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Ubuntu to Kubuntu + Keeping the Menus Clean January 13, 2006

Posted by Carthik in guides, snippets, ubuntu.

So you have Ubuntu installed and want to try out Kubuntu instead?

Easily Done!

Install the “kubuntu-desktop” meta-package, and you will have the option to log in to a KDE session the next time you boot up (Choose KDE from among the session options, before you enter the username and password in the graphical login screen)

You can install kubuntu-desktop by seraching for it in Synaptic, or simpler still, using the command:
$sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

kubuntu-desktop is an architected collection of carefully selected KDE applications that creates a unique “desktop” experience, much like Ubuntu – it has one software utility for each function, again, like Ubuntu. So installing kubuntu-desktop will not give you all the KDE utilities, just like installing Ubuntu did not give you all the Gnome applications. There is another meta-package called “KDE” which, when installed will give you a different set of software. So if, after installing kubuntu-desktop, you find some of your favorite KDE apps missing, install the entire KDE suite, by installing the kde metapackage. I find this unneccassary, as kubuntu-desktop provides me with the minimal set of tools to get my work done. If I need something extra, like, kile, that very useful LaTeX editor, then I just install kile. Less baggage, better trip!

If you already knew all that was written above, and are beginning to think that it was a waste of time reading so far, fear not! I have a tip (not my original idea) that will make it worth your time.

The biggest annoyance for me, with having both gnome and KDE installed is that some KDE apps show up in the Gnome menus and some Gnome apps show up in the KDE menus. While this is not a “bad” thing, I would rather do without this.

To prevent KDE apps from showing up in Gnome menus and vice-versa, do the following before you install kubuntu-desktop :

(you can also create a small cleaner.sh script witht he following and run it as root)
$ sudo -s -H
#cd /usr/share/applications
#for i in *.desktop; do \
# if ! grep -q ^OnlyShowIn= $i; then \
# echo ‘OnlyShowIn=GNOME;’ >> $i \
# fi

Now, after installing kubuntu-desktop do:

$cd /usr/share/applications/kde
$sudo -s -H
#for i in *.desktop; do
# if ! grep -q ^OnlyShowIn= $i; then
# echo ‘OnlyShowIn=KDE;’ >> $i
# fi

What we did above was to tell the Gnome apps to only show in the gnome menus, and later, the KDE apps to only show in KDE menus.


1. Matt's Blog - January 14, 2006

Ubuntu to Kubuntu

Although I prefer Gnome over KDE, some people may like to try KDE just to see how it compares.In this…

2. Alejandro - January 14, 2006

I think you have to try KDE, I also was using Gnome for the las 5 years, but KDE seems to be better (althou I have to get use to it…)

3. Duey Finsters - January 14, 2006

I am seriously thinking of changing to KDE, as it offers better applications, better GUI. But GNOME has that thing I am looking for, I don’t know what it is, maybe is just so much different from Redmond XP than KDE.

4. havoc - January 14, 2006

I don’t know “which is better,” but I’m a KDE user (non-evangelical strain), and I’m plenty happy with it. There are lots of Gnome apps that I really, really like. There are still a few Gnome apps for which there is no KDE analog, and many Gnome apps that I prefer over the KDE alternative. I never have understood the “non-overlapping magisteria” (NOMA? heh!) approach to segregating KDE from Gnome. On my desktop, it’s a total non issue. I’m going to use the best tool for the job on the desktop I happen to be comfortable with.

It does chap me some times that I install a Gnome app, then have to manually track it down and add it to my menus.

5. benplaut - January 14, 2006

I have yet to decide which environment to stick with. While gnome is a bit faster and more stable, KDE looks great when themed, and has a great selection of Kapps Kavailable Kfor Kit.

Kicker is awesome… it may be the reason i switch.

6. sand13w - January 14, 2006

thanks for this explanation. I’ve installed Ubuntu and I really like it a lot. I wanted to try out Kubuntu to see what it’s like as well.

