How to Install and Switch Desktop Environments in Fedora

Do you want to use or try a different desktop environment in Fedora Workstation spin, other than the default, GNOME 3. In this article, we will show how to install and switch desktop environments in Fedora Linux using the graphical user interface (GUI) and via the command line interface (CLI).

Installing Additional Desktop Environments in Fedora

To install different desktop environments in Fedora, first you need to list all the available desktop environments by running the following command.

$ dnf grouplist -v
List Desktop Environments in Fedora

List Desktop Environments in Fedora

From the output of the above command, look for the section called Available Environments Groups and install the chosen desktop environment using the dnf install command. Make sure to prefix with the @ sign, for example:

$ sudo dnf install @cinnamon-desktop-environment   # Install Cinnamon Desktop in Fedora
Install Cinnamon Desktop in Fedora

Install Cinnamon Desktop in Fedora

Switching Desktop Environments in Fedora

Before login, at the login screen, select your username (e.g TecMint) from the list of usernames (if there is no other user, the default username will appear). Then click on the Preferences icon right below the password field, near the Sign In button.

A window showing a list of several different desktop environments should appear. Select the desktop if you want, and enter the password to log in, as shown in the screenshot below.

Select Desktop Environment in Fedora

Select Desktop Environment in Fedora

After login, you should now have Cinnamon desktop environment as shown in the following screenshot.

Cinnamon Desktop Fedora

Cinnamon Desktop Fedora

Alternatively, install the switchdesk (used to switch desktop from command-line) and switchdesk-gui (used to switch desktop from GUI).

$ sudo dnf install switchdesk switchdesk-gui
Install Switchdesk in Fedora

Install Switchdesk in Fedora

Once you have installed the above programs, launch the desktop switching program switchdesk-gui by searching for it in the Activities search bar. After it opens, select the default desktop from the list of available desktop environments, and click OK.

Fedora Desktop Environment Switching

Fedora Desktop Environment Switching

You can also switch your Fedora desktop from the command-line by simply passing the selected desktop environment as the only argument to the switchdesk command, for example, to switch to cinnamon, run the following command.

$ sudo switchdesk cinnamon

That’s all! In this article, we have shown how to install and switch desktop environments in Fedora Linux. If you have any questions or queries, use the comment form below to ask us.

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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3 Responses

  1. Peter Fales says:

    I noticed that your screenshot of switchdesk-gui does not list “Cinnamon.” That’s the same problem I have. I’ve installed MATE (mate-desktop-environment in Fedora 30), and I can select it from the gear icon on the login screen. But it doesn’t “stick” and it’s not listed as one of choices in switchdesk-gui.

  2. Ghost Walker says:

    Well written, simple and straight-forward directions. Exactly what I was looking for to explore and enjoy the variety of desktops out now – nobody should be stuck with just one desktop flavor!

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