Xfce ( English pronunciation: [ si ː i ː ɛks ɛf ]; ugs often " X-Face " as " face for X") is a modular free desktop environment for Unix and Unix- like operating systems. It is released as free software under GPL, LGPL and 2- clause BSD license.


Xfce is based, like Gnome, LXDE and ROX on the GTK toolkit, currently supports over 40 languages ​​and can be adjusted by means of Themes in appearance. Since Xfce 4 is compliant with the freedesktop.org standards, it can also GNOME and KDE programs deal - and vice versa.


The development of Xfce panel for fvwm was started in 1996 by Olivier Fourdan. Initially Xfce based on the XForms library, hence the acronym originally stood for XForms Common Environment, was in accordance with the spelling XFCE. Because newer versions of Xfce no longer be based on XForms, the acronym is now irrelevant.

With the version 2.0 released in 1997 for the first time developed for Xfce window manager xfwm was included.

Was published in 1999 with version 3 then a re-written using GTK version. Up to this release, Xfce was leaning on to the Common Desktop Environment (CDE ), which shipped with most commercial Unix operating systems.

Version 4.0 is dated September 2003, with almost the entire architecture of Xfce has been changed. The visual appearance has been improved and the modularity. Since this version is also a framework for developing new Xfce applications.

With the process after two years of development on January 21, 2007 Revision 4.4 Xfce held the support of the new composite functions of X.Org, such as shadows and true transparency, feeder ( which already version 4.2 this partially supported ). Another new feature is the support of icons on the desktop. Another new feature is that the current file manager xffm was replaced by Thunar, and the software included in Leafpad -based text editor Mousepad.

Version 4.6 was released on 27 February 2009. This brought an innovation, for example, with Xfconf an anabolic on D-Bus configuration system.

Version 4.8 was released development work on 16 January 2011 after two years. It was strongly adapted to current, modern desktop frameworks, so that ThunarVFS and HAL are no longer needed by the consistent use of GIO, udev, ConsoleKit and PolicyKit. The Thunar file manager now also supports native access to SFTP, FTP and SMB shares. In addition a number of other smaller improvements.

Version 4.10 was released on 28 April 2012.

Components of the Xfce project

Plus the core components ( session management, taskbar, etc.) are still part of the Xfce project the following programs:

There are also the following community applications from Xfce Goodies:

In addition, several plugins to extension of the above components.

Distributions with Xfce

The following distributions using Xfce as the default desktop, or offer it as an installation option for the default desktop:

  • ALT Linux ( Simply Linux )
  • Aptosid
  • Arch Linux
  • CrunchBang
  • Debian ( businesscard, netinst and DVD)
  • Dreamlinux
  • Dyne: bolic
  • Fedora ( Xfce Spin )
  • Foresight Linux ( Xfce Edition)
  • Gentoo
  • Linux Mint ( XFCE Community Edition and Linux Mint Debian Edition ( LMDE ) )
  • Manjaro
  • Mythbuntu
  • OpenSUSE ( Xfce Live CD)
  • OS4
  • PCLinuxOS ( XFCE desktop)
  • Salix OS
  • Slackware
  • SystemRescueCd
  • Xubuntu
  • Yellow Dog Linux
  • Zenwalk Linux (Standard Edition, Live Edition )
  • ZevenOS