How to Change From Xubuntu to Ubuntu

By Michael Belcher

Xubuntu is designed to run on older, slower computers with less processing power and memory; Ubuntu is designed for newer, faster models.
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Ubuntu and Xubuntu are operating systems based on Debian Linux. The operating systems are very similar except they use different default desktop environments. Xubuntu uses the lightweight XFCE desktop environment, while Ubuntu uses the more processor-taxing GNOME environment. You can switch between the desktop environments by downloading and installing software from within Xubuntu. This enables the user to switch environments without having to change the current Xubuntu installation or migrate any files to a new operating system.

Step 1

Update Xubuntu to the latest version by opening "System," then "Administration," then "Update Manager." Follow the on-screen instructions. Several pieces of software are shared between the environments. Updating Xubuntu to the most recent release will make the Ubuntu installation easier later on.

Step 2

Open Synaptic Package Manager in the "Administration" menu and search for "Ubuntu-Desktop." This software metapackage has several packages, including the GNOME desktop environment and the default Ubuntu software applications. Starting with version 10.10, Ubuntu and Xubuntu no longer list other Ubuntu desktop packages in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Step 3

Log out of Xubuntu. Select your user name on the log-in screen. A new drop-down menu should appear at the bottom of the screeen. It will say either "XFCE" or "Xubuntu." Select the menu and change it to "Ubuntu." Enter your password and log in. The computer should enter the Ubuntu desktop environment. All files and folders will be at the same locations and all applications used in Xubuntu will work in Ubuntu, but new applications will be available to use in Ubuntu.