Xfce is a free desktop environment and an open-source (under GPL) for UNIX-compliant operating systems. Thus, it runs on Linux, BSD, Solaris, AIX platforms. Xfce is based, just like GNOME, on the GTK+ toolkit for desktop and menus generation and on Xfwm as window manager.
It was originally designed to be similar to the commercial CDE desktop environment. It uses the Xforms toolkit and from here comes the name. But it has radically moved away from the CDE model with the subsequent versions.
XFCE is a lightweight desktop environment available for various UNIX systems. It’s designed for productivity, loading and it runs applications quickly while preserving system resources, said Olivier Fourdan, the creator of Xfce It tends to be fast and easy to use, while having a visually appealing. Xfce 4.2 embraces the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and component reuse. It consists of a number of components that together provide the entire desktop environment functionality.
Its components are packed separately, and users can choose and use from the available packages, those they think are necessary to create their ideal desktop environment.
Another priority of Xfce 4 is adhering to standards, especially those defined by freedesktop.org. Xfce is renowned for its simplicity and low resource consumption as it provides complete menu configurability. It is available on distributions oriented to older computers (Vector Linux) or oriented to power hungry users (Xubuntu), or to simplicity and minimalism (Zenwalk).
Xfce includes the following programs:
• Clipman: The clipboard manager;
• Mousepad: Text Editor;
• Passwords: GStreamer-based multimedia player;
• Orage: A simple calendar that uses the iCalendar format;
• Ristretto: Simple and fast image viewer;
• Terminal: Terminal Emulator;
• Thunar: Fast file manager that can be expanded with plug-ins;
• Xfce4-appfinder: locates and provides information about installed programs;
• Xfce4-mixer: Volume control for systray in the program bar;
• Xfburn: CD and DVD writing program based on the libburnia project;
• xfce4–screensaver: Screensaver;
• Xfce4-session: Session Manager;
• Xfwm: Window Manager;
Some features of Xfce
This interface contains a fairly small number of components (features) for a minimum number of tasks that can be performed on a desktop environment.
1. Window Manager – manages window placement on screen, provides various decorations for them, manages workspaces or virtual desktops;
2. Manager desktop;
3. Panel – It switches between open windows, applications launched, workspaces and plugins menu to search for applications or folders;
4. Session Manager;
5. Application finder;
6. File manager;
7. Settings manager.
If you want to install the full xfce desktop, enter the following command:
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
If you already have this environment installed on your computer, upgrade to the latest version with the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.10
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
This interface impresses with simplicity and speed. It is especially recommended for those with less performing computers. The first version appeared in 1996 and was created with XForms. The XFCE name was originally an acronym for the XForms Common Environment. Since then, the name has been rewritten and changed to Xfce.