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I'm planning on switching to Kubuntu once 17.04 lands (from standard Ubuntu Unity). Right now, I'm torn between clean install or just do apt install kubuntu-desktop.

What can I expect if I decide to do apt install kubuntu-desktop, aside from the obvious (i.e. redundant apps)? Which one do you recommend? Will there be weird quirks?

  • This has been asked several times. Check the above or this askubuntu.com/questions/478080/… – Anwar Apr 11 '17 at 19:56
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    I disagree this is a duplicate, the existing answers touch on aspects of mutliple GUI, and live vs installed, and do not address the question, what are the comparative differences between options, and not if it is possible. – Steve Hope Apr 12 '17 at 12:16
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    further in the disclaimer in the previous answers indicate the author is basing his revised evaluation on information not based on testing, or interactions with the community, rather information gleaned from the web, my answer is based on testing. iso.qa.ubuntu.com/qatracker/reports/testers – Steve Hope Apr 12 '17 at 12:37
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General preparation for all options

As with all major disk operations, ensure you have backups of important data, before beginning. Pay special attention to backing up any keys, SSL, GPG, etc on the drive as they are not included in many backup routines. I use seahorse Passwords and Keys, any keymanager should have a backup function.

Option # 1: Get Kubuntu Desktop for your flavour

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

Will add kubuntu-desktop GUI and apps, to your existing installation, you can switch between at the login. Pros, both are available. Cons, a lot of redundancy.

Option # 2: Clean install

Pros, well it's clean. Cons, time and effort reinstalling packages, and possibly data.

New information: Xubuntu, 17.04 release will provision a swap file instead of a partition swap on clean installs, upgrades in place will continue using the legacy swap partition. Check you iso release notes for your chosen Ubuntu version

Option # 3: Upgrade in place * my recommendation

Download a iso image of the desired version of Kubuntu, and put on a USB. Boot from USB, select the first Option, Update to... Pros, clean Kubuntu GUI, the installer cherry-picks conflicting system files and removes them. Cons: none I'm aware of

Option # 4: Install alongside your existing installation.

Not really an option for your end point.

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  • Option 3 is an option?! My day just got better! I didn't expect that at all. – YamiYukiSenpai Apr 11 '17 at 19:44
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    glad i could help, I've recently been iso testing all too familiar to me – Steve Hope Apr 11 '17 at 19:45
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    Although option 3 can work, I wouldn't suggest it. Conflicts can get nasty if you've installed applications from PPAs, for example. – RolandiXor Apr 11 '17 at 19:47
  • @RolandiXor is it because of the dependencies? – YamiYukiSenpai Apr 11 '17 at 19:49
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    @YamiYukiSenpai both dependencies and the fact that PPAs get disabled during upgrades. You need to manually fix that afterwards. – RolandiXor Apr 11 '17 at 19:57
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As someone who has used a ton of desktop environments on the same system for years, I can tell you that you won't really notice any problems.

You'll just be adding KDE's apps to your installation. LibreOffice is already a part of Ubuntu, and both use Firefox.

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  • I'd say no. There are some nasty problems with Unity and KDE DE co-existing. Especially in 16.04. I can't tell about 17.04, but expect some problems because both tries to alter defaults in many places – Anwar Apr 11 '17 at 19:52
  • Only "problem" I've ever had with defaults was what default splash screen I see on boot. I've been running multiple desktops for years, and things have certainly improved vastly in recent years. – RolandiXor Apr 11 '17 at 20:01
  • Major one is KDE using adwaita theme anD icon with ubuntu desktop installed side by side. Change back the theme won't help. This problem is due to appmenu-qt5 package Ubuntu depends on. Other annoyance which don't have a solution is association of file types with program. For example after kde installation. font will be opened by kfontview, which is not native to Unity. You can't have DE specific programs to open files with multi-DE – Anwar Apr 11 '17 at 23:54
  • Technically you can (I do). If you use different file managers, for example, you can choose which program to open a file type with in that file manager and it usually sticks IIRC. My KDE doesn't use the GTK theme by default (never has). You've probably selected the GTK theme in your settings and don't realize. – RolandiXor Apr 14 '17 at 3:33
  • I always use different file managers in different DE. This won't solve the problem because default program is set based on mime type . Set the font file to open with kfontview in KDE, that's fine. now switch to Unity, you'll find that fonts are being opened by kfontview here . About the themes, since KDE5 this has improved a lot. There are works done to get uniform look and feel, but still they are different programs – Anwar Apr 14 '17 at 3:52

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