Basic Xfce desktop installation
Typical minimal package selection to install:
Starting dbus (desktop bus) service:
Enabling dbus to start on boot:
If dbus is not running it leads to issues like missing icons and keyboard shortcuts.
With a display manager (graphical login)
If the package
lightdm-gtk-greeter has been installed per the instructions above, the lightdm display manager may be started to log in graphically with your new user.
After correct operation is verified, lightdm can be enabled to start up during boot:
From the command line
Xfce may be started with:
If you want to start it via another script or mechanism like
startxfce4. e.g. call it via "exec startxfce4" at the end of the ~/.xinitrc configuration file.
Localized keyboard layout
Settings->Keyboard->Layout->"Keyboard layout" only seems to get activated after once temporarily switching the button "Use system defaults" on, logging out and in again, and then turning it off again.
Allowing shut down and reboot
In order to allow the users to shut down the machine or reboot, the packagesand need to be installed.
And a reboot is required to let it take effect.
Auto-mounting USB drives
To enable automatic mounting of USB drives, install these packages:
Depending on what devices you intend to mount, some additional packages may have to be added to the above:
To list descriptions of all gvfs- packages:
Also, make sure that mounting is enabled in
Thunar>Edit>Preferences>Advanced>Volume Management>Configure>Storage>Removable Storage
For browsing of network shares within XFCE that works seamlessly with file associations, you can install the gvfs packages for the network protocols you use.
For example, to browse in a SMB/cifs windows network:
(Check: If the above may already be sufficient for gvfs to initiate the fuse kernel module. Else, try to identify if there are necessary steps in:)
The OpenRC script for fuse is in a separate package.
Then the fuse service can be started manually.
(The XFCE sessions already in progress need to be restarted for this to take effect, i.e. log out and log in again.)
If it works, the fuse service can be added to start up automatically at boot time:
Completing the Xfce setup usually encompasses installing a number of desktop applications.
Some applications that should fit well for a light-weight Xfce desktop may be found at Xfce_Desktop.
Theme installation (optional)
All this is optional.
Example of installing and enabling a different theme.
- apk add paper-gtk-theme # gtk2 !?
- change xfce4 style/icons to paper: Settings -> Appearance -> Style and Icons
- change window manager theme to Paper: Settings -> Window Manager -> Style
- set custom desktop background picture, to see the transparency effects
- Settings - > Appearance -> Fonts: Turn on Anti-aliasing (is the default) and enable Sub-Pixel order -> RGB
Example of changing to another icon theme.
- apk add paper-icon-theme # ~125MB
- Change mouse Theme to Paper: Settings -> Mouse and Trackpad -> Theme
- enable all Composer Shadows: Settings -> Window Manager Tweaks -> Composer
Example of changing to another font, e.g. the international font Noto.
- apk add font-noto
- Settings - > Appearance -> Fonts: Set to Noto Sans UI
If the Xorg server segfaults in kvm/qemu then add nomodeset as a boot option when booting up.
If the mouse / keyboard is not responding, you can try to disable hotplug.
Section "ServerFlags" Option "AutoAddDevices" "False" EndSection
If you are unable to login, check /var/log/lightdm/lightdm.log, there may be output there from X to indicate failed modules, etc.
If you are unable to login, or you see an error "Failed to execute login command", you should check ~/.xinitrc (if you're using .xinitrc) with your preferred text editor (vi, nano, etc) and ensure that it is set to load xfce. To do this, the 'exec' line (usually the last line in the file) should read "exec startxfce4". If ~/.xinitrc does not exist, create it and add the exec line. this command will do it:
If the panel and windows disappear or start flickering after logging in to xfce once, logout, and then login again, this is because xfce is writing a default config file with the compositor enabled, but does not enable it during your first login. Clear out the ~/.config/xfce directory, and login as "first time" again, as the default vblank setting for the compositor is likely incorrect. Open the windows manager tweaks and dconf editor (or use dconf-query) before you log out. Tick the compositor to off in the window manager tweaks ui. If you have a recent enough xfce (4.14) there is a ui in window manager tweaks to set syncing mode, and you can try different values, such as vblank, xpresent, and glx, while turning the compositor on and off, until you find one that works. Or, from dconf editor, you can set xfwm4 /general/vblank_mode, which you will find is set to "auto" by default, and then turn the compositor on again. This can also be accomplished from the command line using using:
where mode is vblank, glx or xpresent.
You have to use xfconf-query from within the xfce terminal session, or at least with the xfce settings daemon started.
- Some notes of older custom configurations: Desktop-notes
- Install X-Window in Alpine Linux Joachim Nilsson 2017