Today we take another look at the Xfce desktop environment. If you are just now tuning in, you might have missed the previous two Xfce articles "Installing and using Xfce 4" and "Get to know Linux: Xfce 4". Both of these articles were more introductory pieces. Now it's time to start focusing on how Xfce 4 is actually used and configured.
In this piece of the puzzle we are going to take a look at Xfce's "control panel", the Xfce 4 Settings Manager. From this tool you can configure nearly all of the preferences for the Xfce 4's desktop. It's a very handy tool to have installed and will keep you from having to poke around the menu system to find the various setting tools.
The Xfce Settings Manager is not installed by default. So you may or may not have it. If you look in Start > Preferences and do not see Xfce 4 Settings Manager resting at the top of your menu, it is not installed. To install this tool you need only follow these simple steps:
That's it! You should now see the tool in the Administration sub-menu.
When you fire up the Settings Manager you will see everything you need in one window (see Figure 1):
That's quite a lot of available configurations for a desktop environment thought to be too light weight and featureless to be of any use. In fact, after playing around with the Settings Manager you will quickly realize how flexible and powerful Xfce really has become.
You will notice no OK or Save buttons. This is because as you make a change to any of the settings available in the Settings Manager, they are saved immediately. Just click the Close button and you're good to go.
I hope you are starting to see that Xfce 4 is not just a desktop people use when they have an old machine. In fact, this desktop is quite power and might be just the ticket for those looking for something a bit different and a bit more "old school" with "new school" capabilities.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.