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

Posted on in Categories , , , last updated November 9, 2007

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
[c] XFCE

Change Desktop from Gnome to Kde

Open /etc/sysconfig/desktop file:
# vi /etc/sysconfig/desktop
Set DESKTOP variable to 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