• Clean Removal of DE to switch to another? Plasma5 --> Gnome


    I’m currently running Plasma 5, and I reached this point by doing an antergos-base install, then installing the various required groups.

    I would like to switch to Gnome 3.18 for awhile. I do not want to do a clean install if it can be avoided - I just did this installation 2, maybe 3 months ago tops.

    I would think I just need to uninstall the various groups related to Plasma 5 and KDE apps, switch to GDM, install the Gnome groups, and that’s it. (Will consult the Gnome page on the Arch Wiki)

    However, I haven’t done this sort of surgery in the past without just doing a full reinstall.

    Are there any gotchas I should be aware of, or nonobvious things I might miss?

  • Just my personal opinion here FWIW, I would do a clean install.
    The default DE for Antergos is Gnome, so you would have a ‘pure’ Gnome setup then,
    Backup you home directory for important data/stuff.
    Like Pictures, themes and whatnot.
    Not any config files as Gnome would probably not like KDE configs, if you know what I mean.
    For the programs you installed, if they have directories/data, be sure to back them up and you just have to reinstall the programs. Which, btw, is a breeze.

    But, as I said, just my personal opinion. YMMV

    Regards

  • That’s not bad advice.

    But what I think I will do, if there’s no further input before the US holiday, is try my way first. If it fails, there’s no reason my home directory shouldn’t still be intact.

    If it doesn’t work for whatever reason, then I’ll just doit your way without formatting /home. I’ve got it on a separate partition and have done clean installs where I just don’t format /home, rename my directory before the fresh install, then copy over what I care about countless times.

    I just wanted to spare doing a backup/restore of steam games and various other fiddly bits if possible,but no big deal I guess if I must… :-)

    Thanks for the input!

  • You’re quite welcome. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and re-install.
    I have re-installed soooo many distro’s over the years, it doesn’t get any easier. Less restoring, but still re-installing programs and getting things just right is what it is…
    Good luck.

  • @noobforever I’ve found it to be a best practice to use separate user accounts for each DE when installing multiple DE’s on one system. I actually have Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE 5, and MATE installed on my desktop at the moment :grinning: . Cinnamon is my desktop of choice these days, the others I have installed for testing purposes.

  • @lots-0-logs
    Yep, that is exactly what I did with Cinnamon when testing it out. I removed Cinnamon and went back to ol’trusty Xfce. Xfce just does it for me. I keep trying others from time to time but always back to Xfce.
    But I digress… lol
    Separating users from DE’s is the best way. No intermingling.
    Only drawback for me was trying endlessly on how to share e-mai/browser by Group permissions. Never could get it quite right and I know it can be done.
    Boy, did I go off topic or what?

  • Thanks all but - I didn’t want to install them side by side, just to remove Plasma 5 and go to Gnome.

    That’s now done. (I just said eff it and went with a clean install) - but now I can’t get Steam to launch. Will search or start a separate thread for that… :-)

    Edit: Got it - lib32-nvidia-libgl - duh! :-)

  • @noobforever

    If it doesn’t work for whatever reason, then I’ll just doit your way without formatting /home. I’ve got it on a separate partition and have done clean installs where I just don’t format /home, rename my directory before the fresh install, then copy over what I care about countless times.

    This is exact same advice I wanted to give You. As a webdeveloper before format I also copy my /etc somewhere (because I have pretty nice settings there), and then after installation I selectively copy-back what I need :)

    Anyway, didn’t reainstall Antergos for a year now, I think. Last installation I’ve started with Gnome 3.14, then switch to Plasma for a while (I’ve removed gnome files in /home). It was ok, but touching settings panel was like minefield and I didn’t know if I will be able to login next time each time I change something :p Then switch back to LxQT (I’ve removed plasma files in /home), next Gnome 3.16 for a while and again to LxQT. (again removing gnome files in /home).

    At this moment I’m running LxQT with kwin and as a backup I pick Openbox. I have no unwanted files in /home (I’ve manually removed them each time).

    Before this installation I reinstall system quiet often, but at some point I realize, than I can learn something new by maintaining system. And I think really got some additional knowledge now ^_^

    If cleaning /home is not enough for You, I believe You have to figure it out where Gnome (and all it’s applications) stores their files. I think that if you will use proper pacman/yaourt options you can automate this process pretty well.

    @lots-0-logs:

    I’ve found it to be a best practice to use separate user accounts for each DE when installing multiple DE’s on one system.

    Why so? Just curious. Are there any drawbacks or gotchas?

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