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Ubuntu 12.04 – How to Completely Uninstall / Remove Xubuntu Desktop

These instructions are for Ubuntu 12.04 running the Unity desktop on which the Xubuntu Desktop was installed using either the Ubuntu Software Center or sudo apt-get on the command line.

The instructions may be the same for other versions of Ubuntu, but no guarantee is made.

When the Xubuntu Desktop is installed in Ubuntu 12.04, it installs several packages and libraries it requires as well as some optional packages. Not all these packages and libraries are uninstalled when you uninstall Xubuntu Desktop. Several packages (like abiword and thunar) do not get uninstalled.

Quick Uninstall

This is not recommended because it will remove all packages normally installed with Xubuntu Desktop. This may include packages you previously installed (like abiword or thunar) or that were installed as necessary dependencies for other programs.

Note: this uninstall command assumes Xubuntu Desktop was installed on a fresh Ubuntu 12.04.

1) Open a terminal (instructions can be found here).

2) Enter the following command (it is very long and a single line):

sudo apt-get purge --auto-remove abiword abiword-common abiword-plugin-grammar abiword-plugin-mathview alacarte  bison blueman brltty-x11 catfish exo-utils flex fonts-droid gigolo gimp  gimp-data gmusicbrowser gnome-system-tools gnome-time-admin gnumeric  gnumeric-common gnumeric-doc gstreamer0.10-gnomevfs gthumb gthumb-data  gtk2-engines-pixbuf indicator-application-gtk2 indicator-messages-gtk2  indicator-sound-gtk2 indicator-status-provider-pidgin leafpad libabiword-2.9  libao-common libao4 libaudio-scrobbler-perl libbabl-0.0-0 libbison-dev  libconfig-inifiles-perl libdigest-crc-perl libencode-locale-perl libept1.4.12  libexo-1-0 libexo-common libexo-helpers libfile-listing-perl libfl-dev  libfont-afm-perl libgarcon-1-0 libgarcon-common libgdome2-0  libgdome2-cpp-smart0c2a libgegl-0.0-0 libgimp2.0 libglade2-0 libgnomevfs2-extra  libgoffice-0.8-8 libgoffice-0.8-8-common libgsf-1-114 libgsf-1-common  libgstreamer-perl libgtk2-notify-perl libgtk2-trayicon-perl libgtkmathview0c2a  libhtml-form-perl libhtml-format-perl libhtml-parser-perl libhtml-tagset-perl  libhtml-tree-perl libhttp-cookies-perl libhttp-daemon-perl libhttp-date-perl  libhttp-message-perl libhttp-negotiate-perl libid3tag0 libido-0.1-0 libilmbase6  libio-socket-inet6-perl libio-socket-ssl-perl libjpeg-progs libjpeg-turbo-progs  libkeybinder0 liblink-grammar4 libloudmouth1-0 liblwp-mediatypes-perl  liblwp-protocol-https-perl libmailtools-perl libnet-dbus-perl libnet-http-perl  libnet-ssleay-perl liboobs-1-5 libopenexr6 libotr2 libots0 libsexy2  libsocket6-perl libtagc0 libthunarx-2-0 libtidy-0.99-0 libtie-ixhash-perl  libtimedate-perl libtumbler-1-0 liburi-perl libwv-1.2-4 libwww-perl  libwww-robotrules-perl libxfce4ui-1-0 libxfce4util-bin libxfce4util-common  libxfce4util4 libxfcegui4-4 libxfconf-0-2 libxml-parser-perl libxml-twig-perl  libxml-xpath-perl libxss1 lightdm-gtk-greeter link-grammar-dictionaries-en m4  mpg321 orage parole pastebinit pavucontrol pidgin pidgin-data pidgin-libnotify  pidgin-microblog pidgin-otr plymouth-theme-xubuntu-logo  plymouth-theme-xubuntu-text python-configobj python-glade2 python-gmenu  ristretto screensaver-default-images shimmer-themes synaptic  system-tools-backends tcl8.5 thunar thunar-archive-plugin thunar-data  thunar-media-tags-plugin thunar-volman ttf-droid ttf-lyx tumbler tumbler-common  xchat xchat-common xfburn xfce-keyboard-shortcuts xfce4-appfinder  xfce4-cpugraph-plugin xfce4-datetime-plugin xfce4-dict xfce4-indicator-plugin  xfce4-mailwatch-plugin xfce4-netload-plugin xfce4-notes xfce4-notes-plugin  xfce4-notifyd xfce4-panel xfce4-places-plugin xfce4-power-manager  xfce4-power-manager-data xfce4-quicklauncher-plugin xfce4-screenshooter  xfce4-session xfce4-settings xfce4-systemload-plugin xfce4-taskmanager  xfce4-terminal xfce4-utils xfce4-verve-plugin xfce4-volumed xfce4-weather-plugin  xfce4-xkb-plugin xfconf xfdesktop4 xfdesktop4-data xfwm4 xscreensaver  xscreensaver-data xscreensaver-gl xubuntu-artwork xubuntu-default-settings  xubuntu-desktop xubuntu-docs xubuntu-icon-theme xubuntu-wallpapers

It is easiest to copy the line and paste it into the terminal (right-click on the terminal and select Paste from the popup menu).

Preferred Uninstall

The better way to uninstall it is to follow the directions on this page.

This will show you on how to uninstall only the packages that were installed when Xubuntu Desktop was installed. The instructions are generic and work for any installed package.

It involves:

  1. identifying which packages were installed and
  2. creating a command to uninstall only those packages

It leaves intact any packages you may have installed (like abiword or thunar) or that were installed as necessary parts of other packages instead of blindly assuming that they were installed along with Xubuntu Desktop.

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