How To Install Gnome on Debian 11

Install Gnome on Debian 11

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Gnome on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, By default, the Debian 11 server was installed as minimal without any Graphical Desktop support. In this guide, we show how easy it is to get one of the most popular GUI’s installed called GNOME Desktop. GNOME Shell 40 Released on 24 March 2021, this version came as a game-changer for the Gnome world. A new concept of horizontal virtual desktop navigation added more fluids to navigate. The panel at the bottom as a dock looks very elegant.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Gnome 40 on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Debian 11 (Bullseye).
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Gnome on Debian 11 Bullseye

Step 1. Before we install any software, it’s important to make sure your system is up to date by running the following apt commands in the terminal:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2. Installing Gnome on Debian 11.

Now we add Gnome from the experimental repository:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following lines:

deb experimental main

Next, you’ll need to install all of the new software upgrades available for Debian 11:

sudo apt update
sudo apt -t experimental install gnome-session gnome-shell gnome-backgrounds gnome-applets gnome-control-center mutter gjs

Once done, reboot your computer. You should be greeted by your new GNOME 40 desktop on your Debian 11 Bullseyes system after the reboot.

Once you log back on, confirm the upgrade has been successful using the following command below:

gnome-shell --version

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Gnome. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the latest version of the Gnome environment on Debian 11 Bullseye. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you to check the official Gnome website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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