I recently switched from Lubuntu to Xubuntu but I prefer Lubuntu's file manager, PCManFM, to Thunar, which is the default file manager in Xubuntu. So I installed PCManFM instead. Then I tried to uninstall Thunar via Synaptic but this process wants to uninstall other software as well, including "xubuntu-desktop".


Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    Maybe because of your bias. I think Thunar is awesome. PCManFM lacks a lot of features Jan 4, 2013 at 3:06
  • hmm ok @function but it seems a bit pot kettle. Besides, I think it's fair to say thunar incorrectly labeling my filesizes as 4.1kb is a flaw. The files were not 4.1kb.
    – Magpie
    Jan 4, 2013 at 5:42
  • That said, I do take your point. I am sure thunar has some appeal to those who have different requirements to mine and in fairness PCManFM cannot display file sizes either.
    – Magpie
    Jan 4, 2013 at 20:19

2 Answers 2


Removing xubuntu-desktop will actually do little.

xubuntu-desktop is only a metapackage.

This means that it has no files or code whatsoever, except for a control file that says it depends on thunar and other stuff, and possibly a bit of filler code. [Citation needed]. You can safely remove this package without losing anything, since all its installation did was pull in a ton of other packages, which actually make the Xubuntu interface work, that aren;t on the list of removals.

The reason it gets removed, is it "depends" on Thunar in order to get Thunar installed in a Xubuntu installation, so when Thunar is removed, xubuntu-desktop is als oremoved(without ill effect).

With that said, updates that add Xubuntu packages(uncommon) will go unnoticed, but updates on existing Xubuntu packages(common) will be performed.

  • Here goes nothing then! Aside from that I thought xubuntu-desktop was the environment therefore looked after panel etc. Can you please elaborate on this a bit, I am quite interested in learning something more about it.
    – Magpie
    Jan 4, 2013 at 1:39
  • and what about xfdesktop4. Will that eat into my panel and icons or am I safe to get rid of the rest of the thunar remains?
    – Magpie
    Jan 4, 2013 at 1:48
  • As already said xubuntu-desktopis nothing more than a meta package. If you remove Thunar only those packages named thunarshould be removed, xfdesktop4 provides the Desktop (read, the Desktop itself not the whole Environment) and xfce4-panel provides, well... the panel. Jan 4, 2013 at 1:51
  • Also I asked this askubuntu.com/questions/177752/… a while ago and never got a true answer. Different situation but I am wondering if this a similar deal to the one you just described here?
    – Magpie
    Jan 4, 2013 at 1:52
  • 3
    xubuntu-desktop is a "place holder" if you will, that makes the installation and upgrading of many packages easier, you tell the computer to install it and it installs hundreds of other packages, you un-install xubuntu-desktop and all it un-installs is xubuntu-desktop help.ubuntu.com/community/MetaPackages
    – Mateo
    Jan 4, 2013 at 2:09

In Xubuntu 16.04 when removing thunar, besides the packages you show in your question, also the package xubuntu-core is removed, but even when you remove it "nothing happens" (I did it).

So it is safe to remove thunar and associate dependences in Xubuntu. However some thunar-related packages remain such as libthunarx-2-0 and thunar-data. The removing of such packages is discouraged, as they force the removing of package xfdesktop4, which has an important display function.

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