Is possible change the "Desktop Environment" of the OS itself?

Hello Friends

I have installed Ubuntu Desktop 22.04 and Fedora Workstation 39. According with my understanding both are based with Gnome. I want to know if through the GUI itself - for example through Settings - is possible change the default “Desktop Environment” (if the term is correct) to other.

Personally I prefer the environment of Ubuntu, therefore just curious if is possible change the DE of Fedora as Ubuntu - and why not, as vice versa.

I know it would be not a critical or common scenario … but just in case I do this question

Thanks for your understanding

Hi Manuel,
Yes, you can change the DE, but not through Settings.
Each DE is a package… you need to find the package names.
What you do, to change from Gnome to Xfce, for example,

  • install the Xfce package
  • purge the Gnome package
  • reboot
    and it should start the new DE, and new login manager.

It is a big change. Do a backup before you start.



Neville, I have loaded multiple DE’s on a distro. I loaded Ubuntu (Gnome 3) by mistake and then installed XFCE and MATE and KDE desktops. I didn’t purge anything, but they all worked. Just select the session from the login page. I had no problems but maybe I was just lucky.


Yes, Bill, that works OK most times. I had some problems
ages ago with kde on top of xfce, but I think distros are getting better at this mixing of DE’s
Antix comes by default with about 6 different window managers and you can select them at the login manager


Thanks to all for the replies. Yes, I have seen in some tutorials about the Login approach. But I assumed that within the session logged and through some internal configuration would be possible. I mean download some themes and simply applied, it even without restarting the OS itself.

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Tried Antix. Didn’t like any of the DE choices. Lots of other fish in the sea. Or beers in the fridge.

You dont like Window Managers.
OK. You can add a DE to Antix, but, as you say, choose a distro that has the DE you want in the first place.

Not clear about the difference between desktop environment and window manager. Does either go past the issues of look and feel?

Have a look at Fluxbox… it has windows and a menu but no icons… a window manager manages windows… that is all… a DE does lots more… all DE’s have a window manager underneath their hood.

The distiction can get blurred when you get to something like Enlightenment.

There was a time when having a window was a major advance.

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