If you’re not happy with the default desktop environment (Unity shell on GNOME3) in Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal), then you can try installing some alternative desktop such as MATE, Cinnamon, KDE etc or a lightweight desktop environment such as XFCE.

Why go for a Lightweight Desktop Environment ?

  • speed
  • efficiency
  • low resource requirements (it can also run smooth on older computers)


XFCE is a simple and easy to use Desktop environment with traditional layout/conventions (much like GNOME 2). The XFCE package contains desktop and some lightweight apps such as Thunar(File Manager), Ristretto (Image viewer), Midori (Web Browser), Orage (calandar app) etc. Based on XFCE, there is a seperate edition of Ubuntu – called Xubuntu.

Xfce Desktop

Installing XFCE Desktop in Ubuntu 12.10

sudo apt-get install xfce4


LXDE is another lighteweight desktop environment. LXDE package includes the desktop environment and apps such as PCMan(File Manager), Leafpad (Text Editor), LXTerminal (Terminal Emulator), Openbox (Window Manager) etc. LXDE flavor of Ubuntu is Lubuntu.


Installing LXDE Desktop in Ubuntu 12.10

sudo apt-get install lxde

3. Fluxbox

Fluxbox is a highly configurable lightweight desktop environment, written in C++.


Installing FLuxbox Desktop in Ubuntu 12.10/12.04

sudo apt-get install fluxbox

4. GNOME Classic

GNOME classic edition (gnome session fallback) is based on GNOME3 but it has look and behavior very similar to GNOME2. So GNOME2 fans may want to try this.


Installing GNOME classic Desktop in Ubuntu 12.10

sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback
sudo apt-get install indicator-applet-appmenu

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