How to Switch Desktop Environment in Fedora

1 min

This quick guide explains the steps on how to install and switch desktop environments in the Fedora Linux operating system between multiple desktops.

Fedora Linux workstation edition comes with the default GNOME Desktop environment. It also has separate installers a.k.a. “Spins” for other desktops – such as KDE Plasma, XFCE, LXDE, Deepin, etc.

However, it is also possible to install another desktop environment without impacting your current environment installation setup. And moreover, you do not need to install them as a separate disk partition via dedicated ISO.

In Fedora Linux operating system you can follow the below steps to switch the desktop environment.

How to Switch Desktop Environment in Fedora

  • First, open the terminal and run below command to see the list of desktop environments available and their package name from Fedora repo.
dnf grouplist -v
Switching desktop environments - available packages
Switching desktop environments – available packages

This will give you a list of environments as above. However, you can not see the version of the environments though. For example from the above list, you can not find whether KDE Plasma 5.19 or 5.20 is available from the Fedora repo. That depends on the version of the Fedora you are running and which environment version is official for the Fedora release.

  • Once you have the list, you can run below command to install the desktop environment.
sudo dnf install [environment name]

For example, if you want to install Cinnamon desktop environment, you can use –

sudo dnf install @cinnamon-desktop-environment

Remember this will install the entire desktop environment minus the common packages which you might have already as you are running native Fedora with default desktop environment.

The download size may vary and can go up to GBs.

  • After download and installation, reboot the system.
  • In the login window, you can choose the desktop environment by clicking the gear icon.

Removing the desktop environment

If you want to remove the desktop environment, log off from the current environment, and log in to the default environment. Then run below command. Change the package name as per your selected installation.

sudo dnf remove @cinnamon-desktop-environment

Then reboot the system for post uninstall cleanup.


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