Installing xfce on debian

The debian distros by default come loaded with gnome desktop, but with the freedom available in linux that does not prevent us from trying other desktop environments on debian.

One of the popular Desktop Environments XFCE, known to run well is lower hardware configurations. (http://xfce.org)
This can be installed in debian just like installation of any other package.

Open the synaptic package manager search for xcfe4 ( or which ever version is available in the distro) , click on mark for installation and then click on apply.

or Open the terminal and type

$ sudo apt-get install xfce4

Once the installation is done,logout of the the current gnome session.
In the login screen click on the user account for login.

At the bottom center there will be three options, the language, the country and the third the Desktop environment to be used. Click on xcfe and login.
The desktop will boot into the new xfce environment.

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How To Use Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x As A Drop-Down Console (Guake-style)

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down running in Xfce
Xfce4 Terminal has been updated recently, two new versions being released: 0.6.0 and 0.6.1, and many new features were added, including an option to use the terminal as a drop-down console, like Guake or Yakuake. But this new feature isn’t available as an option in the Xfce4 Terminal preferences, so here’s how to use it.
Among the new features added in the latest Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x, are:
Added search dialog;Terminal tab color changes when activity occurs in a tab since last viewed;Support for color presets and some presets were added by default, including “Solarized Dark”, my favourite terminal / text editor color scheme that I’ve been using everywhere for a long time (see: Solarized: A Must Have Color Scheme For Gnome Terminal, Vim, Gedit And Lots More)Drop-down window support when using “–drop-down” parameter
Changelogs: 0.6.0, 0.6.1

Install Xfce Terminal 0.6.x in Ubuntu / Xubuntu
Before installing Xfce4 Terminal, please note that installing it in desktop environments other than Xfce will also install some Xfce packages.
To install Xfce 4 Terminal 0.6.x in Ubuntu / Xubuntu 12.04, firstly add the Xfce 4.10 PPA and do an upgrade: Install Xfce 4.10 In Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin Via PPA. This isn’t required for Ubuntu 12.10.

Now, to install Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x in Ubuntu / Xubuntu 12.04 or 12.10, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xfce4-terminal(you may also want to run an upgrade to get the other Xfce 4.12 development packages from the Xfce 4.12 PPA if you haven’t already)
For other Linux distributions, you can download the latest Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x source from HERE.

How to use the Xfce4 Terminal drop-down feature
To use Xfce4 Terminal as a drop-down window, make sure you’re running version 0.6.1 or newer. The terminal doesn’t have a GUI option to run as a drop-down (it can only be used as a drop-down terminal by using the “–drop-down” command line parameter), so you must set a keyboard shortcut in your desktop environment to call “xfce4-terminal –drop-down”:

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down keyboard shortcut Xfce
– in Xfce: open Settings Manager > Keyboard > Application shortcuts, click “Add” and add the “xfce4-terminal –drop-down” command, then a dialog will pop-up – now press the keyboard shortcut you want to use to open the drop-down terminal (I’ve used F12).

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down keyboard shortcut in GNOME / Unity

– in GNOME (including Unity): open System Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts, under “Custom Shortcuts” click “+” to add a new shortcut, under “Name” enter “Xfce4 Terminal” and under command, use: “xfce4-terminal –drop-down“. Then click the shortcut on the right to add a keyboard shortcut and press the key you want to use for triggering the drop-down terminal (I’ve used F12).

This also means you don’t have to add the terminal to your startup applications and instead, the application will start the first time you use the keyboard shortcut you’ve assigned using the instructions above.

Then, press the keyboard shortcut you’ve used to open the terminal. Even though initially Xfce4 Terminal doesn’t have any custom drop-down settings, now that you’re using it as a drop-down terminal, a new tab called “Drop-down” should show up in its preferences, which allows you to tweak the way the drop-down works.

