How to Install Ly Window Manager on Debian 11

Ly is a free, open-source, minimalistic, and lightweight terminal-based display manager for Linux.

Ly is a great alternative to those who are used to staring at the terminal window all day.

Let us now discuss how to install it on Debian 11.

Update System

The first step is to refresh the repository cache and update the packages. We can do this using the commands:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

Once completed, we can proceed with the installation.

Installing Dependencies.

To install ly, we will require a few dependencies. For simplicity, run the command below:

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential libpam0g-dev libxcb-xkb-dev git -y

Installing Ly

The next step is to install the ly display manager. Start by opening your terminal window and clone the repository as shown below:

git clone --recurse-submodules

Once completed, navigate into the directory.

$ cd ly

Run the compile command as shown:

$ make

Once the compilation is complete, run the command below to test the display manager in your current tty session.

$ sudo make run

If successful, you should see a window as shown:

Press CTRL + C to exit to your terminal window.

The next step is to install Ly and its systemd service. The command is as shown:

$ sudo make install

Once installed, run the command below to enable the systemd service.

$ sudo systemctl enable ly

NOTE: You may need to uninstall your current dm to make this work.


This short article covers how to install the ly display manager on your Debian 11 installation. Check the docs to learn more.

About the author

John Otieno

My name is John and am a fellow geek like you. I am passionate about all things computers from Hardware, Operating systems to Programming. My dream is to share my knowledge with the world and help out fellow geeks. Follow my content by subscribing to LinuxHint mailing list