How to install Xfce Desktop Environment in openSUSE Linux

Find peace of mind, stop, and find out how to install Xfce Desktop Environment on your trusted openSUSE Linux distribution. In this article, you’ll find the step to install the super light desktop manager Xfce and also how to remove the old one installed on your system.

If you too have been frequenting the Linux world for a while, you will certainly not be new to the phenomenon of distro-hopping, that is the wasteful activity, in terms of time and effort, of switching non-stop from one distribution to another.

In addition to distro-hopping, there is another activity that is well known to long-time Linux users: DE-hopping, or hopping with your eyes turned back from one desktop environment manager to the next as if there was no tomorrow.

Lately, you can confirm this by going to peek on the r/unixporn subreddit, it is very fashionable to post super custom desktop photos based on modern tiling windows managers like i3 or awesomewm. We are not sure, however, that they are the everyday work environments of the people posted them, it is certain that the common user cannot use certain desktops at their best and with productivity unless after a long and difficult learning curve.

So, why not take advantage of the possibilities offered by Linux and throw yourself into a super simple and fast environment, totally customizable and, above all, that allows it to be transformed into one of the most beautiful desktop environments still available?

Xfce. A desktop based on the traditional UNIX philosophy

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. Xfce embodies the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and re-usability. It consists of a number of components that provide the full functionality one can expect of a modern desktop environment.

Xfce components are packaged separately and you can pick among the available packages to create the optimal personal working environment. Another priority of Xfce is adherence to standards, specifically those defined at, and the possibility to can be installed on several UNIX platforms.

The openSUSE Linux, like many others, highlights versions with GNOME and KDE, relegating those with Xfce and other desktop environments considered minor to secondary versions. Big mistake, Xfce deserves its own distro, complete, and entirely focused on it. It doesn’t matter, we can fix it with a few commands from the terminal, here’s how.

How to install Xfce on openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed

The Xfce desktop is a well-integrated and fully supported part of openSUSE, you can find the Xfce portal at Welcome to the Xfce Portal.

On an already installed system you can install all necessary packages via the Xfce pattern, either via YaST or directly in the terminal:

$ sudo zypper in -t pattern xfce

For instructions on how to install the latest testing versions of Xfce see Xfce repositories.

How to remove the old Desktop Environment on openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed

As most users get to install openSUSE with KDE or GNOME, we will take these two desktop environments as an example.

So, to remove the KDE desktop from your openSUSE system:

$ sudo zypper rm -t pattern kde kde_plasma

Instead, to remove the GNOME desktop from your openSUSE install:

$ sudo zypper rm -t pattern gnome

In the end, restart your system with this command:

$ sudo reboot

And you’re done!

Xfce is the Linux desktop environment for old-school users and for eye-candy people that have speed and simplicity in mind. It has all the necessary caveats, a clean simple interface, and the best customization in place(and it can easily rival the KDE Plasma desktop on this point). So, give it a try and post your impression on comments at the bottom.

References and resources

Xfce Desktop Environment

openSUSE Xfce Portal

openSUSE Zypper manual

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