Difference between revisions of "Xfce"

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If you wish to prevent certain partitions or drives appearing on the desktop, you can create a udev rule, for example {{ic|/etc/udev/rules.d/10-local.rules}}:
If you wish to prevent certain partitions or drives appearing on the desktop, you can create a udev rule, for example {{ic|/etc/udev/rules.d/10-local.rules}}:
Would show all partitions with the exception of sda1 and sda2 on your desktop.
Would show all partitions with the exception of sda1 and sda2 on your desktop.

Revision as of 11:05, 28 October 2012

zh-CN:Xfce Template:Article summary start Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary end

From Xfce - About:

Xfce embodies the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and re-usability. It consists of a number of components that provide the full functionality one can expect of a modern desktop environment. They are packaged separately and you can pick among the available packages to create the optimal personal working environment.


What is Xfce?

Xfce is a Desktop Environment, like GNOME or KDE. It contains a suite of apps like a root window app, window manager, file manager, panel, etc. Xfce is written using the GTK2 toolkit, and contains its own development environment (libraries, daemons, etc), similar to other big DEs. Features:

  • Lighter on resources than the other major DEs (KDE, GNOME).
  • Most settings are exposed via a GUI, Xfce does not try to hide stuff from the user.
  • Xfwm has an optional built-in compositor which allows for true transparency and all the benefits of GPU acceleration (minimizes tearing, etc.).
  • It works great with multiple monitors.


Before starting, make sure you have the X server installed and configured correctly.

Note: Xfce is somewhat modular. That means there is no need for you to run every part, you can pick and choose some of them.

The base Xfce system can be installed with the group xfce4, available in the Official Repositories. Pacman will ask you to select the packages to install, but you probably want to get them all by simply pressing Template:Keypress. Additional packages, like panel plugins, notifications, and system tools are available in the xfce4-goodies group.

Tip: Installing Gamin (the successor of FAM) is highly recommended.

In order to get the xfce4-mixer to work with ALSA, you need to install gstreamer0.10-base-plugins. See below for help with OSS.

Running Xfce

Automatically at boot time

There are two methods to start Xfce (and in fact, any desktop or window manager) at boot time:


Note: See xinitrc for details, such as preserving the logind (and/or consolekit) session.

You can execute:

$ startxfce4

from the console, or configure xinitrc and use xinit or startx.

If you have not created a ~/.xinitrc yet, do so with:

$ cp /etc/skel/.xinitrc ~/.xinitrc

and add the following line:

exec startxfce4



if [ -d /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d ]; then
  for f in /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/*; do
    [ -x "$f" ] && . "$f"
  unset f

exec startxfce4
  • In case you are wondering, dbus-launch will be launched by the xinitrc.d code at the beginning of the file. dbus-launch starts a dbus-daemon instance to provide communication with PolicyKit.
  • The proper command for launching Xfce is startxfce4: do not start xfce4-session directly, since it is already run by startxfce4 itself.

Shutting down, rebooting, and automounting from within Xfce

  • Make sure that dbus is enabled in the DAEMONS array in /etc/rc.conf.
  • If no display manager is used:
    • Do not use a broken hack like starting X via inittab.
    • For automounting to work, install polkit-gnome for authorization.
  • If you want to automount removable disk in thunar, install and configure thunar-volman and gamin, and make sure gvfs and gvfs-afc is installed, see details .

Shutdown & reboot from shutdown menu when using systemd

If you are using systemd instead of sysvinit, when trying to shutdown or reboot from the shutdown menu of xfce4 it actually logout to DM; installing systemd-sysvcompat corrects this misbehavior.

