[SOLVED] How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

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TY~DY
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[SOLVED] How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by TY~DY » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:16 pm

Running 17.2 Cinnamon on an old Dell Inspiron E1505 w/ 1GB of ram. Cinnamon likes to freeze & in general is slow. I didn't understand (as if I do now!) about the different DEs when I did the install. Is it a big deal to change the DE to XFCE? How do I do that safely? Or do I just have to do a fresh install??
Last edited by TY~DY on Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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daveinuk
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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by daveinuk » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:31 pm

You can install another desktop environment from synaptic package manager, then choose which one to login to from the login screen.
The different editions are generally tweaked for each DE so a lot of folks would say reinstall to get the best experience from any given DE.
With your RAM you would probably be better off with something lighter than cinnamon, (XFCE/MATE) did you install with a separate /Home partition by any chance?

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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by tbellas3rd » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:39 pm

I would back up personal files and just install fresh from USB stick. Otherwise it could get messy down the road. Just my thoughts on it.

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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by TY~DY » Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:06 pm

daveinuk wrote:You can install another desktop environment from synaptic package manager, then choose which one to login to from the login screen.
The different editions are generally tweaked for each DE so a lot of folks would say reinstall to get the best experience from any given DE.
With your RAM you would probably be better off with something lighter than cinnamon, (XFCE/MATE) did you install with a separate /Home partition by any chance?
I guess this is where my noob shows through... Huh? I guess I didn't. Not a clue. Does it make a difference? How would I check??

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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by cholq » Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:22 pm

I recently did this same thing. I originally installed Cinnamon, and then later installed XFCE as well. It was pretty easy. I just went into Software Manager and installed xfce4.

Now, when I log in, there is a little 2 letter code in the top right of my login window. If I click on it, there is a little drop down where I can pick which desktop I want to log into.

And for what it is worth, I've enjoyed using XFCE the little bit I've played with it. I think I still like Cinnamon a little better, but XFCE is really fast.

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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by TY~DY » Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:52 pm

cholq wrote:I recently did this same thing. I originally installed Cinnamon, and then later installed XFCE as well. It was pretty easy. I just went into Software Manager and installed xfce4.

Now, when I log in, there is a little 2 letter code in the top right of my login window. If I click on it, there is a little drop down where I can pick which desktop I want to log into.

And for what it is worth, I've enjoyed using XFCE the little bit I've played with it. I think I still like Cinnamon a little better, but XFCE is really fast.
When I go into the Synaptic Manager I see a LOT of XCFE4 packages. Do I install them all?

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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by Flemur » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:04 pm

When I go into the Synaptic Manager I see a LOT of XCFE4 packages. Do I install them all?
No! Like cholq said, just install "xfce4":

"This package (xfce4) is a metapackage; it depends on the core packages of the Xfce4 desktop environment and recommends some extra Xfce4 packages. If you intend to use Xfce4 and want the full experience then installing this package and the packages it Recommends is a great place to start. If you just want to pick and choose the core components then feel free to
remove this package."

It *should* install the parts of xfce4 that you need.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 19.1 Xfce/fluxbox
Manjaro openbox/fluxbox

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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by daveinuk » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:05 pm

TY~DY wrote:
daveinuk wrote:You can install another desktop environment from synaptic package manager, then choose which one to login to from the login screen.
The different editions are generally tweaked for each DE so a lot of folks would say reinstall to get the best experience from any given DE.
With your RAM you would probably be better off with something lighter than cinnamon, (XFCE/MATE) did you install with a separate /Home partition by any chance?
I guess this is where my noob shows through... Huh? I guess I didn't. Not a clue. Does it make a difference? How would I check??
If you installed using the option to use the whole disc then it'll be a 'no'. If you partitioned yourself I'm sure you would have remembered, either way, what you do at this stage is up to you. As the post above mentions, you could install and use it quite happily and not be fussed either way. Personally I like to chip away 'til it's setup cleanly, so if you've not added too much in at this stage, you could back up any data needed to an external drive and just reinstall, doing so with a MATE or XFCE disc/USB drive. The install time is so quick it's hardly worth wasting time fiddling around and you'd end up with a clean slate and a version optimized for the desktop environment you choose. I'm not sure if there would be much in it between XFCE and MATE, you could try both 'live' and see, odds are it'll come down to which one you like the look of more.

