LXQt is a free desktop environment known for being lightweight, fast, and energy-efficient, which can replace the standard default GNOME Desktop on your Debian system, which can be desired for users with low-powered computers and laptops, and netbooks.
LXQt has had a colorful history of merging and then splitting with the LXDE project in 2013 and 2018. However, both projects are of a high standard in sharing similar approaches regarding being more efficient than the major players such as GNOME and KDE.
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install LXQt Desktop Environment on Debian 11 Bullseye.
- Recommended OS: Debian 11 Bullseye.
- User account: A user account with sudo or root access.
Update Operating System
Update your Debian operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.
To verify sudo status on your account:
Example output showing sudo status:
[joshua@debian~]$ sudo whoami root
To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on Adding a User to Sudoers on Debian.
To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.
The tutorial will utilize the terminal for the installation found in Activities > Show Applications > Terminal.
Important Notice Before Installation
Before installing the LXQt desktop, create backups or plans if you do not like it and want to roll back. Removing any Desktop Environment is messy and will lead to system instabilities and random applications still installed. Overall, it is a painstaking process to revert to the original state before the packages were installed, especially for the new and average user.
Unless you have minimal system resources, having multiple desktop environments won’t hinder your system. Often people have several and switch in between.
Install LXQt on Debian
By default, LXQt comes in Debian repositories, making the installation relatively easy. Given that the desktop environment is lightweight, the download and installation are very quick compared to some available alternatives.
To install LXQt, begin by using the following command.
sudo apt install task-lxqt-desktop
Type “Y,” then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the installation.
During the installation, you will see the “Configuring sddm.” LXQt is recommended to run on using sddm. To proceed, press the TAB KEY to select <Ok> and hit the ENTER KEY.
Once complete, reboot your system, which can be done by typing the following directly into your terminal.
Switching Default Display Managers
Alternatively, in the future, if you want to change the default display manager back to GDM3 to use GNOME, you can re-run this pop-up using the following command.
sudo dpkg-reconfigure sddm
Make sure to reboot if you are going from LXQt back to GNOME and vice versa in the future.
First Look & Verifying LXQt
Once you have restarted your desktop, you will arrive at your login screen.
DO NOT LOG IN STRAIGHT AWAY.
First, you need to verify the desktop environment. This is done by clicking the configuration button, which is now located in the top left-hand corner.
Next, select “LXQt” instead of the default “GNOME (Wayland).”
Example (Click Image Expand):
Once logged in, you will notice quite a few UI changes besides the apparent color and background changes. The taskbar is now similar to a more windows type of taskbar, along with more integrations in the top left-hand and right-hand corner of services where the time display is.
Example (Click Image Expand):
To confirm the installation, a handy package to install is Neofetch which is featured in Debian’s repositories.
To install this package, use the following command in your terminal.
sudo apt install neofetch -y
Once installed, run the following command in your terminal.
Example output (Click Image Expand):
And that is it, and you have successfully installed the LXQt desktop environment.
How to Update LXQt Desktop Packages
Run the standard apt update && upgrade commands for future updates for the desktop environment and any default APT packages.
sudo apt update
When updates are available, run the standard upgrade command as you would with any other apt package.
sudo apt upgrade
Comments and Conclusion
In the tutorial, you have learned how to install the LXQt desktop environment on your Debian 11 Bullseye.
Ideally, you can install this package and switch around depending on your mood if you have a decent system. If you prefer desktop jumping, it’s worth checking out if the looks appeal to you. If unsure, I would suggest installing a VM first, then on your main machine, unless you are a severe Linux distro hopper that doesn’t care about re-installing operating systems over and over.