How to Install Debian 11 KDE Plasma Edition

Debian 11, codenamed ‘Bullseye‘ is the latest LTS version of Debian which was released on August 21, 2021.

Being an LTS release, Debian 11 will receive support and updates until 2025. The release includes 11,294 new packages for a total count of 59,551 packages. Additionally, it has seen, a significant reduction of over 9,519 packages that were marked as obsolete and removed.

Debian 11 brings a boatload of improvements and new features which include:

  • Updated Kernel (5.10).
  • Support for a myriad of architectures such as amd64, i386, PowerPC, aarch64, and others.
  • Newer software versions such as Samba 4.13, Apache 2.4, LibreOffice 7.0, MariaDB 10.5, Perl 5.32, PostgreSQL 13, and many others.
  • Driverless printing and scanning.

In addition, Debian 11 ships with other Desktop environments which include:

  • GNOME 3.38
  • KDE Plasma 5.20
  • MATE 1.24
  • XFCE 4.16
  • LXQt 0.16
  • LXDE 11


To install Debian 11 KDE Plasma Edition, here is what you need,

  • An 8GB USB drive to serve as an installation medium.
  • A high-speed internet connection.

Further, ensure that your system meets the following minimum recommended requirements.

  • Minimum of 2GB of RAM (Recommended 4GB).
  • Minimum of 1 GHz Dual core processor.
  • 20 GB of free hard disk space.
  • HD graphics card and monitor.

Let us now get into the installation of the Debian 11 KDE Plasma Desktop.

Step 1: Download Debian 11 DVD ISO

The first step is to down the Debian 11 ISO image file. So, head over to the official Debian download page and download the DVD ISO file. Once downloaded, use any of these tools to create a bootable USB drive.

Next, plug the bootable USB drive into your PC and reboot. Be sure to set the installation medium as the first priority in the boot order in the BIOS settings. Save the changes and continue to boot.

Step 2: Installing Debian 11 KDE Edition

Once powered on, the following screen will appear with a list of installation options. Since our goal is to install Debian, we will go with the first option which will provide a graphical installation method.

Debian 11 Boot MenuDebian 11 Boot Menu
Debian 11 Boot Menu

In the next step select your preferred installation language and click ‘Continue’.

Debian 11 LanguageDebian 11 Language
Debian 11 Language

Next, select your preferred geographical location. The selected location will be used to determine your time zone. Ideally, this should be your country of residence.

Once you are done, click ‘Continue’.

Debian 11 LocationDebian 11 Location
Debian 11 Location

Next, select your preferred keyboard layout and click ‘Continue’.

Debian 11 KeyboardDebian 11 Keyboard
Debian 11 Keyboard

Next, provide the system hostname which will identify it in a network, and click ‘Continue’.

Debian 11 HostnameDebian 11 Hostname
Debian 11 Hostname

Next, provide a domain name. This is optional and you can leave it out if you don’t want your system to be part of a domain. Then click ‘Continue’ to move to the next step.

Debian 11 Domain NameDebian 11 Domain Name
Debian 11 Domain Name

In this step, you will be required to set a root password for the root user or account. Be sure to provide a strong password with a blend of letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, be cautious not to provide a password that easily identifies you or is contained in a dictionary.

Then click ‘Continue’ to proceed to the next step.

Debian 11 Root PasswordDebian 11 Root Password
Debian 11 Root Password

After defining a password for the root user, you will be required to create a login user. So, first, provide the full name of the user and click ‘Continue’.

Debian 11 User NameDebian 11 User Name
Debian 11 User Name

Next, provide a username for your account and click ‘Continue’.

Create User AccountCreate User Account
Create User Account

And as you did with the root account, provide a strong password for your login user. Then click ‘Continue’.

Create User PasswordCreate User Password
Create User Password

Next, set the desired timezone based on the location you selected in the ‘Select Location’ step.

