Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 13th Nov 2003 19:25 UTC
Xfce Xfce is an easy-to-use and easy-to-configure environment for X11 based on GTK2. A priority is adherence to standards, specifically those defined at This version has various small bugfixes including panel and window manager fixes. New translations are available. French documentation has been added.
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All quiet here!
by 5YrLinuxUser on Thu 13th Nov 2003 19:35 UTC

Can't believe nobody has made a post about this yet. Sure, XFce doesn't get as much press as GNOME and KDE, but it's arguably a lot better -- small, clean, easy to use and orders of magnitude faster than the big two.

Basically, it makes Linux boxes feel fast and slimline again, instead of bloated and sluggish XP-alikes. Hurrah!


I agree
by nego` on Thu 13th Nov 2003 19:40 UTC

I am just glad it got coverage, it's a great DE imo. Small and clean, just plain easy to get work done with it. KDE and Gnome are nice, but sometimes I feel they can be overkill.

i got it
by Cheapskate on Thu 13th Nov 2003 19:43 UTC

found it listed in freshmeat this morning, downloaded & installed it, could not see any difference in 4 but since it has some bug fixes i am leaving it installed, i never experienced the panel crashes as reported, here is a copy & paste of the updates.

Xfce 4.0.1 is a bugfix release and contains no grand new features. Changes include:

* Fixed panel crash with corrupted config file
* Window management improvement
* Improved handling of multiple selections in the file manager
* French translations for the documentation
* Translation updates
* A new Gtk2 theme called "Xfce-winter"

as I always say...
by pi on Thu 13th Nov 2003 19:44 UTC

I LOVE XFCE4. It's slim and fast.

You can use your mouse scroll wheel to switch desktops by moving up or down with the mouse wheel. You can also use the mouse wheel to shade/unshade windows...

by Bram on Thu 13th Nov 2003 19:51 UTC

XFCE should provide an easy upgrade script. I for one can't be bothered to upgrade my 4.0RC3 if it means recompiling the entire source tree.
Other from that XFCE is without a doubt the best desktop-env/wm on the planet ;) .

Cordonnier mal chaussť!
by Manik on Thu 13th Nov 2003 19:52 UTC

French documentation has been added

newbie question
by Mike on Thu 13th Nov 2003 19:52 UTC

the screen shots show no desktop icons, can you add them easily?

re: newbie question
by pi on Thu 13th Nov 2003 19:54 UTC

I'm not sure if you can have desktop icons by default using XFCE (I don't use desktop icons at all), but if you run nautilus you can have them for sure.

Re: Bram
by Gabe Yoder on Thu 13th Nov 2003 20:21 UTC

I personally don't think they should be required to make an upgrade script (it isn't that big of a D.E.). In my opinion, your distro/OS should provide you with easy upgrading tools so that the software providers can concentrate more on improving the product and less on dealing with integration issues of supporting the hordes of platforms that use X. Gentoo already has builds for the new version in portage, and FreeBSD will probably have it in ports soon if it isn't there already.

RE: newbie question
by TheMatt on Thu 13th Nov 2003 20:22 UTC

Nope, no desktop icons possible under XFce4. That is, without running Nautilus or similar (I think I've seen ROX-Filer used). You can use the Iconbox which I use instead of the taskbar for icons when you minimize, but you can't put things on the desktop.

RE: Re: Bram
by TheMatt on Thu 13th Nov 2003 20:25 UTC

If you use Fedora Core or RH 9, NewRPMs will probably have 4.0.1 in its Apt/Yum repo soon. Then you can just yum update it to new state. It even has a "metapackage" like Gentoo has a "metaebuild".

RE: Re: Bram
by Bram on Thu 13th Nov 2003 20:41 UTC

I fail to see why my operating system should have anything to do with my windowmanager in the first place.
The people of my favourite OS have better things to do than care about such futile things.
And yes, it may be in the ports soon, but FreeBSD ports often don't compile very well on FreeBSD-current and so on and so forth.
It's not like producing an upgrade script is any hard. XFCE should simply store the configure options you used during the last build and re-use them on all the packages that were changed.
But instead the kind XFCE people don't even list *which* packages exactly where modified and to what extent. Which is disturbing.

RE: newbie question
by Figa on Thu 13th Nov 2003 20:47 UTC

Nautilus is part of what makes Gnome so s l o w like winXP. It defeats the whole purpose to run it along with Xfce. Might be better to run Rox like someone said.

by amiroff on Thu 13th Nov 2003 20:47 UTC

Kudos to this desktop. I heard about it on this site and now I am a XFCE addicted (being former gnome addicted and developer). Xfce+Gdesklets+Grellm makes it real eye candy and speedy desktop. I advice using it to everyone !

