The Xfce desktop — Small, fast, and easy on resources

Window Manager

As its window to the world, the Xfce environment uses the Xfwm4 window manager. The window manager is kept quite simple, but it still has fairly extensive configuration options (Figure 10). Xfwm4 lets you maximize windows either horizontally, vertically, or in both directions at the same time. Click the button in the title bar of a window with the right, middle, or left mouse button.

Figure 10: The configuration tool groups in the Xfce Settings dialog. Appearance, Window Manager, and Window Manager Tweaks control the window manager's behavior.

Xfwm4 also supports a tiled window arrangement. You can manage the virtual desktops in the Settings tool via the Workspaces dialog. To page between the virtual workspaces, use Ctrl+F1, Ctrl+F2, and so on in the default setting.

The Keyboard dialog lets you set keyboard shortcuts for many desktop actions and applications, for example, grabbing screenshots with xfce4-screenshooter or locking the screen with xflock4. Actions carried out directly by the window manager, such as moving or closing windows, are configured in the Keyboard tab of the Window Manager tool.


Xfce presents itself as a simple, functional, and enjoyable, resource-saving desktop environment that runs quickly, even on older computers. Because the number of active Xfce developers is fairly low, it is not entirely surprising that development progress itself is rather slow. However, the focus of Xfce has never been about "killer" features anyway, so slow and steady fits in well with the project vision. An extensive feature wishlist by Xfce users clearly shows that the development of Xfce is by no means complete [9].

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