Tips and tricks

Configuring Xfconf settings

Xfconf is XFCE's system for storing configuration options, and most XFCE configuration is done by editing settings in Xfconf (one way or another). There are several ways to modify these settings:

  • The most obvious and easiest way is to go to "Settings" in the main menu and select the category you want to customize. However, not all customization options are available this way.
  • A less user-friendly but more general way is to go to
    Main menu -> Settings -> Settings Editor
    where you can see and modify all the customization options. Any settings modified here will take effect immediately. The Settings Editor can also be launched from the command line by invoking xfce4-settings-editor.
  • Customization can be done completely from the command line using the program xfconf-query. See the XFCE online documentation for more information and examples and the rest of this wiki page for more examples. Settings changed here will take effect immediately.
  • The settings are stored in XML files in ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/ which can be edited by hand. However, changes made here will not take effect immediately.
  • For more information: Xfconf documentation


How to customize xfce panel background

Edit ~/.gtkrc-2.0. Note that you must place the image in the same directory as the configuration, which is ~/. You can not specify the path to the image, or it will not work.

 style "panel-background" {
   bg_pixmap[NORMAL]        = "foo.bar"
   bg_pixmap[PRELIGHT]      = "foo.bar"
   bg_pixmap[ACTIVE]        = "foo.bar"
   bg_pixmap[SELECTED]      = "foo.bar"
   bg_pixmap[INSENSITIVE]   = "foo.bar"
 widget_class "*Panel*" style "panel-background"

Replacements for the default 'menu' panel applet

The "Ubuntu System Panel" (GNOME) panel applet has similar features to those found in its KDE v4.2 equivalent. It can be added to an Xfce panel via the 'XfApplet' panel applet, which allows GNOME applets to be used in Xfce.

It is available in the AUR as the usp2AUR package.

How to remove menu entries from the System menu

Method 1

With the built-in menu editor, you cannot remove menu entries from the System menu. Here’s how to hide them:

  1. Open Terminal (Xfce menu > System > Terminal) and go to the /usr/share/applications folder:
    $ cd /usr/share/applications
  2. This folder should be full of .desktop files. To see a list type:
    $ ls
  3. Add NoDisplay=true to the .desktop file. For example, if you want to hide Firefox, type in the terminal:
    $ sudo sh -c 'echo "NoDisplay=true" >> firefox.desktop'
    This command appends the text NoDisplay=true to the end of the .desktop file.
Method 2

Another method is to copy the entire contents of the global applications directory over to your local applications directory, and then proceed to modify and/or disable unwanted .desktop entries. This will survive application updates that overwrite changes under /usr/share/applications/.

  1. In a terminal, copy everything from /usr/share/applications to ~/.local/share/applications/:
    $ cp /usr/share/applications/* ~/.local/share/applications/
  2. For any entry you wish to hide from the menu, add the NoDisplay=true option:
    $ echo "NoDisplay=true" >> ~/.local/share/applications/foo.desktop

You can also edit the application's category by editing the .desktop file with a text editor and modifying the Categories= line.

Method 3

The third method is the cleanest and recommended in the Xfce wiki.

Create the file ~/.config/menus/xfce-applications.menu and copy the following in it:

<!DOCTYPE Menu PUBLIC "-//freedesktop//DTD Menu 1.0//EN"

    <MergeFile type="parent">/etc/xdg/menus/xfce-applications.menu</MergeFile>




        <Merge type="all"/>




The <MergeFile> tag includes the default Xfce menu in our file. This is important.

The <Exclude> tag excludes applications which we do not want to appear in the menu. Here we excluded some Xfce default shortcuts, but you can exclude firefox.desktop or any other application.

The <Layout> tag defines the layout of the menu. The applications can be organized in folders or however we wish. For more details see the aforementioned Xfce wiki page.

Method 4

Alternatively a tool called lxmed can be used. Lxmed is a GUI tool written in Java for editing menu entires in LXDE, but it also works in Xfce4. Lxmed is available in the lxmedAUR package from the AUR.

But what do you do with menu entries which do not show up in /usr/share/applications (e.g., apps installed via Wine)?

I have found some shortcuts that show in the category “Other” in this directory: ~/.local/share/applications/wine/.

Panel autohide delay

Add this to ~/.gtkrc-2.0.

 style "xfce-panel-window-style"
   # Time in miliseconds before the panel will unhide on an enter event
   XfcePanelWindow::popup-delay = 225
   # Time in miliseconds before the panel will hide on a leave event
   XfcePanelWindow::popdown-delay = 350
 class "XfcePanelWindow" style "xfce-panel-window-style"

Panel at desktop level

If you want a panel at desktop level (i.e., other windows will stack over it) you need a little hack, ensure you have installed the wmctrl package.

