- Install AlpineLinux
- Create a user account (optional but recommended)
- Enable the Community repository
- Install Xorg
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.
Enabling udev service:
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" seems to get activated only after once temporarily switching on the "Use system defaults" button, logging out and in again, and then turning it off.
Allowing shut down and reboot
To enable users to shut down the machine or reboot, the packagesand need to be installed.
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 be needed:
To list descriptions of all gvfs- packages:
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:
Enabling privilege escalation GUI
In other popular Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu Server, this comes by default when you install minimal XFCE, but if you install XFCE on Alpine using the instruction on this page, it is not included, and the GUI application that needs root access fails with a message like "permission denied". You can test this with the default Thunar file manager by installing
gvfs, which is needed for things like Trash or browsing SMB network share, and then typing
admin:// in the address bar.
To enable the privilege escalation GUI for a doas/sudo user, you need to install
lightdm. Note that elogind and lightdm must be running before logging into the XFCE desktop, otherwise you will see an empty error dialogue box at login.
To make elogind/lightdm running, either make them start automatically at system start:
or start them manually for this time only:
Now, make sure in Settings -> Session and Startup -> Application Autostart, "XFCE PolKit" exists and checked. If it is not found, navigate to
/etc/xdg/autostart and check if
xfce-polkit.desktop exists and its size is not 0. If everything above has been done, when you type
admin:// in the address bar, you will see the password dialogue.
By default xfce needs the, otherwise some icons might be missing,
If the Xorg server segfaults in kvm/qemu then add nomodeset as a boot option.
If the mouse / keyboard is not responding, you can try disabling 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 the first time, log out, and then log in again. That happens 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.