How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]

Deepak Prasad


In this tutorial we will explain about XFCE Desktop Environment, it's pros and cons. We will also cover step by step instructions to install XFCE on Ubuntu and help you login to XFCE GUI Console.



XFCE, a lightweight and efficient desktop environment , offers Ubuntu users an alternative interface that prioritizes speed and simplicity. While Ubuntu comes with its default desktop environment, such as GNOME, users often seek alternatives that consume fewer system resources and provide a more streamlined experience. XFCE is an excellent choice for those who prefer a snappy and user-friendly interface without compromising functionality.


Pros of XFCE:

  • Resource Efficiency: XFCE is renowned for its minimal system requirements, making it an ideal choice for older hardware or systems with limited resources.
  • Speed and Responsiveness: The lightweight nature of XFCE ensures swift performance, allowing for quicker application launches and smoother user interactions.
  • Customizability: XFCE provides a high level of customization, allowing users to tailor the desktop environment to their liking. From themes and icon sets to panel layouts, users have the flexibility to create a personalized workspace.
  • Stability: XFCE is known for its stability and reliability. It's a desktop environment that gets the job done without unnecessary frills, making it a preferred choice for users who prioritize a dependable computing experience.
  • User-Friendly Interface: XFCE retains a familiar desktop layout, making it accessible for users transitioning from other environments. The interface is intuitive and straightforward.


Cons of XFCE:

  • Visual Appeal: While XFCE's simplicity is a strength, some users might find it lacking in the visual flair offered by more modern desktop environments like GNOME or KDE.
  • Feature Set: XFCE may not include all the advanced features present in heavier desktop environments. Users seeking an extensive set of built-in tools and utilities might find XFCE less feature-rich.

In this guide, we will explore the process of installing XFCE on Ubuntu, highlighting its advantages and potential drawbacks. Whether you're reviving an older system or simply looking for a desktop environment that balances performance and customization, XFCE provides a compelling option. Let's delve into the installation steps and uncover the potential of XFCE within the Ubuntu ecosystem.



Before diving into the installation process, there are a few prerequisites to ensure a smooth setup of XFCE on your Ubuntu system.

By completing these prerequisites, you lay the groundwork for a successful installation of XFCE on your Ubuntu system. Once you've updated the package list and verified the necessary resources, you're ready to proceed with the installation process.


Steps to Install XFCE on Ubuntu

Now that we have ensured our system is prepared, let's proceed with the installation of XFCE on your Ubuntu system. Follow these step-by-step instructions to seamlessly integrate XFCE:


1. Open Terminal

Launch the Terminal by pressing `Ctrl + Alt + T`. This is where we will execute commands to install XFCE.


2. Update Package List

Execute the following command to update the package list, ensuring you have the latest information about available software:

How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]


3. Install XFCE Package

Execute the following command to install XFCE on your Ubuntu system:

How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]


4. Additional Packages (Optional)

While XFCE itself provides a lightweight and functional desktop environment, you can further enhance your experience by installing additional packages. One notable package is xfce4-goodies, which includes extra plugins and utilities. To install these optional packages, use the following command:

sudo apt install xfce4-goodies


5. Log Out or Restart

After the installation is complete, log out of your current session or restart your system. After the XFCE installation is complete, it's essential to either log out of your current session or restart your system. This step ensures that the changes take effect and XFCE becomes the active desktop environment. You can log out by clicking on your username in the top right corner of the screen and selecting "Log Out." Alternatively, you can restart your system using the following command:

sudo reboot

Or Simply Log Out from the system

How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]

Approve the Log Out ( We have chosen the Log Out here )

How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]


6. Choose XFCE on Login

Once you've logged out or restarted, you'll be prompted to log in again. On the login screen, look for a gear or settings icon near your username. Click on it, and you should see a list of available desktop environments. Select "XFCE" from the list, enter your password, and log in. This step ensures that XFCE is the chosen desktop environment for your session.

How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]

Select "XFCE" from the list of available desktop environments.

How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]

Getting a better view here of our selection

How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]

Enter your password and log in.

How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]

So we have the XFCE

How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]


7. Customize XFCE (Optional)

Right-click on the desktop and select "Desktop Settings" to customize wallpapers, themes, and other visual aspects.

How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]

Explore the XFCE settings manager for further customization options.

How to Install XFCE on Ubuntu [Step-by-Step]


8. Troubleshooting (If needed)

   - If you encounter any issues with XFCE or wish to reset it to default settings, you can do so by creating a new configuration folder. Use the following command to move your existing configuration to a backup folder:

sudo mv ~/.config/xfce4 ~/.config/xfce4_backup

This action creates a backup of your current XFCE configuration, and the system will generate a new one with default settings the next time you log in. This will move your existing configuration to a backup folder.


9. Enjoy XFCE

XFCE is now successfully installed on your Ubuntu system. Enjoy the lightweight and user-friendly desktop environment.

By following these steps, you've successfully integrated XFCE into your Ubuntu environment. Feel free to explore the customization options and make XFCE your own.


In conclusion, you've successfully installed XFCE on your Ubuntu system, a lightweight desktop environment known for its speed, efficiency, and customizability. Take advantage of XFCE's features, explore the customization options, and tailor it to your preferences. Whether you're reviving an older system or simply seeking a desktop environment that strikes a balance between performance and functionality, XFCE provides a compelling choice. Enjoy your new XFCE-powered Ubuntu experience!


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Deepak Prasad

He is the founder of GoLinuxCloud and brings over a decade of expertise in Linux, Python, Go, Laravel, DevOps, Kubernetes, Git, Shell scripting, OpenShift, AWS, Networking, and Security. With extensive experience, he excels in various domains, from development to DevOps, Networking, and Security, ensuring robust and efficient solutions for diverse projects. You can reach out to him on his LinkedIn profile or join on Facebook page.

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