Create a script in ~/.config/xfce4/xfce4-fix-panel with this content and make it executable (you can use chmod 755 xfce4-fix-panel).

set -e

function getPanelIdImpl() {
  # get panel id
  PANEL="`wmctrl -l | sed -n -e '/ xfce4-panel$/ s_ .*$__ p' | sed -n -e $1' p'`"

function getPanelId() {
  # eventually await the panel to appear
  getPanelIdImpl $1
  while [ x = x$PANEL ] ;do
    sleep 0.5s
    getPanelIdImpl $1

function putPanelDown() {
  getPanelId $1
  wmctrl -i -r $PANEL -b add,below

# call the program with a list of panel numbers as arguments
# for example, xfce4-fix-panel 1 2 3
# for the first three panels
for i in $* ;do
  putPanelDown $i

Once wrote the script, and tested it, you need to auto-execute it at each login. You can use the Session and StartUp -> Application Autostart gui.

This passage will put your panels at desktop level, but if your panel is sticking to a border the maximized windows will not stack over it. You can enable this behavior with the following command, fortunately you need to do this only once. (change the $ID with the panel number of interest)

xfconf-query -c xfce4-panel -p /panels/panel-$ID/disable-struts -n -t bool -s true


Use a transparent background for desktop icon titles

To change the default white background of desktop icon titles to something more suitable, edit the .gtkrc-2.0 file in your home directory (or create the file if needed) and add the following:

style "xfdesktop-icon-view" {
XfdesktopIconView::label-alpha = 10
base[NORMAL] = "#000000"
base[SELECTED] = "#71B9FF"
base[ACTIVE] = "#71FFAD"
fg[NORMAL] = "#ffffff"
fg[SELECTED] = "#71B9FF"
fg[ACTIVE] = "#71FFAD" }
widget_class "*XfdesktopIconView*" style "xfdesktop-icon-view"

Hide selected partitions on the desktop

If you wish to prevent certain partitions or drives appearing on the desktop, you can create a udev rule, for example /etc/udev/rules.d/10-local.rules:


Would show all partitions with the exception of sda1 and sda2 on your desktop.

Switch to old desktop right click menu without Thunar things

xfconf-query -c xfce4-desktop -v --create -p /desktop-icons/style -t int -s 0

Adding the kill window shortcut

Xfce does not support the kill window shortcut directly, but you can add one with a simple script. Ensure you have the xorg-xkill package installed.

Create a script in ~/.config/xfce4/killwindow.sh with this content and make it executable (you can use chmod 755 killwindow.sh).

xkill -id "`xprop -root -notype | sed -n '/^_NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW/ s/^.*# *\|\,.*$//g p'`"

Now associate a shortcut using Settings -> Keyboard to that script.


How to enable the compositor in Xfce

Xfce comes with a builtin compositor adding the option for fancy window effects, shadows and transparency and so on. It can be enabled in the Window Manager Tweaks and works on the fly. No additional settings are needed in your /etc/xorg.conf. To enable and adjust settings, go to:

Menu  -->  Settings  -->  Window Manager Tweaks

Disable window roll-up

xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/mousewheel_rollup -s false

Disable/enable automatic resizing/tiling of windows at edge of screen

XFWM4 has the ability to "tile" a window automatically when it is moved to the edge of the screen by resizing it to fill the top half of the screen. (The official XFCE website says this feature is disabled by default in XFCE 4.10, but it seems to be enabled by default on Arch Linux.) This behavior can be enabled or disabled in Window Manager Tweaks --> Accessibility --> Automatically tile windows when moving toward the screen edge, or:

xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/tile_on_move -s false  # To disable
xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/tile_on_move -s true   # To enable

Commands for the settings manager

There is no official documentation for the commands executed. One must look at .desktop files /usr/share/applications/ folder. For the people who like to know exactly what is happening, here is a handy list to save the effort:

orage -p

To review all the available setting manager commands run the following in a terminal:

$ grep '^Exec=' /usr/share/applications/xfce*settings* | sed -e 's_^.*=_ _'


Customizing Startup Applications

This includes getting necessary environment variables into the GUI runtime.

