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.
One of Xfce's 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.
Install a new Debian system with Xfce
Alternatively, at the Debian Installer boot prompt, press the Tab key to edit the command line, then add desktop=xfce.
For a complete rundown refer to the Debian Desktop Howto.
Run Debian Live with Xfce
A Debian live system with Xfce is available at https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current-live/amd64/iso-hybrid/
Install Xfce in an already installed system
You can install Xfce as the only desktop environment on your computer, or alongside another desktop environment. Your display manager should allow you to select the appropriate desktop before logging in.
You can also search for packages using the xfce4 search term. The "main" Xfce packages are:
thunar - File Manager for Xfce
xfdesktop4 - xfce desktop background, icons and root menu manager
xfwm4 - window manager of the Xfce project
xfce4-panel - panel for Xfce4 desktop environment
xfce4-settings - graphical application for managing Xfce settings
xfce4-power-manager - power manager for Xfce desktop
xfce4-session - Xfce4 Session Manager
xfconf - utilities for managing settings in Xfce
xfce4-notifyd - simple, visually-appealing notification daemon for Xfce
Xfce also provides utilities that are frequently used on a personal computer:
mousepad - simple Xfce oriented text editor
ristretto - lightweight picture-viewer for the Xfce desktop environment
xfce4-taskmanager - process manager for the Xfce4 Desktop Environment
xfce4-screenshooter - screenshots utility for Xfce
xfce4-terminal - Xfce terminal emulator
xfce4-notes - Notes application for the Xfce4 desktop
xfce4-goodies - enhancements for the Xfce4 Desktop Environment
xfce4-appfinder - Application finder for the Xfce4 Desktop Environment
xfce4-clipman - clipboard history utility
xfwm4-themes - Theme files for xfwm4
xfburn - CD-burner application for Xfce Desktop Environment
orage - Calendar for Xfce Desktop Environment
The Xfce panel provides a window list, application launchers/menus, a clock, and can be extended using many plugins/applets:
xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin - Alternate menu plugin for the Xfce desktop environment
xfce4-indicator-plugin - plugin to display information from applications in the Xfce4 panel
xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin - Xfce4 panel plugin to control pulseaudio
xfce4-battery-plugin - battery monitor plugin for the Xfce4 panel
xfce4-power-manager-plugins - power manager plugins for Xfce panel
xfce4-clipman-plugin - clipboard history plugin for Xfce panel
xfce4-datetime-plugin - date and time plugin for the Xfce4 panel
- And many more:
xfce4-genmon-plugin, xfce4-linelight-plugin, xfce4-mailwatch-plugin, xfce4-messenger-plugin, xfce4-mount-plugin, xfce4-mpc-plugin, xfce4-netload-plugin, xfce4-notes-plugin, xfce4-places-plugin, xfce4-quicklauncher-plugin, xfce4-radio-plugin, xfce4-screenshooter-plugin, xfce4-sensors-plugin, xfce4-smartbookmark-plugin, xfce4-systemload-plugin, xfce4-timer-plugin, xfce4-verve-plugin, xfce4-wavelan-plugin, xfce4-weather-plugin, xfce4-wmdock-plugin, xfce4-xkb-plugin, xfce4-cpufreq-plugin, xfce4-cpugraph-plugin, xfce4-dict, xfce4-diskperf-plugin, xfce4-equake-plugin, xfce4-fsguard-plugin, xfce4-hdaps
From a display manager
Select Xfce from your display manager (desktop login screen).
Most display managers will detect Xfce automatically. For the slim display manager, edit /etc/slim.conf and set login_cmd exec ck-launch-session /bin/bash -login /etc/X11/Xsession %session
From the console
On Debian 9 and before, to start Xfce from the console:
no ~/.xinitrc file must be present
the ~/.xsession file must contain: exec ck-launch-session startxfce4.
install the libpam-ck-connector package
in /etc/pam.d/common-session, before pam_ck_connector.so, insert session optional pam_loginuid.so
See the startx manual page for more information.
Teams/DebianXfceGroup - The Debian Xfce packaging team