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:
root # epro mix-ins +xfce
Then, verify that you have the X.Org Server configured properly. If X.Org is installed on your system, you are now ready to install Xfce. Install the meta-package, which pulls in all of the components you need for a minimal Xfce installation:
root # emerge xfce4-meta
There are several different ways to start Xfce:
- Editing the
.xinitrcfile in your user's home directory and using
startxfrom 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
user $ echo "exec startxfce4 --with-ck-launch" > ~/.xinitrc
--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. Also, configuring the GTK+ theme and other forms of theming through No results do not often work without the
--with-ck-launch command line option. Because we are launching XFCE with a consolekit command line option, we need to add ConsoleKit to the
default runlevel, executing the following command as root:
root # rc-update add consolekit default root # rc
Finally, to start the graphical environment, run
startx from a login shell:
user $ startx
After running this command, you should be greeted by your shiny new XFCE desktop. For more information about configuring XFCE and some of the default applications that come with it, consider looking at XFCE configuration and XFCE applications.
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 from the Funtoo repositories:
- 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:
root # emerge <display manager of choice>
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 and the
dbus service to the
default runlevel, and start the services:
DISPLAYMANAGER="<display manager name>"
root # rc-update add xdm default root # rc-update add dbus default root # rc
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:
root # gpasswd -a <username> power
If the group does not exist then execute the following and try again:
root # groupadd power
XFCE configuration and XFCE applications
For more information on configuring XFCE and the default applications provided by XFCE, such as
xfce4-terminal, consider following some of the below listed links:
- GUI settings configuration for XFCE
- The default terminal emulator for XFCE
- An alternate menu for the XFCE panel
- A list of the various plugins available for
- A list of the plugins available for the Thunar file manager
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
root # emerge [name of plugin]
|xfce-extra/tumbler||A thumbnail service for the filemanager of Xfce desktop environment. Installed by default in Funtoo|
|xfce-extra/thunar-volman||Daemon that enforces volume-related policies. Installed by default Funtoo|
|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-volumed-pulse||Daemon to control volume keys for pulseaudio|
|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. Installed by default in Funtoo|
|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|
|media-gfx/ristretto||A image viewer by Xfce project. Installed by default in Funtoo|