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Old 07-13-2020, 03:52 AM   #1
varaonaid
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Question Alternative DE - how does it work?


Hi,

Iím not to new Linux but not an advanced user, either. Iíve used Mint type distros for awhile. I recently installed OpenSUSE Tumbleweed w/KDE. However, Iím thinking of trying another DE instead (having some freezing issues that might be KDE, also want to be able to sue VNC and KDE isnít compatible with the login).

Iíve never installed a second/alternative desktop environment with any distro. Itís always been a bit of a mystery and seems like could be ďmessyĒ since it installs a lot of other dependencies/apps/software, etc but I still want to pursue it. Memory and processor overhead isnít a huge issue so I think Iíd be OK with most options, in terms of how it will run. Iím wondering which other DEs you like on OpenSUSE and also, what happens after I install it? Do I need to uninstall KDE? Do I get a choice of which DE to use at boot? Can one install more than one DE at a time to try (for instance, could I install XFCE, Cinnamon, and Pantheon to try and then choose which one to use)? Iím not sure how it all works and would love any thoughts, advice, guidance, etc. Also, if any of the DEs are worth completely avoiding in OpenSUSE, that would also be great.

Thanks so much in advance!
 
Old 07-13-2020, 04:12 AM   #2
pan64
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In general you can install several different DEs without problem. You can choose your preferred one during login (usually). Also you can specify your default one.
 
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Old 07-13-2020, 04:17 AM   #3
ferrari
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Installing additional DEs in openSUSE is easy. Usually just a matter of installing the appropriate pattern

To get a list of patterns available...
Code:
sudo zypper se -t pattern
Some of the output will contain desktops such as Gnome, XFCE, LXDE etc

To instal a particular pattern
Code:
zypper in -t pattern <pattern_name>
For example, to install Gnome (Wayland), do
Code:
sudo zypper in -t pattern gnome
More info...
https://www.techrepublic.com/article...suse-and-suse/
https://en.opensuse.org/Categoryesktops
https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSEesktop_FAQ


BTW, the desired desktop can be chosen at the login screen. (The specifics depend on which display manager is in use.)

Last edited by ferrari; 07-13-2020 at 04:29 AM.
 
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Old 07-13-2020, 11:30 AM   #4
DavidMcCann
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It's generally best to experience a distro with the default DE — it's the one most of the developers use (that's why it's the default) and it's the one most end-users get (so bugs are quickly reported). SUSE has always been a KDE distro, and occasionally other DEs have had odd bits missing. But generally it should be OK, unlike running Fedora/CentOS without Gnome installed — not recommended.

It's worth experimenting. My first distro only came with the Ice window manager, so when I got another I installed both Gnome and KDE and used them on alternate days until I made my mind up. It can be a very personal thing — I'd never, ever use the current version of Gnome! Don't forget that the various DEs mostly have web pages where you can find out their less well-known features and tricks.
 
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:26 PM   #5
frankbell
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I second what pan64 said.

I often have multiple DEs and WMs installed. One that box over there ---> I'm running Ubuntu MATE, but also have KDE installed and use Fluxbox probably 95% of the time.

Heck, Slackware comes out of the box with four WMs and two DEs and Mageia comes with two.

I have never encountered a problem a resulting from having more than one GUI interface installed on a system.

Sometimes you will see persons express concern about the amount of disk space that might be taken up by the required libraries from having an extra DE installed, but, given the size of today's hard drives, that is no longer a cause for concern.
 
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Old 07-15-2020, 05:30 PM   #6
varaonaid
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Hello,

Thanks so, so much for all of your help and replies. Iíve learned a lot and really appreciated you taking the time to share. Iíve been a really difficult week (one of the worst, actually) and Iíve just not yet had time to post back and thank you.

I also didnít have time till today to install any alternative DEs. I used the Patterns section in YaST and installed a couple of them figuring Iíd try them out. I also thought that if I love one best and want a ďcleanerĒ system, I could reinstall with a different DE and not clutter things up with the extra packages.

Anyway, I let them all install w/ dependencies, etc. Everything went fine. I logged out of the system thinking that the desktop environment options would come up. They didnít so I rebooted and started OpenSUSE again. It booted straight into KDE with no options to choose one of the other DEs. I was told that with multiple environments installed, Iíd have an option come up when starting up that allowed me to choose which DE to use on any given login. Is there something I need to do to set that up? I thought it was automatic when additional DEs installed but obviously, something isnít working right.

Thanks in advance for any help. Iím super grateful.
 
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:22 PM   #7
scasey
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I installed my CentOS desktop with KDE...did not like it. So I installed Cinnamon.
After startup, thereís a gear icon that allows me select which DE to use. (Donít recall offhand if thatís on the userid or the password screen...posting from my iPad). Select cinnamon there...tada!

That choice is remembered. Only need to click the gear icon if I want to change it.

I donít know squat about OpenSUSE. Donít you have to login before the DE runs?
 
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:53 AM   #8
ferrari
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Quote:
Anyway, I let them all install w/ dependencies, etc. Everything went fine. I logged out of the system thinking that the desktop environment options would come up. They didn’t so I rebooted and started OpenSUSE again. It booted straight into KDE with no options to choose one of the other DEs. I was told that with multiple environments installed, I’d have an option come up when starting up that allowed me to choose which DE to use on any given login. Is there something I need to do to set that up? I thought it was automatic when additional DEs installed but obviously, something isn’t working right.

Thanks in advance for any help. I’m super grateful.
This is because 'Auto Login' is enabled. In openSUSE you can control this via...

YaST->Security and Users->User and Group Management->Export Options->Login Settings.

Once disabled, the active display manager login screen will present itself at boot.
 
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