/[gentoo]/xml/htdocs/doc/en/xfce-config.xml
Gentoo

Contents of /xml/htdocs/doc/en/xfce-config.xml

Parent Directory Parent Directory | Revision Log Revision Log


Revision 1.3 - (hide annotations) (download) (as text)
Sun Feb 18 21:54:54 2007 UTC (7 years, 5 months ago) by nightmorph
Branch: MAIN
Changes since 1.2: +7 -7 lines
File MIME type: application/xml
fixed adding users to groups section, thanks to a forwarded email from drac

1 nightmorph 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
2    
3     <!-- $Header $ -->
4    
5     <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
6    
7     <guide link="/doc/en/xfce-config.xml">
8    
9     <title>The Xfce Configuration Guide</title>
10    
11     <author title="Author">
12     <mail link="nightmorph@gentoo.org">Joshua Saddler</mail>
13     </author>
14    
15     <abstract>
16     This guide provides an extensive introduction to Xfce, a fast, lightweight,
17     full-featured desktop environment.
18     </abstract>
19    
20     <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
21     <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
22     <license/>
23    
24 nightmorph 1.3 <version>1.2</version>
25     <date>2007-02-18</date>
26 nightmorph 1.1
27     <chapter>
28     <title>Introduction</title>
29     <section>
30     <title>The Xfce desktop environment</title>
31     <body>
32    
33     <p>
34     <uri link="http://www.xfce.org">Xfce</uri> is a fast, lightweight desktop
35     environment for Unix-like operating systems. It is designed for productivity,
36     and is quite configurable while still adhering to the <uri
37     link="http://www.freedesktop.org">Freedesktop</uri> specifications.
38     </p>
39    
40     <p>
41     Unlike heavier desktop environments, such as Gnome and KDE, Xfce uses far fewer
42     system resources. Additionally, it offers greater modularity and fewer
43     dependencies; it takes up less space on your hard disk and takes less time to
44     install.
45     </p>
46    
47     <p>
48     This guide will not only show you how to install and configure a minimal Xfce
49     environment, but will also explore options to create a full-featured desktop in
50     keeping with the Xfce philosophy: light, fast, and modular.
51     </p>
52    
53     </body>
54     </section>
55     </chapter>
56    
57     <chapter>
58     <title>Installing Xfce</title>
59     <section>
60     <title>The basics</title>
61     <body>
62    
63     <p>
64     Before we install our fully-functional yet minimal desktop, let's take a moment
65     to review the basic packages we'll be emerging.
66     </p>
67    
68     <table>
69     <tr>
70     <th>Name</th>
71     <th>Description</th>
72     </tr>
73     <tr>
74     <ti>xfce4</ti>
75     <ti>The base Xfce desktop environment</ti>
76     </tr>
77     <tr>
78     <ti>xscreensaver</ti>
79     <ti>
80     A screensaver with powersaving features and the ability to lock the screen
81     for security
82     </ti>
83     </tr>
84     <tr>
85     <ti>hal</ti>
86     <ti>
87     A Hardware Abstraction Layer. HAL enables desktop applications to locate and
88     use hardware devices. This makes it easy for you to work with removable
89     media, such as USB sticks and CD/DVD drives. Installing <c>hal</c> will also
90     install <c>dbus</c>, a simple way for applications to talk to each other.
91     </ti>
92     </tr>
93     <tr>
94     <ti>gamin</ti>
95     <ti>
96     This file alteration monitor keeps track of file changes; it's very handy
97     when used in conjunction with a graphical file browser
98     </ti>
99     </tr>
100     </table>
101    
102     <p>
103     You're free to install any other packages you wish, but for now, we'll stick
104     with these suggestions for a fast, minimal working environment. Double check
105     your USE flags in <path>/etc/make.conf</path>; you'll probably at least want
106     <c>USE="-gnome"</c> to avoid pulling in unnecessary dependencies.
107     </p>
108    
109     <pre caption="Installing Xfce">
110     # <i>emerge -avt xfce4 xscreensaver hal gamin</i>
111     </pre>
112    
113     <p>
114 nightmorph 1.3 Next, add your regular user(s) to the <c>plugdev</c>, <c>cdrom</c>, <c>cdrw</c>,
115     and <c>usb</c> groups, so that they can take full advantage of <c>hal</c> and be
116     able to mount and use devices such as cameras, optical drives, and USB sticks.
