Similar to Raspbian without a GUI and other programs I don't need:

  • It comes with a GUI -- I want to install my own window manager (if I want)

In my case, I want the GUI, but not the software. There are a couple of ways to get this:

  1. A prebuilt "Raspbian Lite with Desktop" image
  2. Install Raspbian with Desktop and uninstall all the software not included in Lite
  3. Install Raspbian Lite and then install the GUI that Raspbian with Desktop uses

An image would be easiest, but an apt command to do #2 or #3 would be acceptable answers too.

  • 1
    do you have a question?
    – jsotola
    Sep 27, 2018 at 1:20
  • Rephrased the title as a question
    – ki9
    Sep 27, 2018 at 1:21
  • 2
    if easiest means requiring least amount of time then option #1 is the way to go ..... it really depends on what you mean by easiest ...... this question is really a request for an opinion, so it will most likely get flagged ..... btw, a question requires a question mark as a terminator.
    – jsotola
    Sep 27, 2018 at 1:28
  • 1
    You ask the question "What's the easiest way to get Raspbian with GUI, without software", and then you answer it for yourself : "An image would be easiest" . So what do you want to know? Sep 27, 2018 at 1:37
  • 1
    Check this article out. Sep 27, 2018 at 1:37

2 Answers 2


You can try to start with Raspbian Stretch Lite and then install a desktop of your choice on it. This can easy be done with:

rpi ~$ sudo tasksel

Then you can select GNOME, Xfce, KDE, Cinnamon, MATE, LXDE.

I think GNOME and KDE are not the right Desktops for a Raspberry Pi because of its limited performance. LXDE is the default Deskop of Raspian. I haven't tested it.

It's your try ;-)


The Raspbian download page now offers separate options for "Raspbian with desktop" and "Raspbian with desktop and recommended software".

A screenshot of the download options on the Raspbian website, taken 2019-09-20

This sort of deems this question irrelevant.

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