Xfce – Xfce Desktop Environment

Last Updated on July 13, 2021

Xfce is a free software desktop environment which aims to be fast and lightweight, yet at the same time being attractive and easy to use. Its configuration is entirely mouse-driven and the configuration files are hidden from the desktop user.

Xfce is mainly used for its ability to run a modern desktop environment on relatively modest hardware.

The Xfce project contains several separated projects for each part of the desktop. The core components include a window manager, session manager, panel, printing helper, desktop manager, and a settings manager.

Included in the Xfce project are also various desktop applications such as a text editor (called Mousepad), a terminal emulator, a modern file manager (called Thunar), a frontend CD/DVD burning application (Xfburn), a simple calendar application, a media player based on the xine engine, an image viewer (called Ristretto), an archive manager (Xarchiver), and more.

Features include:

  • Lightweight desktop environment.
  • Basic and lightweight applications.
  • Goodies for maximum features:
    • Xfwm integrates its own compositing manager.
    • Orage – calendar that integrates well into the Xfce desktop.
    • Thunar – a file manager designed for speed and a low memory footprint, which resembles GNOME Files. It has advanced features such as a bulk file renaming capability.
    • Text editor.
    • Settings manager to customize your desktop environment.
    • Session manager – save the current session, autostart applications, shutdown, reboot, suspend or hibernate your computer.
  • Real multiscreen and Xinerama.
  • Kiosk mode to restrict the configuration.
  • Configuration is entirely mouse-driven.
  • Translated in more than 40 languages.
  • Freedesktop specifications compliance:
    • Extended Window Manager hints.
    • Desktop Menus.
    • Icon themes.
    • XDG Base directory.
    • XSETTINGS protocol.
    • Drag-and-Drop protocol.

Website: xfce.org
Support: Xfce Goodies Project
Developer: Olivier Fourdan (Project Leader), and many other core developers
License: GNU GPL and LGPL


Xfce is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Lean Desktop Environments Home Page | Return to Desktop Environments Home Page

Popular series
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you to make informed decisions.
ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to Proprietary SoftwareReplace proprietary software with open source alternatives: Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Autodesk, Oracle, Atlassian, Corel, Cisco, Intuit, and SAS.
GamesAwesome Free Linux Games Tools showcases a series of tools that making gaming on Linux a more pleasurable experience. This is a new series.
Artificial intelligence iconMachine Learning explores practical applications of machine learning and deep learning from a Linux perspective. We've written reviews of more than 40 self-hosted apps. All are free and open source.
Guide to LinuxNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Alternatives to popular CLI tools showcases essential tools that are modern replacements for core Linux utilities.
System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
AudioSurveys popular streaming services from a Linux perspective: Amazon Music Unlimited, Myuzi, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal.
Saving Money with LinuxSaving Money with Linux looks at how you can reduce your energy bills running Linux.
Home ComputersHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Linux Around The WorldLinux Around The World showcases usergroups that are relevant to Linux enthusiasts. Great ways to meet up with fellow enthusiasts.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments