This question assumes a system has up-to-date package lists and packages via apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade.

With the release of Raspbian PIXEL Raspbian no longer uses the standard LXDE desktop but the new PIXEL desktop. (This has somewhat different menus and tools.)

A Raspbian Lite install, which gives a text console login, can be upgraded to a graphical console and desktop with apt-get install xserver-xorg lxde as described here and then running raspi-config, setting "boot into Desktop" and rebooting. However, this gives the standard LXDE desktop, not the PIXEL desktop.

The introducing PIXEL post claims that one can upgrade to PIXEL with

apt-get install -y rpi-chromium-mods
apt-get install -y python-sense-emu python3-sense-emu
apt-get install -y python-sense-emu-doc realvnc-vnc-viewer

This brings in Chromium and some other new stuff, but even after this the system is still using the LXDE desktop. So how does one switch to the new PIXEL desktop with its new menus and so on?

  • There is a misspell in the above text; Use "apt-get install xserver-xorg lxde" command. An "s" is missing. Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


From a fresh install of Jessie Light, and after an apt-get update you can do:

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends xserver-xorg xinit


sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-ui-mods

then lightdm:

sudo apt-get install lightdm

I hadn't originally planned to install PIXEL so I had only xorg, xinit and lightdm, but eventually did install the GUI. So doing sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-ui-mods after the 3 others also works.


Remove the LXDE packages:

# apt-get purge lxde

If it still gives you LXDE or it fails to start, change the autologin section in the lightdm configuration file at /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf. Remove the # and set it to 60 and restart.


That will give you time to change the session desktop for the pi user.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.