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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 GTK+ version 2 (like Gnome). One of Xfce priorities is adherence 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 a desktop environment. They are packaged separately and you can pick and choose from the available packages to create the best personal working environment.

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 the Debian Installer boot prompt, press the tab key to edit the command line, then add desktop=xfce (in DebianEtch, you have to type tasks="standard, xfce-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 in the Lenny (i386, amd64) or Etch (i386, amd64) 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

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:

aptitude install xfce4-goodies

Other Packages

Other packages that can be found with:

aptitude search xfce4


CategoryDesktopEnvironment