How to change to full xfce4 desktop?


The system comes by default with Gnome desktop, to change to xfce4 which of the following two alternatives is possible?:

1 During installation is there any option to install ‘only’ xfce4?.

2 If not, after installation and before the update/upgrade, can this be done:

    # aptitude purge gnome
    # aptitude install xfce4

Thanks for the comments

Best Regards!


I installed the system, there was not any option during installation to change to xfce4 and after been installed i did not find a clear way of how to uninstall gnome …

EDIT: I found not solution, i will uninstall the system.

The easiest way is to wait for the installation/update to complete, then using your gnome terminal enter:

sudo apt-get install xfce4

this will install xfce4 desktop.

Once that’s done, log out of the system and head to the login screen

Once you’re there, select your username

Then before entering the password, look to top-right or bottom-right for an option that lets you select the desktop environment (GNOME, XFCE, all the ones that you have installed).

Select XFCE then enter your password to enter XFCE desktop

Once you’re there, run terminal.

Then in terminal, enter sudo apt remove gnome-desktop

(or whatever is GNOME package’s name is, I forgot tbh)

Then once it’s uninstalled, enter:

sudo apt autoremove
sudo apt autoclean

That should remove gnome-desktop packages and the environment from your system. After this log out again to head back to the login screen.

Once you’re there, enter your username and press enter, but don’t enter your password.

Find that option once again that lets you select desktop environments.

If you find just XFCE over there, or if you’re unable to find that option this time, both of these mean you have successfully deleted GNOME and now XFCE is your only DE now. enter your password now and login to xfce.


That was my first big problem, there is nothing like gnome, or ‘gnome-desktop’, i have not idea about the packages name from gnome desktop on this distro. :thinking:

What distro are you on?

When you sudo apt remove gnome and then push the tab key a few times what are the options that are show? Tab is used for auto complete, and this is one way to find what names are associated with gnome.


keos@keos-inspiron3583:~$ LANG=C sudo apt remove gnome
[sudo] password for keos:
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree… Done
Reading state information… Done
Package ‘gnome’ is not installed, so not removed
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 10 not upgraded.
keos@keos-inspiron3583:~$ LANG=C sudo apt remove gnome-desktop
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree… Done
Reading state information… Done
E: Unable to locate package gnome-desktop

keos@keos-inspiron3583:~$ apt remove gnome-
gnome-accessibility-themes gnome-session
gnome-backgrounds gnome-session-bin
gnome-bluetooth gnome-session-canberra
gnome-boxes gnome-session-common
gnome-calculator gnome-settings-daemon
gnome-calendar gnome-settings-daemon-common
gnome-clocks gnome-shell
gnome-contacts gnome-shell-common
gnome-control-center gnome-shell-extension-prefs
gnome-control-center-data gnome-shell-extensions
gnome-desktop3-data gnome-software
gnome-disk-utility gnome-software-common
gnome-font-viewer gnome-software-plugin-flatpak
gnome-getting-started-docs gnome-sushi
gnome-initial-setup gnome-system-monitor
gnome-keyring gnome-terminal
gnome-keyring-pkcs11 gnome-terminal-data
gnome-logs gnome-themes-extra
gnome-maps gnome-themes-extra-data
gnome-menus gnome-themes-standard
gnome-online-accounts gnome-todo
gnome-online-miners gnome-todo-common
gnome-orca gnome-tweaks
gnome-photos gnome-user-docs
gnome-power-manager gnome-user-share
gnome-screenshot gnome-video-effects

I installed synaptic to see also what is there in relation to gnome (some updates came) I reboot and it get back with a black/glossy screen with only a ‘PureOS’ logo in the middle, and a ‘@Debian11’ logo on the right, nothing to log in, nothing to get into the system.

Forget it, too much trouble; better to wait until they decide to include xfce4 in the system and if during the installation you can decide which one you want … thanks and best regards.

Gnome: You WILL be assimilated no matter how much you can’t stand it.

1 Like

Today with more patience and moved by curiosity I tried again.
After reinstalling the system and upgrading it, what I did was the following:

I installed Xfce4 (during installation this indicates option/switch to lightdm), when it finished I did reboot.

Then, from Xfce4:

# apt-get autoremove --purge gdm3
# apt-get autoremove --purge gnome-desktop3-data gnome-software
# apt-get autoremove --purge gnome-power-manager
# apt autoremove
# apt autoclean

*There were always some little things left, but the basics have been removed, I’m not an expert, I’ll be looking in synaptic later to see what else should be worth uninstalling and what not …



# tasksel

as synaptic isn’t around for this purpose. And, PureOS won’t switch to Xfce 4.18 as long as: