Is it possible to make a complete switch to xfce in Zorin core? if yes, then how?

I know Zorin lite 16 is coming, but when? I am tired of waiting and gnome's performance/speed keeps reminding me of Windows (and I had a nightmare of garden gnomes yesterday. I don't know if it had anything to do with Gnome DE). This question might have a simple solution but I want to make my switch to XFCE (if possible) as smooth and problem free as possible. Please note that, I will install Z 16 Lite when it arrives and that this is temporary.



You can install XFCE DE over Zorin OS Core. But it has to be done 100% properly, or risk bricking your OS. So please follow Aravisian's exact instructions to the letter, when he posts here.


I am glad I came here.


Speaking as someone who has already gone through the very journey you are about to embark on, I will leave you with this...

If it were a choice of installing a DE over another and switching to it at the login screen, or, installing the distro itself, I'd go with installing the distro itself.

Having said that however, Zorin OS 16 LITE has not been released yet, so you can't just simply install the distro, so I understand why you want to install the DE.

I however, am just gonna wait for OS 16 LITE to be released. :sunglasses:


I second that.


MS Teams hangs a lot and sometimes the browsers too and I attend my classes on them, so I will be switching to XFCE for now. Installing another distro would be tiresome.
I don't even think Z 16 Lite is coming this year.

Whatever you do, I suggest you to make an entire disk image backup using either Clonezilla or Rescuezilla.
That way, if anything goes wrong, at least you can come back to where you have started.


For Jeff's sake, and my own, I hope your wrong. If the Zorins fail us, this is what is gonna happen to Jeff and I.

Surprise Explode GIF


Thank you for the suggestion. I will make a backup before doing anything.

We can only hope. :neutral_face: :neutral_face:


I think this is not diffrent changing version 16 to xfce.
Just simplify. You must move some folders and files from version 16 to version 15.3 xfce.

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I saw some people when creating some linux distribution. When they creating own iso they can choose a correct cpu for they computer. Correct gpu and etc. They can choose also what they want software and app. This is very good point. When creating own ISO with correct drivers and software and kernel of course.
That I am more interesting.

I've seen that too, but not in that detail. Maybe you will be our ginny pig to try that out and keep is updated on the process, and let us know how it goes?

I mean they using a package what exist. I don't sayed they writing them. This is like a make menuconfig or .config in websides you have a flags and there is wrote .config installation all drivers for processor but change one place you can wrote only your procesor haswell,sandy,kabylake etc. This gived you more stable a computer with no installation so me "trash" - example for me I don't need that.
Here this channel explain everything

This is not the case...
A person can run into some trouble but they will not brick their machine.

I successfully install and run XFCE on Gnome distros all the time. I installed XFCE on Zorin OS 16 Alpha and Beta and the Final Release all easily.

It is true that installing XFCE on Zorin OS Core takes some extra steps in configuration.

Before proceeding, I need to know

  • Does the O.P. fully intend to install and run XFCE on Zorin OS 16 Core?
  • Does the O.P. wish to use XFCE 4.14 or 4.16?
  • Is the O.P. already familiar with arranging the XFCE panel and using XFWM4?


Whichever is more stable.

What is XFWM4? I am sure I will learn it. When I came to linux I had no idea what it was like. I did not even know what DEs were. But I eventually understood how everything worked.

Zorin OS 16 Lite will be using 4.16.
I am also using 4.16 currently.
However, I would honestly say that XFCE4 4.14 is the more stable.
4.16 is new and currently in the Dev Testing / Staging repository.

XFCE Window Manager.
The window manager is what manages how windows appear, tile and position, close/max/min, compositing, etc. It is a Full Window Manager, unlike Gnome. Therefor, it has settings that you can access and modify.

Since you stated "stable":

sudo apt install xfce4 lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter-settings numlockx

If you prefer GDM3, you can shorten that to sudo apt install xfce4 numlockx
I admit that I do not recommend this... LightDM is more stable and operates more smoothly with XFCE than GDM does.
When you install lightdm, the terminal will open a Prompt for Configuring it. Be sure to choose LightDM and not GDM.
LightDM comes with a top bar. You can set this to be a Bottom Bar if you want. You can also set it to be transparent or pretty much anything else that you want.
Once everything is installed, you must log out. If you use The Number Pad for your Log In password, you will need to tap the numlock key this time. We will configure this shortly.
Move to the Upper Right side to find the Desktop Chooser (Much easier to find than on GDM) and select XFCE Session.
Logging in you will be taken to an Ugly Screen. This is because you are installing Base XFCE with an ugly wallpaper and the panel not really fleshed out. That is on you to do.
At this point, again, you can do pretty much anything that you want to do. Change that wallpaper out...
Right click the Panel and move to the Right Arrow, then Panel Preferences. In this, unlike Gnome-Shell, you can configure the panel however you like- a custom background image, transparent, any shape, height or length. I suggest just going to town on it, enjoying your ability to set it up by your own Rules without the limits placed by Windows or by Gnome.
Most XFCE themes (including mine) Theme the XFCE panel for you, with no need for you to do so- but you can if you want to.

Installing numlockx allows the numlock key to be active already at login. We can now configure that:

sudo nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf.d/lightdm.conf

Add this line: greeter-setup-script=/usr/bin/numlockx on and save and exit.
That is now done.

If you want the Zorin App Menu on your XFCE:

Or you can use Whiskermenu... Which I use... It is highly configurable and a joy to use:

sudo apt install xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin

From the items tab in Panel Preferences you can add items including the aforementioned app menu. Select an item already added to the panel by clicking it in the list in that window, then position it by clicking the Up or Down arrows on the Right Vertical Toolbar.
You can add spacers (Separators) that can Expand pushing other items away and can be made transparent. There are also a large number of Useful Plugins to explore.
Adding any app as a launcher to the panel can be done from the App Menu. Right click and program in the App Menu list and select "Add to panel" - Done.
No need to try to make a desktop entry file.

I recommend performing this:

To consolidate all settings into One Manager. It makes things easier.

Zorin OS Themes are already included - so feel free to use them on XFCE.



wait it won't remove gnome? Why do I need to choose XFCE from the desktop chooser?

Adding a desktop environment does not and should not remove other Desktops like Gnome.
In fact, I recommend against removing Gnome (although it is possible to do so and I have done so) since having it allows you to have a Fallback D.E. you can log into if you need to. Especially if learning XFCE for the first time. It helps a lot to have the other D.E. present in case something breaks XFCE;)
It allows you the ability to log into Gnome to test certain Gnome Features.


Alright I am fine with it. But I have some questions.

  1. Will having gnome as well not cause performance issues? and will it not slower my boot time?
  2. Do I need to choose XFCE session from the desktop chooser every time I switch on my computer?
  3. Can I use XFCE as my default DE?

Neither; Gnome D.E. does not run for Boot, nor during usage of XFCE.
The Desktop initializes when you choose it from the Display manager.
I have the following desktops currently installed:
Zorin OS Desktop (gnome)

Nope, you only need to choose which desktop environment you are logging into when you decide to log into a different one than you have been using.