XFCE is a lightweight and versatile desktop environment that utilises a classic drop-down or pop-up menu to access applications. A little time and effort is needed to properly customise the desktop to suit personal taste.
Before we start, open up a Terminal and make sure your system is up-to-date with the command:
$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
We can install xfce with the command:
$ sudo apt install xfce4
This will install 45 packages. It’s a 16.9 MB download and uses 84.9 MB of additional disk space.
To get the full experience, we recommend you install the xubuntu-desktop package that offers several applications of its own.
$ sudo apt install xubuntu-desktop
This metapackage installs 280 packages. It’s a 157 MB download using 590 MB of additional disk space. It installs useful programs such as xfce4-terminal (a lightweight terminal emulator) and engrampa (an archive manager).
Once the xubuntu-desktop metapackage is downloaded, you’ll be asked to configure LightDM, a display manager that aims to be lightweight and fast. While Ubuntu 21.04 uses GDM as its display manager, several Ubuntu flavors still use LightDM. It’s the recommended display manager for XFCE too.
Select ‘lightdm’ from the list and press Enter.
We can now reboot our system, and XFCE will be your resident DE.
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