Set Debian TimezoneSet Debian Timezone
Set Debian Timezone

Step 3: Partitioning Disk for Debian Installation

The installer provides four installation options for partitioning your disk:

  • Guided – use entire disk (Uses the entire disk and automatically creates one primary partition and swap area in the entire disk).
  • Guided – Use the entire disk and set up LVM (Automatically creates an LVM-based partition on the entire disk).
  • Guided – use the entire disk and set up encrypted LVM (In addition to creating LVM-based partitions, this option encrypts data).
  • Manual – This option grants you the autonomy to create your own custom partitions.

In this guide, we will select the first option which will make things easier by automatically creating the salient disk partitions.

Debian 11 Disk PartitioningDebian 11 Disk Partitioning
Debian 11 Disk Partitioning

In the next step, select the disk to be partitioned and click ‘Continue’. If you have one hard drive, then only one will be listed as shown below.

Debian 11 Disk SelectionDebian 11 Disk Selection
Debian 11 Disk Selection

In the next step, select your preferred partition scheme and click ‘Continue’.

Debian 11 Partitioning SchemeDebian 11 Partitioning Scheme
Debian 11 Partitioning Scheme

A summary of the disk partitions will be displayed as shown. If you are satisfied with the changes, then select ‘Finish Partitioning and Write changes to disk’ and click ‘Continue’. Otherwise, you can click ‘Undo changes to partitions’ and repartition your hard disk.

Debian 11 Partition SummaryDebian 11 Partition Summary
Debian 11 Partition Summary

Next, select ‘write changes to disk’ and click ‘Continue’.

Debian 11 Disk ChangesDebian 11 Disk Changes
Debian 11 Disk Changes

Step 4: Installation of Debian 11

Once the disk partitioning is complete, the installer will proceed to install the base system. This is a minimal set of packages that provides a basic and working system also known as the core.

Installing Debian Base SystemInstalling Debian Base System
Installing Debian Base System

Next, you will be asked if you wish to scan another installation media. You can safely decline and select ‘No’ and click ‘Continue’.

Configure Debian Package ManagerConfigure Debian Package Manager
Configure Debian Package Manager

In the next step, select ‘Yes’ to use a network mirror which will provide additional software packages and desktop environments.

Debian 11 Network MirrorDebian 11 Network Mirror
Debian 11 Network Mirror

Next, select the country closest to you from which you will get the mirror and click ‘Continue’.

Choose Debian Mirror CountryChoose Debian Mirror Country
Choose Debian Mirror Country

Next, select your preferred Debian archive mirror and click ‘Continue’.

Choose Debian MirrorChoose Debian Mirror
Choose Debian Mirror

If you are using HTTP Proxy, provide the proxy address, otherwise, simply click ‘Continue’.

Choose HTTP ProxyChoose HTTP Proxy
Choose HTTP Proxy

Next, you will be asked to participate in the package survey, choose ‘No’, and then click ‘Continue’.

Choose Debian SurveyChoose Debian Survey
Choose Debian Survey

In the next step, the installer will give you a list of desktop environments to choose from. Since our goal is to install KDE Plasma Edition, select ‘KDE Plasma’ and click ‘Continue’.

Choose Debian KDE DesktopChoose Debian KDE Desktop
Choose Debian KDE Desktop

From here, the installation of Debian 11 will continue as the installer copies all the remaining files of the desktop environment that you have chosen. This takes quite a bit of time (roughly 20 minutes).

Debian 11 InstallationDebian 11 Installation
Debian 11 Installation

Next, select ‘Yes’ when prompted to install the GRUB boot loader to the primary drive.

Install Grub LoaderInstall Grub Loader
Install Grub Loader

When the installation is complete, click ‘Continue’ to reboot in order to boot from your new Debian KDE Plasma edition. Additionally, be sure to remove the installation medium.

Debian 11 Installation CompletesDebian 11 Installation Completes
Debian 11 Installation Completes

Once the system has rebooted, provide your password and hit ‘ENTER’ to log in.

Debian 11 LoginDebian 11 Login
Debian 11 Login

This ushers you to the KDE Plasma Desktop as shown.

Debian 11 KDE Plasma DesktopDebian 11 KDE Plasma Desktop
Debian 11 KDE Plasma Desktop

In this guide, we have successfully installed Debian 11 KDE Plasma Edition.

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