Migration from Gnome to KDE Advice

I want to look at switching my DE from Gnome to KDE - My research so far has led me to believe that the best option is a clean Manjaro install using the KDE variant. This seems cleaner and more sensible to me too, so that’s fine however I’m not committed to the move and want to be able to revert to Gnome if needed. I’m also using my Manjaro desktop for work now so I need a working system.

I have an idea but I wanted to run it past some people here to comment on whether it’s likely to work or any issues that it may cause.

My potential migration plan would be as follows…

  1. Split my root partition and shrink it to create a new, empty, partition in the available space.
  2. Move my /home directory out of my / partition and into the new empty partition.
  3. Resize the partitions to allow minimal free space to function
  4. Create a new, empty, partition in the available space ready for the root partition for Manjaro KDE
  5. Install Manjaro KDE into the new partition, using the existing /home partition

I’m hoping that should give me 2 functional Manjaro installations - One for each DE with shared files between them, with the goal that once I’m settled with KDE / decided Gnome was better I just junk the unwanted root partition and rebuild Grub.

I’m using a little more than half my primary HDD space at the moment but 74% of that is my /home directory so, if I move that out, I don’t see space being an issue.

Well, you could do this. However, the problems (do we actually have evidence for this?) arise because of the shared home directory and not the contents of the root.

You could install both DEs on the same installation.

Save yourself a lot if grief and frustration. Backup your personal stuff to a Thumb Drive or portable disk. Do a complete fresh install of KDE Plasma. Why complicate matters.


I proceeded in a rather simple way. I installed directly the other environments without doing anything particular they can work together. When logging in, you choose the environment and it worked for several weeks. Once the choice was made, I reinstalled the whole system with the one I wanted to use, because the only problem is that you have a lot of useless files even if you uninstall.
The only prerequisite is that if it goes wrong then you need to have an up-to-date backup of your data, but we always have one :wink:.

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@mithrial / @kurdy - I feared that sharing the home directory may be a problem. This makes things awkward as I don’t want to risk having a non-working Manjaro for a significant time period due to work commitments (neither do I want to end a transition with loads of useless or potentially conflicting files - been there before trying to share a ‘/home’ between Ubuntu Studio and Manjaro - a “learning experience”…)

It feels like it may be more sensible then to either…

a. Just install KDE alongside Gnome manually (and accept the innevitable cruft from having 2 DEs).
b. Cull cruft from my ‘/home’ directory so my current root partition is closer to 1/3 of my HD space and just install a completely clean KDE Manjaro alongside it (I’ll then have 4 OSes on my box!) - I can then play for a bit and transfer over what I need from my Gnome ‘/home’ as I start getting set up.

Option b feels like the safer option, in terms of work. I can then eventually make a clone of the core old ‘/home’ somewhere for reference later if I go all-in on KDE.

As a significant part of my ‘/home’ seems to be my ‘steamapps’ directory I can probably burn most of that to make 2 full Manjaro’s viable.

Do you have actual evidence that it will or may result in an non-working system?

I understand that depending on the nature of the backup it may still take some time to get back to a stable state. In this case, there is an approach I have used to go back is to create images of your hard drives with dd so you can get back to a stable state quickly.

In the end I went with 2 Manjaro installs, building my new KDE based install from scratch - mostly so far so good - A few issues with email and now audio to resolve but getting there.