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-   -   XFCE and general desktop manager cleanups (

Jayla 02-16-2008 08:21 PM

XFCE and general desktop manager cleanups
Hi guys,

I've done some googling but havent really been able to find what I'm looking for, as I'm not sure exactly where to start

OK so when I first installed ubuntu 7.10 it loaded up Gnome, I'm not a fan of Gnome so used synaptic to install KDE. I've been using KDE for about 3 months but have recently decided to give XFCE a go, installed from synaptic when I was logged into KDE

(as far as installing went, I did it thru synaptic, then logged out and logged in under the new session)

I'm not sure if this is correct, but it seems a little lame, and I most likely have a LOT of un-necessary files on the system, using memory that I should get rid of, I'm not sure how, under XP I'd use a registry cleaner/ CCleaner or something, can anyone advise me on how I can clean up the desktop environment files? or at least sure that everything is working ok?

Second question, I was able to get XFCE working fine, set up 2 panels, but for some reason they dissapeared, I found what I thought to be the solution on the ubuntu forums but it wasnt.

I've tried restarting the system to get the panels back, it didnt work

The only way I can get the panels to load is typing xfce4-panel into a console, but this means I have to keep that console open whilst im on the system, and more importantly I'd need to run that everytime I start the system.

I've tried ctrl alt 1, running it from there but same issue

I've also tried xfce4-panel & but stops when I close terminal still

How can I get the panels to load as they should?

I appreciate any help you can provide


kummiliim 02-17-2008 01:41 AM

Did you save your session after running panels? If you don't then yeah, they won't show up. You should have a tickbox for saving the session when logging out/shutting down.

If you're worried about stuff using too much of your precious RAM, look at the processes with 'top'. Then you can kill whatever you don't need or track down what started them at the first place and disable them.

Have fun.

Jayla 02-17-2008 05:15 AM

Thanks for the tip,

I've tried, but I'm getting the following when trying to quit

Unable to quit session.

Quitting the session requires that the Xfce Session Manager (xfce4-session) is running, but it was not detected. Please quit Xfce via another means.

kummiliim 02-19-2008 11:11 AM

I'm not sure what runs xfce4-session by default but you can try running it yourself with

xfce4-session &
With the amperstand it runs in background and doesn't quit with the terminal.
If that works, just stick the line in X init script.

Good luck.

archtoad6 02-19-2008 02:04 PM

How did you install XFce? -- Specifically, which packages did you tell Synaptic to install? This may be the key to why xfce4-session isn't running by default, assuming it is actually installed.

BTW, running

dpkg -l kde*  | grep '^[D|+i]'  | less -S
might be instructive.

If names or descriptions get truncated, then:

COLUMNS=160 dpkg -l kde*  | grep '^[D|+i]'  | less -S
might work better.

Jayla 02-22-2008 04:50 PM

Thanks for the replies guys, I've been able to tackle the xfce session issue

This next question is going to seem as if I'm going against my original post, but I've finally found the desktop manager I prefer, kde4 (installed from synaptic)

How can I "safely" remove xfce, kde3 ??, and gnome from my system?

Apart from going through the synaptic package manager, and searching for every kde3 app I have installed, every gnome app etc etc which would take me a year to do, is there a simple way to get rid of all the kde3/gnome stuff, as I'm going to stick with kde4 and disk space is becoming an issue

Look forward to giving this PC a good spring clean!


emoore 02-23-2008 07:01 AM

Try the remove ubuntu and remove xubuntu instructions at . You may need to remove the install a desktop command at the tail end of each of those command lines if you're going to install KDE4.

I've used some of the instructions on that web site to remove windows managers.

archtoad6 02-23-2008 08:29 AM

Good link, thanks.

See also:

I wonder if:

sudo apt-get autoremove ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get autoremove xubuntu-desktop

would work just as well? The orig. linked page implies "No", but the 2nd implies "Yes".

BTW, Jayla, how did you "tackle the xfce session issue"? Could you post your solution, it might help others.

Jayla 02-24-2008 01:06 PM


In regards to the issue with the xfce session, I pulled the plug on the PC and restarted and it seemed to work, so somehow I must have closed the xfce session.

Thanks Archtoad, but running sudo apt-get autoremove xubuntu-desktop i was able to remove xfce, however the ubuntu-desktop command you posted would not work, as it appears its not installed anyway, but i can boot into gnome? strange..

I've also noted that since using kde4 my system is extremely laggy, en par with Vista in fact. Are there any tools I can use to check why, or improve the performance? I was able to run 2 World of warcraft clients, amarok, firefox etc all in kde3.5 with minimal lag, yet kde4 can barely handle browsing the file structure..

Perhaps I should put this into a new post.


archtoad6 02-25-2008 06:09 AM

To remove GNOME try the (really*) long "Remove Ubuntu" command at, the one that starts "sudo apt-get remove alacarte ...", BUT remove the

&& sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
tail from it -- I think you've already insatlled KDE ("kubuntu-desktop").

If you want to save even more space, add the "--purge" option to apt-get: "sudo apt-get --purge remove alacarte ..."

Another small space saver would be removing synaptic, 5.3 KB. I have always preferrred kpackage, 1.3 KB, for a GUI package mgr. anyway.

* The long command seems to be an alphabetical list of all packages that comprise GNOME.

$ echo 'alacarte ... zenity'  | wc
    1    398    6063

There are 398 of them in this list.

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