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down running in Unity
Here, if you use Unity (maybe on other DEs too) make sure you uncheck “Use shortcut to focus visible window” so the terminal closes when you press the keyboard shortcut you’ve set above. Without this, the terminal will only close/retract when it loses focus (unless you select “Keep window open when it loses focus” in which case it won’t close when focus is lost) in Unity, although this doesn’t occur in Xfce (so you don’t have to check this option in Xfce for this purpose).
In the Xfce4 Terminal preferences you can customize a lot of the drop-down terminal settings, including the window width, height, opacity, the duration, horizontal position and so on.
There’s also a button on the bottom right of the terminal that you can use to quickly toggle “Keep window open when it loses focus” on / off.
Xfce4 Terminal supports multiple screens so if you select to display the terminal in the center (top center) of the screen, it won’t show up on both screens in a dual screen setup, but on the center of the active monitor, something that you can’t do with Guake for instance. If you only want it to show up on the main monitor, uncheck the “Move to monitor with pointer” option in the Xfce4 Terminal preferences (Drop-down tab).

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down feature seen on desdelinux.net & lffl.org

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Beautiful MediterraneanNight GTK 3.6 Theme Pack Updated

MediterraneanNight is a pack of 3 darkish GTK3 themes based on Gnome Cupertino available for both GTK3.4 (Ubuntu 12.04) and GTK3.6 (Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04) as well as for Xfce.
The beautiful theme pack has been updated yesterday, getting some interesting changes, but only for the GTK3.6 version:new switches,more rounded buttons,improved Rhythmbox sidebar color,Nautilus 3.6 changes: pathbar better spacing, improved icons sidebar color, changed the style of tabs (better readability),many fixes and details like fixed OSD widget, checkbox and radiobutton symbols in menus, fixed Synaptic GTK3 toolbar and more.
Below you can see a few screenshots featuring the latest MediterraneanNight, MediterraneanDark and MediterraneanLight for GTK 3.6:
MediterraneanNight GTK3.6 themeMediterraneanNight
MediterraneanNight widget factoryMediterraneanNight
MediterraneanDarkMediterraneanDark
MediterraneanDark widget factoryMediterraneanDark
MediterraneanLight gtk3 themeMediterraneanLight

As you’ve can see in the screenshots above, Nautilus 3.6 uses a different toolbar with smaller buttons and rounded pathbar (like Gnome Cupertino), but you can get the old style back using the configuration script I’ve packed with the theme, which you can use to customize any of the three Mediterranean themes. To do this, simply run:sudo mediterranean-configThen select the theme you want to customize, and when you reach the “Select style for Nautilus” step, select “3” which is “Nautilus 3.4 with light sidebar and pathbar” and even though the description says it’s for Nautilus 3.4 it should work with Nautilus 3.6. Then, restart Nautilus (sometimes a logout is required to fully apply the changes):nautilus -q
And you should have the old MediterraneanNight toolbar/pathbar for Nautilus 3.6:

Nautilus 3.6 old MediterraneanNight pathbar style

Install MediterraneanNight themes in Ubuntu
The theme pack is available in the WebUpd8 Themes PPA so to add the PPA and install the MediterraneanNight themes in Ubuntu 12.10 or 13.04 (for Ubuntu 12.04, the version is slightly older), use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/themes
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mediterraneannight-gtk-theme
Once installed, apply the theme using a tools such as GNOME Tweak Tool, Ubuntu Tweak or Unsettings and if you want to tweak the themes, don’t forget to use our configuration script, especially since you’ll have to select the desktop environment style (with or without a global menu), so once you’ve installed the themes, run:sudo mediterranean-config
For other Linux distributions, get MediterraneanNight from Gnome-Look.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Linux Google Drive Client Insync Gets Xfce And Mate Desktop Integration

