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LXDE is designed to work well with computers on the low end of the performance spectrum, such as older resource-constrained machines, new generation netbooks, and other small computers.

LXDE in Debian

LXDE is one of the DesktopEnvironment options in the DebianDesktopHowTo.


The minimum set of elements:

# apt install lxde-core

A complete set of elements:

# apt install lxde

A complete Debian LXDE desktop environment (starting from Debian 7.0 "Wheezy"):

# apt install task-lxde-desktop

Running LXDE

GDM / KDM / LightDM

No extra configuration needed for GDM / KDM / LightDM: just simply select the LXDE option at the login screen menu.


For XDM, you will need to have the ~/.xsession file in your home folder. If you do not have one, create it. XDM reads this file as a script. See the XDM documentation for more information. The final line in your ~/.xsession file should read:

exec startlxde

If you are starting X with startx, the same line would go in your ~/.xinitrc file.

An alternate way you can change the default session manager system-wide is by updating the link Debian holds in /etc/alternatives/:

# update-alternatives --config x-session-manager

You will be given a list of options. Select startlxde to select LXDE as your default session manager system-wide.

Keyboard layout switching

First of all, you need to add the necessary keyboard layouts into the /etc/default/keyboard config file (see also: Keyboard in Debian Wiki).

Here is an example with 5 layouts (US English, Ukrainian, Russian, German and French) and <Alt>+<Shift> as a layout changer key combination:


# Consult the keyboard(5) manual page.



For the changes to take affect, you need to execute the following command:

# udevadm trigger --subsystem-match=input --action=change

or to reboot the system.

After that, you can add a "Keyboard Layout Switcher" applet onto the LXPanel and finally test it.

CategoryDesktop CategoryDesktopEnvironment