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#1 2018-01-10 19:10:37

ex-gnome
Member
Registered: 2018-01-10
Posts: 4

installing Xfce over gnome

Hi folks
On one of my laptops I have installed the latest DEBIAN version. Unfortunately with the gnome desktop installed. On other laptops I have installed xfce, which I learned about a year ago and whose simple and straight-forward interface I have come to appreciate. The problem I am facing: I wish to avoid re-installing the entire O/S when getting rid of the new - for me - annoying  gnome desktop.
Question: is there a way to remove gnome, download xfce and install it? some years ago I read about an option (linux option) allowing a user to choose between desktop-systems at boot-time. By the way, what happened to this option? The latest gnome desktop is terrible to me, it looks like an attempt to change the laptop-desktop into an android smartphone display, without success, as far as my thinking goes.
Well, I am an aged person, having had a  dual boot install Windows/Linux system on all my PC's / laptops, since 1995 (this was long before virtual systems, which I still do not know about- the dual boot with the Grub bootloader works just fine for my purposes).

Can someone out there recognize my problem, and, preferably, has been through the process of changing desktops? I know how to downlaod xfce , but how do I switch desktops on the fly??

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#2 2018-01-10 19:46:43

alcornoqui
Member
Registered: 2014-07-28
Posts: 142

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#3 2018-01-11 06:40:34

k-3.14
Member
From: Rhineland
Registered: 2017-02-18
Posts: 98

Re: installing Xfce over gnome

Purging gnome and installing Xfce is NOT a good idea.

See the remarking in the debian wiki "Be aware that this can leave you with a broken system.!!"

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#4 2018-01-11 17:19:27

alcornoqui
Member
Registered: 2014-07-28
Posts: 142

Re: installing Xfce over gnome

Yeah, a more informative thread is here [1], so the safest way would be:

sudo apt-get install task-xfce-desktop
sudo tasksel

And then, unselect desktop environment (gnome in this case).

Then you could uninstall certain redundant applications and let apt purge dependencies automatically, with

sudo apt-get autoremove

But the OP was asking also "about an option (linux option) allowing a user to choose between desktop-systems at boot-time". That would be the Display Manager, and I guess either gdm (gnome) or lightdm (the one I get with Xubuntu, maybe default in Xfce?) would let the OP choose, once task-xfce-desktop is installed...

I'm just telling this out of some googling, sorry, not actual experience, good luck and tell us how you're doing!

[1] http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?t=110478

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#5 2018-01-11 18:04:35

ex-gnome
Member
Registered: 2018-01-10
Posts: 4

Re: installing Xfce over gnome

thanks a lot. I 'll give it at try (the safe option). I am not sure about unselecting gnome,  hopefully I will succeed. If anything goes wrong, I reinstall the whole thing,with desktop xfce, as I have become allergic towards the newest gnome, its too much, for a person in my age!
I do not know what happened to the "desktop choice option" at boot time, I donot care either, I just want the right desktop.
If I succed, I'll make a post here...

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#6 2018-01-11 20:48:38

ex-gnome
Member
Registered: 2018-01-10
Posts: 4

Re: installing Xfce over gnome

sorry, did not work as hoped for. However, I received a hint during the installation of xfce, which went OK : there are now two display-managers , xfce's ligthdm and  gnomes gdm3. I used synaptic to remove gdm3 plus other gnome files, but its still there, and gnome starts up every time I reboot, so I am obviously stuck with gnome until I make a complete reinstall.
one last hope: the hint-message from the system told me to change entries in one crucial script in the /etc/init.d directory, or other directory,in order to get the right display-manager starting at boot-time.  I have been through the files in /etc/init.d and cannot find the script in question. Any suggestions?
(this question probably belongs to the debian forum, which I might want to consult as a last resort...)
bye for now
ps: maybe I changed my login too early, it really should be: still-stuck-with-gnome in stead of ex-gnome,,,

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#7 2018-01-11 23:32:28

alcornoqui
Member
Registered: 2014-07-28
Posts: 142

Re: installing Xfce over gnome

Sorry to hear that... Some more info, from the Debian Wiki [1]:

Selecting default display manager

If multiple display managers are installed, you can select the display manager to launch on startup via dpkg-reconfigure <display-manager-package> (e.g. dpkg-reconfigure gdm). Dpkg lets you select the default display manager from the installed display managers.

Did you try that? As in:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm

Other hints in the Ubuntu forum: https://askubuntu.com/questions/74551/l … boot#84485

[1] https://wiki.debian.org/DisplayManager# … ay_manager

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#8 2018-01-12 11:32:55

ex-gnome
Member
Registered: 2018-01-10
Posts: 4

Re: installing Xfce over gnome

Problem solved - as a matter of fact, yesterday already, but I was too tired to notice the small rounded icon on top of the menu-bar, just at log-on time. I saw it today, clicked it, and found myself with an option to choose between five or so desktop managers, xfce and gnome among them. @alcornoqui, this is probably what you refer to in your latest post, and this is what I did ask about in my first post. Obviously, when there are more than one desktops installed, the linux system is smart enough to provide an icon to let the user choose between desktop systems. Under the hood, of course, its all about calling the right script in the /etc/init.d directory, I suppose, but who cares now? Debian, and probably Ubuntu, too, are high class operative systems.
to other people who might be interested: of course I did not remove gnome completely, as there might be dependicies, etc, which would complicate the matter. However, harddisk space today is no longer a problem (..I remember my first disk, 32 MB, what a size), so I would recommend keeping Gnome, KDE, whatever, and install your favorite desktop (as outlined in the posts above), and choose between systems at boot time. It does not come easier as that.
thanks for now.
ex-gnome for sure

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#9 2018-01-12 12:47:25

alcornoqui
Member
Registered: 2014-07-28
Posts: 142

Re: installing Xfce over gnome

You're doubly welcome!

Please prepend [SOLVED] to the post's title (there's an "Edit" button at the bottom of each of your posts).

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