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Using XFCE in Fedora Core 2

by Diego Figueroa on Jun 12, 2004 (UPDATED: Jun 14, 2004)

Are you currently using Gnome or KDE and find them to be a bit... fat? Maybe you don't have that state-of-the-art machine with tons of CPU power or gigs of memory and Gnome and KDE bring your current machine down on its knees. Perhaps you are just someone who likes to keep things simple and clean when it comes to the desktop.

If so, say hello to XFCE!

Introducing XFCE4

Quoting XFCE's creator Olivier Fourdan:

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for various *NIX systems. Designed for productivity,
it loads and executes applications fast, while conserving system resources."

Normally, you would download a tarball from the XFCE website and build a bunch of libraries and programs but fortunately, for us, XFCE4 comes included in Fedora Core 2. You just need to follow some simple instructions to have it working.

Installing XFCE4

Installing XFCE is a very simple task. You have to get a couple of packages from your Fedora Core 2 disks or get them directly from the Net using one of the updaters like yum or apt.

The packages needed are: libxfce4mcs, libxfcegui4, libxfce4util, xfce-mcs-manager, xfce-mcs-plugins, xfce-mcs-manager-devel, xfce-utils, xfce4-panel, dbh, xfdesktop, xffm, xffm-icons, xfwm4, xfwm4-themes

For those who would rather use an updater you can try:

$ sudo yum install libxfce4mcs libxfcegui4 libxfce4util xfce-mcs-manager
xfce-mcs-plugins xfce-mcs-manager-devel xfce-utils xfce4-panel dbh
xfdesktop xffm xffm-icons xfwm4 xfwm4-themes

Alternatively, you can use this syntax:

$sudo yum install xffm\* xfwm4\* xfce\* xfdesktop

Tnanks to Richard Samson for this tip.

After installing these packages you have to create/edit two files: /etc/X11/dm/Sessions/xfce.desktop and /etc/X11/gdm/Sessions/XFCE

  • /etc/X11/dm/Sessions/xfce.desktop should contain:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=This session logs you into XFCE4

  • /etc/X11/gdm/Sessions/XFCE should contain:

exec /etc/X11/xdm/Xsession XFCE4

Once you have these files ready you can now logout of your current session and log back in selecting XFCE from the session menu. If you are not using the graphical login just type on your shell:

startx xfce


XFCE is a very useful, simple and clean desktop environment that can perform very well when you have limited resources. You should have no problems using XFCE to bring back to life those 64Mb Pentium II computers stored in the basement. So what are you waiting for!