Get rid of Unity, install another desktop manager like KDE, XFCE or LXDE

Some do and some don't like the new unity interface that Ubuntu offers by default. Since this version of Ubuntu uses the new GNOME 3 desktop manager as well, things have changed a lot in the look and feel of your system.
I still don't like a lot of unity. It's not easily customizable and I don't like that. Although I understand that from a point of view of help-desk service provider that's nice, because every desktop behaves the same.

What are the choices.

First of all there are the standard derivatives of Ubuntu you could install.

GNOME classic, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu  will work fine. But what if you already installed Ubuntu and don't want to reinstall the lot. This is what you can do:

Gnome 3 with a nifty shell  doesn’t require the addition of any extra ‘software repositories’, or the running of any dubious scripts: Just run this command in a terminal: (After sudo you have to type your login password. It is not shown when you type it.)

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell gnome-themes-standard

for some handy tools integrated in Gnome shell use:

sudo apt-get install gnome-sushi gnome-contacts gnome-tweak-tool

For running KDE use one of the following commands in a terminal.

for a full blown system (about 2 Gb extra harddrive use) use:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-full

for a smal laptop without plenty of resources use:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-mobile

for a normal system use:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

for a KDE only system without the kubuntu artwork:
sudo apt-get install kde-full
sudo apt-get install plasma-desktop
sudo apt-get install plasma-netbook

For running XFCE (from Xubuntu) use this command:
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

if you don't want the xubuntu artwork us this instead:
sudo apt-get install xfce4

For running LXDE (from Lubuntu) use this command:
sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop

if you don't want the xubuntu artwork us this instead:
sudo apt-get install lxde

When you're running a localised version of Ubuntu, sometimes you should add the language modules to your installation. E.G. for Dutch systems thats done with these commands:

for KDE systems:
sudo apt-get install kde-l10n-nl language-pack-kde-nl language-pack-nl language-pack-kde-nl-base

for GNOME systems:

sudo apt-get install language-pack-gnome-nl language-pack-nl language-pack-gnome-nl-base

As far as I could discover, XFCE and LXDE don't have separate language modules. To be sure run this:

sudo apt-get install language-pack-nl

For german system change nl into de, for french into fr etc.

After this you have to logoff and logon again.

Ubuntu’s new login manager makes switching between sessions super easy:

  • At the login screen click the ‘cog’ icon to the right of your user name
  • Choose the session you want to log into from the menu. For GNOME Shell you’ll want to select ‘GNOME’ 
  • Enter your password and login as normal
Change default display manger.

After installing another displaymanager, sometimes the loginscreen will be changed to. If you don´t like the choice you made when installing e.g. KDE this is the command to run in a terminal:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm

Will prompt you to make it default. More information here:

Finally, the splash screen will be changed when installed Kubuntu. With one easy terminal command you can choose the one you want:

sudo update-alternatives --config default.plymouth
sudo update-initramfs -u

Then start Synaptic and uninstall these items:

I uninstalled


using synaptic.