Trying XFCE in a minimal way

For the moment, I’m running Fedora with KDE. I like the design, but there’s a lot of small things not working (the panel not hiding, copy-pasting not always working). I don’t mind, but it tends to distract me from my work, because I start searching for solutions.
So I’m thinking of switching to XFCE (I don’t like the Gnome look). I don’t want to use the default XFCE applications (I use Betterbird for mail, LibreOffice for text and spreadsheet, Audacious for music, … and I want to keep using those). I don’t use a lot of KDE apps (I like Kmail, but it’s a pain to add and configure my accounts, I like Falkon, but the font is messed up).
Can I switch to XFCE without installing everything and then again removing it? I’m even wondering what exactly would be the difference, just the windowmanager and menumanager?? Because then I could just install those and be done?

EDIT, to answer the last part of my question myself:

$ sudo dnf group info "Xfce Desktop"
Laatste metadata-expiratie-check: 0:01:09 geleden op ma 13 mei 2024 18:20:02.
Omgevingsgroep: Xfce bureaublad
 Beschrijving: Een lichtgewicht bureaubladomgeving die zeer geschikt is voor minder krachtige machines.
 Verplichte groepen:
   Administration Tools
   Common NetworkManager Submodules
   Desktop accessibility
   Dial-up Networking Support
   Guest Desktop Agents
   Hardware Support
   Input Methods
   Printing Support
 Optionele groepen:
   3D Printing
   Applications for the Xfce Desktop
   Cloud Management Tools
   Extra plugins for the Xfce panel
   Multimedia support for Xfce
   Xfce Office
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Removed gnome

You can try with the Everything Image (Network install) and not select any of the optional groups.

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Thanks. That wouldn’t be a fresh install?
Meanwhile I already tried XFCE and it’s very small. Changing the screen scaling made it SMALLER, changing the window scaling broke the menu.
It felt a little too bare-bones… It felt like oldskool…
Maybe I have to try Cinnamon or MATE or LXQt :slight_smile:

You dont need a fresh install. But note that KDE Plasma will likely default to Wayland, XFCE is not ready for Wayland yet.

They will implement something that supports X11 and Wayland with libxfce4windowing (no idea how this should not overcomplicate things.

So XFCE is not just a simple Plasma replacement, not yet.

I understand your issues, but you may try GNOME on live USB, install dash to panel and give it a try.

Also, for me personally KDE just work out of the box, without many changes and really stable.

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And to the question, there will be some way to display what packages the XFCE group will install, right? You could do that one by one, see dnf group info Xfce

But note that this will likely lack themes and configs, I dont know how beautiful XFCE is out of the box

why does the xfce group have these gnome apps :


They provide the GUI for the respective VPN configurations. Although they have “gnome” in the name, they don’t require any of the gnome packages to be installed.


Thanks, that helps me understand better why XFCE didn’t look good.
Good idea about the Live USB, forgot about that option!

Because they are smaller desktops. LXQt uses tons of KDE packages too


Just for curiosity sake, what is wrong with using Gnome? I mean aside from it doesn’t look like (insert appropriate non free OS here). Honestly, for anyone trying to have the best OOTB experience with Fedora as their primary OS, Gnome in Workstation is the best.


I agree with you :100: … you probably wanted to reply to other participant then me ?!

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in my books that is gnome’s biggest usp.
you do not go from ford to mercedes & then want the mercedes to resemble the ford.

you nailed it.

desktop-backgrounds-compat exo f40-backgrounds-base garcon gvfs libdbusmenu libdbusmenu-gtk3 libwnck3 libxfce4ui libxfce4util libXres
lightdm-gtk mesa-dri-drivers network-manager-applet NetworkManager-wifi pulseaudio tumbler thunar xfce4-datetime-pluginxfce4-appfinder
xfce4-panel xfce4-power-manager xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin xfce4-session xfce4-settings xfce4-terminal xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin xfconf
xfdesktop xfwm4 xorg-x11-drv-libinput xorg-x11-server-Xorg xorg-x11-xinit

systemctl enable lightdm
systemctl set-default

doing the above should give you a pretty much vanilla / stock fedora xfce desktop environment.

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Yes but the point is that will very likely be worse than Plasma XD


Please test Fedora XFCE or LXQt (which has a nice file manager and Wayland support soon) on a live USB first.

And again, give Plasma a try for a few more days haha.

I decided to do exactly that: giving Plasma more time. And sooner or later I’ll try other options with a live USB!

Thank you. I’ll keep that post for when I want to try it that way. For now, after giving Plasma more time, I think I will test with a live USB.

@ilikelinux @7h35un You’re making me doubt to indeed give Gnome another chance. But I really like the lay-out of KDE much more :slight_smile:

If you use the “extension manager” flatpak, and “dash to panel”, maybe also “gnome tweaks”, you can change a lot of things and make it very usable.

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