Was running xUbuntu 18.0.4 LTS and upgraded (re-install via DVD) to Ubuntu 20.0.4. I'd like to get back to the XFCE Desktop as it find gnome unusable for my application. In particular I have a lot of problems with nautilus and would like to use Thunar.

I attempted to install it following an article on Linuxconfig.org which gave the following procedure:

sudo apt install tasksel sudo tasksel install xubuntu-desktop

This may or may not have installed xfce but it mentions there is then some step to select the desktop. Unfortunately I can find no selector anywhere nor do I wish to have go thru the selection process every time I reboot.

Is there any way I can install the XFCE making my system xUbuntu and remove gnome or as much of gnome as is possible? Of course this pertains to Focal Fossa: ie Ubuntu 20.0.4. If I have to I can do a new install presuming I can find a xUbuntu 20.0.4 release.

  • Did you consider just downloading Thunar and setting it as your default file manager?
    – Yehuda
    Jan 10, 2021 at 21:58
  • Yes, however from reading this is not possible under Unity. Nautilus handles both icons and files and supposedly, from everything I read it doesn't work. Also I executed the install of the xfce desktop per the tasksel above. Yet Nautilus remains my file manager. Jan 11, 2021 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


You can install it through apt:

sudo apt install xubuntu.

or (not the same)

sudo apt install xubuntu-desktop^

then remove unity:

sudo apt purge --autoremove ubuntu-desktop
  • So this does a complete installation of xUbuntu 20.0.4? How is the desktop only different? Do i need the ^? I did look at common responses online before posting but was hoping for more detail. Jan 10, 2021 at 23:31
  • @NicholasBourbaki sudo apt install xubuntu. will install all xubuntu* (package starting with xubuntu including xubuntu-desktop). you can simulate the installation sudo apt -s install xubuntu.
    – GAD3R
    Jan 11, 2021 at 6:12

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