Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment designed for UNIX-like operating systems. It is created to be fast and to work in systems with minimal hardware resources, while still being visually appealing. Xfce is an open source and free desktop environment that you can run on any of your Linux Desktop operating systems. In this article we’ll see how you can install Xfce Desktop Environment on a Fedora Workstation.
Xfce adheres to the standards, specifically those defined at freedesktop.org. The Xfce software solution is known to compile on Linux, NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, Cygwin and MacOS X, on x86, PPC, Sparc, Alpha, among other systems.
Xfce contains a number of core components for the minimum tasks you’d expect from a desktop environment:
- Window Manager: This manages the placement of windows on the screen, provides window decorations and manages workspaces or virtual desktops.
- Desktop Manager: Sets the background image and provides a root window menu, desktop icons or minimized icons and a windows list.
- Panel: Switch between opened windows, launch applications, switch workspaces and menu plugins to browse applications or directories.
- Session Manager: Controls the login and power management of the desktop and allows you to store multiple login sessions.
- Application Finder: Shows the applications installed on your system in categories, so you can quickly find and launch them.
- File Manager: Provides the basic file management features and unique utilities like the bulk renamer.
- Setting Manager: Tools to control the various settings of the desktop like keyboard shortcuts, appearance, display settings etcetera.
Additionally, Xfce provides numerous plugins and applications that allows you to extend your desktop to your liking. Example of these plugins and applications are: application finder, terminal emulator, sound mixer, text editor, image viewer, iCal based calendar and a CD/DVD burning application.
Install Xfce Desktop Environment on Fedora 34/33/32/31
All Xfce packages are available in Fedora OS default app repositories pre-compiled for you. The packages are grouped together with the name “Xfce Desktop“.
You can do a search using dnf command line tool to confirm:
sudo dnf group search desktop
You’ll get the output similar to one below.
Available Environment Groups: Fedora Custom Operating System Xfce Desktop LXDE Desktop LXQt Desktop Cinnamon Desktop MATE Desktop Sugar Desktop Environment Deepin Desktop
Use the info command to get more information about the packages in the group.
$ sudo dnf group info "Xfce Desktop" Last metadata expiration check: 0:04:34 ago on Sat 10 Apr 2021 09:14:05 PM UTC. Environment Group: Xfce Desktop Description: A lightweight desktop environment that works well on low end machines. Mandatory Groups: Administration Tools Common NetworkManager Submodules Core Dial-up Networking Support Fonts Guest Desktop Agents Hardware Support Input Methods Multimedia Printing Support Standard Xfce base-x Optional Groups: 3D Printing Applications for the Xfce Desktop Cloud Management Tools Extra plugins for the Xfce panel Multimedia support for Xfce Xfce Office
Once you’ve validated the packages are available in the said group you can proceed with the installation process.
sudo dnf group install "Xfce Desktop"
Agree to the installation prompt then comes next:
.... Installing Environment Groups: Xfce Desktop Installing Groups: Administration Tools base-x Core Dial-up Networking Support Fonts Guest Desktop Agents Hardware Support Input Methods Multimedia Common NetworkManager Submodules Printing Support Standard Xfce Transaction Summary ================================================================================================================================================================== Install 168 Packages Total download size: 138 M Installed size: 367 M Is this ok [y/N]: y
I recommend you perform a system reboot once the installation is complete:
In the Login screen hit the Settings button and choose Xfce session.
From the terminal you can get the details of your Desktop environment session.
In the articles to follow we’ll cover installation of other Desktop Environments on a Fedora Workstation.