Turn Ubuntu 14.04 into Xubuntu 14.04

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From Unity to Xfce: Ubuntu 14.04 becomes Xubuntu 14.04

1. Maybe you don't like the appearance of Ubuntu, with the Unity desktop. There's no accounting for tastes...

In that case, you have several options for changing your desktop and its looks, for Linux is all about choice. An easy method is, to install in Ubuntu the more traditional desktop of Xubuntu (Xfce). This way, you can avoid a fresh installation of Xubuntu (although a clean installation is technically a slightly better option).

Normally I'm against installing other desktops next to the original one. Because this always causes system pollution and increases the chance of malfunctions.

But installing the Xubuntu desktop (Xfce) in Ubuntu (Gnome/Unity) gives hardly any problems, because they are very much alike "under the hood". Furthermore, you can hugely decrease the inevitable system pollution by a couple of simple actions.

Clean and easy

2. The Xubuntu desktop has a clean, professional and functional look. Easy to operate and complete. Without useless frills, which is one of the reasons why Xubuntu is very stable and reliable.

Especially former Windows users will be able to adjust to the Xubuntu desktop very quickly. Rapid access to all of your applications, and you're productive in no time at all!

See the screenshots below:


3. Below you see three screenshots of Xubuntu 14.04. Not quite the default view: the main difference in appearance is another one of the default set of wallpapers, which can of course be changed easily.

A click on the "mouse head" icon in the upper left corner of the screen, launches the menu (click on the image to enlarge it):

The settings have a separate button in the menu (in the screenshot below, the mouse pointer is on the settings button). Click on the image to enlarge it:

The settings window (click on the image to enlarge it):

(continued in the column on the right)

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4. This is how you transform Ubuntu into Xubuntu:

A. Installation

- Establish internet connection

Click on the grey Ubuntu logo (Dash home), in the top of the side panel. Use the query Terminal
Click on Terminal

Type (use copy/paste, that's safer):
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop gksu leafpad synaptic

Press Enter. Type your password. Your password will remain entirely invisible. not even dots will show, this is normal. Press Enter again.

Now an intensive operation is being launched; simply wait.

B. Log in to Xubuntu

- When the installation is complete: log out of Ubuntu. Note: log out, don't shut down!

- In the login window, click on the Ubuntu logo next to your user name. Select Xubuntu Session.

- Enter your password and press Enter. Now the Xubuntu desktop appears! It doesn't look pretty yet: darkish and gloomy, with probably a lot of icons on the desktop. But all that is easily changeable (more about that that later on).

First: the Great Cleanup!

C. Cleanup

- Now it's time for cleanup, in order to prevent system pollution problems.

Note: the cleanup will remove as much as possible of Ubuntu's desktop environment Unity, so afterwards you won't be able to use Unity anymore!

Click on the mouse icon (top left) - Accessories - Terminal Emulator

Copy/paste the following text into the terminal, that's both easier and safer than typing:

sudo apt-get remove nautilus gnome-power-manager gnome-screensaver gnome-termina* gnome-pane* gnome-applet* gnome-bluetooth gnome-desktop* gnome-sessio* gnome-user* gnome-shell-common compiz compiz* unity unity* hud zeitgeist zeitgeist* python-zeitgeist libzeitgeist* activity-log-manager-common gnome-control-center gnome-screenshot overlay-scrollba* && sudo apt-get install xubuntu-community-wallpapers && sudo apt-get autoremove

Press Enter. Type your password. Your password will remain entirely invisible, not even dots will show, this is normal. Press Enter again.

You're almost done now; reboot your computer (full reboot) and you can head straight on to lots of tips for tweaking, tuning and beautifying Xubuntu that can be found here.

D. Tweak, tune and beautify Xubuntu

Lots of tips for tweaking, tuning and beautifying Xubuntu can be found here.

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