Martin Cooper's Linux Blog

All things Linux …

Tag Archives: Debian Minimal Install

Minimal XFCE Debian Install

I finally decided it was time to move away from Ubuntu due to the gradual move towards a MAC style Desktop with Unity as the final straw. I had a go with Xubuntu and a short period of the Linux Mint XFCE Debian edition then decided to move to Debian with an XFCE Desktop. So this is my own minimal XFCE Debian Install.

Install Debian squeeze from the netinst CD image which can be downloaded from I used the larger of the 2 which was approx 200MB in size.

Insert CD then select install, English, UK, British English.
Enter Hostname, Domain name and root password twice
Full name, username for account and user password.
Select Partitioning method as manual
I usually allow
20GB for Root partition /
50GB for /opt as I store programs there I download source for and don’t re format it every time I install.
2GB swap
and the rest as /home I don’t re format it every time I install to keep my documents safe.

once the install is done and the PC is rebooted you get a console screen asking you to login, so login using your username and password then at the prompt enter;

$ su
and then the root password, then

$ apt-get install xorg xfce4 synaptic gdebi wicd slim iceweasel dmz-cursor-theme gnome-wise-icon-theme shiki-brave-theme leafpad

This gets you
an X server to run your desktop on
the XFCE desktop
a package manager
a package installer
a network manager
a GDM graphical desktop manager [login screen]
the iceweasel web browser
my favorite theme/icons/cursor
and the leafpad text editor

after these are installed, log out and back in again to your Graphical Desktop.

This is the basic install it just needs a selection of programs and a bit of manual configuration..

[Edit Jan 2012 : the Slim Desktop Manager does not currently work in Debian Wheezy [still in testing] but the new lightdm does]