I've been a Ubuntu user for the past few months now, dual booting between Windows 7 and Ubuntu on my Laptop, and always trying to learn new things with Ubuntu, and I learned that it's possible to change the desktop environment from Unity to Xfce, so I used this code in the terminal sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop . I don't really have a problem with Unity for the most part except the top panel bar never ceases to leave the screen, and is incredibly annoying on occasions.

Anyway, while I waited, I went to have lunch and when I returned, my laptop went into sleep mode, but I did notice that the installation had completed, and without any extra thoughts I logged out and switched over to Xubuntu.

Now everything works fine for the most part, but as soon as I switch over it gives me the message "System Program Problem Detected". It takes it's own time to log out, and there are also occasions where I cannot switch back to Unity at all.

When I am back in unity, I'm getting the same problems, which I didn't get before. So I'm just wondering if it's possible to remove Xubuntu with a terminal command and reverting it back to Ubuntu completely? After that I'd like to just use Xfce alone without the Xubuntu desktop, or at least try.

Help is much appreciated.

1 Answer 1


Use these commands to purge xubuntu and to install xfce:

sudo apt-get purge xubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get install xfce4

Run the command:

apt-cache search xfce | grep xfce

to list all available related packages.

To install all of those packages, run this command

sudo apt-get install xfce4* 
  • Maybe add sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop before installing xfce4.
    – s3lph
    Sep 30, 2014 at 20:54
  • Well, I have run sudo apt-get purge xubunutu-desktop as well as the next 2 commands, but I've avoided sudo apt-get install xfce4 because I'm still getting the "System Program Problem Detected. I'm going to do sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop as soon as I get back to my computer. I just need to know, how large will the download be? I'm just curious because my monthly bandwidth is close to reaching it's limit.
    – user333283
    Sep 30, 2014 at 21:19
  • @Eric IDK how much. Here's the dependency list for running sudo apt-get install xfce4 Depends: xfwm4 xfconf xfce4-settings xfce4-panel xfdesktop4 thunar gtk2-engines-xfce xfce4-session xfce4-appfinder xfce4-mixer orage libxfce4ui-utils` when you run the command sudo apt-get install <packagename> you will be prompted to accept and install the packages. Select "N" or "No" so you can review the size of the download before installation, it will be listed in the terminal output.
    – mchid
    Oct 1, 2014 at 12:04
  • @Eric The size will depend on what's already installed on your system. Also, if you need to save bandwidth, do not run sudo apt-get update unless necessary to perform updates (upgrade).
    – mchid
    Oct 1, 2014 at 12:05

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