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1<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?> 1<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
2
3<!-- $Header $ -->
4
5<!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd"> 2<!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
3<!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/xfce-config.xml,v 1.16 2008/02/24 08:36:44 nightmorph Exp $ -->
6 4
7<guide link="/doc/en/xfce-config.xml"> 5<guide link="/doc/en/xfce-config.xml">
8
9<title>The Xfce Configuration Guide</title> 6<title>The Xfce Configuration Guide</title>
10 7
11<author title="Author"> 8<author title="Author">
12 <mail link="nightmorph@gentoo.org">Joshua Saddler</mail> 9 <mail link="nightmorph@gentoo.org">Joshua Saddler</mail>
13</author> 10</author>
19 16
20<!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license --> 17<!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
21<!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 --> 18<!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
22<license/> 19<license/>
23 20
24<version>1.1</version> 21<version>1.12</version>
25<date>2007-01-26</date> 22<date>2008-02-24</date>
26 23
27<chapter> 24<chapter>
28<title>Introduction</title> 25<title>Introduction</title>
29<section> 26<section>
30<title>The Xfce desktop environment</title> 27<title>The Xfce desktop environment</title>
59<section> 56<section>
60<title>The basics</title> 57<title>The basics</title>
61<body> 58<body>
62 59
63<p> 60<p>
64Before we install our fully-functional yet minimal desktop, let's take a moment 61First, make sure you've setup Xorg as shown in the <uri
65to review the basic packages we'll be emerging. 62link="/doc/en/xorg-config.xml">X Server Configuration Howto</uri>.
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> 63</p>
103You're free to install any other packages you wish, but for now, we'll stick 64
104with these suggestions for a fast, minimal working environment. Double check 65<p>
105your USE flags in <path>/etc/make.conf</path>; you'll probably at least want 66Next, double-check your USE flags in <path>/etc/make.conf</path>; you'll
106<c>USE="-gnome"</c> to avoid pulling in unnecessary dependencies. 67probably at least want <c>USE="-gnome -kde -qt3 -qt4 X dbus hal startup-notification xscreensaver"</c>.
68</p>
69
70<p>
71Now, let's install Xfce.
107</p> 72</p>
108 73
109<pre caption="Installing Xfce"> 74<pre caption="Installing Xfce">
110# <i>emerge -avt xfce4 xscreensaver hal gamin</i> 75# <i>emerge -avt xfce4</i>
111</pre> 76</pre>
112 77
113<p> 78<p>
114Next, add your regular user(s) to the following groups, so that they can take 79Next, add your regular user(s) to the <c>plugdev</c>, <c>cdrom</c>, <c>cdrw</c>,
115full advantage of <c>hal</c> and be able to mount and use devices such as 80and <c>usb</c> groups, so that they can take full advantage of <c>hal</c> and be
116cameras, CD-ROMs, CD-RWs, and USB sticks: 81able to mount and use devices such as cameras, optical drives, and USB sticks.
117</p> 82</p>
118 83
119<pre caption="Adding users to the hardware groups"> 84<pre caption="Adding users to the hardware groups">
120<comment>(Remember to replace username with your actual user)</comment> 85<comment>(Replace username with your actual user)</comment>
121# <i>gpasswd -a username plugdev,cdrom,cdrw,usb</i> 86# <i>for x in plugdev cdrom cdrw usb ; do gpasswd -a username $x ; done</i>
122</pre> 87</pre>
123 88
124<p> 89<p>
125Next, update your environment variables: 90Next, update your environment variables:
126</p> 91</p>
238<p> 203<p>
239There are many plugins for the panel available in Portage; see for yourself with 204There 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 205<c>emerge --search xfce</c>. Though for the most part their names are self
241explanatory, a few deserve some attention, as they are quite helpful. To use 206explanatory, a few deserve some attention, as they are quite helpful. To use
242them, simply <c>emerge</c> them. They'll be added to the list of available items 207them, simply <c>emerge</c> them. They'll be added to the list of available items
243in the "Add New Item" menu. 208in the "Add New Item" menu shown when you right-click on the panel.
244</p> 209</p>
245 210
246<ul> 211<ul>
247 <li> 212 <li>
248 <c>xfce4-mount</c> gives you a handy method of mounting devices listed in 213 <c>xfce4-mount</c> gives you a handy method of mounting devices listed in
249 <path>/etc/fstab</path> just by clicking your mouse 214 <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> 215 </li>
260 <li> 216 <li>
261 <c>xfce4-battery</c> is perfect for laptop users. It displays battery 217 <c>xfce4-battery</c> is perfect for laptop users. It displays battery
262 percentage, time remaining, power source (AC or battery), fan status, 218 percentage, time remaining, power source (AC or battery), fan status,
263 warnings, and can even be configured to execute commands at certain power 219 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 220 levels. This feature can be used to put the laptop into hibernate mode when
265 the battery is almost exhausted. 221 the battery is almost exhausted.