Insync, an unofficial Google Drive Linux client that’s available for a wide range of desktop environments has been updated today, getting support for MATE Desktop (Caja) and Xfce (Thunar).
Here’s the Insync or Linux Beta 11 changelog:
Fixed symlink to symlink (chain of symlinks);Mate desktop support – Caja emblems and context menu;Xfce – Thunar 1.5 emblems and context menu.
I’ve only tested the new Xfce (Thunar) support and it works, but there are some minor glitches. However, this is the first Insync for Xfce release, so hopefully all the issues will be fixed soon.
Thunar 1.6 Insync xfce
For instance, Insync for Xfce requires “thunarx-python” (version 0.3) which isn’t available in the official Ubuntu repositories – you can however, install it from our PPA, see below.
Also, the official release notes mention that it should work with Thunar 1.5; since both Xubuntu 12.04 and 12.10 ship with Thunar 1.4 and the Xfce 4.12 PPA has Thunar 1.6, I’ve tested it with these two versions and: with Thunar 1.4, the context menu items work, but there are no file emblems and with Thunar 1.6, the context menu items work and the file emblems don’t work for most files which I’ve already had in my Google Drive.

Anyway, the important thing is that it is usable and I’m sure it will improve in future versions.
By the way, I recommend installing Thunar 1.6 (which now has tabs support, among other new features) if you’re using Xubuntu 12.04 or 12.10.

Download Insync for Linux, available for Mate Desktop, Xfce, Unity – AppIndicator, KDE, GNOME Shell or Cinnamon, from HERE.

To install thunarx-python in Xubuntu 12.10 or 12.04, required by Insync for Xfce, use the commands below:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install thunarx-pythonYou can also manually download the thunarx-python deb files from our PPA.

Or, to us the official Insync repository in Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Debian, see our previous post (updated with instructions for the Xfce and Mate builds): Insync Repository Available For Ubuntu, Linux Mint And Debian Users

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Linux Google Drive Client Insync Gets Xfce And Mate Desktop Integration

Insync, an unofficial Google Drive Linux client that’s available for a wide range of desktop environments has been updated today, getting support for MATE Desktop (Caja) and Xfce (Thunar).
Here’s the Insync or Linux Beta 11 changelog:
Fixed symlink to symlink (chain of symlinks);Mate desktop support – Caja emblems and context menu;Xfce – Thunar 1.5 emblems and context menu.
I’ve only tested the new Xfce (Thunar) support and it works, but there are some minor glitches. However, this is the first Insync for Xfce release, so hopefully all the issues will be fixed soon.
Thunar 1.6 Insync xfce
For instance, Insync for Xfce requires “thunarx-python” (version 0.3) which isn’t available in the official Ubuntu repositories – you can however, install it from our PPA, see below.
Also, the official release notes mention that it should work with Thunar 1.5; since both Xubuntu 12.04 and 12.10 ship with Thunar 1.4 and the Xfce 4.12 PPA has Thunar 1.6, I’ve tested it with these two versions and: with Thunar 1.4, the context menu items work, but there are no file emblems and with Thunar 1.6, the context menu items work and the file emblems don’t work for most files which I’ve already had in my Google Drive.

Anyway, the important thing is that it is usable and I’m sure it will improve in future versions.
By the way, I recommend installing Thunar 1.6 (which now has tabs support, among other new features) if you’re using Xubuntu 12.04 or 12.10.

Download Insync for Linux, available for Mate Desktop, Xfce, Unity – AppIndicator, KDE, GNOME Shell or Cinnamon, from HERE.

To install thunarx-python in Xubuntu 12.10 or 12.04, required by Insync for Xfce, use the commands below:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install thunarx-pythonYou can also manually download the thunarx-python deb files from our PPA.

Or, to us the official Insync repository in Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Debian, see our previous post (updated with instructions for the Xfce and Mate builds): Insync Repository Available For Ubuntu, Linux Mint And Debian Users

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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2 Beautiful Dark Themes For GTK 3.6 Or 3.4 [Ubuntu PPA]

We’ve got quite a few requests to post some dark GTK3 themes, so here it is: DeLorean Dark and MediterraneanNight are two great dark GTK3 themes that support both GTK 3.6 (Ubuntu 12.10) and 3.4 (Ubuntu 12.04).

