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How do I convert an existing Fedora system into another spin?

Example: You have installed from the KDE live image and now want to switch to Xfce.

Is something like

# yum group install 'Xfce Desktop'


What about the display manager? What steps are necessary to get the kdm-equivalent of Fedora-Xfce-Spin started?

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Do you just want to have xfce installed or do you want to change all the branding as well? I assume you know you don't need to change display manager in order to switch desktop environments or window managers. – terdon Sep 22 '13 at 18:05
@terdon, yes, I don't need to change the dm - in general - but on that system kdm-startup fails after a yum upgrade ... And yes, when trying another spin getting the full branding would be nice. – maxschlepzig Sep 22 '13 at 18:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Based on how the Fedora spins are constructed using Revisor, I would assume that it would be OK to "manually" do a conversion by doing the yum install.... yum remove... assuming that there is no overlap where you get into any type of circular dependencies.

As far as getting the branding, most of this is also distributed as RPMs so installing another spins packages should bring this along as well.

I've never seen an actual method outlined for doing this so you're definitely off the beaten path by approaching it this way, just my $0.02.

Fedora IRC Room on freenode.net

I asked this exact question over there and was given the following advice.

  1. There was no tool that anyone was aware of that would help in doing this in an automated fashion or would assist in doing a migration from one spin to another.
  2. The following command was recommend to be used to get the list of packages from 2 spins, the resulting output could then be compared to see what was different between them.

    $ show-installed -f kickstart -e -o /tmp/show-installed.txt

    The resulting .txt file is being dumped out in a kickstart friendly format, can be use as an input file, or you could use the -f yum switch to get a yum friendly list.

  3. Install the 2nd distro on top of the pre-existing spin. Given all the re-spins derive from a single Fedora version this should only result in the missing files being installed.


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The command

# yum group install 'Xfce Desktop'

installs all packages needed for Xfce.

But this does not change the currently used display manager (DM).

To get rid of kdm:

# systemctl disable kdm

I don't know exactly what the default DM of the Xfce-Spin is - but to configure - say - lightdm:

# yum install lightdm
# systemctl enable lightdm

The disable/enable systemd commands configure if those services are started during boot.

To actually start/stop the DM on a running system:

# systemctl stop kdm
# systemctl start lightdm

Although a reboot of Fedora is very fast, you can test the startup of services even faster like this:

# systemctl rescue
# systemctl default
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