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Presentation

This page is written with absolute beginners in mind to help them to find the tools they need when using their desktop for the first time. It may also help to choose which desktop environment to use.

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment that is suitable when saving power and resources is a priority, maybe because system resources are low (outdated hardware for example) or because the maximum resources are required for the system's intended role (heavy calculation for example).

More information in the Xfce official website

Another wiki page about Xfce: XFCE desktop

Where are the configuration tools?

After the first reboot following the installation, your desktop looks like the screenshot below. To display the menu, click on the Mageia icon Mageia-logo-1.png at the top left (marker 4). The green marks are for Mageia tools and the red ones for Xfce tools.

ScreenshotXfce1.png


1: Mageia mgaapplet, it is only visible when there is software to download. The red colour means updates are available for your Mageia release, for security reasons we advise you to accept them, to do so, click on the red icon and give your user password. The blue colour means a new Mageia version is available and prompts you to do a net install of it. You can ignore it as long as your Mageia release is supported and do the update installation by any other way of your choice.
2: Mageia net applet, it is visible if you are connected to a network. It gives you network information when the mouse is hovering over it. A left click gives access to the Net Center tool. A right click displays a menu to manage the network.
3: The Mageia Control Center (MCC) is where all the Mageia tools are brought together. The applets marker 1 and marker 2 use MCC. See here for more information about MCC. MCC is the same for all the Desktop Environments. The first thing to do after an installation is to open MCC and to configure the media sources see here
4: Access to the menu and to the logout (in the upper right corner)
5: MCC is so important that you have also an access from the task bar
6: If you click on Mageia icon -> Settings, a submenu (marker 6) is displayed, it contains tools given by Xfce to set your Desktop Environment.
7: Settings Manager brings together the Xfce tools and allows you to set the desktop and windows appearance and behaviour.
The Xfce Settings Manager

What are the configuration tools for?

Here are the tools you can use to set up the main features and/or devices:

Notepad.png
Please note!
When several tools are available to do the same action, they are in fact writing in the same configuration file, so there is no risk of conflict, use your preferred tool
.
Setting XFCE Mageia
Windows appearance Settings Manager
Menu -> Settings -> Appearance
Menu -> Settings -> Window Manager Tweaks
--
Workspace appearance
(the desktop out of the windows)
Settings Manager
Menu -> Settings -> Panel
Menu -> Settings -> Appearance
Menu -> Settings -> Desktop
Menu -> Settings -> Window Manager Tweaks
Menu -> Settings -> Workspaces
Right click on the Desktop
--
Windows behaviour Settings Manager
Menu -> Settings -> Appearance
Menu -> Settings -> Window Manager
Menu -> Settings -> Window Manager Tweaks
--
Workspace behaviour Settings Manager
Menu -> Settings -> Desktop
Menu -> Settings -> Window Manager Tweaks
Right click on the Desktop
--
Desktop background Right click on the Desktop
Menu -> Settings -> Desktop
--
Display settings Settings Manager
Menu -> settings -> Display
MCC / hardware / Set up the graphical server
Accessibility Menu -> settings -> Accessibility --
Localization Menu -> Tools -> Regional Settings MCC / System / Manage localization for your system
Preferred applications Settings Manager
Menu -> settings -> Preferred Applications
--
Software Management -- MCC / Sotware Management
Menu -> Install & Remove Software
Power Management
(For Laptops)
Install the package xfce4-power-manager --
Mouse and Keyboard Settings Manager
Menu -> settings -> Keyboard
Menu -> settings -> Mouse and Touchpad
MCC / hardware / Configure Mouse and Keyboard
Printer Menu -> Tools -> Print settings MCC / hardware / Configure printing and scanning
Drives and Media
(Storage, Multimedia, Cameras, Input Devices...)
Settings Manager
Menu -> settings -> Removable Drives and Media
MCC / hardware
Network, Sharing, Internet, Disk management, Security, Boot ... -- MCC

Some tricks

It exists many ways to improve Xfce4 , here are the most famous ones. Moreover, Xfce is highly and easily customizable, for example there is not much desktop environments like it that allows you to have a vertical panel with icons on two columns.

A search tool for Thunar (the Xfce file manager)

Install catfish using the MCC. Open thunar and go into Edit > Configure custom actions..., then click on the + button to create an action and fill the fields like in the screen-shot below. Name and Description are free. Click on the Icon button to add the icon you want.

ScreenshotXfceCatfish.png

In the Appearance Conditions tab, check there is a "*" in the File Pattern field and tick all the boxes you want in the Appears if selection contains area. It is a good choice to tick them all. Click on OK when it is done and then on Close.

From now on, you can search a file in thunar. Right click on the folder you want to search into and you can see the icon you chose for the search tool.

Another main menu

May be Whisker, the current menu, does not suit you. In this case, it is easy to change it for the classical one.

Right click on the panel, then Panel > Panel preferences > Items tab, click on the + button, choose Applications Menu and click on Add. The classical menu will be added at the far right end of the panel with the Xfce icon.
To move the menu to another place, right click on it then click on move and click at the place you want it.
To modify the title and the icon, right click on the menu then click on Properties and write the title you want in the Button title field, for example "Mageia", and click in the Icon box to choose another icon. There is a mageia-menu icon in the Applications Icons category.

How to customize the multimedia manager

Go to Settings > Settings Manager > Removable drive and media. Here are some examples:

In the Storage tab you can choose to mount or not a removable drive when hot-plugged or a removable media when inserted.
In the Multimedia tab you can choose which applications to launch when a media is inserted.
To open the audio/video CDs or DVDs with Parole, enter in the Command field: parole --device=/dev/sr0
To open the audio CDs with VLC, enter in the Command field: vlc cdda:///dev/sr0
To open the video DVDs with VLC, enter in the Command field: vlc dvd:///dev/sr0
In the Cameras tab, it is enough to tick the box Import digital photographs when connected to have a file manager window opening when a camera is connected, you can also enter an application in the Command field.

Are there extra plug-ins ?

Yes, of course, you can find them in the Mageia repositories using the MCC.
Go into MCC > Software management > Install and remove software and in the search box enter "xfce". Check that all the filters (drop down lists) are set to all. See the screen-shot below.

ScreenshotXfcePlugin.png

The plug-ins where the box is ticked are already installed.

If you want them all, just install task-xfce-plugins.

For more information about the Software management, see this page.

Some well-known plug ins

  1. Blueman for Bluetooth
  2. ...