How to setup Multiboot DE´s

Hello everyone

My name is Memo, I am newbie of sorts. I have a question.

"How do I install multiple versions of manjaro" on my system.

What I am looking for is the following:
One basic system install, and then have the option of switching Desktop Enviroments. Can this be done?
Just having one common partition with the shared OS, and then one partition to be shared to write data too, such as pictures, documents etc.

Its to avoid a traditional 7-8 multiboot situation. I have a Windows 8.1 system allready, and an Ubuntu Studio setup, side by side. There was an i3 OS installed as well, but it vanished after I upgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.

And to further specify. When I say data partition what I mean i. You due a video rendering in Blender in KDE. Its stored on the data partition. You switch DE too, lets say, Awesome. Your Blender project can be opened with no problems and you can continue your work

If you use one base system all applications (also the various DEs) will overlap you don't even need a separate partition as all data will be accessed in the same way. A DE is only a set of applications you are running.
However, multiple DEs in parallel can lead to issues or render your system unusable

Have you searched the wiki? :

And the forum? :
Here you will also find some threads about issues with multiple DEs


My philosophy is that if you have to ask, you're not ready to attempt stuff like this. Make backups before you attempt anything that could seriously mess your system (like this).


This, definitely do this!

And also do some research to know what you are doing.
Maybe mess first in a VM or if you just want to try the different DEs and WMs run one after the other in a VM.


This has been answered multiple times in this forum.

You can run multiple DEs in one installation of Manjaro. You just swap them at the Display Manager. It is HIGHLY recommended to create a different user for each DE so that configs do not get messed up.

Alternatively... save yourself a headache, just install each edition in a VM, test them all out, and see which ONE you like best.


Agreed. Further, @memoxn, it makes your system extremely difficult for others to help you, should you have (and you will have), problems inherent with such setups.

Basically, you're on your own as far as support goes. You break it--you fix it.



Why newbees always want the impossible, or at least the very hard things to do?
Why not install and use the OS ootb for some time so they can familiarize themselves with it, read about it, learn it and then slowly start to experiment? No, it has to be straight from the start, resulting in an overcrowded forum with help requests. I just don't get it.


Thank you feedback. Having the ability to switch between DE´s was what I was looking for specifically irt. Manjaro. I have had multiboot before witn win8, Ubuntu Studio and Manjaro i3. I ask only because it can be difficult to fully comprehend every detail, option and possibility, or lack thereof as a newbie. You need to learn over a period. Thank you.

Thank you for your feedback. I will find a solution. And yes, several times I have screwed things up, while trying to learn. Most of the time I achieve my aims. Thanks.

Cool, thanks, I didn´t know. Thats the solution I am looking for. Thanks

Thanks for the feedback. I allready am trying things out on VM and one system with multiple DE´s is what I am looking for. Thanks. I have done research and so I ask here full of enthusiasm for the final pieces of the puzzle. Thanks


I installed multiple DEs myself so I basically got what you want and I can tell you:

It's not that easy. Some DEs can live with each other without problems, but some do clash in some weird ways. Also, when you install for example Manjaro XFCE it has a deep customizations for XFCE so even if you run other DE there, it may be problematic and have variety of issues, unlike dedicated Manjaro spin with that other DE.

Also, installing a DE is easy, getting rid of it cleanly is a hard work if you are not properly prepared before.

To sum it up, it's doable but messy and problematic. If you have skills you can make all DE work without bigger issues but in the end the experience is sub-optimal, so focusing on one DE that you chose with the ISO is the best and cleanest approach.

If you really want to experiement and are not afraid to mess your system you can rather safely combine:

Openbox with anything
Plasma with LXQt, Deepin, i3
i3 or sway with anything
Gnome with nothing
Xfce with nothing

Basically, Gtk based DEs are more problematic, but Plasma due its complexity also is often adventurous. Of course you can combine Gnome with Plasma, I had such configuration for a while and it can be useable, but it also can be potentially most problematic setup, depends on your skills.

Playing with DEs can be fun and a learning experience but you have to have a tenacity to work through issues and to learn a lot. If you just want to install and use, it will be rather frustrating experience as DEs are not expected to be installed together so as a rule of thumb it's discouraged.


Awesome explanation @michaldybczak.

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