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Thread: Can Unity be installed alongside LXDE?

  1. #1
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    Question Can Unity be installed alongside LXDE?

    I'm wondering if it is possible to install Unity alongdise LXDE.
    Is Unity itself a Desktop Environment?

    I'm wondering this because I was given an old computer. It was missing a hard drive, and it had a few other issues, but I got those fixed, and put a hard drive in. I then installed Lubuntu.

    I've not been using it for very long, but one thing that I miss greatly is the Unity panel.
    I'd like to install Unity, if possible. I've heard that sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop will do it, but I don't want to install the full ubuntu desktop. I just want to add Unity to my Lubuntu desktop.

    Another thing that is a concern is whether my computer is powerful enough to run Unity smoothly.

    Here are the processor's stats (copied from the System Information):
    Code:
    -Processor-
    Name        : AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 2800+
    Family, model, stepping        : 15, 4, 8 (AMD Opteron/Athlon64/FX)
    Vendor        : AuthenticAMD
    -Configuration-
    Cache Size        : 512kb
    Frequency        : 800.00MHz
    BogoMIPS        : 1599.58
    Byte Order        : Little Endian
    -Features-
    FDIV Bug        : no
    HLT Bug        : no
    F00F Bug        : no
    Coma Bug        : no
    Has FPU        : yes
    -Cache-
    Level 1 (Data)        : 2-way set-associative, 512 sets, 64KB size
    Level 1 (Instruction)        : 2-way set-associative, 512 sets, 64KB size
    Level 2 (Unified)        : 16-way set-associative, 512 sets, 512KB size
    -Capabilities-
    fpu        : Floating Point Unit
    vme        : Virtual 86 Mode Extension
    de        : Debug Extensions - I/O breakpoints
    pse        : Page Size Extensions (4MB pages)
    tsc        : Time Stamp Counter and RDTSC instruction
    msr        : Model Specific Registers
    pae        : Physical Address Extensions
    mce        : Machine Check Architeture
    cx8        : CMPXCHG8 instruction
    apic        : Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller
    sep        : Fast System Call (SYSENTER/SYSEXIT)
    mtrr        : Memory Type Range Registers
    pge        : Page Global Enable
    mca        : Machine Check Architecture
    cmov        : Conditional Move instruction
    pat        : Page Attribute Table
    pse36        : 36bit Page Size Extensions
    clflush        : Cache Line Flush instruction
    mmx        : MMX technology
    fxsr        : FXSAVE and FXRSTOR instructions
    sse        : SSE instructions
    sse2        : SSE2 (WNI) instructions
    syscall        : SYSCALL and SYSEXIT instructions
    nx        : No-execute Page Protection
    mmxext        : Extended MMX Technology
    lm        : LAHF/SAHF in long mode
    3dnowext        : Extended 3DNow! Technology
    3dnow        : 3DNow! Technology
    up        : smp kernel running on up
    rep_good        : rep microcode works well on this CPU
    nopl
    Anyway, the things I'd like to know are:

    - Does Unity replace LXDE? (where you have to choose at login) Or can the Unity panel be run alongside LXDE?
    - Is the computer even powerful enough to run Unity? (Currently, I have 503MB of RAM, but I'm going to get at least 500 more very soon.)
    - Anything else I should know (e.g., Unity makes comptuters older than 2010 explode, etc.)

  2. #2
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    Re: Can Unity be installed alongside LXDE?

    - Does Unity replace LXDE? (where you have to choose at login) Or can the Unity panel be run alongside LXDE?
    I don't know, I have not tried it. My guess would be no, you can't run LXDE and Unity simultaneously.
    - Is the computer even powerful enough to run Unity? (Currently, I have 503MB of RAM, but I'm going to get at least 500 more very soon.)
    Ubuntu 12.10 uses the CPU to run unity if the graphics card is not up to the task.
    If your system has a good graphics card it will be a little slow.
    If the graphics card is not up to the task it will be painfully slow.

    - Anything else I should know (e.g., Unity makes comptuters older than 2010 explode, etc.)
    Ubuntu 12.04 will run Unity 2d if the graphics do not support Unity. This is a much better choice for older hardware.

