Linux tip - booting multiple desktop environments

If you just can't choose between GNOME and KDE, or you just want a change of scenery every now and then, it's really easy to install multiple desktop environments and seamlessly switch between them.

It's really easy to install them - just use your distribution's package management system to add your desktop environment of choice.

It's not always clear, however, how you actually go about choosing one to use on a particular login.

First of all log out so that you are back at the standard login screen. You'll need to look for either a Session button or an Options button with a Session on its submenu. If you click on this, you should get a list of choices which looks something like this:

Session choice menu on Ubuntu’s GDM

Simply choose one, and login as normal.

If you're not very experienced with Linux, I'd recommend avoiding the Failsafe ones (they're usually just a terminal in a window). If you do get stuck in one, just type exit and press enter (then log in again after choosing your normal desktop environment from the same menu).

Remember - if you don't get multiple choices, you need to actually install the desktop environment first!

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold -

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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