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How to switch to xfce in Whonix? (Qubes)


#1

Hello @all,

I noticed that Whonix (in particular whonix-ws) uses a lot of RAM.
It seems to me that this is due in part to the fact that it is based
on KDE [1]. So how can I disable KDE in it and switch to xfce (in
both the gateway and workstation)?

Thanks in advance.

[1] : Compare RAM consumption of Linux distros with KDE vs with xfce https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/5l39tz/linux_distros_ram_consumption_comparison_updated/


#2

Edit: Seems this is already documented and that removing KDE is risky https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Other_Desktop_Environments

In any case just wanted to say that KDE takes a lot of memory (see the RAM consumption comparison above) and for a system like Qubes there’s no noticeable difference between KDE or xfce (since by default Qubes uses xfce). And since most people who would like to use Qubes have at least 4Go (like my case) it would be nice to see more lightweight environments like xfce come by default to Whonix.


#3

60oz2o4f87ovn6e6ow0:

It seems to me that this is due in part to the fact that it is based
on KDE

Qubes-Whonix doesn’t use KDE in that sense. It doesn’t use any desktop
environment.

It installs some kde-ish application packages such as dolphin and
kwrite, but it does not install KDE desktop packages such as
kde-workspace or kdm.


#4

dom0 yes, VMs don’t have any desktop environment packages installed by default. There is no xfce4 package inside the debian-8 TemplateVM.


#5

Thanks for all the clarifications @Patrick :slight_smile:

So that means I only have to remove KDE specific packages like Dolphin and replace them with Xfce based ones?

And also what can explain this extra RAM that is being used (more than 100Mo) compared with other AppVMs?


#6

60oz2o4f87ovn6e6ow0:

So that means I only have to remove KDE specific packages like Dolphin and replace them with Xfce based ones?

That’s actually not simple. See:

And I don’t think packages like dolphin eat any RAM if they are not started.

And also what can explain this extra RAM that is being used (more than 100Mo) compared with other AppVMs?

I have no such issue. A debian-8 based AppVM as well as anon-whonix both
use approximately 500 MB RAM as per Qubes VM Manager (QVMM).

Maybe use ksysguard, sort by memory / or shared memory. Set the column
to MB.