I am running Ubuntu 14.04 32-bit (Default Unity D.E.).I have Xubuntu14.04 desktop (32-bit) ISO file (image). It must exist Xubuntu Desktop Environment inside ISO file.

I don't want to install whole Xubuntu OS from ISO (by burning to Disk and clean-install) But only Xubuntu Desktop Environment in my Ubuntu 14.04 OS.

I know that I can install Xubuntu D.E. by sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop in my current Ubuntu 14.04 OS.
But Can I install xubuntu desktop environment from xubuntu's iso file (Instead of online by apt-get)?

How to do that?

3 Answers 3


On an installed Ubuntu install, cache of installed packages is stored at /var/cache/apt/archives so they don't need to be downloaded again if they are needed to be re-installed.

On an install disk (Ubuntu 14.04, should be the same as the Xubuntu one), the compressed file-system appears to be at casper/filesystem.squashfs. So you should be able to decompress the squashfs file (I wouldn't do it as root, odd things may happen then), and extract the cached deb archives. Then you could install from the debs the dependencies listed here.

The problem is that the packages may be installed on the compressed filesystem, but not cached, so installing from the disk becomes impossible. I tried this with a normal Ubuntu install disk (a 1GB 14.04 one downloaded from here - using the command unsquashfs '/run/media/wilf/Ubuntu 14.04 LTS i386/casper/filesystem.squashfs in a empty directory), and there were no cached packages.

As cached packages use up an awful lot of space, when trying to fit a system installer to a ISO which has to fit on a CD or DVD, it is not surprising these are left out - especially on the Xubuntu disk, as it is more for low-spec systems. Unless you copy the installed data over, which is not a good idea, you can't really install from the iso. Cached packages may be included on the larger 4GB install ISOs available for some systems.

So you are probably stuck with installing xubuntu-desktop - great idea though.

  • I found one solution my self ; visit my answer
    – Pandya
    Nov 22, 2014 at 10:22
  • @Wilf interesting method, rep ++
    – Freeman
    Sep 20, 2020 at 16:54

The command dpkg-repack can help you by following way:

  1. First List packages required for installing Desktop-Environment (Here example for xubuntu-desktop:

    sudo apt-get install  xubuntu-desktop -s | grep Inst | cut -d " " -f 2 > file1

    Above command writes required packages' list for xubuntu-desktop in file1.

  2. Use Try without installing option from live Environment from ISO (By either of 2 ways):-

    • Add entry of ISO in GRUB and directly use Live Environment (try OS without installing)
    • Burn ISO to DVD and go for Try Without Installing
  3. On Live Environment Run following command:

    sudo xargs dpkg-repack < file1

    Above command dpkg-repack creates deb files (in the directory where command is run) of all packages listed in file1 because Xubuntu's Live session contains all packages in installed condition! (Move/Copy them to your storage)

  4. Now You've all required debs in a directory. Restart and come Back to your Ubuntu (Default) OS and install packages either of following ways:

    • cd to directory containing all debs and run dpkg -i *.deb
    • OR (Recommended as standard method is APT) Install with help of Local repository

In brief : By this method you can get required debs by dpkg-repack from live session of distro's ISO and install them to current OS

Note/warning: Here same version of Ubuntu & Xubuntu used if there is old/update then dependency issues may brakes/downgrades current packages

  • That was perfect ! rep ++
    – Freeman
    Sep 20, 2020 at 16:55

The ISO file contains the live image of the xubuntu, while for installation you need debs which are often found online but if you want to do offline install you may need to download the debs and then run them or use something like aptocd

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