How To Install XFCE 4.12 in Mint 17.x and Arch Linux

XFCE is a well know desktop environment for Linux, Solaris, and BSD systems. It is fast, lightweight, user friendly, GTK+ 2 toolkit based desktop environment. It comes with a wide range of applications and Linux users find it very useful and appealing. Recently, XFCE 4.12 was launched with many enhanced features, noteworthy of them are:

  • Improved multi monitor support
  • Enhanced Thunar file manager
  • Support for developing and testing GTK3 applications
  • Alignment support in Xfwm4 Windows manager
  • Exo support library has been enhanced to include more applications

We have been keeping eye on XFCE developments and related news since its release and have written detailed article on its installation earlier. Today, we will show how you can install XFCE 4.12 on Linux Mint 17.1 , also known as "Rebecca" and Arch Linux operating system Manjaro 0.8.11.

Install XFCE 4.12 on Linux Mint

Linux Mint is Ubuntu-based operating system. Just like Ubuntu, Mint is also popular for its ease of use and large number of software packages. Mint not only comes with applications included in Ubuntu repositories but it also adds a wide range of proprietary softwares.  Linux Mint comes with  Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, XFCE desktop environments and additional environments can be installed using its APT package manager. Let’s see how can install or upgrade to the XFCE to 4.12 version on Linux mint.

In order to install or upgrade the latest XFCE on your Linux Mint operating system, first make sure to add following Ubuntu/Mint PPA files to your package manager repository.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12

Add PPA 1

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/extras

Add PPA 2

Once PPA files have been added, make sure to update the APT repository by running following command on the terminal.

sudo apt-get update

update APT

If XFCE is not already installed on your Linux Mint (i.e. you are using Cinnamon, MATE or KDE version of Linux Mint ) then install the latest XFCE 4.12 by running the following command on terminal.

sudo apt-get install xfce4

Install XFCE4

It will simply download the latest 4.12 XFCE and will install it on  your Linux Mint.

Download XFCE
Once done, reboot your system and login using XFCE desktop environment. From here, you can also set it as your default desktop environment.

XFCE default

That’s all, here is the eye candy XFCE 4.12 running on your Linux Mint now.

XFCE 4.12

If you are already running any old version of XFCE on your Mint system, then simply upgrade your system and it will start using new XFCE 4.12.  Add above mentioned PPA repositories, update APT repo and then run the following command to upgrade the existing XFCE  version to XFCE 4.12 .

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

XFCE upgrade

Install XFCE 4.12 on Arch Linux

Arch Linux based operating systems are well known for their flexibility, package management and ease of use. A large number of operating systems has been developed on this philosophy. Some well know arch linux based operating systems are Manjaro, Antergos, ArchBang, Papyros,Chakra, Netrunner etc.

We have already covered details on how to install Manjaro operating system. Currently, all arch Linux operating systems come with  XFCE 4.11 but good news is that Arch Linux developers has added the supporting packages for XFCE 4.12 to the repositories now. So all you need to do is to run the Pacman Package Manager’s system upgrade command.

sudo pacman –Syu

That’s all, reboot your system and you should be able to see latest XFCE running on your Arch Linux distro.

XFCE 4.12 Arch


With the popularity of XFCE on the rise, lot of Linux users are trying and installing it on their systems. The install of XFCE 4.12 is now easily possible on almost all well known distributions. The next releases of operating systems will have its packages included by default in their package manager applications.

Aun Raza 6:00 am


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  1. thanks for your tutorial, helps me a lot!
    I am new to linux mint and wanted to try another interface without having to install the whole system again.

    Greetings from Brasil!

  2. This doesn't work for Mint 17.2 Rafaela x64 (Cinnamon)

    "Once done, reboot your system and login using XFCE desktop environment. From here, you can also set it as your default desktop environment."

    I'm not prompted for which desktop session to use upon reboot.

    1. I agree with you - exact same experience - no Xfce option was added to grub, and the Xfce option in Login Window|Preferences|Options IS enabled. Yet I can't launch in Kfce. This doesn't Work on Lin/Min/Cin 17.3. Maybe the reason it wasn't added to grub was because I used Grub-Customizer to change login option times and screen resolution in the past, but that sounds unlikely.

      Stilgar and the author of this article must be incorrect in this particular environment of Lin/Min/Cin 17.3, or something has changed since their historical experience with it, or maybe they don't have direct experience with it at all. I'm just sayin' that changing to Kfce from Cinnamon is extremely difficult now. The truth is in the details which are not here, and trial & error doesn't work... Lots of linux SUs THINK they know how to do stuff but they're just extrapolating from outdated knowledge. IMO this is a common tendency among experienced linux posters. There may be an ouch factor here but I feel that this is a valid observation. However I certainly appreciate the altruism that generated this website. TYVM.