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Fedora / CentOS / RHEL Linux change default desktop or display manager

Q. How do I change default desktop / display manager under CentOS or Fedora Linux? I'd like to change default GNOME to KDE as desktop manager for all users.

A. There is a configuration file called /etc/sysconfig/desktop. This file defines default display manager and desktop name.

Display manager can be any one of the following:
[a] gnome (gdm)
[b] kde (kdm)
[c] xdm (xdm)

Desktop can be any one of the following
[a] KDE
[b] GNOME
[c] XFCE

Change Desktop from Gnome to Kde

Open /etc/sysconfig/desktop file:
# vi /etc/sysconfig/desktop
Set DESKTOP variable to kde:
DESKTOP="KDE"
DISPLAYMANAGER="KDE"

Save and close the file.

Now kde will be used for all users as desktop system. You can also accomplish this on a per-user basis by using the desktop switcher application from the extra preferences menu, or just type the command:
$ switchdesk kde

See also:

=> Quick way to switch from KDE to GNOME or viceversa

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{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Jimmy G June 15, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Im pretty sure you have to change the display manager to kdm
    desktop=kde
    display manager=kdm
    you were on the right track, I just rememeber when I changed it last that I had to change the diplay manager to kdm and not kde, but that was in Suse
    let me know if I’m wrong

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