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Removing unnecessary desktop environments (DE)

If you have changed to another DE (Desktop Environment) after initial installing from offline (XFCE4) or online choosing one of the DE’s you may want to remove the one you do not need anymore.

This not that easy to do as there are many packages needed by both DE’s or general over GTK and QT DE’S.

So I try to give an example here only. The best practice is to first install the new DE (may you already have) fully update your system:

sudo pacman -Syu

Reboot into the new wanted DE.

uninstall the unwanted DE if it is the default EndeavourOS XFCE4 offline or online install you want to remove, this will work for you:

sudo pacman -Rs xfce4 mousepad orage parole ristretto thunar-archive-plugin thunar-media-tags-plugin xfce4-battery-plugin xfce4-datetime-plugin xfce4-mount-plugin xfce4-netload-plugin xfce4-notifyd xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin xfce4-screensaver xfce4-screenshooter xfce4-taskmanager xfce4-wavelan-plugin xfce4-weather-plugin xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin xfce4-xkb-plugin file-roller network-manager-applet leafpad epdfview galculator endeavouros-xfce4-terminal-colors xdg-user-dirs-gtk

It can be that got an error and need to add more packages to the command, if you have them installed additionally, or you have one from the command uninstalled so you need to remove it.

To have this generic for all other DE’s i do not slim it down, so it will uninstall some packages you may need for GTK-based DE’s (GNOME, Cinnamon e.t.c.) so the best is to simple take care you get this packages back, if you use pacman with –needed option it will only reinstall the packages not installed anymore and not reinstalling everything from your new DE.

I do create a little Repository at my GitHub with commands to reinstall all DE’s we have on our Installer.

reinstall DE commands at GitHub

So choose your new DE and copy paste the command in your Terminal:

In this example i want to change to GNOME:

sudo pacman -S --needed gnome gnome-tweaks nautilus-sendto gnome-nettool gnome-usage adwaita-icon-theme chrome-gnome-shell xdg-user-dirs-gtk

If you want (for this example GDM) change your DM (Login-Manager) to the one default for the new DE you can do this with the welcome app:

Or manually from terminal also:

sudo systemctl -f enable GDM

uninstall lightdm:

sudo pacman -R lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter lightdm-gtk-greeter-settings

There is no foolproof way to do this, so always take a look at the exact terminal output, and take care you do not uninstall system relevant packages or packages you have installed manually like preferred Browser or other apps.

If you removing unneeded DE make sur eto enable the new DM (LoginManager) before rebooting the system or you will boot into TTY without graphical login prompt:

You will need to enable the DM manually:

sudo systemctl -f enable --now GDM

To get the graphical Login-Manager shown up again.

This is only one example of the many you could run in.

But the procedure will be similar to this mostly.

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