    However on my 2 GHz Pentium 4 LDXE is noticably faster than Unity 2D.

    I hope this helps.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Can Unity be installed alongside LXDE?

    Unity is a Compiz plug-in and I tried to enable Unity in XFCE from the CCSM and It did not start. I don't have LXDE installed though.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Can Unity be installed alongside LXDE?

    Hi,

    Thank you for asking and thank you for choosing and using Lubuntu

    I'm one of Lubuntu Team Family and I have read your post. Actually I was doing some search on google and found your thread

    Anyway, from my experience with Lubuntu and Ubuntu, I would recommend NOT to go for that for some reasons:

    1- Users need to understand that LXDE is a Desktop Environment that is using OpenBox as a Window Manager. Any other Window Manager that a user likes to use, he/she needs to replace Openbox with the other desired Window Manager - that is another story

    2- Installing a desktop Package, for example "ubuntu-desktop" is NOT like installing Ubuntu. Same goes for Lubuntu. If you have Ubuntu, installing "lubuntu-desktop" is not like installing Lubuntu.

    3- Installing Unity on Lubuntu does not make sense to me at all. In fact, it kills the whole idea of Lubuntu which is designed to be light, fast and simple.
    I have no idea if you can install JUST Unity without all the other stuff or you can't but that doesn't matter; I suggest not to do that.

    Unity will not run smoothly even with 1GB RAM. Unity is being heavily developed and day after day, it is getting more features. Last time I was on Unity (2 years) and 2GB RAM, it was giving me hard time.

    If you want to give it a try for your own reason, Dual-Boot with Ubuntu and you will feel the difference OR just intall "ubuntu-desktop" which I personally never recommend.

    By the way, YOU CAN actually customize your Lubuntu Desktop to be similar (not 100% like) to Unity

    If you are still interested and if anyone else interested, please let me know.
    Well, it is not a secret so here you go:

    1- Create a new Panel OR just move the default panel
    2- Keep that panel on the left side
    3- Change the height of the panel, etc
    4- Enlarge the size of the icons
    5- Add more icons

    You will get something similar to Unity without changing major stuff or installing anything

    Thanks!
    Last edited by amjjawad; March 13th, 2013 at 05:39 PM. Reason: Panel on the left side, not the right side - sorry, last time I used Unity, it was Ubuntu 11.10

  5. #5
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    Re: Can Unity be installed alongside LXDE?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesTheAwesomeDude View Post
    I'm wondering if it is possible to install Unity alongdise LXDE.
    It is.
    Is Unity itself a Desktop Environment?
    It's a compiz plugin masquerading as a DE. I prefer to call Ubuntu's DE "Ayatana", after Canonical's UI subproject, and refer to only the launcher and panel as "Unity", but there is no consistent usage of either anywhere.

    I'd like to install Unity, if possible. I've heard that sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop will do it, but I don't want to install the full ubuntu desktop. I just want to add Unity to my Lubuntu desktop.
    You can install Unity separately from ubuntu-desktop. To get the basic Unity desktop, you could install just the "unity" package, but it will be somewhat difficult to get set up (no access from the login screen, etc).

    To make things easier on yourself, you could install "gnome-session" as well. (Unlike other DEs, Unity does not have a distinct "unity-session" package to make it available at the login screen: Canonical has rolled this into the "gnome-session" package.)
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install unity gnome-session
    This should be much smaller than installing all of ubuntu-desktop, but the dependency tree is still extensive. As far as I can tell, there's no longer any way to run Unity without Compiz.

    Another thing that is a concern is whether my computer is powerful enough to run Unity smoothly.
    What kind of video card do you have? Your CPU specs look fine, but GPU is more important for Unity.

