How to properly use Gnome alongside KDE?

I want to use Gnome(classic version preferably) as my work desktop, while using kde for other stuff, but I’m not sure how to do that properly.

I mean installation is easy, “sudo pacman -S gnome”, but that’s adds about 10 entries on the login screen and they don’t make sense cause for example you have “Gnome Wayland Classic” alongside with “Gnome Classic(Wayland)”. I only need one entry for Gnome Classic, what can I do?

Plus I’m concenred about “default app for” bugging cause I’ll have 2 desktops, I heard that it’s better to use 2 users with 1 desktop each for that, but maybe there is something else that I need to know?

You may want to consider a separate installation so you have Gnome and KDE on separate partitions. Or run one of them in a virtual machine. I think it’s a bad idea to have to separate desktops environments on one installation.


I would use a VM, but I can’t do a GPU passthrough when the only GPU I have is ryzen APU. Separate installation is out of the question.

Installing Gnome and KDE together will most likely end up in a mess.


Why is a dual installation out of the question? It should work fine as long as you have enough storage.

You should never run / install more than one desktop environment at a time.

Not accurate for desktops. OS’s yes, desktops no.

I’m talking two separate installations on different partitions - one Gnome, one KDE.

Will be problematic with the storage, thats the reason.

You will get a lot of collisions with themes and services - you will only live to regret the mix.

The most common cause of issues with Linux is to mix environments using different toolkits.

Gnome and Qt toolkit uses different theming engines and Gnome DE vs. Plasma DE is both installing their version of core services which make them a bad mix.

The answer to your topic title is

There is no proper way as they are far too different to be able to work together.

Of course is is possible to use a Qt based application on Gnome and also a Gnome based application on Plasma but mixing the complete environments - is a recipe for weird issues.

I’d say - go ahead - see for yourself - learn your way around - but don’t say haven’t been warned.


If he is referring to separate partition it very rare to have issues with multiboot.

You could share a data partition for both OS, then you might need to assign only something like 15 GiB to each OS. If you share your storage status we might be able to provide more detailed suggestions.


I think it’s worth looking into… Thanks.

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You can install on one btrfs partition in separate subvolumes, also even enable compression.


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