Installing XFCE Desktop on Ubuntu


Linux is famous for its desktop environments and offers a lot of different types and style desktop alternatives. From KDE to Openbox it can be used for different needs. Xfce is one of my favorite desktop environment. Its features, performance, and hardware needs are optimum for a lot of use cases.

You can get screenshots of Xfce from here. Xfce consists of different components.

  • Windows Manager: Manages placement of windows on the desktop
  • Desktop Manager: Sets background image and icons
  • Panel: List open windows, application shortcuts
  • Session Manager: Controls login and power
  • File Manager: As you guess 🙂

Install Xfce on Ubuntu

Xfce is one package in ubuntu and can be installed just like below.

$ sudo apt install xfce4

Downloading packages and setting up them require some time. It is about our internet connection and hard disk write speed.

Setup Desktop

After the installation of the packages is completed we will log in to the XFCE session for the first time. XFCE will ask us whether we want to use the default config or an empty panel.

Install Xfce on Ubuntu
Install Xfce on Ubuntu

Install NetLoad Plugin For Xfce

What makes these Window Manager funny is some useful plugins. We want to add some plugins to the panel there is a plugin named netload to monitor network load. We will install this plugin with the following command.

$ sudo apt-get install xfce4-netload-plugin -y

Add Menu Item To Xfce Panel

We will right-click to the panel and select the Panel. We will see a menu where we will click to the Add New Items.... After installing the package open Add New Items menu like below.

Install NetLoad Plugin For Xfce
Install NetLoad Plugin For Xfce

After clicking Add New Items you will see a new menu and filter Network monitor like below. We will type the net part where related items will be listed. We can see that Network Monitor is a panel items were network-related information and statistics are shown in the Panel.

Add Network Monitor
Add Network Monitor

Select Network Monitor and click add. And here is the result Network Monitor will be added to the panel.

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Listing Xfce Applications

There is some XFCE related application like a terminal. Of course, we can use all other applications but these applications are more integrated and need less hardware.

$ apt-cache search xfce4 
Listing Xfce Applications
Listing Xfce Applications

If we want to search more specifically for plugins we can use follow apt command.

$ apt search xfce4 plugin
Listing Xfce Plugins
Listing Xfce Plugins

As we can see plugins like diskperf, dict dictionary have listened and non-related packages are eliminated.

Installing XFCE Desktop on Ubuntu Infographic

Installing XFCE Desktop on Ubuntu Infographic
Installing XFCE Desktop on Ubuntu Infographic

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