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How To Install Xfce Desktop on Debian 12

Install Xfce Desktop on Debian 12

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Xfce Desktop on Debian 12. In the vast landscape of Linux desktop environments, XFCE stands out as a reliable, lightweight, and customizable option. Debian 12, renowned for its stability and performance, makes an ideal host for XFCE.

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 the step-by-step installation of Xfce desktop environments on a Debian 12 (Bookworm).

XFCE Features

XFCE is designed to provide a simple and efficient desktop experience while keeping resource usage to a minimum. It offers an array of features and advantages, making it a popular choice for many Linux enthusiasts:

  • Lightweight and Fast: XFCE is renowned for its minimal resource usage, ensuring smooth performance even on older hardware.
  • Customizable: With a variety of themes, icons, and desktop configurations, XFCE allows you to tailor your desktop environment to suit your preferences.
  • User-Friendly Interface: The intuitive interface is designed to make navigation easy for both new and experienced users.
  • Extensive Plugin Support: XFCE offers an array of plugins to enhance functionality, ranging from system monitors to weather applets.
  • Stability: XFCE is known for its stability and reliability, making it an ideal choice for production environments.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Debian 12 (Bookworm).
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • An active internet connection. You’ll need an internet connection to download the necessary packages and dependencies for Xfce desktop environments.
  • 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 Xfce Desktop on Debian 12 Bookworm

Step 1. Before installing any package, it is recommended to update the package list to ensure that you are installing the latest version of the package. You can do this by running the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This command will refresh the repository, allowing you to install the latest versions of software packages.

Step 2. Installing Xfce on Debian 12.

To install the Xfce desktop environment and all its packages, run the following command:

sudo apt install task-xfce-desktop

This command installs the task-xfce-desktop package, which is a meta-package that includes all the packages required for the Xfce desktop environment.

Once the installation is complete, reboot your system to start using Xfce:


Step 3. Accessing XFCE Desktop Environment on Debian.

After restarting the computer, select the Xfce session from the login screen. You should see an option to select the Xfce session before logging in.

Install Xfce Desktop on Debian 12 Bookworm

Step 4. Troubleshooting Common XFCE Installation Issues.

Despite its reputation for stability, you might encounter occasional issues during the installation process. Here are solutions to common problems:

  1. Failed Installations and Dependency Conflicts
    • Ensure your system is up-to-date before installing XFCE.
    • If you encounter dependency issues, use the apt --fix-broken install command to resolve them.
  2. Graphical Glitches or Display Driver Issues
    • Check if you have the correct graphics drivers installed for your hardware.
    • Consider reinstalling the display manager or the XFCE package if the issue persists.
  3. Compatibility Problems with Specific Hardware
    • Check the XFCE and Debian communities for specific hardware compatibility solutions.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Xfce. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the latest version of Xfce desktop environments on Debian 12 Bookworm. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Xfce 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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