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How can I install Unity after installing Desktop Edition?

I'm running Ubuntu Desktop 10.10, but I just saw a screenshot of Ubuntu Netbook Edition and I'd like to try it out.


Is it possible to install just the netbook desktop interface and then switch between it and the normal GNOME desktop?

  • 1
    There's a subtle difference between this and that... is very subtle though.
    – 8128
    Oct 23, 2010 at 20:19
  • They look like they're practically the same thing, but I don't know how I was supposed to guess that the interface was called "Unity" in order to find the earlier question. If these are merged, the earlier question should be modified to clarify that a side-by-side setup is desired.
    – ændrük
    Oct 23, 2010 at 20:44

4 Answers 4


Yes, when you install the Ubuntu Netbook edition How can I install Unity after installing Desktop Edition after successful installation when you logout the GDM login screen will have an additional option for Ubuntu Netbook - you'll be able to switch from Gnome to Netbook (Just as if you were switching between Gnome and KDE, etc)


If you run the following command, it will pull the Ubuntu-Netbook interface so you can try it

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-netbook

Then logout and click your username. Before you type your password, click on the bottom drop down box where it says "Ubuntu Desktop Edition" and select "Ubuntu Netbook Edition" then type your password and it will log you into the Netbook Interface.

Here is a good video on how to do this

  • Are Unity and ubuntu-netbook synonymous?
    – ændrük
    Oct 23, 2010 at 20:41
  • I think unity only installs that one package
    – russjr08
    Oct 23, 2010 at 21:20

I did it with my rig 10.10 64bit edition board M2N32SLI Deluxe amd athlon dual core 3800+ 4gig of ram nvidia 9600gt sudo apt-get install unity works well so far


Be careful, very careful before installing particularly if you use auto login.

After installing Unity on my production Ubuntu 10.10 by these commands: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:canonical-dx-team/une sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install unity a reboot was required.

After the splash screen, I got nothing but a flashing screen (Dell D610). Nothing would work, System Rescue, Rescatux, Supergrub, etc. The only solution was to reinstall 10.10 on the same partition, then reinstall the software that is not part of the default install. BUMMER. If Ubuntu goes with Unity, I'll switch to another distro.

  • Your installation broke because you used a testing PPA on a production system, that PPA was for 10.04 and 10.10 testing. Dec 3, 2010 at 18:34
  • A reinstall was not the only solution: a rescue boot, or an adjusted kernel command line to start a shell instead of init, or various other approaches would have given you an environment in which the damage could be fixed.
    – jmtd
    Dec 8, 2010 at 7:55

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