Is there a way to switch from Kubuntu to Ubuntu?

I tried to search with add /remove and on net but always get Ubuntu to Kubuntu not otherway around.

  • I'm assuming you mean how do you remove the Kubuntu desktop (kde) and use the Ubuntu desktop (gnome)
    – codeLes
    Aug 26, 2009 at 17:03
  • Dupe: superuser.com/questions/19603/… ?
    – user4358
    Aug 26, 2009 at 17:13
  • I had wondered if it were dupe... I guess the outcome are the same, but this particular question comes from the perspective of not even knowing how to get the dual desktop environment installed....
    – codeLes
    Aug 26, 2009 at 17:14
  • Another sad commentary on the state of KDE4. It is now stable with 4.3 Great, now they just need to make it more functional, like it used to be.
    – kmarsh
    Aug 26, 2009 at 20:07
  • @kmarsh: I'm new to KDE and I'm using 4.3 and am really enjoying it compared to my Gnome experience (which was always good btw). I think now though I'm a kde guy.
    – codeLes
    Aug 26, 2009 at 20:53

3 Answers 3


Simplest way:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get --purge remove kubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get autoremove

Here is a good place to research this kind of switch.

ubuntu-desktop (jaunty) and kubuntu-desktop (jaunty) are meta-packages that will reference all of the packages needed to run their respective desktop environment (including default applications).

When it gets to the point of installing gdm (gnome display manager) it will require some input from you. If you're plan is to remove KDE and KDM for good then let it switch your default display manager to be GDM.

By using the --purge flag you are removing all configurations for that package so any future install of it you will be starting from scratch. As was pointed out in a comment using the autoremove is how you tell apt to remove all orphaned packages that would have depended on the kubuntu-desktop and that should get rid of most (if not all) kde/kubuntu desktop apps.

Here are 2 SuperUser questions that might also be informative. Question 1, Question 2

  • 3
    apt-get autoremove is the one for removing orphaned packages, apt-get --purge remove is for deleting the configuration files too instead of just the packages.
    – Grumbel
    Aug 26, 2009 at 17:59
  • @Grumbel: good catch. I have updated to reflect. any other ways this could be a better answer?
    – codeLes
    Aug 26, 2009 at 18:07
  • apt-get autoremove will not remove the dependency of kubuntu-desktop because kubuntu-desktop is a metapackage
    – Anwar
    May 20, 2016 at 17:47
  • DO NOT DO THIS, I tried on Kubuntu 20.04 and uninstalling kubuntu-desktop severely broke my system. The computer crashed and wouldn't reboot. I had to mount it via usb drive and reinstall kubuntu-desktop.
    – Martino
    Nov 19, 2021 at 13:18

Install the ubuntu-desktop package. This will install all Gnome requirements.

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

After installation is complete, logout of your kde session so you are at the login screen. There should be an "session" icon somewhere on the screen. Click it, and select "Gnome" instead of KDE. Now when you login you will be in the gnome desktop. If you want to make this move permanent, follow jtbandes advice.


This page gives this monstrous command:

