LXDE Guide
Debian LXDE
Hybrid Crunchbang
Sparky Linux
Beginner's Guide
Arachnophilia HTML
Araneae HTML Editor
Debian Remastersys
FastStone Image Editor
MyStuff Menu
Openbox Menu
Openbox Themes
PhotoFiltre Editor
Tint2 Panel
Wbar Dock


The Linux Mint website states the pros for Linux Mint Debian (LMDE) very well:

An LXDE desktop can be easily installed over any XFCE desktop without many changes. My desktop choice is a combination of the two, and the best combination has been an Lxde desktop on the 64-bit Mint LMDE with default XFCE desktop. This gave the user the best from 6 worlds: LXDE, XFCE, Debian, Mint, 64-bit speed and a rolling release. Unfortunately, Mint has discontinued support for the xfce Debian edition, which means, no matter how well it works now, there is no future for the official XFCE Mint Debian.

Hope still exists, however, in the form of an unofficial distribution being produced by some devoted users of XFCE. Already an unofficial version equivalent to an Update 6 version of XFCE LMDE is available from Unofficial LMDE Xfce UP6 SR1, thanks to a person who goes by the name Schoelje. This Guide is meant to supply the main details to putting an LXDE desktop on Schoelje's Xfce UP6 SR1.

audio controlpulseaudio
calculatorxcalc*, galculator
character map 
display managerlightdm*
file browserthunar
image viewerristretto*, shotwell
menu editoralacarte
monitor controlxfce4-settings
network managerwicd*
officeabiword*, gnumeric*
power managerxfce4-power-manager*
search toolcatfish*
session managerxfce4-session
system clean-up 
system monitorlxtask*
text editormousepad
web browserfirefox*
window managerxfwm4
audio controlpavucontrol
character mapgucharmap
display managerlightdm*
file browserpcmanfm
graphicsphotofiltre (wine)
image viewerristretto*
menu editorlxmed
monitor controlarandr, lxrandr
network managerwicd*
officeabiword*, gnumeric*
power managerxfce4-power-manager*
search toolcatfish*
session managerlxsession
system clean-upupgrade-system, bleachbit
system monitorlxtask*
text editorgeany, leafpad
web browserfirefox*
window manageropenbox

[1] Download lmdexfce64_up6sr1_201301.iso from the above link, install and then update:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

in that order.

The table on the left shows the main applications that you have installed with this system. I chose to keep the ones with an astrick (*), because they are already installed and are as good or better than their lxde counterparts. Use a reloaded Synaptic or apt-get to install the core lxde desktop [16.7 MB]:

sudo apt-get install lxde-core .

Since xscreensaver is already installed, this installs the other four main components - pcmanfm, lxpanel, lxsession, openbox - of the lxde desktop, plus gvfs-fuse, lxde-common, lxmenu-data, obconf, openbox-themes and 9 libraries, and totals about 16.7 MB. Reboot, choosing lxde (or lxsession) as desktop.

[2] Use Synaptic or apt-get to remove the bulk of the xfce-desktop [41.3 MB]:

sudo apt-get remove xfce4 xfwm4 xfdesktop4-data xfce4-appfinder xfce4-panel xfce4-session xfce4-settings xfce4-clipman xfce4-volumed thunar thunar-data alacarte.

This should free up about 41.3 MB.

[3]Applications in general are a personal thing. For completeness, some of my favorites are included in the table on the right. You should now install your favorites. In addition, you will want to replace the xfce applications and processes removed in [2], or not present in the first place, by installing the following (19.9 MB total):

arandr[492kb] bleachbit[1786kb] clipit[229kb] gucharmap[8896kb] ispell[741kb] lxappearance[414kb] lxrandr[194kb] pavucontro[6788kb] upgrade-system[776kb].

Four big packages that I never use and, hence, remove are

gimp gimp-data [59.6 MB] pidgin pidgin-data [33.3 MB] thunderbird thunderbird-|10n-en-us [59.9 MB] mutt procmail [5.8 MB].

[4] There are 4 or 5 important applications for me that only run on a linux system if wine is installed. Therefore, wine and skype, both of which do not yet have 64-bit versions for linux, are musts for any linux system that I use. Running a complicated 32-bit program like wine presently requires a multi-arch system be installed, and this often is a problem, especially for Debian-based distributions. My first test after installing a new linux distribution is get Wine and Skype installed and working in a reasonable amount of time. If either of these do not happen, then that is the end of my association with that distribution.

Generally, the following recipe works to get Wine installed:

    sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install libglib2.0-bin
    sudo apt-get install wine-bin:i386.

If there is a problem, it may be connected to libglib2.0. Do

    apt-cache policy libglib2.0-0
    apt-cache policy libglib2.0-0:i386.

This will tell you the version installed for each architecture. These need to be from the same generation (have the same number), or there is a conflict, and that is likely the problem. Remove one of them and install its version with the same number as its counterpart in the other architecture. You can download the correct one from the appropriate Debian package group: Debian Packages. If you do not have at least 4 GB of memory, then it probably isn't worth the bother to install a 64-bit system and have to bother with the double arch system. Installing applications like wine and skype in a 32-bit system can be usually done quickly and directly using, for example, synaptic.

