I'm running Raspbian “wheezy”, a Debian based Linux distribution for the Raspberry Pi and I would like to know where I can change the desktop environment that boots with the OS. In particular, how can I replace LXDE with a custom QT or Java program?

  • Have you tried using standard Debian tools? As far as I know they should work, the only problem I can think of is I'm almost sure there will be missing packages compared to i386/x86_64.
    – tripledes
    Aug 9, 2012 at 14:24
  • First thing I'd try is placing a .xinitrc file in the default user's home...
    – sr_
    Aug 9, 2012 at 14:32
  • I have been looking at their documents/forums and as @sr_ suggested they use .xinitrc (located at your home) to exec lxde, so it's just a matter of replacing the line where lxde loads and add your custom program.
    – tripledes
    Aug 9, 2012 at 14:49
  • i've found also some info pointing me to .xinitrc but i fail to find that file, tryed on Raspbian “wheezy” and on Ubuntu 12.04 and there is no file with that name Aug 9, 2012 at 17:17
  • Can you run which startx? Aug 12, 2012 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


You might be able to install Raspbian Lite to your Pi and install a different desktop, but this is not recommended because you may have WiFi connectivity problems. You may also be able to install a display manager with support for desktop switching, for example, GDM, then install a desktop. I don't think anyone has tried this before, and it may be extremely dangerous.

  • 1
    Try to answer with facts, ideally by citing the source. Also, note that the original question is eight years old. Changing the desktop environment is just an apt-get install away, without extreme dangers. Jan 11, 2021 at 0:51

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