By default a full installation of Debian 9 Linux will have the graphical user interface (GUI) installed and it will load up after system boot, however if we have installed Debian without the GUI we can always install it later, or otherwise change it to one that is preferred.
This quick guide will cover how to install the KDE Plasma Desktop on Debian 9 Stretch, which will provide a GUI for working with the Linux system. While I don’t suggest using a GUI on a production server, it’s a good option if you’re using Debian as a desktop.
Install KDE GUI in Debian
While there are many different graphical user interfaces available for Linux, in this example we will be using KDE Plasma Desktop.
First we need to install Aptitude and Tasksel, as shown below. On my Debian 9 system which already had GNOME installed, both were already installed.
[email protected]:~# apt install aptitude tasksel
Next we install the KDE packages themselves with the following command.
[email protected]:~# aptitude install ~t^desktop$ ~t^kde-desktop$
Note that this may take a while to complete, on my installation 671 new packages were required taking up 421MB of space.
If you’ve already got a display manager installed, as I do in this demonstration, you’ll be advised that only one can run at a time.
I then selected sddm for the default display manager.
After a system reboot at the login screen, select Plasma as shown below, and login.
You’ll then be presented with the KDE Plasma Desktop.
As shown we can easily install the KDE Plasma Desktop packages in Debian 9 Stretch Linux, which will provide us with a graphical user interface that can be used for managing and interacting with the system.