sudo apt-get remove akregator amarok amarok-common apport-qt ark cdrdao dolphin dontzap dragonplayer exiv2 foomatic-db-gutenprint gdebi-kde gnupg-agent gtk2-engines-qtcurve gwenview hpijs-ppds ijsgutenprint install-package jockey-kde k3b k3b-data kaddressbook kamera kate kde-icons-oxygen kde-printer-applet kde-style-qtcurve kde-window-manager kde-zeroconf kdebase-bin kdebase-data kdebase-plasma kdebase-runtime kdebase-runtime-bin-kde4 kdebase-runtime-data kdebase-runtime-data-common kdebase-workspace-bin kdebase-workspace-data kdebase-workspace-libs4+5 kdebluetooth kdegraphics-strigi-plugins kdelibs-bin kdelibs-data kdelibs4c2a kdelibs5 kdelibs5-data kdemultimedia-kio-plugins kdepasswd kdepim-kresources kdepim-strigi-plugins kdepim-wizards kdepimlibs-data kdepimlibs5 kdeplasma-addons kdeplasma-addons-data kdesudo kdm kfind khelpcenter4 klipper kmag kmail kmix kmousetool knotes konqueror konqueror-nsplugins konqueror-plugin-searchbar konsole kontact kopete korganizer kpackagekit krdc krfb ksnapshot ksysguard ksysguardd ksystemlog ktimetracker ktorrent ktorrent-data kubuntu-artwork-usplash kubuntu-default-settings kubuntu-desktop kubuntu-docs kubuntu-konqueror-shortcuts kuser kvkbd kwalletmanager language-selector-qt libakonadiprivate1 libao2 libaudio2 libavahi-qt3-1 libboost-program-options1.35.0 libclucene0ldbl libdbus-qt-1-1c2 libeet1 libexiv2-5 libflac++6 libgeoip1 libk3b3 libk3b3-extracodecs libkcddb4 libkdecorations4 libkdepim4 libkexiv2-7 libkholidays4 libkipi6 libkleo4 libkonq5 libkonq5-templates libkpgp4 libksieve4 libkwineffects1 libloudmouth1-0 liblua50 liblualib50 libmad0 libmimelib4 libmodplug0c2 libmpcdec3 libmsn0.1 libmysqlclient15off libokularcore1 libpackagekit-glib11 libpackagekit-qt11 libphonon4 libplasma3 libpoppler-qt4-3 libpq5 libqca2 libqca2-plugin-ossl libqedje0 libqimageblitz4 libqt3-mt libqt4-assistant libqt4-core libqt4-dbus libqt4-designer libqt4-help libqt4-network libqt4-opengl libqt4-qt3support libqt4-script libqt4-sql libqt4-sql-mysql libqt4-sql-sqlite libqt4-svg libqt4-test libqt4-webkit libqt4-xml libqt4-xmlpatterns libqtcore4 libqtgui4 libqzion0 libraptor1 librasqal1 librdf0 libsearchclient0 libsoprano4 libstreamanalyzer0 libstreams0 libstrigihtmlgui0 libstrigiqtdbusclient0 libvncserver0 libxcb-shape0 libxcb-shm0 libxcb-xv0 libxine1 libxine1-bin libxine1-console libxine1-misc-plugins libxine1-x libzip1 mysql-common okular okular-extra-backends openoffice.org-kde openoffice.org-style-crystal oxygen-cursor-theme packagekit packagekit-backend-apt phonon phonon-backend-xine pinentry-gtk2 pinentry-qt4 plasma-widget-network-manager plasma-widget-quickaccess python-dev python-kde4 python-packagekit python-plasma python-qt4 python-qt4-common python-qt4-dbus python-sip4 python2.6-dev qt4-qtconfig quassel quassel-data raptor-utils redland-utils software-properties-kde soprano-daemon speedcrunch strigi-client strigi-daemon system-config-printer-kde systemsettings ttf-dejavu ttf-dejavu-extra update-manager-kde update-notifier-kde && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

And from this thread:

Log out

Press Control-Alt-F1

Log in


sudo /etc/init.d/kdm stop
sudo nano -B /etc/X11/default-display-manager

Then change




and save (Control-X, Y, Enter). Finally

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

This should bring GDM back to life. If not, press Control-Alt-F7

  • Will all my data be still there?
    – Elitmiar
    Aug 26, 2009 at 17:02
  • Gnome was never installed on this system, installed it from Kubuntu cd, will the steps above still remain the same?
    – Elitmiar
    Aug 26, 2009 at 17:03
  • As far as I know, it only removes the Kubuntu-specific programs/packages, not your data. The last part of the first command should install Gnome, when it install ubuntu-desktop. However, I haven't tried this — you should try going into a Kubuntu or Ubuntu IRC channel and asking people who have.
    – jtbandes
    Aug 26, 2009 at 17:08
  • for the Display manager wouldn't it be easier to just execute "sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm" and not have to manually change the settings?
    – codeLes
    Aug 26, 2009 at 17:25

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