are somewhat tech savvy I also suggest creating your own partitions manually in the future with a /home directory; use Gparted to see how Ubuntu has currently setup your HDD and use that as a template to improve upon.

In your case the memory of your system is too low for the Lubuntu GUI install as 256MB is recommended if I recall. But hopefully this will help someone else with a similar issue.


Your best bet, to avoid a load of possibly faulty work, is to reinstall, and choose not to install anything extra. Then when it boots, and you log in, you can run sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop from the command line. When this completes, run sudo reboot to restart. Lubuntu should now be what you see on starting your system.

  • That would be the easiest, but also the most painful, cos I'll have to download everything again :( – phunehehe Dec 20 '10 at 13:34
  • I'll only do it if there is no other way – phunehehe Dec 20 '10 at 13:44
  • you could remove all the related packages, but you are likely to break the system along the way. Also you run the risk of leaving stuff behind. So my suggestion is that you use this option. – RolandiXor Dec 20 '10 at 14:35
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    How come somebody downvotes this? Please explain – phunehehe Dec 20 '10 at 16:08
  • I get those kinds of downvotes all the time :/ I have a couple of guesses why but I won't say anything about that :\ – RolandiXor Dec 20 '10 at 20:38

ubuntu-netbook is a meta package you can uninstall with this command :

apt-get remove --purge ubuntu-netbook
  • Yep, but because it's a meta package that wouldn't do much, if anything. – phunehehe Dec 20 '10 at 14:50
  • How does this answer the question? – Tejas Shetty Mar 17 '20 at 14:44

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