266 </li> 222 </li>
267 <li> 223 <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 224 <c>verve</c> is a small command line embedded into the panel. It's quicker
270 quicker than opening up another terminal when you want to run a command. 225 than opening up another terminal when you want to run a command.
226 </li>
227 <li>
228 <c>xfce4-mixer</c> is a volume control. It works with both ALSA and OSS
229 sound applications.
271 </li> 230 </li>
272</ul> 231</ul>
273 232
233<p>
234If you can't find what you're looking for in the plugins specifically made for
235Xfce, try searching through the list of Gnome panel applets! That's right, by
236first emerging <c>xfce4-xfapplet</c>, you can install and run any applet made
237for Gnome.
238</p>
239
274</body> 240</body>
275</section> 241</section>
276<section> 242<section>
277<title>Useful programs</title> 243<title>Useful programs</title>
278<body> 244<body>
279 245
280<p> 246<p>
281Now let's see about adding some useful yet lightweight applications, in keeping 247Xfce bundles a few useful applications, including <c>thunar</c>,
282with Xfce's philosophy. 248<c>terminal</c>, <c>orage</c>, and <c>mousepad</c>. Note that the last three
283</p> 249will not be installed if you built <c>xfce4</c> with the <c>minimal</c> USE
284 250flag. However, these are all very small, yet terrific applications, so they're
251well worth installing.
285<p> 252</p>
286First, let's replace the plain, boring old <c>xterm</c> with 253
287<c>xfce-extra/terminal</c>. <c>Terminal</c> is far more configurable and useful
288than xterm, and supports Unicode text, pseudo-transparency and accelerated
289transparency via Xfce's built-in compositor, all out-of-the-box.
290</p> 254<p>
291<!-- Remove the warning about ~arch once 4.4 and terminal go stable --> 255<c>orage</c> is a simple, handy calendar. <c>mousepad</c> is a barebones text
292<note> 256editor that starts up extremely quickly. <c>terminal</c> is far more
293At the time of writing, <c>Terminal</c> may not be marked stable for your 257configurable and useful than xterm, and supports Unicode text,
294architecture, so you will need to add it to 258pseudo-transparency and accelerated transparency via Xfce's built-in
295<path>/etc/portage/package.keywords</path> before emerging it. 259compositor, all out-of-the-box. Just make sure that the default action on the
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>
307Once it's installed, you may want to change the default action of the terminal
308launcher on your panel to run <path>/usr/bin/Terminal</path> instead. Just 260terminal launcher of your panel runs <path>/usr/bin/Terminal</path> instead of
309right-click the launcher and choose "Properties" to change the command. 261xterm. Right click the launcher and choose "Properties" to change the command.
310</p>
311
312<p> 262</p>
313You may want to replace the rather confusing default filemanager, <c>xffm</c>, 263
314with one that's more intuitive and helpful. The <c>rox</c> file manager is
315icon-based and behaves much more like a traditional file manager. If you're
316looking for something even more minimal, yet still extremely flexible, then try
317out the <c>gentoo</c> file manager. (The <c>gentoo</c> file manager is not
318related to the Gentoo Linux distribution.) Both file managers are lightweight
319and fully configurable, and are only a short <c>emerge</c> away.
320</p> 264<p>
321 265<c>thunar</c> is Xfce's built-in graphical file manager. It's fast yet quite
322<!-- Remove the note about masked thunar once 4.4 is stable --> 266powerful, can support a few plugins for even more functionality; just install
267them with <c>emerge</c>. Let's take a look:
323<p> 268</p>
324In the future, <c>thunar</c> will replace <c>xffm</c> as Xfce's default file 269
325manager, but it is still masked at the time of this writing. However, the most 270<ul>
326recent versions have been quite useful for daily work, and show great promise. 271 <li>
327If you're feeling brave, you can try out the release candidates. Please read 272 <c>thunar-archive</c> lets you create and extract archive files using the
328<uri link="doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml?part=3&amp;chap=3#doc_chap3">Using 273 right-click menu. It works even better when paired with the new graphical
329Masked Packages</uri> to learn how to unmask it and its dependencies. Note that 274 archiving <uri
330this software is still unfinished. You have been warned! 275 link="http://www.foo-projects.org/~benny/projects/thunar-archive-plugin/">tool</uri>
276 developed for Xfce, <c>xarchiver</c>.
