Can I switch desktop environments?

Hello everyone, I was wondering if it was possible to switch from Plasma KDE to Awesome without reinstalling? I am still a newbie to all this, so I apologize if I didn’t word that correctly. If this is possible how could I go about doing this?

Of course, you can do it. Just install awesome and manjaro-awesome-settings and after restart you should be able to choose Plasma or Awesome at login screen. You can also delete all Plasma if you want.

Details about Awesome

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While you can absolutely do it, the experience will be a bit hit and miss.
Especially GNOME and KDE don’t like each other. They have overlapping settings and config files that mess with each other.

It is recommended to do a completely new install when you want to switch desktop environments.


I tried installing manjaro-awesome-settings and I got an error
error: failed to commit transaction (conflicting files)
manjaro-awesome-settings: /etc/skel/.xinitrc exists in filesystem (owned by manjaro-kde-settings)
Errors occurred, no packages were upgraded.

Any idea what I should do?

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The reason I don’t want to reinstall is because I don’t want to have to reconfigure my computer.

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sudo pacman -Syyu manjaro-awesome-settings --overwrite /etc/skel/.xinitrc
:: Synchronizing package databases...

error: failed to update core (unable to lock database)
error: failed to update extra (unable to lock database)
error: failed to update community (unable to lock database)
error: failed to update multilib (unable to lock database)
error: failed to synchronize all databases

pamac is open ? close before use pacman
and run before

sudo rm /var/lib/pacman/db.lck

note: manjaro-awesome-settings is only for create a new use :wink: so after install create a new user and install also awesome

I have to create a new user to login into awesome? I can’t use the same user?

You can … but it was built with kde plasma configs … a new user will be built with these manjaro-awesome configs. (not to mention other oddities that can come from sharing the user)
Its also worth it just to test.
If you want you can end up applying the new ones from /etc/skel to your original user … I will help you with a one liner for that in a second…

EDIT… ok … this would do it (and also make backups of each file changed - backups have a ~)…

rsync -rbltDii --ignore-missing-args --include=".*" /etc/skel/.{config,icons,local,profile,xinitrc} /home/$USER/

I made a new user and I logged into awesome however, now I can’t bring up the terminal.

do you mean it fails or you dont have the key-combo?
(common ones are Ctrl+Alt+T, or Super+T)
Did you see above about moving the files?

manjaro-awesome-settings is set for :
thunar and lxterminal, mousepad …

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Total agree : mixing DE on one install always have fatal issue : dependencies are too intricate. In addition, for the same reason it’s quite impossible to remove one of the installed DE.

Manjaro awesome configuration uses a different terminal than kde edition. You need to either install lxterminal or edit the awesome rc.lua configuration file to use konsole.

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I wouldn’t do that, better remove manjaro-kde-settings first, then install manjaro-awesome-settings.

Yes. The assumption is both of those things were done … so that skel actually contained the defaults for awesome :wink:

To be completely honest this is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. It would just be easier to reinstall with awesome. I appreciate all the input, but switching from one to the other has a lot of hiccups.

Yes, that is very true, as suggested here :wink::


The following should be worth a try before a complete reinstall:

root# pacman -S awesome sddm terminator
root# vim /etc/sddm.conf (//delete the Autologin section)
root# updatedb
root# locate rc.lua
user# mkdir -p ~/.config/awesome
user# cp /path/to/rc.lua ~/.config/awesome/
user# vim ~/.config/awesome/rc.lua (//replace default terminal - xterm - with terminator)
root# reboot

The SDDM login manager should now list KDE and Awesome for you to choose from.