RE: Bram
by 5YrLinuxUser on Thu 13th Nov 2003 21:11 UTC

"But instead the kind XFCE people don't even list *which* packages exactly where modified and to what extent. Which is disturbing."

Instead of mouthing off, why not actually look for yourself? The release notes list exactly what has changed, and which packages have remained the same:


Re: Figa
by Darius on Thu 13th Nov 2003 21:34 UTC

Nautilus is part of what makes Gnome so s l o w like winXP. It defeats the whole purpose to run it along with Xfce. Might be better to run Rox like someone said.

In WinXP, turn off webfolders/Active Desktop and try some of these tweaks ...

And then come back and tell us how slow it is ;)

by ky0 on Thu 13th Nov 2003 21:46 UTC

xfce is a great DE for older machines, like my thinkpad 600e with a p2 366. I actually removed XFCE and run fluxbox now installed but I did load xffm. It is a great samba gui util. Xfce is really useful if you do not need all the bloat of gnome or kde.

desktop icons
by Nikola Pizurica on Thu 13th Nov 2003 22:04 UTC

If you want dektop icons with XFce4, ROX works great:

XFce4 is now my default desktop, after years of running BeOS, I finaly gave up. GNOME and KDE both runs slow, but XFce is awesome. Fast, almost like BeOS.
Also, don't forget xffm, very good file manager.

RE: desktop icons.
by cheezwog on Thu 13th Nov 2003 22:43 UTC

Sorry, off topic, but what mplayer skin is that in the screenie?
I use xfce 4.0 on my gentoo box, but have not found a skin for mplayer that fits with the xfce look. (The default mplayer skin sucks.)

This DE works for me!
by psilo on Thu 13th Nov 2003 23:47 UTC

I'm liking it a lot. xffm could use some improvements though , but I love it's two trees approach. If you never use desktop icons (like me), don't like startbuttons (like me), expect to find a usefull action at every mouse-button (like me), don't like endless hierarchies in menus (like me), then give XFCE4 a try.

@Nicola Pizurica
by deleted on Fri 14th Nov 2003 00:05 UTC

Dude, your fonts are awesome. What distro are you using? Those fonts are damn smooth. The best I've seen.

So what makes a DE a DE?
by bsd_usr on Fri 14th Nov 2003 00:58 UTC

I've used XFCE but what really sets it apart from KDE and GNOME as a Desktop Enviroment (DE)? As far as I know, it doesn't have an application framework like GNOME and KDE. Athough, I could be wrong on that. So what makes it a DE and not just a window manager + config utilities?

It's just that I don't see the big difference? Or is that it? That any window manager with it's own configuration utilities and "branded" applications (ie. xftree, etc) can be a DE?

I'm not saying it's bad or anything, but I just was curious at to the criteria for labeling a "window manager + utilities" as a DE. Would fluxbox + roxfiler be a DE? Probably not. So then what makes a DE a DE?

So far I have it installed on my FreeBSD 5.x box and it runs great and all. Just thought I'd mention that.

how does xfce compare to other slim guis?
by walterbyrd on Fri 14th Nov 2003 01:07 UTC

How does xfce compare to blackbox or windowmaker or icewm? btw: I saw rox mentioned earlier, I use rox: it is amazingly fast even on an older low-end system.

YUM install
by Anonymous on Fri 14th Nov 2003 03:58 UTC

where might I find a yum repository with xfce?

Re: Figa
by Figa on Fri 14th Nov 2003 05:08 UTC

Try Xp on my pentium computers and then come back and tell us how slow it is!

I have a bunch of 133MHz running happily on Slack with Flux and all. They still make great pcs for those with limited resources. Humm! I wonder if you can install XP on them.


gentoo ebuilds
by kvh on Fri 14th Nov 2003 05:29 UTC

RE: cheezwog (IP:
Looks like gentoo doesn't have any 4+ ebuilds. Did you roll your own?

It's one reason...
by foo on Fri 14th Nov 2003 06:19 UTC

Xfce is one reason I enjoy the light-gui morphix linux distro so much...really looks great if you work on it for a few minutes with the config tools provided...

This and fluxbox = window heaven ;)

I first got acquainted with XFCE4 via Morphix LightGUI, and I've never looked back to KDE or Gnome. (Well, in fact I tend to check these both out every time a new release comes out, but so far I've seen no reason to leave my trusty old XFCE4.) 4.0.1 is a bugfix release but I haven't actually noticed any serious bugs in 4.0. It has run very smoothly on my Debian box and I'm quite happy with it.

