How to: Switch Desktop Environments for Kali Linux easily

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By default, Kali Linux uses XFCE as desktop environment, it is lightweight and quick.

Sometimes we want to switch to other desktop environment like GNOME, here is how (Switch to other desktop environment will have similar steps)

We can Install GNOME desktop environment with tasksel. (Easier)

1 Launch tasksel

sudo tasksel
sudo tasksel
sudo tasksel

2 Make sure “GNOME” is selected (Use Up/Down Arrow keys to navigate through the list, Space key to select/deselect)

tasksel
tasksel

3 Use tab key to highlight “<Ok>”, then hit “Enter” key to confirm and install GNOME

tasksel - OK
tasksel – OK

4 After the installation is done, we need to use following command to change default desktop environment

sudo update-alternatives --config x-session-manager
sudo update-alternatives --config x-session-manager
sudo update-alternatives –config x-session-manager

5 Enter correct number which represents corresponding desktop environments (In this case we enter 1, then press Enter key again)

We select GNOME desktop environment
We select GNOME desktop environment

6 We reboot the system

sudo reboot

7 Login to the system

8 Now we can see Kali Linux is using GNOME as desktop environment

sudo update-alternatives --config x-session-manager
sudo update-alternatives –config x-session-manager

To switch back, we just simply repeat step 4 to step 7 again, but use different number, e.g. number for xfce4 is 2 this time in above image.

To switch to other desktop environments, the steps are very similar, we just need to install different desktop environment first then make sure selecting the correct desktop environment for x-session-manager.


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