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Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for various *NIX systems (such as Linux or BSD) developed and maintained since 1996 by Olivier Fourdan, a French IT production engineer, and his colleagues. Designed for productivity, Xfce loads and executes applications fast, while conserving system resources.

It can be used in place of, or alongside, other desktop managers such as KDE and Gnome; it is included in some distributions (FreeBSD, Slackware, Xubuntu, etc.) as the default.



Xfce 4.4 contains the following standard components:

Window manager Xfwm
File manager Xffm/Thunar
Widget toolkit GTK+
Terminal emulator Xfterm4
Text editor Mousepad
Video player Xfmedia
Audio player Xfmedia
CD burners Xfburn
CD ripper GRip
Image viewer GQView
Office suite OpenOffice.org
Web browser Mozilla Firefox
E-mail client Mozilla Thunderbird

For descriptions and screen captures of Xfce components, see this list.

Installation: MEPIS 11, 8.5, MEPIS 8, and MEPIS 7

For a simple way to quickly set up Xfce 4, install:


This package is a meta-package: it depends on the core packages of the Xfce4 desktop environment and recommends some extra Xfce4 packages. If you later just want to pick and choose the core components then feel free to remove this package.

You can then select xfce from the login screen (> Session Type).

Installation: MEPIS 6.5

There are two ways to install Xfce.

-- A partial install that lets you get an idea of Xfce can be carried out by installing two packages:


This will allow you to see and use Xfce 4.3.9. It will be largely functional. One optional package to consider is thunar, the lean Xfce file management package.

-- For a full install of Xfce 4.4, you can use Xfce's graphic installer, which will allow you to install the most recent stable version. It is a complicated process, because many development files need to be chased down and installed.

Fortunately, an excellent visual guide has been put together by Saist that walks you through the many steps to install xfce 4.4 on MEPIS 6.5. NOTE: this guide will not work for Xfce 4.4.1.

For troubleshooting installation, see links below.

Hints for Use

  • If the installation was successful, you should find "Xfce Session" as one of the options under Sessions on the KDM log-in page.
  • If the GUI crashes when you try to run an application, hit Ctrl-Alt-Bksp to restart the desktop manager of your choice (under Sessions).


Home page

Xfce FAQs

Xfce dependencies

Installer instructions

Xfce goodies


Live CD demo of Xfce on Ubuntu

Wikipedia discussion

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