117 nightmorph 1.1 </p>
118    
119     <pre caption="Adding users to the hardware groups">
120 nightmorph 1.3 <comment>(Replace username with your actual user)</comment>
121     # <i>for x in plugdev cdrom cdrw usb ; do gpasswd -a username $x ; done</i>
122 nightmorph 1.1 </pre>
123    
124     <p>
125     Next, update your environment variables:
126     </p>
127    
128     <pre caption="Updating environment variables">
129     # <i>env-update &amp;&amp; source /etc/profile</i>
130     </pre>
131    
132     <p>
133     Now start up <c>hald</c> and add it to the default runlevel:
134     </p>
135    
136     <pre caption="Starting hald">
137     # <i>/etc/init.d/hald start</i>
138     # <i>rc-update add hald default</i>
139     </pre>
140    
141     </body>
142     </section>
143     </chapter>
144    
145     <chapter>
146     <title>Configuring Xfce</title>
147     <section>
148     <title>Starting Xfce</title>
149     <body>
150    
151     <p>
152     Now that Xfce is now installed, we'll configure it to be the default desktop
153     environment when we issue the <c>startx</c> command. Exit your root shell and
154     log on as a regular user.
155     </p>
156    
157     <pre caption="Setting Xfce as the default desktop environment">
158     $ <i>echo "exec startxfce4" > ~/.xinitrc</i>
159     </pre>
160    
161     <p>
162     Now start your graphical environment by typing <c>startx</c>:
163     </p>
164    
165     <pre caption="Starting Xfce">
166     $ <i>startx</i>
167     </pre>
168    
169     <p>
170     Congratulations, and welcome to your new Xfce desktop environment. Go ahead,
171     explore it a bit. Then continue reading to learn how you can configure Xfce to
172     suit your needs.
173     </p>
174    
175     </body>
176     </section>
177     <section>
178     <title>Program access</title>
179     <body>
180    
181     <p>
182     You might notice right-clicking on the desktop shows you the menu of all your
183     applications. It's useful, but your desktop can easily be completely obscured by
184     open windows, making it hard to to launch a new program. So, one of the first
185     things you may wish to do is give yourself a handy application menu on your
186     panel. Right click on this panel, and choose "Add New Item". Scroll through the
187     list of choices and select "Xfce Menu". You can choose where you want it to be
188     displayed on your panel. When clicked, it displays the application/preferences
189     menu, providing a nicely categorized list of your installed programs.
190     </p>
191    
192     </body>
193     </section>
194     <section>
195     <title>Sessions &amp; startup</title>
196     <body>
197    
198     <p>
199     If you've installed (or plan to install) popular Gnome or KDE applications such
200     as <c>k3b</c>, <c>nautilus</c>, <c>kmail</c>, <c>evolution</c>, etc. then you
201     should make sure that Xfce launches the appropriate services for these at
202     startup. Navigate to Menu --> Settings --> Sessions &amp; Startup. On the
203     "Advanced" tab, select the appropriate checkbox. This might slightly increase
204     Xfce startup times, but it decreases load times for KDE and Gnome applications.
205     </p>
206    
207     <p>
208     Xfce has the ability to save your session settings and running programs from the
209     "General" tab in the Sessions &amp; Startup menu. They can be automatically
210     saved when you logout, or Xfce can ask you each time. This feature is
211     particularly useful for undoing configuration mistakes. Accidentally killed a
212     panel? Just select "No" when prompted to save your current session, and the next
213     time you start Xfce, your old desktop is restored. Want to automatically launch
214     your open webbrowser, terminal, and email client the next time you login? Just
215     save your session before logging out.
216     </p>
217    
218     <p>
219     You've now got a basic working environment installed and configured. But if
220     you're interested in doing more, then continue reading!
221     </p>
222    
223     </body>
224     </section>
225     </chapter>
226    
227     <chapter>
228     <title>Additional Applications</title>
229     <section>
230     <title>Panel plugins</title>
231     <body>
232    
233     <p>
234     In this chapter, we'll discuss some useful plugins and applications for everyday
235     use within Xfce.
236     </p>
237    
238     <p>
239     There are many plugins for the panel available in Portage; see for yourself with
240     <c>emerge --search xfce</c>. Though for the most part their names are self
241     explanatory, a few deserve some attention, as they are quite helpful. To use
242     them, simply <c>emerge</c> them. They'll be added to the list of available items
243     in the "Add New Item" menu.
244     </p>
245    
246     <ul>
247     <li>
248     <c>xfce4-mount</c> gives you a handy method of mounting devices listed in
249     <path>/etc/fstab</path> just by clicking your mouse
250     </li>
251     <!-- xfce4-taskbar is integrated into the panel in 4.4; remove when stable -->
252     <li>
253     <c>xfce4-taskbar</c> can replace the windowlist panel entirely. It's
254     useful if you want to conserve screen space (for small monitors), or don't
255     want your desktop cluttered with more than one panel. Add the taskbar to
256     your main panel, and then you can remove the separate windowlist panel by
257     running <c>killall -9 xftaskbar4</c> from an xterm, thus displaying your
258     application launchers, Xfce menu, clock, etc. all on just one panel.
259     </li>
260     <li>
261     <c>xfce4-battery</c> is perfect for laptop users. It displays battery
262     percentage, time remaining, power source (AC or battery), fan status,
263     warnings, and can even be configured to execute commands at certain power
264     levels. This feature can be used to put the laptop into hibernate mode when
265     the battery is almost exhausted.
266     </li>
267     <li>
268     <!-- xfce4-minicmd has been superceded by verve in 4.4; remove when stable -->
269     <c>xfce4-minicmd</c> is a small command line embedded into the panel. It's
270     quicker than opening up another terminal when you want to run a command.
271     </li>
272     </ul>
273    
274     </body>
275     </section>
276     <section>
277     <title>Useful programs</title>
278     <body>
279    
280     <p>
281     Now let's see about adding some useful yet lightweight applications, in keeping
282     with Xfce's philosophy.
283     </p>
284    
285     <p>
286     First, let's replace the plain, boring old <c>xterm</c> with
287     <c>xfce-extra/terminal</c>. <c>Terminal</c> is far more configurable and useful
288     than xterm, and supports Unicode text, pseudo-transparency and accelerated
289     transparency via Xfce's built-in compositor, all out-of-the-box.
290     </p>
291     <!-- Remove the warning about ~arch once 4.4 and terminal go stable -->
292     <note>
293     At the time of writing, <c>Terminal</c> may not be marked stable for your
294     architecture, so you will need to add it to
295     <path>/etc/portage/package.keywords</path> before emerging it.
296     </note>
297    
298     <pre caption="Installing a better terminal">
299     <comment>(Only run this command if you receive a warning about Terminal being masked)</comment>
300     # <i>echo "xfce-extra/terminal" >> /etc/portage/package.keywords</i>
301    
302     <comment>(Otherwise, you can emerge Terminal without any extra steps)</comment>
303     # <i>emerge -av xfce-extra/terminal</i>
304     </pre>
305    
306     <p>
307     Once it's installed, you may want to change the default action of the terminal
308     launcher on your panel to run <path>/usr/bin/Terminal</path> instead. Just
309     right-click the launcher and choose "Properties" to change the command.
310     </p>
311    
312     <p>
313     You may want to replace the rather confusing default filemanager, <c>xffm</c>,
314     with one that's more intuitive and helpful. The <c>rox</c> file manager is
315     icon-based and behaves much more like a traditional file manager. If you're
316     looking for something even more minimal, yet still extremely flexible, then try
317     out the <c>gentoo</c> file manager. (The <c>gentoo</c> file manager is not
318     related to the Gentoo Linux distribution.) Both file managers are lightweight
319     and fully configurable, and are only a short <c>emerge</c> away.
320     </p>
321    
322     <!-- Remove the note about masked thunar once 4.4 is stable -->
323     <p>
324     In the future, <c>thunar</c> will replace <c>xffm</c> as Xfce's default file
325     manager, but it is still masked at the time of this writing. However, the most
326     recent versions have been quite useful for daily work, and show great promise.
327     If you're feeling brave, you can try out the release candidates. Please read
328     <uri link="doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml?part=3&amp;chap=3#doc_chap3">Using
329     Masked Packages</uri> to learn how to unmask it and its dependencies. Note that
330     this software is still unfinished. You have been warned!
331     </p>
332     <!-- remove mousepad once 4.4 is stable; right now it's included by default -->
333     <p>
334     Let's install a simple graphical text editor. It's easier to use than
335     <c>gvim</c> or <c>xemacs</c>, and has fewer dependencies.