    - Does Unity replace LXDE? (where you have to choose at login) Or can the Unity panel be run alongside LXDE?
    If you installed unity and gnome-session, you should have "LXDE" and "Ubuntu" to choose from.
    - Is the computer even powerful enough to run Unity? (Currently, I have 503MB of RAM, but I'm going to get at least 500 more very soon.)
    Unity takes about 200MB of VRAM for me, but that varies by setup.
    - Anything else I should know (e.g., Unity makes comptuters older than 2010 explode, etc.)
    Unity is neither your only option, nor your best option (in my opinion). Take a look at my thread on custom Pantheon DEs. Pantheon is a relatively lightweight and highly modular DE from the elementary project.
    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elementary-os/daily
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install pantheon-shell
    I put together a feature-rich desktop with winpanel, plank, and openbox that runs on less than 40MB of VRAM.
    Furthermore, the dependencies for Pantheon are delightfully few.
    Plank supports libunity, and has just about all the features you'd want from Unity's launcher.
    Wingpanel also supports most of what you'd want from the Unity panel, except global menus (at the moment)...

    I don't know if the elementary developers plan to add support for indicator-appmenu in the future or not, but for now the plugin is blacklisted in wingpanel's configuration and wingpanel will crash on start if it is not.

    I have Openbox, Pantheon, Unity, and some hybrids of them installed and working on the same machine.
    Last edited by quequotion; March 13th, 2013 at 11:38 PM. Reason: link to elementary, add ppa

  6. #6
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    Re: Can Unity be installed alongside LXDE?

    I don't get how this is different than just running the Ubuntu DE. With Unity, you'll have the same windows management as Ubuntu, your taskbar menu will be there and locked in place, etc., so what is there left that's different?

    You can also easily install an icon dock on the left side of the screen in Lubuntu, in fact Cairo Dock even has Unity themes for that.

    On my system, I installed Lubuntu then installed the Ubuntu DE. My loading screen still says Lubuntu even if I set Ubuntu to be default. So it seems to me that would be the exact same thing as running Unity on Lubuntu.

  7. #7
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    Re: Can Unity be installed alongside LXDE?

    It can be done, (with some work) if you can run compiz, but if you can run compiz, why not just run Ubuntu?, you can still run ubuntu in 2D mode if unable to run unity (compiz), If you want to keep LXDE, add docky, simdock, or cairo dock ect. to simulate unity !
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  8. #8
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    Re: Can Unity be installed alongside LXDE?

    Quote Originally Posted by JLeon85 View Post
    I don't get how this is different than just running the Ubuntu DE. With Unity, you'll have the same windows management as Ubuntu, your taskbar menu will be there and locked in place, etc., so what is there left that's different?
    "Just running the Ubuntu DE" is precisely what JamesTheAwesomeDude wanted advice on doing, so I recommended "apt-get install unity gnome-session" for a minimal installation and to avoid "ubuntu-desktop"--a huge metapackage that installs the entire Ubuntu software suite.

    Although Pantheon/Openbox is much better, considering that it's a Lubuntu installation.
    Last edited by quequotion; March 13th, 2013 at 11:20 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Can Unity be installed alongside LXDE?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesTheAwesomeDude View Post
    I've heard that sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop will do it, but I don't want to install the full ubuntu desktop. I just want to add Unity to my Lubuntu desktop.
    quequotion, I don't want to split hairs here, but he didn't want the full desktop.

  10. #10
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    Re: Can Unity be installed alongside LXDE?

    Quote Originally Posted by JLeon85 View Post
    quequotion, I don't want to split hairs here, but he didn't want the full desktop.
    That's what I said, or what I meant to say at least.

    Perhaps we have different interpretations of the term "desktop environment"?

    When I say DE I refer to the interface components only (window manager, panels, launchers, desktop, icons, etc), not a software suite (file browser, text editor, video player, etc).

    More precisely I should say "desktop interface", but I suspect the less familiar term would also be misunderstood.

    Unfortunately DE seems to be commonly used to mean "desktop interface with or without an additional software suite".


    Another possibility is that he wants to run Openbox with the Unity panels, which cannot be done with the Unity compiz plugin.
    Now that I read it over again, I suppose that is what he asked, to which I replied:
    [Installing only unity and gnome-session] should be much smaller than installing all of ubuntu-desktop, but the dependency tree is still extensive. As far as I can tell, there's no longer any way to run Unity without Compiz.
    Actually, an approximation of that interface could be made out of Unity 2D and Openbox.
    Unfortunately, Unity 2D is no longer developed, not up to par with Unity's features, and will be deprecated.
    Last edited by quequotion; March 15th, 2013 at 10:21 AM.

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