Introduction to XFce

The XFce package contains a lightweight desktop environment.

Package Information

XFce Dependencies


GTK+-2.8.20 and libxml2-2.6.26


GDM-2.14.10, librsvg-2.14.4 (xffm links to librsvg automatically if librsvg is installed), libgtkhtml-2.11.0, startup-notification-0.8, and a2ps-4.13b (required to build xfprint).

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/xfce

Installation of XFce

A bare minimum XFce setup requires installation of the following packages:

  • libxfce4util-

  • dbh-1.0.24

  • libxfcegui4-

  • libxfce4mcs-

  • xfce-mcs-manager-

  • xfwm4-

  • xfce4-panel-

  • xfdesktop-

  • xfce-utils-

Install the minimum applications by issuing the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc &&

If you use GDM-2.14.10 as your display manager and would like to be able to log into an XFce session from the login prompt, pass the --enable-gdm option to the xfce-utils- configure script (requires which-2.16 to be installed at run time).

Now, as the root user:

make install

In addition, you may choose to install:

  • gtk-xfce-engine-2.2.8

  • xfcalendar-

  • xfce-mcs-plugins-

  • xfce4-appfinder-

  • xfce4-icon-theme-

  • xfce4-iconbox-

  • xfce4-mixer-

  • xfce4-session-

  • xfce4-systray-

  • xfce4-toys-

  • xfce4-trigger-launcher-

  • xffm-

  • xfprint-

  • xfwm4-themes-

Install the remaining applications using the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc \
     --libexecdir=/usr/lib/xfce4 &&

Also, xfprint can be configured with --enable-cups if you have CUPS-1.2.7 installed.

And then as root:

make install

As the root user, move the help documentation to the standard BLFS location and modify the help script to look for it there:

mv -vf /usr/share/xfce4/doc /usr/share/doc/xfce4 &&
sed -i 's@xfce4/doc@doc/xfce4@' /usr/bin/xfhelp4

Command Explanations

--sysconfdir=/etc: libxfce4util, xfce4-panel, xfdesktop, xfce-utils and xfce4-session require this parameter because the path is built into the library or they install configuration files in /etc/xdg.

--libexecdir=/usr/lib/xfce4: xfce4-session requires this parameter to install some utility programs to the correct location.

Configuring XFce

Configuration Information

XFce will look for the theme index from hicolor-icon-theme-0.9 at run-time. Ensure you install the package before launching XFce.

Issue the command below to create an .xinitrc file which will automatically run the appropriate XFce programs when the X Window system is launched. Be sure to backup your existing .xinitrc file before proceeding.

cat > ~/.xinitrc << "EOF"
xfwm4 --daemon
xftaskbar4 &
xfdesktop &
exec xfce4-panel


Installed Programs: fgr, scramble, startxfce4, xfbook, xfbook4, xfcalendar, xfce-mcs-manager, xfce-setting-show, xfce4-about, xfce4-appfinder, xfce4-iconbox, xfce4-kiosk-query, xfce4-menueditor, xfce4-mixer, xfce4-panel, xfce4-session, xfce4-session-logout, xfce4-tips, xfdesktop, xfdiff4, xffm, xffrequent, xffrequent4, xffstab, xffstab4, xfglob4, xfhelp4, xflock4, xfmime-edit, xfmountdev4, xfrecent, xfrecent4, xfprint-manager, xfprint4, xfrun4, xfsamba4, xftaskbar4, xfterm4, xftrash4, xftree4, and xfwm4
Installed Libraries: libxfce4util.{a,so}, libdbh.{a,so}, libxfcegui4.{a,so}, libxfce4mcs.{a,so}, libxffm_actions.so, libxffm_basic.so, libxffm_calls.so, libxffm_cpy.so, libxffm_on_demand.so, libxffm_secondary.so, libxffm_tubo.so, libxfsm-4.2.{a,so}
Installed Directories: /usr/lib/xfce4, /usr/share/doc/xfce4, /usr/share/xfce4, /usr/share/xffm and /usr/share/xfwm4

Short Descriptions


is a file content search engine for xffm.


is a script which starts up the XFce Desktop Environment.


is the settings manager for XFce.


displays the about box.


saves the state of your desktop and restores it when you next start XFce.


displays the settings for XFce.


is the panel manager for XFce. It contains the launcher, clock, mail check, desktop switcher and separator programs.


is the desktop manager for XFce.


is script that launches a HTML browser to display online documentation. It requires which to run.


is a script used to lock the current screen during drag and drop actions.


mounts a device on the specified mount point and launches xftree4, then unmounts the device when xftree4 finishes.


is the program launcher for XFce.


is the Samba front end for XFce.


is the taskbar manager for XFce.


is a small terminal wrapper to be used as a drag and drop action for the XFce front panel. It requires which to run.


is a small binary to be used as a drag and drop action for the XFce front panel.


is the file manager for XFce.


is an X11 window manager for XFce.

Last updated on 2007-01-29 23:25:21 -0600