7. Corsair - January 14, 2006

hehe, KDE and GNome are seem too large for me so I choose WindowMaker 🙂

8. Sandra - January 15, 2006

You should try out Xfce. It is awesome in its simplicity and lower memory foot print and at the same time gives the Gnomes and Kdes out there a run for their money.

9. Layman’s Place » Ubuntu to Kubuntu - January 15, 2006

[…] If you have Ubuntu on your system but want to try Kubuntu, then this site gives instructions on how to do so and end up with a clean computer. […]

10. mirjam - January 15, 2006

Instead of creating a .sh script you can just install kmenugnome for KDE (http://www.kde-apps.org/content/show.php?content=31025).
It will create a submenu for the GNOME applications – really nice and useful.

11. Drugi dom » Blog Archive » Prehod na Kubuntu , a brez nepreglednih menijev - January 15, 2006

[…] Če uporabljate Ubuntu, a vas zanima Kubuntu, so tukaj navodila za namestitev in “recept”, kako se rešiti nepreglednih menijev. […]

12. yanis - January 18, 2006

I use ubuntu for some time. After the latest format I wanted to have a ‘clean & fast’ system with X-windows. The last time I had done that, I had used the virtual package X-windows-system. The problem is that in Ubuntu 5.10 there is no such package. Installing packages one by one created a broken system. I believe that such a package is a *must*. I hope next version will have it.

13. Mark Evili - January 19, 2006

awesome. I dont use KDE, but I have seen this problem on peoples systems. Kudos for the script m8!

14. Jerry - January 20, 2006

I use KDE. This works perfect for me! Thanks alot

15. Kernel Source » Instalar KDE en Ubuntu Breezy 5.10 (y derivadas) - January 20, 2006

[…] Vía: [Este artículo es una traducción de Ubuntu Blog] […]

16. Billy - January 21, 2006

What can I say. Love them both

17. zeke - January 25, 2006

As a WIndows user, I must say I was a bit underwhelmed by my first foray in Linux. I installed Kubuntu because I had alraedy tried Gnome/Kde before wituh friends and wanted to stick to something closer to what I was used to.
Great easy install to dual boot with my XP. Then I notice that none of the software I wanted like Firefox was installed and taht I couldnt play any Mp3’s or other multimedia files because..well, you know, …I dont care.

I just wanted to see if I could get it to work ‘out of the box’ because I have no time to waste diddling with it. Might have been something I did but its Almost there in my opinion until installing packages is made simple for Windows power users such as myself who want to switch but are afraid they cant troubleshoot.
Sorry, but NOT having Flash installed and finding out at the macromedia site that I would have to run a command line reminded me of the days of DOS. Im not a geek who likes to play around with the OS, I want something that works out of the box and that makes changes as painless as possible.

Almost there.

18. tvst - January 26, 2006

zeke: did you try Automatix? http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=66563

It downloads and installs Firefox, Flash, etc etc. You can choose from lots of useful apps.

19. Jan - January 31, 2006

So OnlyShowin in the .desktop file governs what menus the app showes up in? nice. However, what I want is a whole KDE submenue in Gnome and a Gnome sub-menue in KDE.

How could I do this? anyone know?

20. Jan - January 31, 2006

Another thing.

When I run the command above I get:

$ sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree… Done
E: Couldn’t find package kubuntu-desktop

any ideas?

21. Florian - January 31, 2006

Do you have the ubuntu-repositories in your sources.list? If yes, maybe you forgot to “sudo apt-get update”?

22. jay - February 1, 2006

same thing happens to me as happened to Jan–I get “couldn’t find package kubuntu-desktop” when I try apt-get. I also can’t find it using Synaptic. I did “sudo apt-get update.”

Any help is appreciated–I like gnome, but I’d like to have the kde option!

23. Jan - February 2, 2006

Definatly have the ubuntu-repositories in the source.list. A guy at work e-mailed me his, and they look identical. I did the update. That was step one in troubleshooting. I still get the same results.