277 </li>
278 <li>
279 <c>thunar-media-tags</c> lets you intelligently rename multiple media files
280 at once, and lets you <uri
281 link="http://thunar.xfce.org/pwiki/projects/thunar-media-tags-plugin">edit</uri>
282 their information tags, such as id3 tags.
283 </li>
284 <li>
285 <c>thunar-thumbnailers</c> lets you <uri
286 link="http://goodies.xfce.org/projects/thunar-plugins/thunar-thumbnailers">preview</uri>
287 certain types of files from within Thunar, such as images and fonts.
288 </li>
289 <li>
290 <c>thunar-volman</c> automatically <uri
291 link="http://foo-projects.org/~benny/projects/thunar-volman/">manages</uri>
292 removable media and drives.
293 </li>
294</ul>
295
331</p> 296<p>
332<!-- remove mousepad once 4.4 is stable; right now it's included by default --> 297Next, let's see about adding some useful but lightweight desktop applications,
298in keeping with Xfce's philosophy.
333<p> 299</p>
334Let's install a simple graphical text editor. It's easier to use than 300
335<c>gvim</c> or <c>xemacs</c>, and has fewer dependencies.
336</p> 301<p>
337 302Though <c>mousepad</c> is nice enough, if you need a full-featured word
338<pre caption="Adding a text editor"> 303processor but don't want the bloat of OpenOffice, try emerging <c>abiword</c>.
339# <i>emerge mousepad</i>
340</pre>
341
342<p>
343If you need a full-featured word processor but don't want the bloat of
344OpenOffice, try emerging <c>abiword</c>. <uri
345link="http://www.abisource.com">AbiWord</uri> is lighter, faster, and is 304<uri link="http://www.abisource.com">AbiWord</uri> is lighter, faster, and is
346completely interoperable with industry-standard document types. 305completely interoperable with industry-standard document types.
347</p> 306</p>
348 307
349<pre caption="Adding a word processor"> 308<pre caption="Adding a word processor">
350# <i>emerge -avt abiword</i> 309# <i>emerge -avt abiword</i>
351</pre> 310</pre>
352 311
353<p> 312<p>
354Need a nice email client/newsreader that isn't as demanding as 313Need 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>: 314<c>mozilla-thunderbird</c> or <c>evolution</c>? Try emerging <c>claws-mail</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> 315</p>
361 316
362<p> 317<p>
363For your internet chat needs, <c>irssi</c> is an excellent, tiny, incredibly 318For your internet chat needs, <c>irssi</c> is an excellent, tiny, incredibly
364configurable IRC client that runs in your terminal. If you prefer a compact 319configurable IRC client that runs in your terminal. If you prefer a compact
365all-in-one client that handles nearly all chat protocols, you may want to 320all-in-one client that handles nearly all chat protocols, you may want to
366<c>emerge gaim</c>. 321<c>emerge pidgin</c>.
367</p> 322</p>
368 323
369<p> 324<p>
370If you need movie and music players, look no further than <c>mplayer</c> and 325If 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, 326<c>audacious</c>. They can play most every media format available quite nicely,
417</pre> 372</pre>
418 373
419<p> 374<p>
420We aren't quite finished yet. We have to pick a display manager and set the 375We aren't quite finished yet. We have to pick a display manager and set the
421appropriate variable. Though there are a few choices available in Portage, for 376appropriate variable. Though there are a few choices available in Portage, for
422this guide, we'll stick with two display manager options: <c>xdm</c> and 377this guide, we'll stick with <uri link="http://slim.berlios.de">SLiM</uri>, the
423<c>gdm</c>. 378Simple Login Manager.
424</p>
425
426<p> 379</p>
427<c>xdm</c> is speedy and lightweight, but it isn't pretty, and isn't really 380
428customizable. If you'd like to use it, first <c>emerge</c> it:
429</p> 381<p>
382<c>slim</c> is speedy and lightweight, with minimal dependencies. Perfect for
383Xfce!
384</p>
430 385
431<pre caption="Installing XDM"> 386<pre caption="Installing SLiM">
432# <i>emerge -avt xdm</i> 387# <i>emerge -avt slim</i>
433</pre> 388</pre>
434 389
435<p> 390<p>
436Then edit the DISPLAYMANAGER variable in <path>/etc/conf.d/xdm</path>: 391Then edit the DISPLAYMANAGER variable in <path>/etc/conf.d/xdm</path>:
437</p> 392</p>
438 393
439<pre caption="Editing /etc/conf.d/xdm"> 394<pre caption="Editing /etc/conf.d/xdm">
440DISPLAYMANAGER="xdm" 395DISPLAYMANAGER="slim"
441</pre> 396</pre>
442 397
443<p>
444While 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,
446let's <c>emerge</c> it. Note that though it has a few dependencies, they're
447small, and they're not as nearly as numerous as other display managers.
