Installing both Gnome and KDE

Switching between Gnome and KDE

Tutorial Level: Intermediate

One of the best aspects of OpenSUSE is by far choice: the ability to choose all new settings for each person that uses the operating system. OpenSUSE 11.0 highlighted this even further with the release of new versions of Gnome and KDE. Gnome 2.22 added creative new features such as the weather and temperature display in the system clock. KDE4 is a whole new kettle of fish, with complete overhauls on many of the features familiar with KDE. With cool new features in both desktop environments, it can become difficult to choose which to install and use. Good news: You can install and switch between them when you login! This tutorial will become extensive at times, but will focus on the software aspect of the installation of OpenSUSE 11.0. Be sure that you have planned out any chances you wish to make in the installation ahead of time, and be sure to change those settings at any time in the installation as this tutorial will not include instructions to do so.

Refer to OpenSUSE 11.0 DVD Installation for a visual guide

Installation with OpenSUSE DVD

Before performing installation, save all important information to an outside source, such as a CD/DVD or flash drive. All information will be lost on an old system during installation.

First we must boot from the OpenSUSE 11.0 DVD. To do this, place the DVD in your drive, and restart your computer. One of the first screens you will see is the BIOS screen. It will most likely have a large company logo across it. There should be a message across the bottom of the screen that tells you to press a specific key for more options. Press this key and if there is a subsequent menu, choose BIOS settings. Now the BIOS screen will appear with all the system configuration options for your computer. Use the arrow keys to move to the Boot tab. Once in that tab, there will be a list of boot priorities. Hit enter on the first slot and select your CD/DVD drive. Now move to the Exit tab and save the changes. Now exit and your computer will restart.

Once your computer restarts, you should see a welcome screen and then a options screen. The second option will be Installation. Use the mouse keys to put the selector over this option and hit enter. Wait a few moments for the Kernel to load. This may take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or so. Once the kernel loads, you will be presented with the installation screen.

The first screen will be the language settings. Set your language for OpenSUSE and your keyboard to the language you wish to use. This page will also have a license agreement. Once you have finished reading the license, check the I Agree box. You can also see the license in a dialogue box. Once you have entered the settings to your liking and have agreed to the license, click the Next button. The next screen that will appear is the System Analysis. This will just scan your computer for hardware and devices. It may take some time, but it requires no work on your part.

The next screen will allow you to select the type of installation you want to perform. For this tutorial, and suggested in almost all cases, we will choose New Installation. After you hit the Next button, you will be able to choose your timezone. You can either use the world map, or use the dropdowns to set your time. After you have the correct time, hit the Next button again.

The next screen is the first step in allowing you to use both Gnome and KDE4. Select the desktop environment you wish to be your primary environment (that will load on default when you login). As OpenSUSE states, it is a matter of personal preference, and I can’t really give a recommendation. But keep in mind that you will be able to use both, it is just a matter of choosing which will load on default.

Once you have chosen your primary environment, hit the Next button and you will be brought to the partition screen. If you already have OpenSUSE installed and are either updating or reinstalling, refer to Installing over Existing Partitions for further information on this topic. If all the suggested settings, or the personally corrected settings match what you are looking for, hit the Next button.

Now you can create your first user: you! Enter your full name, and OpenSUSE will suggest a username (your first name in lower case letters). Next, enter your password and reenter it in the confirm field. Below, there will be three check boxes. If you want your root password be the same as the password your just entered, keep the Use this password for system administrator box checked. Next, if you are the main user on your system, I would suggest checking the Receive System Mail, although it is not required. The Automatic Login box leave UNCHECKED. Automatically logging in will require an extra step when switching between desktop environments. The default summary settings can be left alone, unless you are sure of what you want to change. Hit the Next button when you are finished.

The Installation Overview page is the one we need to work with. Wait for the installation settings to load. Once all the items have fully loaded, either click on the Software header in bold, or click on the Change… button, and then select Software…. Now you will see a screen with all the software patterns you can install. If you have selected KDE4 as your main desktop environment, find the package: Gnome Desktop Environment and check the box next to it. Notice that the Gnome Base System will automatically be checked as well. This is what we want, so please DO NOT uncheck this box. Now, if you have chosen Gnome as the main desktop, find KDE4 Desktop Environment and check the box, which will also check KDE4 Base System. You can also install KDE3 Desktop Environment and KDE3 Base System if you want as well to have three choices.

Once you have selected the correct packages, click the OK button. Now you will return to the overview page and it will refresh. If you like the settings that are there and are sure you have looked over everything in detail, click the Install button. You will be asked to confirm this action. Once you accept, the installation will start. It may take some time to complete the installation. You can either walk away and wait until the installation is complete, or you can enjoy the OpenSUSE slide-show.

Once you have completed the installation, your computer will restart and YaST will automatically configure some hardware and network connections and settings. Once this is done, you will be ready to login for the first time: Congratulations! You have successfully installed OpenSUSE 11.0!

(After you login for the first time, be sure to configure your graphics card settings. See Installing your Graphics Card Drivers for a walkthrough of this. Note that you may have to change your boot options again in your BIOS back to the hard-drive, or the installer will boot the next time the computer restarts.)

Switch between Desktop Environments

Switching between desktop environments is actually quite easy. When you are presented with the login page with the username field, on the bottom-left of the screen, there will be a link called Sessions. Click this link, and a prompt will appear. It will automatically be set to the last session you used, but you can choose KDE4 or Gnome (as well as KDE3 if you decided to install it) to run if you are currently running the other. Just remember that you have to switch back to your primary DE (Desktop Environment) after using another.

Installation through Package Manager

You can also install a new DE through YaST after you have installed OpenSUSE. To do this, open the YaST package manager and wait for the repository to load (which only takes a mere seconds). Once the manager loads, set the dropdown on the bottom-left from Groups to Patterns. Now scroll down on the left panel to Graphical Environment. There you will find all the DEs available in your current version of OpenSUSE. Click on the one you want to install and click the Install button. All dependencies will be installed as well, just as in the case of the complete installation above.

The last and most important thing to remember is to have fun and experiment with your OpenSUSE system. Don’t be afraid to try new environments to find which you suits you or fits you best.

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~ by unseenghost on 22 Jun 2008.

5 Responses to “Installing both Gnome and KDE”

  1. […] to Installing both Gnome and KDE for further installation […]

  2. […] both Gnome and KDE Posted in June 22nd, 2008 by in Uncategorized Installing both Gnome and KDE One of the best aspects of OpenSUSE is by far choice: the ability to choose all new settings for […]

  3. […] of Gnome. IF you want to install both Gnome and KDE, you can do that as well. Here’s a tutorial to install Gnome and KDE, and switch between the two when you want to. […]

  4. […] Installing both Gnome and KDE on OpenSuSE 11. […]

  5. […] KDE + GNOME Hey Thomas, This might be of some help to you: Installing both Gnome and KDE. That should help you install both Gnome and KDE on your system and switch between them. Hope […]

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