How To Install XFCE Desktop Environment on Debian 11

Install XFCE Desktop Environment on Debian 11

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install XFCE Desktop Environment on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be quick and light on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly. Unlike GNOME and KDE desktops which are heavier, XFCE uses fewer system resources.

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 XFCE 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 XFCE Desktop Environment 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 XFCE Desktop Environment on Debian 11.

By default, XFCE is available on the Debian 11 base repository. Now run the following command below to install XFCE on your Debian system:

sudo apt install task-xfce-desktop

During installation, you will be prompted to choose the default display manager, here we go with lightdm and press the TAP key to select ok.

Once successfully installed, now reboot/restart your Debian system:


Step 3. Accessing XFCE Desktop Environment on Debian.

After restarting the computer, select a user to log in, then click the icon which is lower-right and select [Xfce Session] like follows:

Install XFCE Desktop Environment on Debian 11 Bullseye

Congratulations! You have successfully installed XFCE. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the latest version of  XFCE Desktop Environment on Debian 11 Bullseye. 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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