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  1. #1

    Changing Desktop Environments


    I am currently using Gnome. What other desktop environments are available and how do I switch?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    What are you running?
    Computer specs?
    Distro Specs?

  3. #3
    I am running Wheezy with Gnome 3.4.2. I have 6 GB of RAM.

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  5. #4
    go to DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD. and click the "Desktop interface" dropdown in the "Search by Distribution Criteria" box.
    just get some search results, try something eventually.
    i suggest you stay within distrowatch's top 100.
    or, simply read through the top 10.

  6. #5
    I was thinking about staying with Debian and just use another DE. I've had a LXDE Wheezy VM before.

  7. #6
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    All Desktop Enviornments are available in Debian repositories from E17 to KDE to XFCE to RazorQT to Mate depending on a users skillset.
    Since you have to ask. I would first learn a distro before customising it. But that is just me.
    https://wiki.debian.org/LXDE
    Debian & Enlightenment

    Me, I don't run Desktop Envionments in my Debian installs any more. I prefer Windows managers instead.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank| View Post
    I was thinking about staying with Debian and just use another DE.
    well, at least you get a dropdown list of what is available, with pages describing the distro, and a pretty screenshot.
    or use wikipedia.

    but yes, almost everything is available and a reinstall is not compulsory.
    but it's not as easy as it might seem.

  9. #8
    Just Joined! Sidekick's Avatar
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    This description is a bit dated now because more desktops have come along that aren't included in this article, but it's still one of the best "layman's language" descriptions of Linux desktop options - including the difference between a window manager and a full-on desktop environment: Linux Desktops

  10. #9
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Xfce is a pretty decent DE and doesn't use up too much RAM, also MATE works pretty well too. I've often wondered about how you change DE's, I know it's not suppose to be that hard, just download the new DE and somehow switch to it but I'm not sure about the nuts and bolts of how it works. Guess I'll keep an eye on this thread to see if I can pick up any info on how it's done.
    No matter where ya' go, there ya' are.

  11. #10
    Just Joined! Sidekick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNFrank View Post
    I've often wondered about how you change DE's, I know it's not suppose to be that hard, just download the new DE and somehow switch to it
    It's different depending on the distro you're running. In PCLinuxOS, for example, you use Synaptic Package Manager to install a package called task-xfce or task-lxde to install the Xfce and/or LXDE desktops. In Ubuntu and Mint, you can select either xfce4 or xubuntu-desktop in Synaptic to install the Xfce desktop. The difference is that xfce4 is just the desktop environment ("bare bones"), while xubuntu-desktop is xfce4 plus all the cool settings and defaults that Xubuntu uses, which are just super awesome. SalixOS also uses something very much like the Synaptic Package Manager, and installing alternate desktops is as easy as searching for them, selecting them, and clicking Apply. I'm not familiar with a lot of other distros. I use a Debian derivative called MX-14 (the name comes from it's family history; Mepis/AntiX) which also uses the Synaptic Package Manager to install and remove software.

    After you install your alternate desktop environment, you log out, then at your next log-in you choose which SESSION you want to use from the list of desktops you have installed. Let's say you are a PCLinuxOS user (congratulations, it's a superb distro!) and you installed the task-e17, task-xfce, and task-mate packages. Pick your next session at log-in: Either Xfce, Enlightenment, or Mate, and log in. Bingo! Your new desktop corresponds to the session you selected. You can try any and every desktop on your Linux machine without having to try out a whole 'nother distro. Now that's one of the coolest things about Linux you'll ever see!

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