Introduction to Xfce4 Session

Xfce4 Session is a session manager for Xfce. Its task is to save the state of your desktop (opened applications and their location) and restore it during a next startup. You can create several different sessions and choose one of them on startup.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.8 platform.

Package Information

Xfce4 Session Dependencies


libwnck-2.30.7, libxfce4ui-4.12.1, Which-2.21, and Xorg Applications


Required Runtime


User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/xfce4-session

Installation of Xfce4 Session

Install Xfce4 Session by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --sysconfdir=/etc \
            --disable-legacy-sm &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--disable-legacy-sm: This switch disables legacy session management which isn't necessary on modern system.

Configuring Xfce4 Session

There are several optional run time dependencies for Xfce4: ConsoleKit2-1.0.0, D-Bus-1.10.0, GnuPG-2.1.7, hicolor-icon-theme-0.15 and OpenSSH-7.1p1

When building an Xfce4 package, some configuration files are installed in /usr/share/applications, /usr/share/icons, and /usr/share/mime. In order to use those files in your Xfce4 session, you need to update various databases. Do that by running, as the root user (you need to have the recommended dependencies installed):

update-desktop-database &&

Starting Xfce4

You can start Xfce4 from runlevel 3, using xinit-1.3.4, or from runlevel 5, using a Display Manager, such as sddm-0.12.0.

To start Xfce4 using xinit-1.3.4, run the following commands:

cat > ~/.xinitrc << "EOF"
ck-launch-session dbus-launch --exit-with-session startxfce4


The X session starts on the first unused virtual terminal, normally vt7. You can switch to another vtn simultaneously pressing the keys Ctrl-Alt-Fn (n=1, 2, ...). To switch back to the X session, normally started at vt7, use Ctrl-Alt-F7. The vt where the command startx was executed will display many messages, including X starting messages, applications automatically started with the session, and eventually, some warning and error messages. You may prefer to redirect those messages to a log file, which not only will keep the initial vt uncluttered, but can also be used for debug purposes. This can be done starting X with:

startx &> ~/.x-session-errors


You may wish to drop consolekit and/or dbus-launch, e.g., just using startxfce4 in ~/.xinitrc. However some capabilities such as mounting or umounting file systems from a file manager will not be possible, or the reboot option will be absent or inoperative, among other problems.

When shutting down or rebooting, the shutdown messages appear on the vt where X was running. If you wish to see those messages, simultaneously press keys Alt-F7 (assuming that X was running on vt7).


Installed Programs: xfce4-session, xfce4-session-logout, xfce4-session-settings and xfce4-tips
Installed Library: libxfsm-4.6.so
Installed Directories: /usr/include/xfce4/xfce4-session-4.6, /usr/share/xfce4/tips and /usr/share/doc/xfce4-session-4.12.1

Short Descriptions


starts up the Xfce Desktop Environment.


logs out from Xfce.


is a GTK+ 2 GUI which allows you to alter your preferences for your Xfce Session.


is a GTK+ 2 GUI which displays tips when you log in to an Xfce Session.


contains the Xfce Session API functions.

Last updated on 2015-09-29 14:49:19 -0700