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How to Install Xfce Desktop Environment on Ubuntu?

Release Date: 2024-01-25

Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system known for its open-source nature, high customizability, and user-friendliness, especially for beginners. It’s well-known that Ubuntu defaults to using GNOME as its desktop environment, but it also supports many others, including the lightweight and less resource-intensive Xfce. In this guide, we’ll delve into how to install the Xfce desktop environment on Ubuntu and how to manage it effectively.

Introduction to Xfce

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment designed for UNIX-like operating systems, aiming to be fast and low on system resources while still being visually attractive and easy to use. It encompasses several components, such as the Xfwm window manager, Thunar file manager, session manager, and a desktop manager, among others. Xfce’s high customizability and its additional feature-rich utilities also contribute to its popularity.

How to Install Xfce on Ubuntu

Although some Linux distributions, like Xubuntu and Manjaro, come with the Xfce desktop environment by default, installing Xfce on Ubuntu is a straightforward process. Here are the specific steps:

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Update the package list to ensure all packages are up to date:
sudo apt update
  1. Install Xfce:
sudo apt install xfce4

After the installation process is complete, log out of the current session or reboot the system.

At the login screen, select Xfce, then log in.

Advanced Options for Installing Xfce

If users wish to install Xfce along with its additional applications and plugins, they can choose to install the xfce4-goodies package:

sudo apt install xfce4 xfce4-goodies

This will include extra themes, icons, window effects, and various enhancement tools to provide a more complete Xfce experience.

Installing Xfce on Fedora

For Fedora users, the steps to install Xfce are slightly different. For Fedora 22 and later versions, the following commands can be used:

# Fedora 22
yum install @xfce

# Fedora 23-24
dnf install @xfce-desktop-environment

After installation, you also need to select the Xfce desktop from the session menu when logging in or reboot the system.

How to Uninstall?

If you decide not to use it anymore, you can easily uninstall it with the following commands:

# On Ubuntu
sudo apt purge xfce4
sudo apt autoremove

# On Fedora
yum remove @xfce
# or
dnf remove @xfce-desktop-environment

These commands will remove Xfce and all of its dependencies, freeing up system resources.

Why Choose Xfce?

There are many reasons to choose Xfce as your desktop environment, including:

  • Low resource usage: Xfce is an ideal choice for devices with lower hardware specifications as it doesn’t overconsume system resources.
  • High customizability: From desktop icons to the window manager, nearly every aspect of Xfce can be adjusted to suit user preferences.
  • Usability: Xfce provides an intuitive and easy-to-navigate user interface, making it quick to learn even for those new to Linux.
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