Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.
Xfce embodies the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and re-usability. It consists of a number of components that provide the full functionality one can expect of a modern desktop environment. They are packaged separately and you can pick among the available packages to create the optimal personal working environment.
Before emerging Xfce you need to:
- Check that you have enabled the USE flags necessary for a XFCE desktop environment. Set your profile to "xfce" via mix-ins, as follows:
# eselect profile add funtoo/1.0/linux-gnu/mix-ins/xfce
- Verify that you have X.Org Server configured properly.
We are now ready to install Xfce. Install the meta-package, which pulls in all of the components you need for a minimal Xfce installation:
# emerge xfce4-meta
There are several different ways to start Xfce:
- Editing the .xinitrc file in your user's home directory and using startx from a text console.
- Using a display manager (e.g. SLiM, GDM, and KDM).
- Configuring your shell profile to automatically start Xfce upon a successful login.
The most common way to start the environment is to configure
~/.xinitrc to launch an Xfce session. The proper way to launch Xfce from the terminal is by using
startxfce4 combined with
$ echo "exec startxfce4 --with-ck-launch" > ~/.xinitrc
Note that --with-ck-launch (from ConsoleKit) is required by Xfce for important tasks such as shutting down, suspending, and automatically mounting removable storage media. Some applications will not work properly without it. Therefore we need to add ConsoleKit to the default runlevel, executing the following command as root:
# rc-update add consolekit default # rc
Finally, to start the graphical environment, run
startx from a login shell:
A display manager is a program that manages sessions and acts as a login screen. Here's a short list of a few of the display managers available in Funtoo:
- XDM (x11-apps/xdm): X.Org's standard display manager.
- LightDM (x11-misc/lightdm): A lightweight, but highly configurable display manager.
- SLiM (x11-misc/slim): Simple Login Manager -- a lightweight display manager. Not very configurable.
Any of these would make a fine choice. After you've chosen which display manager to use, install it:
# emerge lightdm
All that's left to do now is to add the name of the display manager to /etc/conf.d/xdm, add the xdm service to the default runlevel, and start the service:
# rc-update add xdm default # /etc/init.d/xdm start
If you wish to be able to shutdown/reboot/suspend/hibernate using xfce4-logout-session then you will need to add yourself or the user to the power group by:
# gpasswd -a <username> power
If the group does not exist then execute the following and try again:
# groupadd power
Plugins for Thunar and XFCE
There are a lot of plugins available for Thunar and XFCE. Here is a table that contains the name of the plugin and a description of what it does. To install one of the plugins, run
# emerge [name of plugin]
|xfce-extra/thunar-volman||Daemon that enforces volume-related policies|
|xfce-extra/thunar-vcs-plugin||Adds Subversion and GIT actions to the context menu of thunar|
|xfce-extra/thunar-shares-plugin||Thunar plugin to share files using Samba|
|xfce-extra/thunar-archive-plugin||Archive plug-in for the Thunar filemanager|
|xfce-extra/xfce4-volumed||Daemon to control volume up/down and mute keys|
|xfce-extra/xfce4-screenshooter||Xfce4 screenshooter application and panel plugin|
|xfce-extra/xfce4-notifyd||Notification daemon for the Xfce desktop environment|
|xfce-extra/xfce4-mixer||A volume control application (and panel plug-in) for the Xfce desktop environment|
|xfce-extra/xfce4-mount-plugin||A mount plug-in for the Xfce panel|
|xfce-extra/xfce4-clipman-plugin||A clipboard manager plug-in for the Xfce panel|
|xfce-extra/xfce4-battery-plugin||A battery monitor panel plugin for the Xfce desktop environment|