I have a Raspberry Pi with Debian Wheezy (Raspbian) and so far I've managed to learn quite a lot about Linux just playing around, but I have a few questions for all you seasoned Linux pros out there.

1) From command line, if I execute startx, X11 will launch followed by LXDE. If I had a monitor connected, I'm imagining I would see a transition from command line to the desktop environment. Can I launch X11 first with x, then start LXDE on top of X11 afterwards with /etc/init.d/lxdm start (is this correct?) and get to the same result as startx?

2) Instead, let's say I executed /etc/init.d/lxdm start alone, would X11 start automatically (since LXDE relies on X11)?

3) From desktop, if I CTRL+ALT+F1 to get back to command line, then I should be able to shutdown LXDE using /etc/init.d/lxdm stop. Does X11 automatically close with the termination of LXDE?

4) What is the proper/safe way to shutdown X11?


1 Answer 1


1) If you launch X by itself, you'll likely find yourself sitting there with a blank grey screen with an X for the mouse cursor. The X window system provides the ability to put graphics onto the screen, but you need other components to actually put the things onto the screen. Starting LXDM starts X as it is a dependency for LXDM to actually run, so there is no real reason to start X first and then use /etc/init.d/lxdm start.

2) Yes it would. You're starting the Desktop Manager which then starts the desktop environment to provide you with a GUI.

3) Yes it does. The Desktop Manager (LXDM) is what provides X in the form of the LXDE (Desktop Environment)

4) I use /etc/init.d/lxdm stop. Generally using the init.d scripts are the safest way to stop services to ensure that no stale files are left behind. With X though, I don't think there is any harm is just doing a killall -9 lxdm

  • 1
    Just installed lxde on Debian 9.5 - but I have no /etc/init.d/lxdm on my system... Oct 19, 2018 at 18:54
  • Did you install LXDM too? I believe the default DM on Debian is LightDM
    – Lawrence
    Oct 22, 2018 at 1:39
  • Oh... no I didn't install LXDM. Wouldn't I have gotten that when I installed LXDE? And do I really need to install something separately just to stop LXDE?? Oct 22, 2018 at 1:55
  • LXDE doesn't always install LXDM. If you have lightdm installed, you just run /etc/init.d/lightdm stop instead of lxdm
    – Lawrence
    Oct 22, 2018 at 2:04
  • I don't have lxdm installed. But do I really need that to LXDE?! I don't quite understand LXDE vs LXDM... Oct 22, 2018 at 15:21

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