Switching Raspbian to Pixel desktop

Official Raspbian images based on Debian Stretch by default has the Pixel desktop environment and will login new users to it. But if you have had a Raspbian installation with another DE (such as LXDE), here are the steps to install and login to the Pixel desktop.

  1. apt-get install raspberrypi-ui-mods
  2. sed -i 's/^autologin-user=pi/#autologin-user=pi/' /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf
  3. update-alternatives --set x-session-manager /usr/bin/startlxde-pi
  4. sed -i 's/^Session=.*/Session=lightdm-xsession/' ${USER}/.dmrc

Make sure the user’s ‘.dmrc’ file is updated with the new startlxde-pi session as that is where lightdm login manager looks to decide which desktop should be launched.