  • Copy the file /etc/xdg/xfce4/xinitrc to ~/.config/xfce4/
  • Edit this file. For example, you can add something like this somehwere in the middle:
source $HOME/.bashrc
# start rxvt-unicode server
urxvtd -q -o -f

Switch between users

Xfce4 allows this behavior under the 'action buttons' menu item. Currently, both gdm and lightdm provide this functionality.

Modify XML settings files directly

It may be useful, especially when upgrading, to manually edit .xml files in the ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/ folder. For application keyboard shortcuts for example, the file is ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts.xml. It is faster to copy and paste the XML keys that you want rather than using the GUI.

Removable Devices

If you want an icon appearing on your desktop and in thunar when you plug in external devices, make sure gvfs is installed:

# pacman -S --needed gvfs

You could also need to install gvfs-afc (read this discussion):

# pacman -S gvfs-afc

It is also a good idea to install thunar-volman (included in the xfce4-goodies group):

# pacman -S thunar-volman

Udisk and a udisk wrapper are recommended if you want to automount optical and external drives easily

  • devmon - devmon (AUR) is a configuration-less bash wrapper script for udisks which automounts optical discs and removable drives. It can also selectively autostart apps or execute commands after mounting, ignore specified devices and volume labels, and unmount removable drives.

How to add themes to XFCE

1. Go to www.xfce-look.org and click "Themes" in the left navbar. Look around for a theme you want and click "Download".

2. Go to the directory where you downloaded the tarball/file and extract it using Squeeze/Xarchiver/CLI.

3. Move the extracted folder to /usr/share/themes (for all users) or ~/.themes (for just you). Inside /usr/share/themes/abc, there is a folder that you create called xfwm4 that will contain whatever files that is included with that theme.

4. GTK theme is available here:

Menu --> Settings --> Appearance

You select your xfwm theme in:

Menu --> Settings --> Window Manager


Main article: X11 Cursors

If you have alternative X cursor themes installed, Xfce can find them with:

Menu --> Settings --> Mouse --> Theme


1. First find and download your desired icon pack. Recommended places to download icons from are Customize.org, Opendesktop.org and Xfce-look.org.

2. Go to the directory where you downloaded the icon pack and extract it. Example tar -xzf /home/user/downloads/icon-pack.tar.gz.

3. Move the extracted folder containing the icons to /usr/share/icons (if you want all users on the system to make use of the icons) or ~/.icons (if only you want to use the icons).

Optional: run gtk-update-icon-cache -f -t ~/.icons/<theme_name> to update icon cache

4. Switch your icons by going to:

Menu --> Settings --> Appearance --> Icons

When you have icon theme problems, it is also recommended to install the hicolor-icon-theme package if it was not already installed.


If you find the standard fonts rather thick and or slightly out of focus open Settings>Appearence click on the Fonts tab and under Hinting: change to Full

You could also try using a custom DPI setting.


Configuring xfce4-mixer

xfce4-mixer is the GUI mixer app / panel plugin made by the Xfce team. It is part of the xfce4 group, so you probably already have it installed. Xfce 4.6 uses gstreamer as the backend to control volume, so first you have to make gstreamer cooperate with xfce4-mixer. One or more of the gstreamer plugin packages listed as optional dependencies to xfce4-mixer must be installed. Without one of these required plugins packages, the following error arises when clicking on the mixer panel item.

 GStreamer was unable to detect any sound devices. Some sound system specific GStreamer packages may be missing. It may also be a permissions problem.

(It is probably not a permissions problem. It is no longer required to add audio users to the "audio" group.) Which plugins are needed depends on the hardware. Most people should be fine with gstreamer0.10-base-plugins which can be installed from Official Repositories.

If the xfce4-mixer panel item was already running before one of the plugins packages was installed, logout and login to see if it worked, or just remove the mixer plugin from the panel and add it again. If that does not work, you might need more or different gstreamer plugins. Try to install package gstreamer0.10-good-plugins or gstreamer0.10-bad-plugins.

For further details, for example how to set the default sound card, see Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. Alternatively you can use PulseAudio together with pavucontrol.

