Other Desktop Environments on Zorin OS

Your issue seems to be Gnome more so than Zorin itself.

You can add a different DE to the system if you don't like Gnome. I have Cinnamon on mine which is what Mint uses.


Would I need to download a new iso then or is there a way to get a new environment otherwise? Previously I've always just gotten the DE I want bundled with the distro but this computer came preloaded with Linux.

You can install almost any other D.E. on Zorin OS without issue.
However, I do recommend extreme caution with Plasma Desktop. It is bulky and hard to get it all cleaned out and can leave other apps looking funny when you remove Plasma D.E.
Instead, test a Plasma using distro to see if you like it before installing it on Zorin OS.

But cinnamon can easily be installed:

sudo apt install -y cinnamon cinnamon-core

Or for the Full Cinnamon Desktop:

sudo apt install -y cinnamon-desktop-environment

You can install XFCE

sudo apt install xfce4


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kelebek333/lxde-gtk3

sudo apt update && sudo apt install lxde-gtk3

Mate Desktop:

sudo apt install ubuntu-mate-desktop

Just as examples.

This thread seems to be veering heavily off course from the O.P.'s original comments...
As such, engaging in cellular fission in 3...2...1...


Thanks! I had no idea it was so easy to install other environments. Will probably hop over to XFCE since I played with that one semi-recently and was happy with it, or possibly Mate..
Will there be anything special I need to do to tell the OS which environment to use or will it be fairly straightforward when I install the packages?
Sorry for the noob-ish questions, trying to save myself some time and frustration and also my other computer is seriously a potato so it would be best if I don't have to do troubleshooting from another box..

If choosing XFCE, you can also try

sudo apt install -y zorin-os-lite-desktop

That should get you the default Zorin OS version of XFCE.

You do not need to do anything special. When the LightDM package installs, you may need to answer some prompts in the terminal.
I highly recommend removing GDM and using LightDM at that point in the prompts.
When you have it installed and go to log in, you will be able to select from the Upper Right Corner which desktop you want to log in on.

WOW .... thank you for all those different DE's ..... will definitely be adding those commands to my Doc Folder and probably adding them to my log in screen ..... one can never have to many DE's ..... :thinking: :smiling_face:

i have a question regarding the installment of different / alternate desktop enviroments.

After installation, how do I switch (and how do I revert to the orginal one if I want or something went wrong)?

Do different desktop enviroments on one same installation conflict each other or is there anything other bo be aware of?

You do it on the login screen, just use the pull down next to your name

Not usually no, hasn't been the case for over 10 years now

great, thank you for the infos - then I will try that out.

So I installed cinnamon and mate and had a short look. zorin looks much more fitting for me. I purge removed the two installations.

But at the login the gear with the selection stays and let me choose the deleted DEs. How do I get rid of that gear icon and what else do I have to reset / alter to have the status before the installation?

The pull down menu (gear icon) will always be there and you can't and shouldn't get rid of it. Because even with a normal core install you have X and Wayland to choose from.

How did you purge them? When you installed Cinnamon did you also install and switch to lightdm?

Chances are though if you're still seeing them, you didn't uninstall them correctly. But in either case, it's not a big deal.

I haven't seen that icon before - can't remember at least.

I didn't switch to lightdm and I used sudo purge uninstall

Yes it was there

On GDM, the Gear Icon is more likely to reveal itself if you have multiple desktop environments to choose from.

The desktop environment options that The DM (Display Manager) will show are stored in /usr/share/xsessions
You can elevate to root and remove the session files you no longer are using.
For example: /usr/share/xsessions/cinnamon.desktop

okay, thanks guys.

I messed something in my journey to hidden and forbidden territory and screwed something really up. System booted into an error (I can't remember) because that I decided to start all over again and reinstalled zorinOS 16.2 core from USB again (after all that tries of the last days and week).

I now work again on a clean system and can extend my (learning) journey further.

Out of curiosity: what is that wayland I had the chance to select?

When I first started using Linux, I did this.
A Lot.
I explored in Root a lot and messed it up...
A Lot.
I ended up reinstalling... sometimes as much as once or more a week.
And a lot of these problems were self inflicted.
Unlike Windows, I found a world to explore where I was In Control, not the system.
Feeling unfettered, I wanted to explore.
And that is risky. :stuck_out_tongue:
I have not changed any. I still modify and explore in root, more even. Not less.
But I have not messed anything up at all. OR had to reinstall due to it at all...
The more you learn, the better you understand it and the more ease you have.

Wayland is a compositor for the Window Management.
The current X Window system uses the compositor that is supplied by the Desktop Environment.
What this means is that the compositor must relay through the Window Management in order to interact with the kernel (drivers).
Wayland seeks to cut that middle man out - allowing the Wayland compositor to communicate directly with the kernel. This allows the compositor to be faster - though at the speeds we are talking, it is not something the human eye can follow and notice.
Wayland is a work in progress and not yet finished.

The reason you see Wayland, even in an unready state, pushed so heavily on Gnome is because Gnome Development is all about Reduction.
If Wayland handles compositing, then Gnome no longer needs to provide and support a Compositor.

But Wayland lacks a lot of support and many apps still do not work or do not work properly on Wayland.
In principle as a proposal, Wayland sounds amazing.
In practice, it leaves much to be desired.
Perhaps someday, it will be fully ready.

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I also read on the web that NVIDIA flat refuses to have anything to do with Wayland and is one of the biggest holdouts ....

Wayland istn't the same what a gnome. Wright?

Wayland is not a part of Gnome.


Some test DE

Here is a Listed Guide as to what has and what lacks Wayland Support: