I installed Debian Wheezy with no desktop environment as I would like to use lightweight dwm window manager instead. However, as a first step, I need to install xserver. I would like to install minimal components needed for running the xserver. What are the exact components(binaries, libraries, configuration files, etc) needed to run xserver? Obviously xinit(starts X server session), but what else? Or are the components needed for running xserver so scattered that practically one needs to install xserver-xorg package which will handle all the dependencies needed?

1 Answer 1


This should do it:

$ sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends xserver-xorg-core \
    xserver-xorg-input-all xserver-xorg-video-fbdev \
    xserver-xorg-video-(yourcard, can be intel, nouveau, or ati)
  • As I have Intel 945GM video card, I need to install "xserver-xorg-video-intel" package, but why exactly is this needed? I mean at the moment, according to "lspci -vvv", I use i915.ko driver and it's able to show the picture. Or is the performance lot better with intel_drv.so driver which will be installed with "xserver-xorg-video-intel" package? Or is it a problem for xserver if the driver module runs in kernel space?
    – Martin
    May 11, 2014 at 22:22
  • Although Intel graphics chipsets are now plug-n-play, it is recommended mainly for performance, in terms of video tearing, maximum resolution, etc. For example, the intel_drv.so driver particularly uses a Triple Buffering for vertical synchronization, this allows for full performance and avoids tearing. It also provides module-based powersaving options.
    – delta24
    May 12, 2014 at 3:30
  • 1
    I think you might be confusing the Xorg driver with the kernel driver. Different requirements, different drivers, work best (and sometimes only) if used together matching. Jun 22, 2014 at 18:42
  • Nice, I didn't know about no-install-reccomends, besides issues changing hardware there's some other side-effect? On upgrades/dist-upgrade for example?
    – Alex
    Jul 30, 2015 at 15:38
  • 1
    I had to install xinit as well to get the xserver to start
    – user154148
    Jan 31, 2016 at 1:46

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