336     </p>
337    
338     <pre caption="Adding a text editor">
339     # <i>emerge mousepad</i>
340     </pre>
341    
342     <p>
343     If you need a full-featured word processor but don't want the bloat of
344     OpenOffice, try emerging <c>abiword</c>. <uri
345     link="http://www.abisource.com">AbiWord</uri> is lighter, faster, and is
346     completely interoperable with industry-standard document types.
347     </p>
348    
349     <pre caption="Adding a word processor">
350     # <i>emerge -avt abiword</i>
351     </pre>
352    
353     <p>
354     Need a nice email client/newsreader that isn't as demanding as
355     <c>mozilla-thunderbird</c> or <c>evolution</c>? Try <c>sylpheed-claws</c>:
356     </p>
357     <!-- replacement seems to be called claws-mail, but still in ~arch -->
358     <pre caption="Adding an email client">
359     # <i>emerge -avt sylpheed-claws</i>
360     </pre>
361    
362     <p>
363     For your internet chat needs, <c>irssi</c> is an excellent, tiny, incredibly
364     configurable IRC client that runs in your terminal. If you prefer a compact
365     all-in-one client that handles nearly all chat protocols, you may want to
366     <c>emerge gaim</c>.
367     </p>
368    
369     <p>
370     If you need movie and music players, look no further than <c>mplayer</c> and
371     <c>audacious</c>. They can play most every media format available quite nicely,
372     and have a wealth of additional plugins available for additional functionality.
373     </p>
374    
375     <p>
376     Finally, you'll need a webbrowser. Nearly all graphical webbrowsers require more
377     resources than most of your other desktop applications. Still,
378     <c>mozilla-firefox</c> (or <c>mozilla-firefox-bin</c>) is always a good choice.
379     Alternatively, you may find <c>opera</c> to be quite fast. However, <c>opera</c>
380     is not available on as many processor architectures as <c>mozilla-firefox</c>,
381     and it has more dependencies unless you override them with a USE flag.
382     </p>
383    
384     <pre caption="Adding a webbrowser">
385     <comment>(Installing Mozilla Firefox)</comment>
386     # <i>emerge mozilla-firefox</i>
387     <comment>(Installing Opera)</comment>
388     # <i>echo "www-client/opera qt-static" >> /etc/portage/package.use</i>
389     # <i>emerge opera</i>
390     </pre>
391    
392     <p>
393     Now that we've explored some good suggestions for rounding out your desktop
394     applications, let's see what else we can do to enhance your Xfce experience.
395     </p>
396    
397     </body>
398     </section>
399     <section>
400     <title>Graphical login</title>
401     <body>
402    
403     <p>
404     Remember when we added <c>startxfce4</c> to our <path>~/.xinitrc</path>? All you
405     have to do to get into your desktop is type <c>startx</c> after logging in. This
406     is fine if you prefer a completely text-based boot and login, but let's use a
407     display manager that will automatically start Xfce after booting (so that you
408     can login graphically).
409     </p>
410    
411     <p>
412     First, let's make sure Xfce loads at boot:
413     </p>
414    
415     <pre caption="Adding xdm to the default runlevel">
416     # <i>rc-update add xdm default</i>
417     </pre>
418    
419     <p>
420     We aren't quite finished yet. We have to pick a display manager and set the
421     appropriate variable. Though there are a few choices available in Portage, for
422     this guide, we'll stick with two display manager options: <c>xdm</c> and
423     <c>gdm</c>.
424     </p>
425    
426     <p>
427     <c>xdm</c> is speedy and lightweight, but it isn't pretty, and isn't really
428     customizable. If you'd like to use it, first <c>emerge</c> it:
429     </p>
430    
431     <pre caption="Installing XDM">
432     # <i>emerge -avt xdm</i>
433     </pre>
434    
435     <p>
436     Then edit the DISPLAYMANAGER variable in <path>/etc/conf.d/xdm</path>:
437     </p>
438    
439     <pre caption="Editing /etc/conf.d/xdm">
440     DISPLAYMANAGER="xdm"
441     </pre>
442    
443     <p>
444     While you can choose to stick with (the rather ugly) <c>xdm</c>, why not try
445     <c>gdm</c> instead? It's far more configurable, and much, much prettier. First,
446     let's <c>emerge</c> it. Note that though it has a few dependencies, they're
447     small, and they're not as nearly as numerous as other display managers.
