How to safely change desktop environments

From my experience, installing a new DE for a distro ends up in a bloated mess(multiple apps that do the same thing, 2 file explorers, app stores etc.) and uninstalling the original DE ends up in a not-working system(my experience: after uninstalling the original DE my wi-fi wasn’t working at all, it wasn’t even detecting that I had a wi-fi card.
So my questions are:
How to change(not just install, but delete my current DE after) my DE safely?
Should I get into tty, uninstall my current DE and then install the one that I want?

the best is to backup what you want to keep & grab an iso with the desktop you want.

No problem. I changed from XFCE to KDE Plasma, without the need to reinstall the system. It is worth preserving the settings of the previous graphic environment to be able to return to it in case of disappointment. Meta-temporary packages are helpful here, using them, you can install or uninstall the entire group of programs. KDE did not meet my expectations, unfortunately I had too big skiing CPU and RAM so I could easily return to XFCE with its last configuration. The only thing I had to configure this LightDM, because if I want to use KDE, I uninstalled this package and installed SDDM. Then, using Pamac, I conveniently removed the orphaned packages of the remaining Plasma and now I have a situation like before replacing.

i’m using xfce4-session + i3-gaps for the window manager.

kde & gnome has been buggy as of late, but xfce has been solid.

Μy opinion is to see the two DEs from an iso usb-cd … and not to install over a DE where there may be common programs and to find it difficult to solve the dependencies

That is not my experience.
Simply identify the apps you don’t need anymore and remove them.
It’s not like you are stuck forever with whatever was installed initially. :wink:

First install the new DE, then try to use it by logging out of the old and into the new.
Then remove the old DE.
Pay attention to which packages are slated for removal - your NetworkManager should not be among them, for instance. :wink:

You will not get the customized Desktop that you get on a fresh install by default.
You will need to find and copy the relevant files from /etc/skel to your HOME.
That’s where the defaults are stored. Use them if you ever want the initial state back.
This should be done when the DE is not running (you are logged out) - from a TTY.
Use a console file manager like mc to make your life easier. :wink:

Gnome is a bit of a special case - you’d also want to use it’s native Display Manager GDM - so you’d also need to install that and run that and disable the previous one.

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