If you'd have partitioned you could have run through the installer again, telling it to overwrite partitions like root/boot/swap etc and to leave 'home' alone, so any data you wanted to save would be untouched, this is a really quick way of upgrading, much faster than the 'windows way' of doing things, it might be worth considering playing around with the installer if you decide to reinstall and start afresh, even if just to get your head around the partitioner and installer a bit more, there's stickies at the top of the forums with some good info on different DE's, partitioning etc, there's no shortage of help around :wink:

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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by TY~DY » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:26 pm

daveinuk wrote:
TY~DY wrote:
daveinuk wrote:You can install another desktop environment from synaptic package manager, then choose which one to login to from the login screen.
The different editions are generally tweaked for each DE so a lot of folks would say reinstall to get the best experience from any given DE.
With your RAM you would probably be better off with something lighter than cinnamon, (XFCE/MATE) did you install with a separate /Home partition by any chance?
I guess this is where my noob shows through... Huh? I guess I didn't. Not a clue. Does it make a difference? How would I check??
If you installed using the option to use the whole disc then it'll be a 'no'. If you partitioned yourself I'm sure you would have remembered, either way, what you do at this stage is up to you. As the post above mentions, you could install and use it quite happily and not be fussed either way. Personally I like to chip away 'til it's setup cleanly, so if you've not added too much in at this stage, you could back up any data needed to an external drive and just reinstall, doing so with a MATE or XFCE disc/USB drive. The install time is so quick it's hardly worth wasting time fiddling around and you'd end up with a clean slate and a version optimized for the desktop environment you choose. I'm not sure if there would be much in it between XFCE and MATE, you could try both 'live' and see, odds are it'll come down to which one you like the look of more.

If you'd have partitioned you could have run through the installer again, telling it to overwrite partitions like root/boot/swap etc and to leave 'home' alone, so any data you wanted to save would be untouched, this is a really quick way of upgrading, much faster than the 'windows way' of doing things, it might be worth considering playing around with the installer if you decide to reinstall and start afresh, even if just to get your head around the partitioner and installer a bit more, there's stickies at the top of the forums with some good info on different DE's, partitioning etc, there's no shortage of help around :wink:
If it matters, I also have AntiX on this machine. If I do the install as you mention - I won't loose all my stuff will I? (don't really have the option to do a backup - no media available at the moment).

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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by cholq » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:43 pm

TY~DY wrote:
When I go into the Synaptic Manager I see a LOT of XCFE4 packages. Do I install them all?
I'm pretty sure I just installed xfce4. When I look in there now, there are a bunch of other xfce packages installed, but that is all the stuff Software Manager pulled in for me.

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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by TY~DY » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:49 pm

cholq wrote:
TY~DY wrote:
When I go into the Synaptic Manager I see a LOT of XCFE4 packages. Do I install them all?
I'm pretty sure I just installed xfce4. When I look in there now, there are a bunch of other xfce packages installed, but that is all the stuff Software Manager pulled in for me.
Yeah, I don't see just XFCE4 anywhere.
Not exactly sure what I will end up doing yet.
But I am downloading the torrent for 17.3 XFCE.
So maybe I am going to TRY an install. I just really hope if I do,
I don't loose everything I have installed / downloaded now.

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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by cholq » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:52 pm

When you say you don't see xfce4, are you in Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager? I was using Software Manager. If I search for "xfce", it is the very first result returned.

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Re: How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by TY~DY » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:12 pm

cholq wrote:When you say you don't see xfce4, are you in Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager? I was using Software Manager. If I search for "xfce", it is the very first result returned.
Ah-ha. I was in Synaptic. Oops. I see it in Software Manager. So I'll try that.
Thank you!

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Re: [SOLVED] How do I switch from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Post by TY~DY » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:32 pm

That worked!
Seems a bit faster, which is what I was looking for.
Thank you gentlemen for the help!

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