How do I get xfce4-mixer and OSS4 to work together?

If you tried the above section to get xfce4-mixer to work and it does not work at all, then you may have to compile gstreamer0.10-good-plugins yourself. Download the PKGBUILD and other files needed from ABS or here, edit the PKGBUILD, add --enable-oss.

 ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var \
   --enable-oss \
   --disable-static --enable-experimental \
   --disable-schemas-install \
   --disable-hal \
   --with-package-name="GStreamer Good Plugins (Archlinux)" \

and then run makepkg -i.

 makepkg -i

Still not working? Try this package in AUR gstreamer0.10-good-plugins-ossv4AUR, modify the pkgver to the newest in the PKGBUILD, and it should work.

Other LINKS: OSS forum

Change volume with keyboard volume buttons

Go to

Settings --> Keyboard

Click the "Application Shortcuts" tab and add click the "Add" button. Add the following by entering the command, then pressing the corresponding button at the next window:


For the raise volume button:

amixer set Master 5%+

For the lower volume button:

amixer set Master 5%-

For the mute button:

amixer set Master toggle

You can also run these commands to set the above commands to the standard XF86Audio keys:

xfconf-query -c xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts -p /commands/custom/XF86AudioRaiseVolume -n -t string -s "amixer set Master 5%+ unmute"
xfconf-query -c xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts -p /commands/custom/XF86AudioLowerVolume -n -t string -s "amixer set Master 5%- unmute"
xfconf-query -c xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts -p /commands/custom/XF86AudioMute -n -t string -s "amixer set Master toggle"

If amixer set Master toggle does not work, try the PCM channel (amixer set PCM toggle) instead.

The channel must have a "mute" option for the toggle command to work. To check whether or not your Master channel supports toggling mute, run alsamixer in a terminal and look for the double M's (MM) under the Master channel. If they are not present, then it does not support the mute option. If, for example, you had to change the toggle button to use the PCM channel, make sure to also set the PCM channel as the Mixer Track under Xfce Mixer properties.


Use one of these scripts: http://www.opensound.com/wiki/index.php/Tips_And_Tricks#Using_multimedia_keys_with_OSS

If using ossvol (recommended), add:

ossvol -i 1

for the volume up button

ossvol -d 1

for the volume down button

ossvol -t

for the mute/unmute button


xfce4-volumed daemon from the AUR automatically maps volume keys of your keyboard to Xfce-mixer. Additionally you get OSD through Xfce4-notifyd when changing volume. Xfce4-volumed does not need any configuration and is started automatically with Xfce.

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: There should be a short explanation of what this does and why it fixes the issue (bug?). (Discuss in Talk:Xfce#)

If you use pulseaudio and xfce4-volumed unmute does not work, try this:

$ xfconf-query -c xfce4-mixer -p /active-card -s `xfconf-query -c xfce4-mixer -p /sound-card`

volumeicon is an alternative to xfce4-volumed in the community repo also handling keybindings and notifications through xfce4-notifyd.

Adding startup/boot sound

Arch does not have a built-in startup sound configuration tool, but there is a workaround by adding the following command to your Application Autostart settings:

aplay /boot/startupsound.wav

The file location and filename can be whatever you want, but naming it descriptively and putting it in /boot keeps things tidy.

xdg-open integration (Preferred Applications)

Most applications rely on xdg-open for opening a preferred application for a given file or URL.

In order for xdg-open and xdg-settings to detect and integrate with the XFCE desktop environment correctly, you need to install the xorg-xprop package.

If you do not do that, your preferred applications preferences (set by exo-preferred-applications) will not be obeyed. Installing the package and allowing xdg-open to detect that you are running XFCE makes it forward all calls to exo-open instead, which correctly uses all your preferred applications preferences.

To make sure xdg-open integration is working correctly, ask xdg-settings for the default web browser and see what the result is:

# xdg-settings get default-web-browser

If it replies with:

xdg-settings: unknown desktop environment

it means that it has failed to detect XFCE as your desktop environment, which is likely due to a missing xorg-xprop package.


