How can I install XFCE along side Unity?

I would like to be able to install XFCE to run alongside unity so I can choose, upon startup, which DE I use, without breaking any features of either DE.

Following this: Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr: a classic beauty

Note: don’t install Nautilus in Xubuntu! This will cause system

I don’t want to affect ANY of the features in Unity, i.e. I want to be able to use the two interchangeably, so I can’t follow some suggestions of just cleaning out all the old stuff as that would mean using Unity would be changed.

Can I install Unity aside with XFCE and switch them as I want? Is this possible in 12.04?

Asked By: James


Just install xubuntu-desktop and it should work :). It should not conflict anything (never did for me).

Answered By: MiJyn

There are no conflicts between XFCE and Unity, and Nautilus works perfectly fine on Xubuntu 12.04 and 12.10.

If you wish to install XFCE in Ubuntu, install either xubuntu-desktop (for XFCE + Xubuntu branding + all Xubuntu default apps), or just xfce by itself if you don’t want to end up with two sets of default apps.

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop


sudo apt-get install xfce4

Additionally – and I stress that this is based only on my own personal experience on one laptop – I’ve found that Xubuntu boots and runs much more quickly than Ubuntu whether Unity is installed or not. Based on this experience, I always prefer to install Unity on Xubuntu instead of XFCE on Ubuntu if I want an OS with both desktop environments. You may wish to try the same next time you reinstall your OS and see if you notice any performance improvements.

Answered By: Sman789
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