[blfs-support] is it possible to install both xfce and gnome also maybe kde

LM lmemsm at gmail.com
Tue Jul 17 05:23:41 PDT 2012

James Pinto <james.pinto at phoenixfusion.in>
>Is it possible to install more than one desktop environment in BLFS ?

Should be no reason why you can't.

>Is there any way I can set up xfce and then after that set up gnome 3,
>finally choosing to run one of them ? will I be able to switch like i did
>for the window manager above.

I haven't tried swapping desktops (just window managers), but should
work in a similar fashion.  There are some programs that will let you
swap out window managers and let you pick which window managers you
want to run (like choosewm).  Fluxbox and Openbox even have commands
you can add to the menus to switch to other window managers.

As Bruce suggested, you can create different ~/.xinitrc files and swap
them out when you want to run a different desktop.  I've seen a couple
of distributions (like antix) that add code to the .xinitrc file so
you can swap more easily.  Some of them let you set up an environment
variable and change that to pick which desktop you want to run.  Then,
when you run startx, it checks the environment variable and runs the
proper applications.  You'd have to make the switch outside of X
Windows if using either technique though.

> If yes, does Mutter window manager work with XFCE.

I think most of the desktop environments let you switch window
managers.  The main issue is picking one that's standards compliant so
that other applications can work with the window manager.
freedesktop.org usually comes up with window manager and desktop
standards.  Some info on EWMH compliance and a tool for interacting
with window managers is at:
freedesktop.org also has some standards on where to put config files
(for the window manager):

>Which is the best window manager I should use, I heard fluxbox and xfce is
>mostly used for older and slower systems. Im using a 2.9ghz i5, 4gb ram I
>think I could go with a better looking winndow manager metacity iis old and
>outdated they say Mutter it the latest replacing Metacity?

Depends on personal taste.  Some of the lightweight window managers
(the ones that are supposed to be for older systems) are very nice on
more modern machines because they work extremely efficiently.  XFCE is
definitely used on newer systems, but usually by users who want fast
responsiveness or are interested in better efficiency.  (If you're
running games or other applications that are resource intensive,
having everything else run highly efficiently might be a very good
thing.)  Some other desktop options are LXDE and razor.  LXDE is GTK+
based, even more lightweight than XFCE and lets you pick and choose
which pieces of the desktop applications you want to use.  Razor is qt
based, but much faster than KDE.  I think they'll also be going the
route of letting you pick and choose some applications to make up a
coherent desktop.  Another interesting option, if you want to try
something more unusual, is Equinox Desktop Environment which is FLTK

I was using Openbox which is more standards compliant than Fluxbox,
has a nice pipe menu feature and is the window manager mainly used
with LXDE.  However, I've been looking at jwm and although it's
extremely lightweight, it looks rather flexible.  I tend to put my own
desktop together, using different applications I prefer to do the
various jobs.  You don't have to run strictly all the programs from
one desktop.  You can take a tool from LXDE like lxtask and use it
with another desktop.

I'm experimenting with creating a configuration and theme tool for
jwm, so if anyone has any jwm themes they want to share, please let me

>i it possible to install a window manager thats not on the blfs
instructions, will it work with blfs?

Definitely.  I think almost all the window managers are pretty much
interchangeable and work on X (as long as you have the resources to
run them and the libraries to build them).

Here's a mention of CDM switching between different desktops:
Here's some information on Qingy which can also be used as a login manager:

You might also want to look at libpaper for handling printing options
more consistently between programs:


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