How to Install XFCE Desktop Environment in Linux Mint

install xfce on linux mint

XFCE is a well know desktop environment for Linux, Solaris, and BSD systems. It is a fast, lightweight, user-friendly, GTK toolkit based desktop environment. It comes with a wide range of applications and Linux users find it very useful and appealing.

You can download Linux Mint 20, in three editions Cinnamon, MATE, or Xfce. Here I will show you how to install Xfce 4.14 (GTK3 based) desktop environment on Linux Mint 20 Ulyana.


Installed Linux mint with Cinnamon or MATE desktop

Method 1: Install XFCE from terminal

1. First, update your system

sudo apt update

2. Install the XFCE desktop by using the command:

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop -y

You may need to press Y to continue. Wait for some time to download all the necessary package.

3. Reboot the system to switch to Xfce desktop

Method 2: Install XFCE Desktop from GUI

1. Launch Synaptic Package Manager

Synaptic Package Manager is used to install Xfce desktop in GUI mode. Click on 'Synaptic package Manager' by searching from the start menu.

launch synaptic package manager
Launch synaptic package manager

When it prompt for the authentication provide the password. Then, click the Authenticate button.

2. Search Xfce4

Now search for Xfce4, double click on it and Click on Mark as shown below.

search xfce and mark
Search xfce and mark

3. To apply changes click on 'Apply' button

click apply
Click Apply button

4. Changes applied and close

The following window appears when the installation completes. Click on Close button.

click on close
Click close button

5. Switch to Xfce

Reboot or log out of the system. The following login screen appears for login click the icon as highlighted below:

click on icon
Click the icon

6. Select Xfce session

All the desktop enviroment appears here. Select Xfce Session and sign in:

Xfce session
Xfce session

Now you should see Xfce desktop.

xfce desktop environment
Xfce desktop environment

Uninstall Xfce from GUI

Follow the following step to remove Xfce from another GUI:

1. You need to log out of the current desktop and sign in to the previous one.

2. Open the Synaptic Package Manager as in the above step you did during installation.

3. Search for the xfce4 package.

4. Right-click the xfce4 package and select Mark for Complete Removal.

5. Click on “Apply”

remove xfce from GUI
Remove xfce from GUI

Uninstall XFCE from terminal

In case you need to uninstall the Xfce, first log out of the current desktop and log in with other environment, and open terminal issue following command.

sudo apt-get remove xubuntu-desktop -y


We learned how to switch from one desktop environment to Xfce. Please comment below on your experience on using Xfce environment.

4 Comments... add one

  1. Linux Mint has changed in the years since it became my initiation into the world of Linux, but I had a chance to try the three desktops it currently supports when testing for a friend. I found Cinnamon disappointing: too many widgets and too little control, Mate solid, and XFCE the best option. Through an error my friend's laptop arrived with LM Cinnamon which was quickly swapped out for another Debian based OS with XFCE. Like all DEs it has its quirks, but remains the best, most stable of the "classic" desktop designs. Thanks for the article.


Leave a Comment