Using window managers besides KDE

Hi, I am new to DE and WM, I am using KDE with xorg/kwin all the time since I am using Linux. I just want to try different things.

So I just want to ask, I am currently using KDE with kwin/X, if I want to use only the window manager like i3, or if I want to try sway/wayland, or KDE/wayland, should I just install all the packages by pacman? or should I remove current and try new ones?

It depends.

If you want to use kde/wayland and are already running kde that doesn’t require much. Just install plasma-wayland-session and select the wayland session from the login screen. You can switch back and forth freely.

With other things it really depends how much you are willing to troubleshoot and accept problems. If you are the type that like play around and has the knowledge and patience to troubleshoot any issues, go ahead and install the packages. Otherwise it is easier and cleaner to just reinstall.

Lastly, you have to decide if you want an install of sway or if you want the full EOS sway community edition which is preconfigured. The latter is easier to acquire via a new install.

so it is not easy to have KDE/X and KDE/wayland and sway three of them switch back and forth freely?

it is very easy. Just install the plasma-wayland-session package.
Since you are new the command is
yay -Syu plasma-wayland-session

(before any of you object, it’s almost ALWAYS a good idea to upgrade the whole system while you install a new package)

Then log out.

you should be able to see Plasma (X) and Plasma (Wayland) in the Desktop Session or similar menu towards the bottom left corner.

what about sway? I want to use them three freely, will it be in the drop down menu where you choose plasma x/wayland after install it?

Yes. Just install sway. Note that it is Wayland only. i3 is the equivalent of Sway but for X.

yay -Syu sway

Just note you may run into issues when having more than one Desktop Environment especially, but a Window Manager is usually fine. Example: XFCE + i3 is a known combo that works well.

It is easy, but you do risk creating strange situations you will need to troubleshoot as you risk installing duplicate software and/or having multiple applications changing the same files. Just installing sway isn’t likely to be an issue but it depends what else you decide to install after that.

Very true. The chances of screwing things up are non 0.

AFAIK wayland was just automatically installed by the installer, but then I just used X lol.

Wayland is just W with “ayland” added to it.

For now I just want to try KDE/Wayland and sway at the same time, with KDE/X in total three of them

I understand what you want.

sway isn’t like kde though. It isn’t a full desktop. Installing sway will be fine. But they you need to add the pieces you want to make it usable for you. Doing that creates risks. Without knowing what you will decide to install, I can’t tell you specifically what challenges it may cause.


Very true. sway is just a window manager, not a full on DE. a DE includes a WM, but that’s not true in reverse. KDE’s WM is kwin.

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So I assume these three are fine but since sway is just a WM I might need more packages to customize it which might break KDE somehow?
anyway I will try them these days :slight_smile: the worse I can reinstall the OS anyway

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you could in theory use kde packages in sway.

if the customization packages don’t conflict with kde packages then I say go for it.

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