How to Install the Pantheon Desktop on Debian

Pantheon is one of the most popular new desktop environments in the Linux world. It was originally created for Elementary OS, but it’s spreading to other distributions. Unfortunately, there are no official packages for Debian. Learn how to install Panthon from a third party repository on Debian.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to Install the Required Dependencies.
  • How to Download and Install The Repository.
  • How to Install Pantheon on Debian.
  • How to Install Pantheon Extras on Debian.

Pantheon Desktop on Debian

Pantheon Desktop on Debian.

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Debian
Software Pantheon Desktop Environment
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

How to Install the Required Dependencies

Before you can set up the Pantheon repository on Debian, you’re going to need a few dependencies. Install those those first.

$ sudo apt install apt-transport-https software-properties-common wget

How to Download and Install The Repository

The developer behind the Pantheon repository has provided a convenient package to automatically set it up on your system. Actually there are two different packages. One targets Debian Stable, while the other is for Testing and Sid. Use wget to pull the package for your version of Debian.

Download the Pantheon Repository on Debian

Download the Pantheon Repository on Debian.


$ wget


$ wget

Next, install the package with dpkg.


$ sudo dpkg -i pantheon-debian-repos_0.4-0+pantheon+stretch+loki1_all.deb


$ sudo dpkg -i pantheon-debian-repos_5.0-0+pantheon+buster+juno1_all.deb

Update Apt to include the new repository

$ sudo apt update

How to Install Pantheon

You’re ready to install Pantheon on Debian. You have two options here. You can install the complete Pantheon with the greeter, or you can install only the desktop environment. Which is entirely up to you.

Install Pantheon Desktop on Debian

Install Pantheon Desktop on Debian.

Full Desktop

$ sudo apt install pantheon

Just The Desktop

$ sudo apt install pantheon-shell

How to Install Pantheon Extras

There are also tools available for customization and integration. These come straight from Elementary, but they’ve been rebuilt for Debian. None of these are mandatory, but they’ll help polish the desktop.

$ sudo apt install elementary-tweaks indicator-application indicator-systemtray-unity indicator-multiload
Log in to Pantheon Desktop on Debian

Log in to Pantheon Desktop on Debian.

When you’re ready to use Pantheon, reboot Debian, and select Pantheon at the login screen. Pantheon will open up to the default configuration. If you installed the elementary-tweaks package, you can easily customize it.


Your new Pantheon desktop will continue to update from the repositories. When a new Debian or Elementary release arrives, it would be a good idea to check for updated or new repositories for the latest versons of Pantheon.