Saturday, September 7, 2013

Try out Xubuntu/Xfce from a normal Ubuntu installation

I've blogged before about Xubuntu/Xfce, but what if you've already got regular Ubuntu installed and want to try out Xubuntu without reinstalling? Thankfully, it's actually pretty easy, and you can have it up and running in a matter of minutes:

  1. Install Xfce and the settings to make it look like Xubuntu (if you prefer it to look more like vanilla Xfce instead of Xubuntu, leave out xubuntu-default-settings):
    sudo apt-get install indicator-application-gtk2 indicator-sound-gtk2 xfce4 xfce4-datetime-plugin xfce4-indicator-plugin xfce4-terminal xubuntu-default-settings

  2. Log out

  3. Click the icon to the right of your username and select Xubuntu Session (you can also choose Xfce session if you want vanilla Xfce)

  4. Type your password and log in
That's it! Now, you can customize Xfce to your liking. These are all optional of course, but they're some of the customizations I prefer:

  1. Disable dock auto-hiding
    1. Click on the Xfce icon (it looks like a mouse head) in the upper-left side of the screen

    2. Go to Settings --> Settings Manager --> Panel

    3. In the dropbox a the top of the window, change to the dock panel (probably Panel 2)

    4. Uncheck Automatically show and hide the panel

  2. Remove any empty icons in the dock by right clicking on them --> Remove

  3. Hide default desktop icons
    1. Xfce menu --> Settings --> Settings Manager --> Panel --> Icons

    2. Under Default Icons, uncheck any icons you wish to hide

  4. Remove the duplicate login screen entry
    1. If you prefer the Xubuntu look and feel and want to get rid of the Xfce Session entry, run this command:
      sudo mv /usr/share/xsessions/xfce.desktop /usr/share/xsessions/xfce.desktop.bak

    2. If you prefer the vanilla Xfce look and feel and want to get rid of the Xubuntu Session entry, run this command:
      sudo mv /usr/share/xsessions/xubuntu.desktop /usr/share/xsessions/xubuntu.desktop.bak

  5. Change the default file manager and terminal
    1. Xfce menu --> Settings --> Settings Manager --> Preferred Applications --> Utilities

    2. File Manger --> Nautilus

    3. Terminal Emulator --> GNOME Terminal
If, for some reason you accidentally chose Xfce Session (or Xubuntu Session) and it messed up your layout for the other, you can run this command to completely wipe your Xubuntu/Xfce settings and restore it to the default layout:

rm -rf ~/.cache/xfce4 ~/.config/xfce4

Just remember you will lose any customization you may have made to Xubuntu/Xfce.



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