If you’re new to Ubuntu you may or may not be aware of the fact that we like our choices here. One of the big choices is the desktop environment that you work in. The big two are Gnome and KDE, but there are quite a few more. Xubuntu, or Ubuntu using the XFCE desktop environment, is another official release variant from the Ubuntu community. If you’ve never tried it out I’ve got instructions below on how to install it in parallel to your existing desktop, giving you the option of selecting one at login.
Installing the Xubuntu Desktop
Installing the XFCE desktop environment can be done by way of the Ubuntu package repositories. It has been simplified with the creation of a meta-package, which is a simple package containing a longer list of required packages. To install the XFCE environment is done with the following:
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
When this is finished you’ll need to logout of your current session and select XFCE as the next session you’d like to use. This option is found on the login screen. Look for “Sessions” and select XFCE. This can be made the default or just a temporary change.
Being able to select the session, or the environment that we’re going to use gives us the opportunity to try out multiple desktop environments without needing to reinstall or affect our current system much. If you don’t like one, simply install and select a different session.
If you’d like to remove the XFCE environment at some point you can use:
sudo apt-get remove xubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get autoremove