How to Install LXQt on Debian 12/11/10

LXQt, an elegant choice among the myriad of Linux desktop environments, has carved its niche with its unique blend of features and performance. Born from the combination of LXDE and Razor-qt projects, LXQt provides a refined experience that strikes a balance between functionality and resource efficiency.

Let’s delve into some key features that make LXQt a standout choice:

  • Low Resource Consumption: LXQt is renowned for its efficiency and speed. With a minimal resource footprint, it is a suitable option for those seeking a quick, responsive operating system, or those running on older hardware configurations.
  • High Degree of Configurability: LXQt provides its users with an unprecedented level of control over their desktop environment. The customizability options ensure a personalized workspace that mirrors the user’s unique preferences and needs.
  • Intuitive Interface: LXQt offers a clean, user-friendly interface. It’s designed for effortless navigation and efficient file and application management, making it an attractive choice for a broad range of users.
  • Modernity and Standards Compliance: LXQt is built on the powerful Qt application framework, signifying its commitment to modern design principles and standards. With robust compatibility across major Linux distributions, LXQt ensures future-proof operations.
  • Uncomplicated Installation: LXQt keeps the installation process straightforward, whether you’re an experienced sysadmin or a Linux newcomer.

This guide will demonstrate the installation of LXQt on Debian 12 Bookworm, Debian 11 Bullseye, or Debian 10 Buster. While there may be minor visual differences due to version disparities between Debian 12 Bookworm and Debian 10 Buster, the installation steps largely remain consistent, facilitating a smooth installation process.

Section 1: Setting Up LXQt on Debian Linux

Step 1: Refreshing and Upgrading the Debian System

Before diving into the installation process of LXQt, it’s essential to ensure your Debian system is up-to-date. The up-to-date system ensures the availability of the latest versions of software and security patches, reducing the possibility of conflicts during the LXQt installation. Achieving an updated state can be accomplished with the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

The first command, sudo apt update, directs your Debian system to update its package lists. This makes the system aware of the most recent versions of available software. Following this, the command sudo apt upgrade is executed, which upgrades any outdated software on your system.

Step 2: Initiation of LXQt Installation

LXQt, due to its lightweight nature, is readily available in Debian’s repositories. This availability simplifies the installation process and ensures that the download and installation proceed faster than with many other desktop alternatives. Execute the following command to install LXQt on your system:

sudo apt install task-lxqt-desktop

Breaking down this command, sudo is used to grant root privileges, apt install directs the system to install the software, and task-lxqt-desktop specifies the LXQt desktop environment package.

For minimalist server installations, LXQt can be set up using the following command:

sudo apt install lxqt

During the installation, you’ll encounter the “Configuring sddm” screen. SDDM, or Simple Desktop Display Manager, is the display manager and login screen used by LXQt. To continue the installation, use the TAB key to highlight <Ok> and press ENTER.

Step 3: System Reboot Post LXQt Installation

Once the installation of LXQt concludes successfully, a system reboot is necessary to initialize LXQt correctly and ensure its smooth operation. Here’s how to command your system to reboot using the terminal:

sudo reboot

Post reboot, LXQt will be completely set up and ready for use on your Debian system.

Section 2: Accessing LXQt on Debian Linux

Step 1: Navigating Through the Login Interface

Following the successful installation and system restart, the next step is to log in to your newly installed LXQt desktop environment. By default, LXQt should be automatically selected as your desktop environment. However, if that is not the case, LXQt can be manually selected.

The desktop environment selection option is typically located at the top left-hand corner of the login screen. Click on this dropdown menu, and select “LXQt” from the list to set it as your default desktop environment. This will replace any previously selected options, such as “GNOME (Wayland).”

select lxqt desktop environment for debian linuxPin

Section 3: Tips for Getting Started with LXQt on Debian Linux

When you first start using LXQt on Debian Linux, it may seem a bit daunting due to its lightweight and minimal design. But don’t let that initial impression dissuade you. With a few helpful tips and insights, you’ll soon be able to navigate this desktop environment with ease and efficiency. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of LXQt.

General Tips

  • Understanding the Layout: One of the first things to get familiar with in LXQt is its straightforward layout. It is comprised of a single panel at the bottom of the screen, similar to Windows. This panel houses the application menu, quick launch bar, and system tray.
  • Customizing the Panel: To add, remove, or move items within the panel, simply right-click on the panel and select ‘Configure Panel.’ You’ll be able to add or remove widgets, change the panel size, and more.
  • Knowing your Applications: LXQt comes with a selection of lightweight applications. You have PCManFM-Qt for file management, QTerminal for the terminal, and more. You can find these applications by clicking on the application menu.

Customization Tips

  • Changing the Theme: LXQt supports changing themes. Go to ‘Preferences > LXQt settings > Appearance’ to explore the theme options.
  • Altering the Wallpaper: Right-click on the desktop and select ‘Desktop Preferences.’ You’ll find options to change the wallpaper, icon themes, and more.
  • Customizing Window Behavior: You can also customize window behaviors. Go to ‘Preferences > LXQt settings > Window Effects’ to tweak how windows interact.

These tips should help you get started with LXQt on Debian Linux, and remember, the LXQt community is always there to assist you further.

Section 4: Administering LXQt on Debian Linux

In this section, we will be delving into the process of managing the LXQt desktop environment on a Debian Linux system. This includes learning how to switch between different desktop environments and understanding how to uninstall LXQt, should the need arise. The focus here will be on transitioning back to the GNOME Desktop Environment and its native display manager, GDM, from LXQt and the LightDM display manager.

Transitioning to a Different Display Manager

The journey back to GNOME from LXQt begins at the display manager selection screen, reminiscent of the interface you came across during the installation of LXQt. This can be initiated by inputting the following command in your terminal:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure sddm

Running the above command starts the reconfiguration process for the SDDM display manager, offering you the choice to select an alternate default display manager like GDM for GNOME. Please be aware, it is critical to restart your system every time you swap display managers or desktop environments. This ensures all changes are correctly implemented.

To reboot your system, execute the following command:

sudo reboot

Removing LXQt

There might come a time when you decide to uninstall LXQt. Perhaps you’re interested in experimenting with a different desktop environment, or you just want to revert to your original setup. In such a case, LXQt can be removed by executing the following command:

sudo apt autoremove '^lxqt' task-lxqt-desktop --purge

This command will purge LXQt and all related files from your system, restoring your desktop environment to its previous state.

After uninstalling LXQt, it is likely that you will need to reinstall the GNOME Desktop Environment. The process of uninstalling LXQt may have led to the removal of some packages that GNOME depends on. Therefore, to reinstall GNOME, first update your package list and then install the gnome-desktop-environment package with the following commands:

sudo apt install gnome gdm3 task-gnome-desktop --reinstall

Lastly, to ensure all changes are fully applied, reboot your system one more time with the command:

sudo reboot

Closing Thoughts

Throughout the course of this guide, we have traversed the intricacies of installing, navigating, and managing the LXQt desktop environment on Debian Linux distributions. This journey provided a comprehensive understanding of the tools and processes needed to tailor your desktop environment experience. From the first login experience with LXQt to transitioning back to GNOME, this guide aimed to facilitate your mastery of LXQt on Debian.

Additional Resources

For further reading and assistance, the following official resources are highly recommended:

  • LXQt Official Website: The official LXQt website provides an overview of the desktop environment, its features, and the latest updates.
  • LXQt GitHub Repository: The LXQt GitHub repository is an excellent source for accessing the source code, reporting issues, and keeping up with the latest development progress.

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