How do I install Debian Jessie with the XFCE desktop? There used to be an "alternative" option to choose this from the start, but now I can't find it. How do I do it?

In the Debian guide to installing Xfce I read the following:

Alternatively, go to "Advanced options" then "Alternate desktop environments", and choose Xfce there.

So it seems there should be an option to do this in the graphical boot environment?

4 Answers 4


I do not think Debian Jessie comes with xfce by default anymore. My recommendation would be to download a minimal Debian and then install xfce4 with apt.

apt-get install xfce4


Correct, there's an option in the installer. Once you select "Desktop environment", you can choose which one you'd like.

For reference also see here: https://wiki.debian.org/Xfce#How_to_install_Xfce

In the text installer, it looks like this (if you select "Desktop environment" you get the choice), don't have a screenshot of the GUI installer at hand... Text installer

  • How do I choose to run the text installer? Is that another CD? Oct 3, 2015 at 10:11
  • 1
    No, it's the same. After booting from the installation medium, the first question is if you'd like to use the GUI installer or the text installer. But don't get me wrong, the option is probably there in the GUI installer, too. It's just that I never used the GUI installer in the last 15+ years....
    – Jan
    Oct 3, 2015 at 10:13
  • Ah, "Install" runs the text installer I guess then? Oct 3, 2015 at 10:28

There is live CD's with different flavours. (= desktops) XFCE is among them.

Mainpage https://www.debian.org/CD/live/

64-bit http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current-live/amd64/bt-hybrid/

I could not post more links, lack of reputation i'm afraid. But you can find more at the mainpage.

  • Links are discouraged on this site, we want self-contained answers, not text with inherent bit-rot.
    – Anthon
    Apr 12, 2016 at 17:48
  • @Anthon It's kinda hard to paste the content of a CD. A link works quite well.
    – zundi
    May 16, 2016 at 5:40

If you are in the command line, login as the root and type tasksel comamnd,

debian8@root$ tasksel

In the Debian wiki, it says,

After installing a Debian core system, you can install the DesktopEnvironment using tasksel. The command tasksel (logged as root) shows you some (high level abstraction) options to install packages. You could simply mark the Desktop environment option. It will install the packages for Gnome and some packages that are considered "standard" for a Debian desktop (openoffice.org, cups, etc).

It will provide you the following options,

enter image description here

Use SPACE and then LEFT or RIGHT keys to move to an option (i.e Xfce) and press TAB to select the option in the OK button. Then, hit the ENTER and you are good to go.

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