How To Install XFCE GUI In Debian 9 Linux

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 XFCE4 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.

Debian 9 Stretch - XFCE Desktop

Debian 9 Stretch – XFCE Desktop

Install XFCE GUI in Debian

While there are many different graphical user interfaces available for Linux, in this example we will be using XFCE.

We can install the XFCE packages with the command shown below.

[email protected]:~# apt-get install xfce4

In my installation 45 new packages were required taking up 56MB 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.

Debian - One Display Manager

I then selected lightdm for the default display manager.

Default display manager lightdm

After a system reboot at the login screen, select Xfce Session as shown below, and login.

Debian 9 Stretch XFCE Session

You’ll then be presented with the XFCE Desktop.


As shown we can easily install XFCE 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.

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