How to Install Gnome on Debian 12 "Bookworm"

Endrit Qerreti

Endrit Qerreti

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install gnome desktop environment on Debian 12 "Bookworm". There are multiple ways to install gnome on Debian 12. In this tutorial, we are going to install gnome via tasksel and via apt package manager.

tasksel is a tool that allows you to choose different desktop environments that you can install on your system. Using tasksel is easy, and it doesn't require technical knowledge, all you have to do is run tasksel and choose your favorite desktop environment.

The good thing about tasksel is that it allows you to install multiple desktop environments at the same time. If you are planning to use multiple desktop environments on your computer, you can do so by installing them via tasksel.

Install gnome via tasksel

tasksel is already installed on Debian 12, so you don't need to install it. However, if for some reason tasksel is not installed on your system, you can install it via the command below

sudo apt install tasksel

To install Gnome via tasksel, you need first to run tasksel

sudo tasksel

Note: sudo permission is required to run tasksel, so make sure that the user that you are going to install the desktop environment has sudo access.

And tasksel should start as shown in the image below

Now, you need to select the desktop environment that you want to install. You can use the arrow keys to move up and down, and then press spacebar to select the desktop environment, in this case we are instaling "Gnome", so select Gnome.

Once you choose the desktop environment, press tab button and select the OK button

Next, the installation of Gnome desktop environment should start

Note: This process might take a while so give it some time to complete.

Once the installation has been completed, you need to reboot your computer. And then on the login screen, you need to select the Desktop environment that you will be using for that session.

Now once you are in the login screen, click to the upper right icon

And then login

Note: We are using lightdm display manager on the image above, lightdm works with gnome desktop environment too. However, some features may not work correctly. You can install gdm3 which is the default display manager for gnome, for a better support.

After logging in, you can setup your gnome installation.

Install gnome via apt

Follow the steps below, to install gnome on your system by using the default package manager apt.

Step 1 - Update your system

Update your Debian 12 system before installing gnome.

sudo apt update

Step 2 - Install gnome

Once you have updated your system, you can now proceed and install gnome via the command below

sudo apt install gnome

Once you run the installation command, you will need to authenticate, enter your password and press enter to continue installing gnome.

Next, you need to press the Y key, to start the installation process

And the installation will start

The installation process is the same, even though apt and tasksel are two different package managers. You need to wait for the progress to complete 100%, so make sure you keep the terminal open during the installation process, as closing it will interrupt it.

When the installation has completed, you will see the following output in your terminal

Processing triggers for hicolor-icon-theme (0.17-2) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.36.0-1.1) ...
Processing triggers for libglib2.0-0:amd64 (2.74.6-2) ...
Processing triggers for mate-menus (1.26.0-3) ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.36-9) ...
Processing triggers for man-db (2.11.2-2) ...
Processing triggers for dbus (1.14.6-1) ...
Processing triggers for shared-mime-info (2.2-1) ...
Processing triggers for udev (252.6-1) ...
Processing triggers for mailcap (3.70+nmu1) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.26-1) ...

This means gnome got successfully installed on your computer, and you can use gnome now.


In this tutorial, you learned how to install gnome desktop environment on Debian 12, by using the default package manager and by using tasksel.