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:

sudo reboot

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.

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