DeLorean Dark
DeLorean Dark is a beautiful GTK3 theme that supports the latest GTK 3.6. There’s also a GTK2 theme available, which has been completely redesigned recently.
Also, the theme isn’t just for GNOME (this includes Unity, Cinnamon, etc.), there are Xfce and Openbox themes available as well.
Here are some DeLorean Dark screenshots:
DeLorean Dark theme
DeLorean Dark theme

To install DeLorean Dark in Ubuntu 12.10, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:killhellokitty/themes.ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install delorean-dark-theme-3.6
The theme is also available for GTK 3.4 / Ubuntu 12.04. To install it in Ubuntu 12.04, instead of the last command above, use:
sudo apt-get install delorean-dark

For other Linux distributions and some extras which include Firefox, Thunderbird or Chromium themes, tweaks and fixes, see the DeLorean Dark DeviantArt page: for GTK 3.6 | for GTK 3.4.

MediterraneanNight
MediterraneanNight is a pack of 3 darkish GTK3 themes that’s available for both GTK 3.4 and 3.6: MediterraneanDark, MediterraneanLight and MediterraneanNight as well as for Xfce.

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Variety Wallpaper Changer Sees New Release

Variety, a cool wallpaper changer that works with most desktop environments (KDE, LXDE, Xfce, Unity, GNOME Shell, Cinnamon or Pantheon), has reached version 0.4.12.

Variety wallpaper changer
Changes in Variety 0.4.12:
quotes support – Variety can fetch quotes from QuotesDaddy and display them on top of the desktop. The quotes are highly customizable: you can change the text color, backdrop color, font, transparency, shadow, placement, and you can also filter quotes by tags or authors or set the interval between quotescustomizable appindicator icon: you can now select between dark and light appindicator icons but not only that. In the latest Variety, you can also use the current wallpaper to be used as an indicator icon (so the icon changes with the wallpaper). The icon can also be hidden in which case you can control Variety via keyboard shortcuts or using the Unity quickliststhe option to display a digital clock on top of the wallpaper has been enhanced: both the clock and the date font can be customized (the typeface as well as the font size)Preferences take effect immediatelySupport for XMP/EXIF image ratings
Variety wallpaper changer - quotes

For those not familiar with Variety, here’s a quick feature list:
should work under KDE, LXDE, Xfce, Unity, GNOME Shell, Cinnamon or Pantheon (elementary OS)can automatically download wallpaper from Flickr, Wallbase.cc, Wallpapers.net as well as NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day.Ubuntu appindicator support; you can scroll over the indicator icon to change the wallpapercan apply fancy filters to the images: grayscale, heavy blur, oil painting, charcoal painting, pointilism, pixellateoption to display the time on the desktop, using a nice digital clockclipboard support: can monitor the clipboard for image URLs and fetch themmore
Below you can see the latest Variety 0.4.12 in action:

Direct video link

Install Variety wallpaper changer
Variety is available in the Ubuntu Software Center (for Ubuntu 12.04 / 12.10), but the version is quite old so to install the latest version, you can use its official PPA, available for Ubuntu Precise and Quantal:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peterlevi/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install variety
Arch Linux users can get Variety wallpaper changer via AUR.

For other Linux distributions, the Variety source code can be downloaded via Launchpad.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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How To Use Multiple Monitors In Xubuntu / Xfce (Extended Display Instead Of Mirror)

xubuntu dual screenIn multi monitors setups, Xubuntu / Xfce clones (mirrors) instead of expanding the display to the external monitor. So here are two ways of getting proper multi monitor support in Xfce / Xubuntu.