448     </p>
449    
450     <pre caption="Installing GDM">
451     # <i>emerge -avt gdm</i>
452     </pre>
453    
454     <p>
455     Next, change the DISPLAYMANAGER variable to use <c>gdm</c> instead of
456     <c>xdm</c>:
457     </p>
458    
459     <pre caption="Editing /etc/conf.d/xdm">
460     DISPLAYMANAGER="gdm"
461     </pre>
462    
463     </body>
464     </section>
465     <section>
466     <title>Beautifying your desktop</title>
467     <body>
468    
469     <p>
470     A little customization of your desktop's appearance can go a long way. Xfce has
471     all the options you'd expect from a modern desktop environment, font
472     antialiasing settings, color schemes, dozens of window decorations, themes, and
473     more. If these aren't enough, it's easy to install third-party themes, icon
474     sets, mouse cursor themes, and wallpapers.
475     </p>
476    
477     <p>
478     A selection of nice Gentoo wallpapers in a variety of resolutions are hosted on
479 nightmorph 1.2 the <uri link="/main/en/graphics.xml">Gentoo website</uri>. If you're looking
480     for icon sets and complete Xfce themes, <uri
481 nightmorph 1.1 link="http://www.xfce-look.org/">Xfce-Look</uri> has a huge collection. The
482     important thing to remember about any third-party eyecandy you download is that
483     it will usually first need to be unpacked and then installed to the proper
484     directory. Icon sets go in <path>/usr/share/icons/</path>, and themes go to
485 nightmorph 1.2 <path>/usr/share/themes/</path>; use these directories when you want all users
486     to be able to access themes and icon sets. Individual users can install themes
487     and icon sets to <path>~/.themes/</path> and <path>~/.icons/</path>.
488 nightmorph 1.1 </p>
489    
490     <p>
491     If you installed GDM as your display manager, take a look at the many GDM themes
492     available on <uri link="http://www.gnome-look.org">Gnome-Look</uri>. To install
493     them, you can either unpack and move them to
494     <path>/usr/share/gdm/themes/</path> on the command line, or you can run
495     <c>gdmsetup</c> as <b>root</b> and drag'n'drop the archive into the GDM window.
496     There are some <uri
497     link="http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=45575">very nice</uri>
498     Gentoo <uri
499     link="http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=20071">themes</uri>
500     available.
501     </p>
502    
503     <p>
504     Finally, Xfce has its own built-in compositor to manage window transparency.
505     This option can be found in Menu --> Settings --> Window Manager. For best
506     performance, you will need to be running a graphics card with drivers that
507     support hardware-accelerated rendering, and you will need to enable
508     compositing in <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> by adding the following section:
509     </p>
510    
511     <pre caption="Enabling composite in xorg.conf">
512     Section "Extensions"
513     Option "Composite" "Enable"
514     EndSection
515     </pre>
516    
517     <p>
518     This is the bare minimum configuration required for Xfce and Xorg-X11. However,
519     setting up hardware-accelerated rendering depends on your individual graphics
520     card, and is beyond the scope of this guide. Please see the other guides in the
521     <uri link="/doc/en/index.xml?catid=desktop">Desktop Documentation
522     Resources</uri> list to learn about configuring hardware-accelerated rendering
523     for your graphics card.
524     </p>
525    
526     </body>
527     </section>
528     </chapter>
529    
530     <chapter>
531     <title>Summary</title>
532     <section>
533     <body>
534    
535     <p>
536     Congratulations on making it this far! You've installed and configured a speedy
537     desktop environment with a solid suite of applications for your computing
538     needs.
539     </p>
540    
541     </body>
542     </section>
543     <section>
544     <title>Resources</title>
545     <body>
546    
547     <p>
548     Need additional help on configuring and using Xfce? Need more lightweight
549     application suggestions? Try asking the folks in:
550     </p>
551    
552     <ul>
553     <li><uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org">The Gentoo forums</uri></li>
554     <li>#xfce on irc.freenode.net</li>
555     </ul>
556    
557     <p>
558     Finally, Gentoo's Xfce team is responsible for making Xfce available in Portage.
559     Send comments, thanks, and suggestions to <mail>xfce@gentoo.org</mail>.
560     </p>
561    
562     </body>
563     </section>
564     </chapter>
565     </guide>

  ViewVC Help
Powered by ViewVC 1.1.20