Multiple DEs installations and ownership of /etc/skel/.xinitrc

Ok. This is a thing that I keep stumbling upon every now and then.
Last time, this morning while using PAMAC to upgrade the 300+ packages it was alerting as “due for upgrade”.

The output:

Synchronizing package databases…
Resolving dependencies…
Checking inter-conflicts…
Checking keyring…
Checking integrity…
Loading package files…
Checking file conflicts…
Failed to commit transaction:
conflicting files:

  • /etc/skel/.xinitrc exists in both manjaro-gnome-settings and manjaro-kde-settings

I’ve made my homeworks and gone through this:

…which lead me to renaming /etc/skel/.xinitrc into /etc/skel/.xinitrc.old

Yet the second spin of upgrading from PAMAC returned the very same error…hmmmm.

Time to see if there was a concurrent ownership claimed by multiple packages at the same time.

pacman -Qo /etc/skel/.xinitrc
/etc/skel/.xinitrc is owned by manjaro-gnome-settings 20200512-1

…while I am using KDE…! So I should have given PAMAC more credit (“the same file exists in 2 packages” that are meant to be used in an exclusive manner…that is…one at a time!).

Knowing that this would possibly break the other (unused) DE installed on my machine (GNOME), I had to swallow the bullet and try to see if removing the elements causing co-ownership of xinitrc would solve the issue:

sudo pacman -R manjaro-gnome-assets
sudo pacman -R manjaro-gnome-settings

Then I crossed my finger and re-used PAMAC to perform the hundreds upgrades…this time it did work.

But what’s gonna happen next time I have to eventually use GNOME? Will surely have to re-install the removed packages…

My question(s)

  1. Will re-installing manjaro-gnome-assets and settings be enough to re-run GNOME?
  2. Is there a better way to handle multiple DE co-existence (aka co-ownership of /etc/skel/.xinitrc) or should I surrender to the idea of completely uninstalling GNOME?

You shouldn’t have both of those installed. They should conflict with each other, but apparently there has been a mistake in the packaging.

You can safely uninstall one of them, they are only meant for the initial configuration of new users. I would uninstall kde settings, because gnome can be unpredictable.