I would really appreciate help.

24. Jan - February 4, 2006

Fixed it. here is what I did.

Open: System -> Administration -> Add Applications

Select: Settings -> Repositories

Select and Remove all Software Sources – Select ok
Then reopen repositories and add the standard sources

Now open: Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal

At the prompt type: sudo apt-get update
Then type: sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

I suspect that I got confused about my sources.list file and when I did the update. That, along with expecting Add Applications to update for me.

Works now.

25. Jan - February 4, 2006


This Sucks!

so the ~apt-get~ woked, but now when I try to select KDE at login I get row after row of errors.

Doesn’t give one a very warm feeling. Not only that but once I come back to GNOME files are missing.


26. Proleter - February 10, 2006

What about safely removing after I see what I wanted to see, and I don’t like it:)
I installed the kubuntu-desktop. Now I want to remove it comepletely. I like Gnome.
Can I completely remove the kubuntu-desktop from my computer like it has never been there?

27. ubuntonista - February 10, 2006

Proleter, use deborphan, which should be the easiet ways.

I wrote about it here:

Someone else wrote a how to use deborphan here:

28. b0uncer - July 3, 2006

How about if one had Kubuntu installed and wanted Gnome there too, does that script work vice versa, so you run the other section first (before Gnome) and after installing Gnome the other?

29. Steven - August 3, 2006

After installing the kubuntu-desktop package, my system boots and shuts down with the kubuntu look. Is there a way to switch this back to the classic ubuntu style?

30. Ubuntu to Kubuntu + Keeping the Menus Clean « Digged Stories - October 29, 2006

[…] read more | digg story […]

31. rashid - December 21, 2006

I tried this with Kubuntu first…

ran the second script then did sudo aptitude install ubuntu-desktop. then did the first script.

It didnt work 😦 Now i have a big mess of menus in BOTH environments.

Anyone know the problem? I feel tempted to aptitude remove ubuntu-desktop now

I dont like gnome that much anyway…just wanted to check it out. Thing is, it took absolutely AGES to install ubuntu-desktop so i feel wasteful if i remove it now…

I’d be happy if I could jsut fix the menu thing 😦

32. coolen - February 6, 2007

I’m guessing you’d have to modify the scripts a bit, not just swap them around.
The scripts (appears to) take all of your existing applications, and instructs the system to only show them in GNOME, then after the install, takes all of the new KDE applications and tells the system to only show them in KDE. What you’ve likely done is told the system to display your current apps in KDE, then tried to tell it to show all apps only in GNOME…
Run the first script telling it to only show in KDE instead of GNOME, then install, find the GNOME equivalent, and run the second script modified to suit.
I realise this comes a little late, but if you’re still looking to try it out, you may still have all the GNOME packages cached…I think it only clears if you tell it to. Installation time should be much quicker 🙂

33. luke - March 5, 2007

to uninstall did you try going to the add/remove programs and simply removing the kde apps?

I dunno…

34. Lewis - November 30, 2007

I’m getting “command not found” for “$ sudo -s -H”. Why might this be? I have a separate /home partition, would that be it, and can I get around it?

35. Deepak - July 23, 2009

I have recently decieded to switch to linux and i am very confused to either use ubuntu or kubuntu as i am a electronic engineeering and do not care about developing software and i am using window for about 10 years.
Please help me to decided which version should i use and one thing also it should have a good user interface.

36. sikiş - July 23, 2009

ohh thnxx

37. sikiş - November 13, 2009

wow nice

38. SkyWulf - March 26, 2010

Anyone know how to do this with SuperOS?

39. porno sikiş - September 27, 2010

have yet to decide which environment to stick with. While gnome is a bit faster and more stable, KDE looks great when themed, and has a great selection of Kapps Kavailable Kfor Kit.

40. sex sikiş - September 28, 2010

I have yet to decide which environment to stick with. While gnome is a bit faster and more stable, KDE looks great when themed, and has a great selection of Kapps Kavailable Kfor Kit.

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