Some people have recommended MenuMaker to build desktop menus, but in Debian it's better to just use the menu-update that actually is part of the distribution. I tried MenuMaker in Slackware but it didn't detect all my installed apps. (Well, if you absolutely NEED to do XFCE4 outside Debian, MenuMaker is quite probably your best choice.)

I'm personally NOT a great fan of desktop shortcut icons - IMO they make the desktop look cluttered and unprofessional. In my humble opinion, the XFCE4 panel is the optimal way to launch applications. (O.K., sometimes I use the desktop menu, but very rarely. If you know what programs you are going to launch most often, you can simply set these programs to appear in the XFCE4 panel. I've also applied this thinking to some of my customers and they all seem to like my ideas so far.)

Xffm (the file manager) is amazingly good in dealing with my fstab entries (samba, cd-roms, floppies, and WinXP ntfs), but in day-to-day file management I still tend to resort to xfe and midnight commander - just because they're so easy to use. Old habits die hard, I guess. Still, the xffm developers could SERIOUSLY consider learning something from these older apps. (*hint* The Xandros file manager seems to bring together both the functionality of xffm and the pleasing design of xfe - which makes it a 'killer app'.)

One feature that sets XFCE4 apart from the wannabe-DE's is the print manager. First you must set up your printcap either with CUPS or with apsfilter (like I did). Next you must set up your printer in xfprint - and this is very easy, just clicking with mouse will set this feature up for you in no time at all. After that you can just drag-and-drop a file to print it. It's all amazingly simple, really.

In my opinion, XFCE4 is on par with the big desktops, KDE and Gnome. If I was to make a new Linux distro, I'd most likely build it around XFCE4. Well, that's just my opinion - I like very much Morphix/Debian GNU/Linux and I'll expect that also Vector Linux will update their XFCE to version 4 very soon. Morphix and Vector are both good lightweight distros in my opinion - they both promote XFCE, my favourite DE, so I also promote them as much as I can. :-)

IMHO, Fedora, Mandrake, and SuSE all suck deep because they simply aren't built around XFCE4. XFCE4 is the DE of the future, as far as I'm concerned. Just listen to Robbie Williams and his song 'Millenium'. You'll porobably notice that the millenium has changed and that new ideas will keep floating around. That's the spirit of the age - and you are supposed to grab it. Please try out XFCE4. :-)

well well
by natefrogg on Fri 14th Nov 2003 08:26 UTC

all this going on about it makes me want to try it right now


cd /usr/ports/x11-wm/xfce4
make install && make clean

MPlayer skin and fonts
by Nikola Pizurica on Fri 14th Nov 2003 09:32 UTC

@ cheezwog:
I've made that mplayer skin, as you say, all other suck, and I wanted native look and feel, not some ugly 80's CD player feel.
@ deleted:
It's RH9, Betstream Vera fonts.

by postman on Fri 14th Nov 2003 10:16 UTC

Do yourself a favor. Try it! Try also the goodies section
where at list I have found many useful plugins (calendar,
battery indicator etc.)

@Nikola Pizurica
by Arne Karstensen on Fri 14th Nov 2003 15:00 UTC

Just wanted to give you a huge thank you for the skin, it's great!

Easy to configure menus
by mattK on Fri 14th Nov 2003 18:45 UTC

I like XFCE for the ease of configuring menus. I can't stand to load up a seperate program just to put an item in a menu, can't believe no other wm has an equivalent.

RE: MPlayer skin and fonts
by DeadFish Man on Fri 14th Nov 2003 19:11 UTC

@ cheezwog:
I've made that mplayer skin, as you say, all other suck, and I wanted native look and feel, not some ugly 80's CD player feel.

It looks great. Did you already submitted it to the MPlayer homepage? If not, please do it as soon as possible because this skin looks gorgeous in a GNOME or XFCE desktop.


it looks incomplete
by Anonymous on Fri 14th Nov 2003 20:23 UTC

am i doing something wrong? i installed xfce4 on debian and it looks incomplete. also the look and feel is not very good. so what's the hype about? i don't understand

Off topic: re: MPlayer skin
by Nikola Pizurica on Fri 14th Nov 2003 20:26 UTC

@ Arne Karstensen
Thank you :-) I can't code, but I can use Gimp :-)

@ DeadFish Man

I didn't submit it, yet. I will soon.