Using print-screen key

A simple way is to use a command-line screenshot utility:

# pacman -S scrot

Then go to:

XFCE Menu  -->  Settings  -->  Keyboard  >>>  Application Shortcuts.

Add the "scrot" command to use the "PrintScreen" key.

All screenshots will be placed in your home folder with unique names (i.e. 2009-02-19-063052_1280x1024_scrot.png).


There is also an a screenshot plugin for the Xfce panel, which can be used instead of scrot, that is available in extra:

# pacman -S xfce4-screenshooter

You can add a keyboard binding for it using the command

xfce4-screenshooter -f

instead of "scrot". You will get a dialog window after pressing "Print" where you can copy the image to the clipboard or save it.

Change mount options

A common problem when automounting USB sticks formatted with fat filesystem is the inability to properly show characters as umlauts, ñ, ß, etc. This may be solved by changing the default iocharset to utf8, which is easily done adding a line to /etc/xdg/xfce4/mount.rc:

# FreeBSD specific option

Note that when using utf-8, the system will distinct between upper- and lowercases, potentially corrupting your files, so be careful.

It is possible to mount vfat devices with flush option, so that when copying to USB sticks data flushes more often, thus making thunar's progress bar to stays up until finished. Adding async instead will speed up write ops, but make sure to use Eject option in Thunar to unmount the stick. Globally, mount options for storage devices present at boot can be set in fstab, and for other devices in udev rules.

Terminal tango color theme

Open with your favorite editor


And add(replace) this lines:


Colour management

xfce4-settings-manager does not yet have any colour management / calibration settings, nor is there any specific XFCE program to characterise your monitor.

Loading a profile

If you wish to load an icc profile (that you have previously created or downloaded) to calibrate your display on startup, you can download xcalibAUR from AUR, then open the XFCE4 Settings Manager, click Session and Startup icon, the Autostart tab, and add a new entry where the command is /usr/bin/xcalib /path/to/your/profile.icc. You still need to tell your applications, which display profile should be used to have the displayed images colour managed.

Another option is dispwin. Dispwin not only calibrates the display, but also sets the _ICC_PROFILE atom in X so that some applications can use a "system" display profile instead of requiring the user to set the display profile manually (GIMP, Inkscape, darktable, UFRaw, etc.).

See ICC_Profiles#Loading_ICC_Profiles for more information.

Creating a profile

If you wish to create an icc profile for your display (ie. characterising/profiling, e.g. with the ColorHug, or some other colorimeter, or a spectrophotometer, or "by eye"), the simplest option may be to install dispcalGUI from AUR.

Another option is gnome-control-center (available in extra), which has a much simpler GUI, but less options and requires installing some Gnome dependencies. In order to start the calibration from the command line, first do colormgr get-devices and look for the "Device ID" line of your monitor. If this is e.g. "xrandr-Lenovo Group Limited", you start calibration with the commabnd gcm-calibrate --device "xrandr-Lenovo Group Limited".

Note: It seems like you need to run the full gnome-control-center because XFCE does not yet have a session component for colord: https://bugzilla.xfce.org/show_bug.cgi?id=8559

See ICC Profiles for more information.

XDG User Directories

freedesktop.org specifies the "well known" user directories like the desktop folder and the music folder. The xdg-user-dirs to manage them and it also handles localization (i.e. translation) of the filenames.

# pacman -S xdg-user-dirs

If you want to use the directories with your localized names, run the following command on your user:

$ xdg-user-dirs-update

If you want to revert to English, run the following:

$ LC_ALL=C xdg-user-dirs-update

It then creates localized (or English) versions of these directories in your home directory and sets up a config file in $(XDG_CONFIG_HOME)/user-dirs.dirs (XDG_CONFIG_HOME defaults to ~/.config). The Xfce and other softwares complying the freedesktop.org knows that is where those types of files should go by default.

In the case of the French:


You can edit these files directly by using text editor.


Unable to open external windows partitions

If you have external partitions like a fat32 drive connected via eSata, and launching them from the desktop results in a dialog telling you 'Authentication is required', you need to ensure polkit-gnome is installed and PolicyKit Authentication Agent is started by xfce4.

pacman -S polkit-gnome

Restart xfce4 and go:

Applications Menu > Settings > Sessions and Startup

Check that PolicyKit Authentication Agent is enabled under the Application Autostart tab.

xfce4-power-manager is not working

Check you have added dbus to the DAEMONS array in /etc/rc.conf.