You will probably want to install the mscorefonts-installer:

   sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer .

To get Wine Windows Program Loader to show in the Main Menu/System, you may have to edit its .desktop file in /usr/share/applications so that


Windows applications that work in linux can be now installed and easily put on the main menu using lxmed. See the links above for some of my favorite applications that run well with wine.

openclass menuTo install Skype, given that the dual architecture is already installed, as outlined above, simply download skype-debian_4.1.0.20-1_i386.deb, or whatever the latest Debian version is, and install it. If errors are reported in the installation, follow with

    sudo apt-get --no-remove -f install,

which will hopefully fix the errors.

[5] To have a good menu editor, go to sourceforge and download lxmed-20110717.tar.gz. Right click on the tarball, and extract it to ~. This should put a folder labeled lxmed in your home directory. Install lxmed:

    cd ~/lxmed
    sudo apt-get install build-essential
    sudo mkdir -v /opt/lxmed
    sudo cp -v content/lxmed /usr/bin
    sudo chmod -v +x /usr/bin/lxmed
    sudo cp -v content/LXMenuEditor.jar /opt/lxmed
    sudo cp -v content/ /opt/lxmed
    sudo chmod -v +x /opt/lxmed/
    sudo cp -v content/lxmed.png /opt/lxmed
    sudo cp -v content/lxmed.desktop /usr/share/applications

A GUI menu editor should now be present: Preferences/Main Menu Editor. Lxmed is a java program and requires a good Java software be installed to run successfully.

[6] Configure Openbox Configuration Manager, Customize Look and Feel and install your favorite Linux and Wine applications. See Sections 10 and 19 in the LXDE Guide for information on applications.

[7]One of the advantages of an lxde-distribution is the Openbox Menu. One version is shown in the photo on the right from which you can see the configuration file (menu.xml) to edit the menu is already set-up in this menu, as well as the configuration files (lxde-rc.xml) for keybindings, a tint2 panel, Openbox autostart (not used in an lxde desktop) and LXDE autostart. This means changes can be administered quickly with minimum effort, and there is no limit to the possibilities of what can be put into the menu. For an expanded discussion complete with a template and directions for additional pipe menus for weather, drive devices, directories and recent files, see Openbox Menu.

[8] Complete your set-up and do a general clean-up using upgrade-system (sudo upgrade-system) and wajig (sudo wajig purge-orphans), which removes the orphaned libraries and processes that are now unused carry-overs from xfce and the applications that were removed. In my instance, 177 MB of orphaned libraries and uneeded packages were removed. So replacing XFCE by LXDE results in a net gain of about 177+41-37=181 MB. In addition, the useful everywhere-on-the-desktop-available openclass menu and a file browser, pcmanfm, that can instantly open any directory as root, are installed.

[9] To make a .iso copy of your new Mint Debian LXDE system, the Ubuntu Remastersys application can be installed in the following manner:

    (i) Rename /usr/share/doc/libglib2.0-bin, if that file is present. Otherwise it will hinder the installs below. If you are worried about giving it a new name, return the original name after Remastersys is installed.

    (ii) From download and install live-initramfs, number 2.0.15-1 or later, using GDebi installer.

    (iii) From, download glib2.0_2.31.12-0ubuntu1.debian.tar.gz, or a later version, and put it in your Downloads Directory. Install:

         tar -xvf ~/Downloads/glib2.0_2.31.12-0ubuntu1.debian.tar.gz .

    (iv) From, download libglib2.0-0_2.32.3-1_amd64.deb, or a later version, and put it in your home directory. Install:

         sudo dpkg -i libglib2.0-0_2.32.3-1_amd64.deb .

    (v) In Synaptic/Settings/Repositories/Other Software/Add add the following repository:

         deb-src squeeze/ .

    (vi) Check /etc/apt/sources to be sure this repository is open.

    (vii) Reload Synaptic, find remastersys and install it in the usual way. Also, install remastersys-gui, provided it is present, which it probably won't be, in which case, don't worry about it, as it was probably already in the install.

This should put a flock of remastersys tools in the Preference category of your Main Menu. Launch Remastersys Backup and click Backup to make a copy of your total operating system. It will appear as custom.iso in /home/remastersys/remastersys. If you have trouble with the GUI functioning, then launch remastersys by entering the following in the terminal:

   sudo remastersys backup custom.iso.

Finish by burning custom.iso to a DVD to have a new installation disk that can be used to run or install your system on any computer. Before you run remastersys, clean your system of trash, temporary files, cookies, music, videos, movies, etc. The .iso must be under about 4.7 GB to fit on a standard DVD. When you are asked where to put Grub, choose Master Boot Record (MBR) to eliminate later problems. If the new install does not boot, reboot from the remastersys disk and run Remastersys Grub Restore, which is one of the available tools.

To start the installer of a remastered copy of a system, put the following in the terminal after the copy has been loaded:

   sudo remastersys-installer gui.

Complete command line information for Remastersys is at, and additional information is given in the LXDE Guide.