Gnome and KDE at the same time, for the same user, on a spare PC

so I’ve got a spare disk and a little time to waste, and I think I’m going to try install EOS with these 2 DEs, because I have some hope that it can be made to work okay, and because I can’t yet decide which DE I like more (since both come with their own set of valuable features and issues), so if it was possible and safe, I could use GNOME on one day and KDE on another day, probably…
I have an AMD GPU, and Wayland almost works on both DEs (if installed separately), but there are of course some Wayland-specific bugs on both DEs.

If anyone is interested, do you have any specific ideas what to test and report back? I guess it could be useful if someone wants to do the same thing later.

Also, are there any specific reasons why this is a terrible idea and shouldn’t be done for a daily driver system?

P.S. I saw the other similar thread, but it’s considered old, so I assumed I shouldn’t bump it.

Especially Gnome and KDE is environments which do not benefit from mixing.

Both KDE and Gnome is adding various launchers to the general system autostart found in /etc/xdg/autostart

It is generally a bad idea to mix two different tool sets and in this case two completely different approaches - it usually generates a lot of static noise and probably more issues along the road.

Below from the reference thread is a universal good advise when you want to experiment


I think saying it is a “terrible idea” is going to far. It is all about expectations. If you want to install gnome and kde for a single user account you can. Fundamentally, it will work fine.

The problems will be the little things. Theming oddities that have to worked around, multiple things running that do the same thing, etc.

If you are willing to work through and troubleshoot those issues it will definitely work.

The reason I stopped running multiple DEs on my general workstations is that whenever anything goes wrong, you are constantly asking yourself, “Is this because of my 2 DEs?”.


Oh, that would be bad indeed.
Thank you for explaining, I guess this wasn’t a good idea after all!

I’ve used multiple desktop environments on multiple distributions many times and seldom experienced any issues.

I don’t use GNOME very often so I cannot guarantee no problems but I have definitely usedKDE (Plasma) and Xfce on the same distribution; and Plasma uses Qt libraries while Xfce uses Gtk libraries.

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