How to Install Xfce Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream

Advertisement

Xfce is a lightweight free, open-source desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It is designed to be fast and light on system resources while visually appealing to the default desktop environments that ship with most operating systems. Xfce is very popular with older systems, with hardware as a key feature in its design to conserve memory and CPU cycles. For example, the desktop panel will not hog resources by constantly polling for changes, and the file manager has been designed to use minimal memory and CPU cycles. In addition, Xfce includes several power management features that can help reduce your carbon footprint. Overall, Xfce is an excellent choice for users who want a fast and stable desktop environment without sacrificing visual appeal or functionality.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Xfce on your CentOS 9 Stream desktop using the command line terminal, along with some basic tips on running an update and removing the Xfce desktop environment.

Update CentOS Stream

First, ensure your system is up-to-date using the following command.

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

Import EPEL Repository

The first task is to install the (EPEL) repository, which stands for (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux). For newer users of CentOS Stream and similar distributions based on RHEL, EPEL contains the most commonly used software packages for Enterprise Linux.

First, enable the CRB.

Advertisement

sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled crb

Next, install EPEL using the following (dnf) terminal command.

sudo dnf install \
    https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-9.noarch.rpm \
    https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-next-release-latest-9.noarch.rpm

Install Xfce on CentOS

With the repositories, you can now begin installing the alternative desktop.

Advertisement

First, in your terminal, make sure Xfce is available.

sudo dnf group list

Example output:

How to Install Xfce Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream

Now proceed to install the Xfce desktop with Xorg.

sudo dnf groupinstall "Xfce" "base-x"

The installation should not take long. On older hardware and limited internet, it can take several minutes.

Advertisement

Next, set the default target system to graphical using the command below.

echo "exec /usr/bin/xfce4-session" >> ~/.xinitrc

Users installing Xfce from a headless environment enable the GUI on the restart.

sudo systemctl set-default graphical

Once complete, reboot your system.

reboot

Login to Xfce Desktop

Once you have restarted your desktop, you will arrive at your login screen.

Advertisement

DO NOT LOG IN STRAIGHT AWAY.

First, you need to verify the desktop environment. This is done by clicking the configuration button next to the sign-in button.

Advertisement

Next, select “Xfce Session” instead of the default “Standard.”

Example (Click Image Expand):

How to Install Xfce Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream

Once logged in, you will notice quite a few UI changes besides the apparent color and background changes similar to Fedora, as that is what it is based on as it all flows down. The taskbar is now similar to a more windows type of taskbar, along with more integrations in the top left-hand and right-hand corner of services where the time display is, but this can be customized to your look.

Example (Click Image Expand):

How to Install Xfce Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream

Optionally, you confirm the installation with Neofetch, which comes in the EPEL repository you installed earlier.

Install this package using the following command in your terminal.

Advertisement
Advertisement

sudo dnf install neofetch -y

Once installed, run the following command in your terminal.

neofetch

Example output (Click Image Expand):

How to Install Xfce Desktop on CentOS 9 Stream

And that is it, and you have successfully installed the Xfce desktop environment.

How to Update Xfce Desktop Packages

Run the standard dnf upgrade command for future updates for the Xfce desktop environment and any default packages from the App Stream.

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

When updates are available, it is the same process to upgrade.

How to Remove Xfce Desktop

Users not wishing to use the desktop environment use the following command to remove Xfce.

Advertisement

sudo dnf groupremove "Xfce" "base-x"

Note, that running the distro-sync command can help users that encounter any issues.

sudo distro-sync

Now reboot your system.

Advertisement
reboot

When you reach the login screen, you will be reverted to your previous settings, login, and your original desktop environment, such as GNOME, will be shown.

Comments and Conclusion

If you are looking for an alternative to the heavier desktop environments that come pre-installed on most operating systems, or if you want to try something different to speed up your older system, give Xfce a try. It is lightweight and visually appealing while still being fast and easy on system resources.

Share on: