If you have changed to another DE (Desktop Environment) after initially installing the offline edition (XFCE4) or you just decided to move over to your freshly discovered DE, you might want to remove the unused one.

In most cases, this isn’t easy to do, especially when you switch from GTK to QT, or vice-versa, there are still some dependencies you might need.

So I try to give an example here, the best practice is to update your system first:

sudo pacman -Syu

Then install the desired DE. See this article, then reboot into the DE you’ve just installed.

Open the terminal and 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

In this stage an error message may occur, in that case, you probably have some additional packages installed you need to remove also, just add them to the list.

Uninstalling Xfce packages like this must be made very carefully, because you may uninstall something that is needed by your new DE (GNOME and Cinnamon which are GTK-based too). If that happens, then you may have to reinstall the new DE packages using the pacman option --needed to avoid installing already existing packages.

I have created a little repository on my GitHub page with packages lists for each DE/WM and the base-packages-group for all DE/WM installed per default:

reinstall DE commands at GitHub

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

In this example I use GNOME:

git clone https://github.com/endeavouros-team/EndeavourOS-packages-lists.git

cd EndeavourOS-packages-lists

will list the files

sudo pacman -S --needed - < gnome

If you like to change your DM, login manager, to the one default for the new DE, in this case, GDM, you can easily change this using the welcome app:

Or if you prefer using the terminal:

sudo systemctl -f enable GDM

To uninstall lightdm:

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

Unfortunately, there isn’t a full-proof way to do this, so always take a look at the exact terminal output, and be careful you do not uninstall certain system relevant packages or packages you have installed manually like a preferred browser or other apps.

If you remove an unneeded DE make sure to enable the new DM (LoginManager) before rebooting the system or you will boot into TTY without graphical login like this:

In that case, you will need to enable the DM manually:

sudo systemctl -f enable --now GDM

To get the graphical Login-Manager show up again.

This is only one example of the situation you could run into, but most of the time these steps will be enough for any DE change.

In case you are encountering issues, don’t forget to ask our helpful community.

Connect with us:

Removing a Desktop Environment

  • by