Gnome becomes again the default desktop for Debian?

This post was made with another stylesheet and it might be messed up!

It seems that Debian switches back to Gnome from Xfce for their default desktop, but I am placing a question mark on it, as I didn’t find an relevant discussion about the reasons for that move [1] ..or if this change will be final for Debian 7 -more likely will be.

Christian Perrier pushed a commit in Tasksel Git, 11 days ago, (Again revert xfce default) that removes Xfce as default and replaces it with Gnome. 

Christian said:

Xfce default is not vetted by Debian release managers. Joey re-added it because he was thinking that no other upload would be needed. However, an RC bug popped up, which had to be fixed, and I could not leave the “XFce default” change in the same upload, as it would then not qualify for wheezy.

In short, I very much doubt that Debian wheezy will have Xfce by default. It will have GNOME if nothing changes.

I have never tried Debian and I don’t know either how versions or Tasksel work there. I just installed a Wheezy Beta 3 (Netinst Image) in Vbox and it works like this:

By choosing Desktop Environment in Debian in Tasksel

You get Gnome by default

Of course that doesn’t mean that Gnome has a better support in Debian from other Desktops (KDE, XFCE etc), but it is more likely that users will install the default; in any case this is just a small detail.

At some point Xfce [1] was the default desktop environment to install when the desktop task was selected, and that happened because Gnome couldn’t fit in a CD according to commit reporting from Joey.

Switch Default Desktop Task to Xfce

This ensures that the desktop will fit on CD#1, which gnome currently does not.

There may be other reasons to prefer xfce as the default as well, but that is a complex and subjective topic. Unfortunatly, Debian does not have a well-defined procedure for making such choices, though it certianly has well-defined procedures for reviewing them.

So, I’ve decided to be bold, and continue the tradition of making an arbitrary desktop selection for Debian in tasksel.

In Wheezy Beta 3 a highlight is that most of GNOME fits into CD#1 again (network-less installation).

In short Debian 7 will have Gnome by default if nothing changes. You can find some further info in Debian’s Gnome Wiki and Debian Wheezy Wiki.

[1] Noticing that Debian switch to Xfce was changed in the git but it wasn’t actually released  in a stable release and Xfce default wasn’t vetted by Debian release managers. You can read more in Jeremy’s G+ about that. However there was a wrong speculation that Debian might switch to Xfce. That change is now reverted anyways.


  • "#"jorgejhms Jorge Meneses

    It was never a final desition. Someone proposed to use xfce. After a week some people release a compresed version of Gnome that fit again in the CD1. But every blog out there start shouting about gnome diched by debian….

    • alex285

      I understood exactly what happened after this post from the comments in G+. It is clear now to me.. Rumors…

  • "#"tlindmae Tanel Lindmäe

    I’m just glad debian stayed with gnome, because gnome 2 was the best environment possible, but somewhy they screwed it up with gnome 3. I just use gnome classic and hope the gnome developers come to senses and restore gnome old (normal) layout.