I found something that works, from this page "Getting Back to a Pure Gnome on Ubuntu"
Basically, what you need to do is figure out all the packages that were installed by xubuntu, remove those packages, and then reinstall the ubuntu-desktop metapackage.
Some ways to achieve this:
A. Use the command suggested on "Getting Back to a Pure Gnome on Ubuntu" page:
sudo apt-get remove a2ps abiword abiword-common abiword-help abiword-plugin-grammar abiword-plugin-mathview abiword-plugins app-install-data-commercial catfish exaile exo-utils feh fortune-mod fortunes-min giblib1 gigolo gnome-app-install gnumeric gnumeric-common gnumeric-doc gtk2-engines-xfce imagemagick libaiksaurus-1.2-0c2a libaiksaurus-1.2-data libaiksaurusgtk-1.2-0c2a libexo-0.3-0 libgdome2-0 libgdome2-cpp-smart0c2a libgnomecups1.0-1 libgnomeprint2.2-0 libgnomeprint2.2-data libgnomeprintui2.2-0 libgnomeprintui2.2-common libgoffice-0-8 libgoffice-0-8-common libgtkmathview0c2a libid3tag0 libimlib2 liblink-grammar4 libotr2 libots0 libpolkit-dbus2 libpolkit-gnome0 libpolkit-grant2 libpolkit2 librecode0 libscim8c2a libt1-5 libtagc0 libthunar-vfs-1-2 libwv-1.2-3 libxcb-keysyms1 libxfce4menu-0.1-0 libxfce4util4 libxfcegui4-4 libxfconf-0-2 libxmlrpc-core-c3 link-grammar-dictionaries-en mousepad orage pidgin pidgin-data pidgin-libnotify pidgin-otr policykit policykit-gnome psutils python-cddb python-mmkeys python-mutagen ristretto scim scim-bridge-agent scim-bridge-client-gtk scim-gtk2-immodule scim-modules-socket scim-modules-table scim-tables-additional tango-icon-theme tango-icon-theme-common tcl thunar thunar-archive-plugin thunar-data thunar-media-tags-plugin thunar-thumbnailers thunar-volman thunderbird ttf-arphic-uming ttf-liberation usb-creator usplash-theme-xubuntu vim-runtime wdiff xchat xchat-common xfce4-appfinder xfce4-battery-plugin xfce4-clipman-plugin xfce4-cpugraph-plugin xfce4-dict xfce4-fsguard-plugin xfce4-mailwatch-plugin xfce4-mixer xfce4-mount-plugin xfce4-netload-plugin xfce4-notes-plugin xfce4-panel xfce4-places-plugin xfce4-power-manager xfce4-power-manager-data xfce4-quicklauncher-plugin xfce4-screenshooter xfce4-session xfce4-settings xfce4-smartbookmark-plugin xfce4-systemload-plugin xfce4-terminal xfce4-utils xfce4-verve-plugin xfce4-volumed xfce4-weather-plugin xfce4-xkb-plugin xfconf xfdesktop4 xfdesktop4-data xfprint4 xfswitch-plugin xfwm4 xfwm4-themes xubuntu-artwork xubuntu-artwork-usplash xubuntu-default-settings xubuntu-desktop xubuntu-docs xubuntu-gdm-theme xubuntu-wallpapers && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
B. Reinstall any packages that you want which were removed by command. Remember that some packages that you wanted to keep will be removed because the command removed a dependency. In my case, I had to reinstall
- xchat (directly removed by command)
- thunderbird (directly removed by command)
- vim-gnome (vim-runtime had been removed)
- timer-applet (didn't go down the rabbit-hole as to why for this one)
One obvious problem with this method this that one may find problems with applications that are rarely used. There may be more problems as well.
A. Figure out exactly what packages were installed on your system when you installed xubuntu-desktop, and remove only those packages
More details to follow. Some months ago, I found a neat script that would parse the dpkg log files (
/var/log/dkpg.log*) and provide a list of packages installed and removed and when. I need to find that again.
A. Edit the gdm theme using the instructions from this site:
- Logout of your current session and return to the GDM
- Switch to the tty command line prompt using Ctrl-Alt-F1
- Login using your normal login/password
- at the command line prompt type: export DISPLAY=:0.0
- then type: sudo -u gdm gnome-control-center
- Switch back to the gdm screen using ALT-F7
- The gnome-control-center should be loaded. Use it to configure your GDM.
- Click on the Appearances icon, in appearances you can change your GDM's font, theme and background image.
- Close the gnome-control-center and login normally.
Of course, you would need to know how the Ubuntu standard gdm was configured to use this method. Or you could just go crazy and have fun with it.