How to Install Lxde on Debian 12?

Lxde (Lightweight X11 Desktop environment) is an efficient, lean, modular, energy-efficient, and flexible desktop environment. It is ideal for systems with low specifications. Lxde requires lower CPU and RAM resources and even runs fast on virtual machines. Debian 12’s default desktop environment is GNOME. This post will demonstrate different methods to install Lxde on Debian 12 systems and to switch desktop environments from GNOME to Lxde.

List of Contents:

How to Install Lxde on Debian 12?

Lxde can be installed via APT package manager, Synaptic package manager, Tasksel, and during installation of Debian 12 as demonstrated in the following sections:

Method 1: APT Package Manager

Update system packages by running the command below:

sudo apt update

The command below installs the complete lxde desktop environment:

sudo apt install lxde -y

Press Ok to proceed with configuring lightdm:

The user will be prompted to choose between gdm3 (GNOME display manager) and lightdm desktop managers. Lightdm is faster and lighter among them. Select lightdm display manager and press OK to continue:

Alternatively, the following command installs the core lxde packages:

sudo apt install lxde-core

Reboot the system for the changes to take effect:

sudo reboot

Method 2: Synaptic Package Manager

The Synaptic package manager is a graphical tool to manage packages. It is pre-installed on Debian 12. In case the Synaptic package manager is not installed, execute the command below:

sudo apt install synaptic

Launch the Synaptic package manager by the command below:

sudo synaptic

Alternatively, launch the synaptic package manager via the GNOME desktop environment by:

Enter the password at the authentication prompt and press Authenticate:

Search lxde package by pressing the Search button in the top right corner and then type lxde in the search bar and press the Search button:

Select the lxde package and click the checkbox, followed by selecting Mark for Installation from the drop-down list:

The synaptic pop-up window will indicate the packages to be installed. Press the Mark button:

Next, press the Apply button:

The system will prompt for confirmation. Click on the Apply button:

The lxde packages will be downloaded:

Select the lightdm display manager and press the Next button to install lightdm:

The lightdm packages will be downloaded:

Finally, press the Close button to apply the changes:

Method 3: Tasksel

Tasksel is a command line utility to install desktop environments. Tasksel is pre-installed on Debian 12. But in case, it is not installed, run the following command after updating the system packages:

sudo apt install tasksel

The following command launches the tasksel:

sudo tasksel

Select lxde to install via the space bar by navigating via the arrow keys and press OK:

The installation of lxde will start:

After installation is complete, reboot the system for the change to take effect.

Alternatively, we can download the lxde task using the command:

sudo tasksel install lxde-desktop

Moreover, apt also provides the command to install the tasksel’s task, as:

sudo apt install task-lxde-desktop

Method 4: Install Lxde During the Installation of Debian 12

All methods discussed previously were to install lxde on an existing copy of Debian 12. Additionally, lxde can be installed during Debian’s installation.

By default, only the essential system packages are installed during Debian 12 installation. However, there is a prompt to install additional software. To install Lxde, place a checkmark at Lxde when prompted for additional software installation in the Software Selection step and press Continue:

The installation will continue.

When prompted to select the display manager, select lightdm and press continue:

Lxde will be installed along with other Debian 12 packages.

How to Lunch Lxde on Debian 12?

If Lxde is installed via apt package manager or Synaptic package manager, log in to the lxde by pressing the icon as shown below:

A list of desktop environments will appear. Click Lxde:

The Lxde icon will change indicating the selection of Lxde:

Enter the username and password and press Log in:

Alternatively, if lxde is installed during Debian 12 installation or via Tasksel, press the gear icon and select lxde from the list of display environments. Then, enter the password to log in:

The Lxde desktop environment will appear after logging in. Lxde’s homepage and hierarchical application menu is shown below:

How to Uninstall Lxde on Debian 12?

The following command removes Lxde along with all its dependencies:

sudo apt autoremove lxde* -y

Note: In case, lxde is installed via apt package manager or Synaptic package manager, the desktop manager remains lightdm after un-installation of lxde. To switch back the display manager to gdm3, execute the command:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm

You can select whatever display manager you want to load into.

That’s all about Lxde on Debian 12.

Bottom Line

Lxde is an excellent choice for users who are looking for a minimalist desktop environment with a lot of features. Lxde is modular, i.e., all parts of lxde are independent. Next, users can explore different lxde modules to customize their desktop environment. This post discussed three (3) methods to install Lxde on Debian 12 systems.


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