21 September 2020

Fedora has been our operating system of choice. We have been maintaining an reusing systems over many years. This recently led to an issue with XFCE. Instead of displaying the standar XFCE application menu the workstations were displaying the default Gnome menu. This quite surprised us because we had been using XFCE without issue. It turns out the affected workstations were using Gnome Display Manager (GDM). The expected window manager for XFCE is LightDM. My guess is that those workstations originally ran Gnome and were changed to use XFCE. Leaving GDM as the display manager.

To resolve the issue we need to ensure that the XFCE Desktop Environment is properly installed and to replace GDM with LightDM. Our first step is to run the following commands. It will swap Gnome desktop for XFCE and then ensure Gnome is removed.

Swap Desktops
$ sudo dnf swap @gnome-desktop @xfce-desktop-environment
$ sudo dnf remove @gnome-desktop

Next we want to make LightDM is installed and that we uninstall GDM.

Uninstall GDM
$ sudo systemctl install lightdm
$ sudo dnf remove gdm

We now want to enable LightDM, start it and make sure it is running.

Enable and verify LightDM
$ sudo systemctl enable lightdm
$ sudo systemctl start lightdm
$ sudo systemctl status lightdm

Finally we want to make sure our SSH server is running and then reboot.

Verify SSH and Reboot
$ sudo systemctl status sshd
$ sudo reboot now

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