I. Xubuntu 12.10 or 12.04 only: use the Xfce 4.12 PPA to get proper multi-monitor support
Xfce 4.11 (Xubuntu 12.10 uses Xfce 4.10 by default) has implemented support for extended desktop mode, so using the Xfce 4.12 PPA in Xubuntu 12.10 or 12.04 (this is a development PPA which provides some development packages), which you might have added already to install Thunar 1.5.x with tabs support, you’ll get proper multi-monitor support by default.

Using this PPA, in the Xfce Settings Manager, under “Display”, you can select the position of each monitor (left of, right of, below, above or the same), and if you want to mirror the displays or not:
Xubuntu multi monitor display settings
The PPA currently provides Thunar 1.5.x, Xfce4 Settings and Axo development builds. To add the PPA and upgrade these packages in Xubuntu 12.10 or 12.04, use the commands below:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Once the packages have been successfully upgraded, open the Settins Manager, and under “Display”, uncheck the “Mirror displays” option to extend your display to the external monitor(s), then select the displays position, etc.

There’s also a minimal display dialog (thanks to Simon Steinbeiss for the tip!) you can use once you’ve added the above PPA, in case you need to quickly change monitor settings, which you can run using the following command (you can create a shortcut for it if you often change your monitor layout, .e.g. when using a laptop with external monitors):xfce4-display-settings -m
Here’s what you’ll get:

Xfce mini display settings

II. Any Xubuntu / Xfce version: Use Arandr to extend the display instead of cloning (mirror) it
1. Install Arandr, a simple GUI for XRandR:
sudo apt-get install arandr

2. Then, open Arandr and move the monitors to the desired position using drag and drop:

By default, the monitors might be displayed one above the other, so drag the first one to be able to see both of them.

When you’re done, select Layout > Apply.

3. The changes are not saved and will be lost once you logout / restart the computer so to make them permanent, from the Arandr menu select Layout > Save As, enter a name for this layout and save it.
This creates a script under ~/.screenlayout using the name you’ve used above (unless you’ve selected a different path).

4. Add this script to your startup items: Session and Startup > Applications Autostart – click “Add”, under “Name” enter whatever you want and under “Command”, enter the exact path to the script created under step 3 and you’re done:

Your Xubuntu computer’s display should now be extended to the external monitor(s), instead of using the default clone (mirror) option, each time you log in.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Pin Notes To Your Desktop With StickyNotes Indicator

indicator stickynotesStickyNotes Indicator is a simple appindicator which can be used to place post-it (sticky) notes on your Linux desktop.
The notes placement on the desktop is restored on each login, which is very useful if you use the notes as reminders.
This tiny application doesn’t come with a huge list of options and instead, it only allows you to change the note background and text color, keeping everything very simple and light. From the appindicator, you can select to hide all notes, in case you want a clean desktop, along with an option to restore the notes later on.
There are a few things that would be useful, but are missing in Stickynotes Indicator, like a creating note groups, keyboard shortcuts support or monochrome Appindicator icons for Ubuntu, but these will probably be added in a later version.

The Indicator Stickynotes Launchpad page mentions that the application should work with Unity, GNOME Shell, Xfce, MATE and Cinnamon and there’s even partial KDE support. I’ve only tested it with Unity, GNOME Shell and Xfce and I can confirm everything works as expected.

Install Stickynotes Indicator
The Stickynotes Indicator PPA currently provides packages for Ubuntu 12.04 / Linux Mint 13 only – add the PPA and install it using the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:umang/indicator-stickynotes
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-stickynotes
Even though there are no Ubuntu 12.10 packages, I’ve tested Stickynotes Indicator and it works great with the latest Ubuntu version, so if you’re using Quantal Quetzal, download Stickynotes Indicator deb from HERE.

If you encounter bugs, report them @ Launchpad.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Install Thunar 1.5.1 With Tabs Support In Xubuntu 12.10 Or 12.04 [Xfce]

Thunar, the default Xfce file manager, has reached version 1.5.1, getting a much-requested feature: tabs.
thunar 1.5.1 tabs
For now, using middle click to open a folder in a new tab doesn’t work so you must right click a folder and select

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