Configuring the Xfce 4 desktop is extremely simple, and all of your important configurations settings can be found in one easy to remember place. Xfce 4 uses the Xfce4-settings tool to handle all of these settings.
You can customize many aspects of your desktop, you can configure your hardware, you can even change your preferred applications when dealing with certain file types.
Finding Your System Settings
Unfortunately there are several settings so this may get a bit complicated. Look in your main menu for the system settings button to access all of your configuration options.
Available System Settings
Here I will explain exactly what each Xfce 4 settings modules can be used for, and which options are contained therein.
Xfce 4 Appearance Settings
From here you can change the Xfce 4 desktop theme, or change desktop icon themes and fonts. There are several themes available for users to try, and many more can be downloaded for free at any time.
You can choose to display icons, text, or both. You can also choose to display icons next to menu items or buttons. Some other options are also available to help you control even sounds. From here sounds can be enabled or disabled.
Xfce 4 Desktop Settings
The desktop preferences window is one you will see time and time again, from here you can change your desktop background. This settings window controls a variety of settings for Xfdesktop as well.
You can choose from the available Xfce 4 desktop backgrounds and select one you like, or you can add and remove wallpapers from the list. The Xfdesktop also allows for solid colors and gradients as an alternative to wallpapers. You can also change the brightness or saturation of your desktop background which is kind of cool.
There is also a menu tab with several more options. Here you can toggle the use of the applications menu when you right-click on the desktop, or you can toggle the display of application icons inside menus. The window and workspace menu can also be controlled from here.
You can even toggle which icons you would like to display on the Xfce 4 desktop from the icons tab. You can also change the icons and font size for items displayed on the desktop.
Xfce 4 Notification Settings
The notification settings window will allow you to choose a theme for your pop-up notifications. You can also choose the default position for displaying pop-up notifications on your desktop. Opacity options are also available for these notifications.
Xfce 4 Panel Settings
Your panels are also customizable, you can even name your panels if you choose to use more than one. You can add as many panels as you want to your desktop and change their positions. You can also cause panels to hide automatically when not in use.
Panel Size And Position
You can easily change the size and length of your panels, or you can make then automatically stretch to the screen edges.
From the appearance tab you can change the background used for your panels, or you can change the panel opacity.
Look in the items tab to add application launchers and applets to your panels. You an also use separators to help keep things organized.
Xfce 4 Screensaver Settings
Here you can change the Xfce 4 desktop screensaver, or how long it takes to become activated. There are many screensavers to choose from and you can preview them as well. You can even select the settings buttons inside the screenaver preferences window to customize individual screenavers.
Xfce 4 Session And Startup Settings
This is where you can control which applications and services are launched when your login to the Xfce 4 desktop. This tool is a graphical user interface for the Xfce4-session manager which also supports splash screens. You can automatically save your user session when logging out, or you may choose to be prompted each time.
Xfce 4 Window Manager Settings
From this window you can customize many of the settings for Xfwm4 which is the default window manager for Xfce 4. The window manager controls window decorations, fonts, themes, and buttons. All of your window decoration settings can be changed from here.
Look in the keyboard tab to customize shortcut keys for several window and desktop actions. Several shortcuts are already customized by default.
Window Focus Preferences
The focus tab will allow you to control how windows are selected and highlighted. You can click to focus windows, or focus when the mouse pointer is over the application.
Inside the advanced tab you can wind several more window and workspace options. You can snap windows to window borders or to other windows when moving windows around the desktop. You can choose to change workspaces when the mouse pointer reaches the screen edge, and you can also change workspaces when dragging windows to the screen edge.
Xfce 4 Window Manager Tweaks
The Xfce 4 window manager tweaks settings area has many tabs full of settings for Xfwm4. There are many more options to help you with window cycling and window focusing. You can also toggle keyboard shortcut keys that you can use to move windows.
Look in the workspaces tab to adjust how you are able to switch between workspaces. You can also change how your workspaces You are linked. You can make the last workspace link back to the first workspace.
You can also look in the compositor tab to enable display compositing. Here you can enable transparent window decorations, transparent inactive windows, or transparent pop-up windows.
Xfce 4 Workspace Settings
From the workspaces settings window you can add additional virtual workspaces to your desktop. You can add as many workspaces as you require, and you can even give names to each of your workspaces. This can help you arrange work and other tasks.