I have been facing the same issues like this https://askubuntu.com/questions/636250/how-to-compleately-remove-the-i3-desktop-enviroment-from-ubuntu#= but with Debian. I have removed i3 files but still it shows up in initial sign-in window when login. How can i remove i3 WM from debian completely? (I already have GNOME)

I have used following simple commands:

  • sudo apt-get remove i3
  • sudo apt-get purge i3
  • sudo apt-get autoremove


I furthur used

  • sudo apt list --installed | grep desktop

to look at all the desktop word containing environments and confirmed that i3 was not there. Then why am I seeing i3 in login window?


i3 is an X11 window manager and not a desktop environment. It most certainly shows up in your display manager because there's a corresponding desktop entry for i3 in /usr/share/xsessions/.

You can find the package providing the file via dpkg -S /usr/share/xsessions/i3.desktop

You can also check the dependencies of the i3 meta-package (apt-cache show i3), to find the name of the most likely package.

In your case it should be the package i3-wm. Uninstall the package, restart your display manager and i3 should not be listed anymore.

  • It shows i3 package is not installed. I think there are some config files left. But anyways how do I remove all files of i3 and X11? – K_lash96 Mar 23 at 15:14
  • i3-wm is the name of a different package than i3. i3 is a meta-package with dependencies to other packages (required: i3-wm, recommended: dunst, i3lock, i3status, suckless-tools). i3-wm is the package containing the actual files (binaries, configuration and documentation) of the i3 window manager, which is the package that needs to be removed. You can uninstall this package with sudo apt-get purge i3-wm. – Stefan Mar 23 at 23:14

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