Ubuntu – Using multiple desktop environments


Can I install extra desktop environments without affecting my current environment?

I'm asking because I got mixed messages saying that it is no problem as well as those that say that the universe basically exploded when they switched temporarily.

Best Answer

You may install as many as you wish. The only 2 that I know of that are incompatible are gnome-shell and unity (one or the other).

The only complaints I have seen about doing so are either :

  1. Cosmetic changes to themes , including plymouth (boot screen), log in screen, and sometimes icons. You can always set these they way you like post install.

  2. Duplicate apps (multiple text editors, cd burners, etc). This makes the menu crowded. You can use kde/xfce/lxde apps with any of the desktop environments.

  3. It can be painstaking to remove the desktops if you no longer wish to keep them. Other window managers (fluxbox, openbox, etc) are easier to remove.

  4. Some people complain of performance hits due to loading multiple libs into ram. IMO the performance hit is negligible. It does require more hard drive space and more packages == more likely to find bugs.

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