448</p> 398<p>
449 399SLiM can automatically start your Xfce session if you add
450<pre caption="Installing GDM"> 400<c>XSESSION="Xfce4"</c> to <path>/etc/rc.conf</path>.
451# <i>emerge -avt gdm</i>
452</pre>
453
454<p> 401</p>
455Next, 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">
460DISPLAYMANAGER="gdm"
461</pre>
462 402
463</body> 403</body>
464</section> 404</section>
465<section> 405<section>
466<title>Beautifying your desktop</title> 406<title>Beautifying your desktop</title>
486to be able to access themes and icon sets. Individual users can install themes 426to be able to access themes and icon sets. Individual users can install themes
487and icon sets to <path>~/.themes/</path> and <path>~/.icons/</path>. 427and icon sets to <path>~/.themes/</path> and <path>~/.icons/</path>.
488</p> 428</p>
489 429
490<p> 430<p>
491If you installed GDM as your display manager, take a look at the many GDM themes 431If you installed SLiM as your display manager, there are lots of themes in the
492available on <uri link="http://www.gnome-look.org">Gnome-Look</uri>. To install 432<c>slim-themes</c> package available in Portage. Also, be sure to check the SLiM
493them, you can either unpack and move them to 433<uri link="http://slim.berlios.de/themes01.php">themes page</uri> for more
494<path>/usr/share/gdm/themes/</path> on the command line, or you can run 434themes. Creating your own SLiM theme is fairly easy; just read the <uri
495<c>gdmsetup</c> as <b>root</b> and drag'n'drop the archive into the GDM window. 435link="http://slim.berlios.de/themes_howto.php">Themes HowTo</uri>.
496There are some <uri
497link="http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=45575">very nice</uri>
498Gentoo <uri
499link="http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php?content=20071">themes</uri>
500available.
501</p> 436</p>
502 437
503<p> 438<p>
504Finally, Xfce has its own built-in compositor to manage window transparency. 439Finally, Xfce has its own built-in compositor to manage window transparency.
505This option can be found in Menu --> Settings --> Window Manager. For best 440This option can be found in Menu --> Settings --> Window Manager. For best
506performance, you will need to be running a graphics card with drivers that 441performance, you will need to be running a graphics card with drivers that
507support hardware-accelerated rendering, and you will need to enable 442support hardware-accelerated rendering. Make sure you emerged <c>xfwm4</c> with
443the <c>xcomposite</c> USE flag. Next, you will need to enable compositing in
508compositing in <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> by adding the following section: 444<path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> by adding the following section:
509</p> 445</p>
510 446
511<pre caption="Enabling composite in xorg.conf"> 447<pre caption="Enabling composite in xorg.conf">
512Section "Extensions" 448Section "Extensions"
513 Option "Composite" "Enable" 449 Option "Composite" "Enable"
544<title>Resources</title> 480<title>Resources</title>
545<body> 481<body>
546 482
547<p> 483<p>
548Need additional help on configuring and using Xfce? Need more lightweight 484Need additional help on configuring and using Xfce? Need more lightweight
549application suggestions? Try asking the folks in: 485application suggestions? Try checking out:
550</p> 486</p>
551 487
552<ul> 488<ul>
553 <li><uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org">The Gentoo forums</uri></li> 489 <li><uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org">The Gentoo forums</uri></li>
554 <li>#xfce on irc.freenode.net</li> 490 <li>#xfce on irc.freenode.net</li>
491 <li>
492 The installed help files and other documentation provided by Xfce:
493 <path>/usr/share/xfce4/doc/C/index.html</path>. Just point your browser at
494 it and start reading. There are even a lot of "hidden" configuration options
495 detailed in the help files.
496 </li>
497 <li><uri link="http://www.xfce.org">Xfce's home page</uri></li>
555</ul> 498</ul>
556
557<p>
558Finally, Gentoo's Xfce team is responsible for making Xfce available in Portage.
559Send comments, thanks, and suggestions to <mail>xfce@gentoo.org</mail>.
560</p>
561 499
562</body> 500</body>
563</section> 501</section>
564</chapter> 502</chapter>
565</guide> 503</guide>

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