Installing the KDE Desktop Environment on Debian 7.5

Desktop Environments

Debian supports a number of graphical environments from fully-featured desktop environments like Gnome and KDE to lighter environments like Xfce and LXDE to even lighter window managers like Openbox and tiling window managers like Wmii.

Installing the Desktop Environment

KDE is geared towards providing a great user experience, which includes a set of libraries, an application collection, and a set of workspace shells.

To install the complete set of elements of the KDE Desktop Environment, we execute the following command in a “root” shell.

apt-get install kde-full

This will install the full release of workspace, applications and framework of KDE for Debian.

To install the standard environment of the KDE Desktop Environment, we execute the following command in a “root” shell.

apt-get install kde-standard

This will install the common stuff for workspace, applications and framework of KDE for Debian.

Running the Desktop Environment

GDM / KDM / LightDM

For either GDM, KDM and LightDM, no additional configuration is needed and you can just select the Gnome option at the login screen.

XDM

For XDM, you will be required to have the .xsession file in your home directory. If such a file does not exist, create it by executing the following command:

touch ~/.xsession

XDM reads this file as a script – for more information regarding the format of this file, see the XDM documentation. The final line in your ~/.xsession file should read:

exec startkde

If you are starting X with startx, the same line would go in your ~/.xinitrc file.

An alternative way to change the default session manager system-wide is to update the link defined in /etc/alternatives/ by executing the following command:

update-alternatives --config x-session-manager

You will be given a list of options. Select startkde to select KDE as your default session manager.

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