One time switch from Gnome to XFCE

Not sure where to post this, since the Newbies forum is gone. I’ve been testing xfce on my secondary system, and like it more than Gnome, which I’ve run on my primary computer for the past 9 months. I’ve read everything about switching desktops in the wiki, and ran across this thread, which describe a way to do this. I have a lot of time invested in configuring my primary system, and would like to do this in the least complicated way possible.

I keep reading that the safest way is to create a new user, but doesn’t that create the need to reinstall, reconfigure all apps I’ve installed, as well as somehow move, re-assign users and groups to the existing files?

Could use some guidance if anyone has gone through this. Thanks.

If you used the package manager, applications are installed system wide, so no need for reinstallation.
Their configuration is user specific though. I’ll let someone who experienced that provide more details on afterwork, if any.

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How about user permissions on files? Does ownership need to be changed on all of user1 to user2?

Have you tried already?
Did you run into any issues?

I.E. I did not specify --preserve=ownership and as long as you don’t do that you’re fine…


Hi Fabby-

No, I haven’t acted on this yet. I’m proceeding with caution, since I have a lot of time invested in my setup, and am weighing the risk/reward benefits of simply changing DE’s. Most of the problems I’ve had with Linux have been ownership and permissions issues, and I don’t want to get myself in a jam.

I may try this on a test computer first, I may also test installing XFCE desktop per the suggestions on the wiki, also on a test computer.

Overall, I get conflicting input regarding the problems that can occur with just installing XFCE and choosing it on login. At the core of my concern is why is it so easy to choose a DE on login, if it’s so dangerous?

Thanks for your input, please don’t take this as a rant, I’m just going slow!

AFAIK the worst that could happen is some settings would be overwritten, making things look out of place. More a bother to put everything back in place than really dangerous.

Well, the first test was interesting.
I cloned my Manj Gnome system on another computer under a VM guest, and proceeded with the install using the Wiki instructions. Got through the section on installing an configuring lightDM. Did not add a new user.

On reboot, system came up with a black screen. Opening up a terminal window let me do a startx and get to my gnome desktop.

I tossed this VM, cloned a new one, and installed only the XFCE packages, not lightdM
Rebooted, selected the XFCE session, and logged in as my normal user.

From what I can see, everything is working, and other than the not booting with lighDM, but with whatever Gnome uses, things look good.

I’m going to do a little more testing to see how things go, but it looks like the easy way might just work.

Any suggestions for what to test would be appreciated. Thanks for the help so far.

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