Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for unix-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and easy to use.

Xfce is based on the GTK+ toolkit version 2 (like ["Gnome"]). One of Xfce priority is adhereance to standards, specifically those defined at freedesktop.org. This allows Xfce to seamlessly interoperate with programs written for other desktop environments, if those programs follow the specified standards.

Xfce consists of a number of components that together provide the full functionality of the desktop environment. They are packaged separately and you can pick and choose from the available packages to create the best personal working environment. (from http://www.loculus.nl/xfce/documentation/xfce4-intro.html)

How to install Xfce

Install a fresh system with XFCE

If you install a new system, you can choose to install XFCE directly :

  1. At debian installer boot prompt, press the tab key to edit the command line, then add desktop=xfce (in DebianEtch, you had to type tasks="standard, xfde-desktop, laptop"... where laptop is, well, for laptops only! ).

  2. When prompted to select the task to install, make sure you click "Desktop Environment"

See, Selecting and Installing Software of [http://www.debian.org/releases/etch/i386/ch06s03.html.en#pkgsel Etch] and [http://d-i.alioth.debian.org/manual/en.i386/ch06s03.html#pkgsel Lenny] installation guide.

Install Xfce in an already installed system

To get a bare minimum base install of X, do:

aptitude install xorg

To install Xfce do the following:

aptitude install xfce4

You can also install the Xfce task, using aptitude:

aptitude install xfce4

This will install a meta package, which will install the core XFCE modules and scripts to get it to work.

There are many useful utilities that come with XFCE, to install these do:

aptitude install xfce4-goodies

Other Packages

Other packages that can be found with

aptitude search xfce4