My Newfound Love for Xfce!

For the past week to two weeks I’ve done something I had’t done in years – I switched my default desktop environment in my GDM login screen. I’ve been logging into Xfce instead of my usual Gnome. There are basically three reasons why I’m loving Xfce over Gnome.

Xfce Theme

First of all, I love the theme. I know it’s just Bluecurve, Redhat’s theme, for the Window manager, but I just love how it looks compared to Gnome. I can’t really explain it, but there’s something about the share of blue they’ve chosen and the way it blends with the White of the letters and min, max, close buttons that’s very, very pleasing to my eye.  It’s definitely one of those subjective things and I’m sure there are others who will disagree with me, but I think it’s beautiful.  There’s something about the shades of blue they use that I just love.  (For the curious, the theme of the desktop environment is Clearlooks, their newest theme, but that’s not available as a theme for the Window Manager)

The second thing I love about it, is the right-click background menu.  This is something I’ve always loved since I first encountered it on WindowMaker and then on Fluxbox.  No matter where I am on the desktop, I don’t need to go to some corner to find a “program” or “start” menu.  I can just right-click anywhere.  Sometimes, as in the screenshot below, it’s pretty close to the “program” menu anyway.  But if the desktop can be seen, it can be a lot faster.

Xfce Background Menu

Finally, there’s one thing I love that can’t really be shown in a screenshot – changing desktops using the mouse scroll wheel.  Just like being able to deploy the menu anywhere on the desktop, it’s often very fast to juse scroll the mouse wheel on an exposed piece of desktop and swtich from on to another.  If you have all your desktops clear it’s very convenient.  And usually I just put my mouse somewhere on the bottom of the left screen and except for the narrow little bar with the menu and logout buttons, I’m sure to be on desktop and I can scroll from desktop to desktop.  And it’s a lot faster to scroll from 1 to 4 than to go to spot number four in the desktop switcher and click.

Of course, there are a few little things missing.  For example, as far as I know, there isn’t a beagle search bar for Xfce.  Perhaps there’s a tracker applet, but I don’t use tracker.  I think I’m sticking with Xfce until KDE 4.1 comes out and I check it out.

12 responses to “My Newfound Love for Xfce!”

  1. Are you sure you’re not talking about KDE 😀

    I can swear all those things you’ve mentioned is what I’m experiencing on KDE now 😉

  2. Two other things I absolutely love,

    You can drag programs over to other desktops, just click and pull off screen, it will flip once you drag far enough.

    In one of the windows settings menu, I forget where right now, seeing as how ubuntu hardy broke their xfce…grr. Anyways, you can set it so when you drag your cursor across the edge of the screen it will flip to the next desktop, the threshold is adjustable.


  3. @DJ

    That is indeed a useful feature. Some other Window Managers, including Compiz can do that and I’ve found it to be useful at times. Of course, sometimes it’s just easier to right-click the title bar and click on send to desktop….

  4. @Da Hui
    have u tried the midle mouse button menu? im not shure if it is present on other Desktop environments but i found it realy cool when I switched of to XFCE. Plus, you forgot ot mension one of the Crucial advantage of XFCE: it is realy Light. Just test yourself!

    PS: it’s possible to have different menus when u right click on the desktop and when you hit the menu button. Check it out! it’s very Useful and customizable!

  5. The right-click to access program menu is one of the things that irritates me about GNOME.

    The menu, if not by default, can be configured so that it can be accessed by right-clicking somewhere on the desktop in KDE, XFCE, Fluxbox, Openbox, etc. but I don’t know if there is any way to enable this feature for GNOME.

  6. I always make me so happy by looking at you idiots playing with linux like kindergarten kids.

    sucks to be you ~

  7. Welcome readers from LinuxToday! I just checked Liferea and saw that I was put onto site last night. I moderate comments on here, mostly to control spam, I’ll allow comments that disagree such as roger’s above. However, once your comment is approved, as long as you use the same credentials, you’ll be able to respond again right away because you’ll no longer require moderation.

    It may be a few hours before I can moderate comments because we do not have easy internet access at work.

  8. @Molecula

    The middle mouse button is indeed cool. I keep accidentally discovering it. I need to get myself to start using it as it’s pretty advantageous.


    That’s why I’ve switch from Gnome for now


    Not really constructive, but I’ll allow opposing comments as long as they don’t devolve into extreme “verbal” violence.

  9. I’m very enthused by xfce4, it’s suddenly a very polished and professional-looking environment. A number of distros have started including it as an option (opensuse, sidux to name two), and I’m going to explore its potential on a production box. Now can they just lose the stupid hamster? 😉

  10. @David Smith:

    Yeah, in previous versions it wasn’t quite as polished. Checking the splash screen under the Xfce settings manager reveals that it is a mouse, not a hamster. Does that make it better?