How to Install Xfce desktop on Debian 7 wheezy

By | August 1, 2020

Xfce Desktop

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment system for linux, and is a good alternative to the complex and clumsy gnome. If you are running Debian linux on your computer, then you can easily install the Xfce desktop.

In this post I am going to show you how to install xfce on debian.

Install Xfce desktop environment

Xfce desktop packages are available in the default debian repositories and can be installed right away.

# apt-get install xfce4

This will install the xfce desktop with all the necessary applications. The download size is around 20.4 MB and should finish in a few minutes on a fast broadband connection.

Along with the main xfce4 package you can also install additional useful applications by installing the package named xfce4-goodies.

# sudo apt-get install xfce4-goodies

If you want to install all the application of the xfce desktop suite then use the following command instead

# apt-get install xfce4-*

It will install a lot more applications. The download size is around 99MB and would take more time to complete.
So choose the right one for your needs.

Customise Xfce

After installing the XFCE desktop, you would want to customise the look and feel of it, to make it better. The default looks of any desktop are nothing great as such.

1. Get better themes

I personally find the greybird and bluebird themes to be great looking when it comes to xfce and lxde. On ubuntu they are present in the default repositories. However on debian we have to add the ubuntu ppa repository to get them.
Its easy, just run the following commands

# add-apt-repository 'deb quantal main'
# apt-get update
# aptitude search shimmer
p   shimmer-themes-greybird         - Greybird Theme from the Shimmer Project
# apt-get install shimmer-themes-greybird

Now go to

Applications Menu > Settings > Appearance

And from the style tab, select greybird theme.
Also switch to a better font like Droid Sans. Enable anti aliasing with full hinting and RGB subpixel order. Now that should make your fonts look a great deal better.


2. Speed up the user interface

This is a simple trick that will speed up the menu display in xfce desktop. By default when you move the mouse over applications menu and and any sub menu under it, the sub menus appear after a short of few milliseconds.

This delay can be removed to make the menus appear instantly making the user interface look very fast.

Follow this post to know how to speed up the menus.

Overall I find xfce to be a fast and lightweight desktop environment. The user interface seems faster than even LXDE which is another lightweight desktop for linux.

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].


How to Install Xfce desktop on Debian 7 wheezy
  1. Eveline

    Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems.
    It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being
    visually appealing and user friendly.

    To install Xfce on debian 7 wheezy
    # apt-get install xorg xfce4 xfce4-goodies thunar-archive-plugin synaptic gdebi wicd

    To install extra XFCE packages
    # apt-get install xdg-utils xfce4-power-manager xfce4-goodies htop bzip2 zip unzip unrar-free

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