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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 core LXDE desktop, best suited for minimal installations:

# apt install lxde-core

The full LXDE desktop:

# apt install lxde

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

# apt install task-lxde-desktop

Running LXDE

GDM / KDM / LightDM / SDDM

No extra configuration is needed for GDM / KDM / LightDM / SDDM: 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