Xfce4-xkb-plugin settings issue

There is a bug in version which causes xkb-plugin to lose keyboard, layout switching and compose key settings. As a workaround you may enable Use system defaults option in keyboard settings. To do so run


Go to Layout tab and set the Use system defaults flag, then reconfigure xkb-plugin.

Thunar does not display any thumbnail

Thunar relies on Tumbler to generate thumbnails. You can install Tumbler by issuing

pacman -S tumbler

More details in Thunar's page.

Locales ignored with GDM

Become superuser and add your locale to /var/lib/AccountsService/users/$USER:

su -c "nano /var/lib/AccountsService/users/$USER"

Replace hu_HU.UTF-8 with your own locale:


You may also do it with sed. Note the backslash before .UTF-8:

su -c "sed -i 's/Language=.*/Language=hu_HU\.UTF-8/' /var/lib/AccountsService/users/$USER"

Restart GDM to take effect.

Restore default settings

If for any reason you need to revert back to the default settings, try renaming ~/.config/xfce4-session/ and ~/.config/xfce4/

$ mv ~/.config/xfce4-session/ ~/.config/xfce4-session-bak
$ mv ~/.config/xfce4/ ~/.config/xfce4-bak

Logout and login for changes to take effect.

NVIDIA and xfce4-sensors-plugin

To detect and use sensors of nvidia gpu you need to install libxnvctrlAUR and then recompile xfce4-sensors-plugin package.

Session failure

If the window manager does not load correctly (The mouse is a X and you cannot close windows) you maybe got an session error. To remove a corrupt session you can delete the session folder at the .cache folder.

# rm -r ~/.cache/sessions/

The easy way to reload the session is to reboot the computer. You can also restart xfce.

Clock/notification area no longer pushed to the right edge of the panel in Xfce 4.10

This is due to a change in the Window Buttons panel plugin which no longer expands to fill the available space.

To emulate the old behavior, add a transparent separator between the window buttons and the clock/notification area, setting its expand property.

Preferred Applications preferences have no effect

If you have set your preferred applications with exo-preferred-applications, but they do not seem to be taken into consideration, see Xfce#xdg-open_integration_.28Preferred_Applications.29

Action Buttons in the panel are missing icons

This happens if icons for some actions (Suspend, Hibernate) are missing from the icon theme, or at least do not have the expected names. First, find out the currently used icon theme in the Settings Manager (→Appearance→Icons). Match this with a subdirectory of /usr/share/icons. For example, if the icon theme is GNOME, make a note of the directory name /usr/share/icons/gnome.


Make sure that the xfce4-power-manager is installed as this contains the needed icons. Now create symbolic links from the current icon theme into the hicolor icon theme.

ln -s /usr/share/icons/hicolor/16x16/actions/xfpm-suspend.png   ${icontheme}/16x16/actions/system-suspend.png
ln -s /usr/share/icons/hicolor/16x16/actions/xfpm-hibernate.png ${icontheme}/16x16/actions/system-hibernate.png
ln -s /usr/share/icons/hicolor/22x22/actions/xfpm-suspend.png   ${icontheme}/22x22/actions/system-suspend.png
ln -s /usr/share/icons/hicolor/22x22/actions/xfpm-hibernate.png ${icontheme}/22x22/actions/system-hibernate.png
ln -s /usr/share/icons/hicolor/24x24/actions/xfpm-suspend.png   ${icontheme}/24x24/actions/system-suspend.png
ln -s /usr/share/icons/hicolor/24x24/actions/xfpm-hibernate.png ${icontheme}/24x24/actions/system-hibernate.png
ln -s /usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/actions/xfpm-suspend.png   ${icontheme}/48x48/actions/system-suspend.png
ln -s /usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/actions/xfpm-hibernate.png ${icontheme}/48x48/actions/system-hibernate.png

Log out and in again, and you should see icons for all actions.

See also