Install Xfce 4 Desktop Environment on CentOS 7

Jul 1, 2016 Linux

install xfce 4 desktop environment on centos 7
Xfce is a free and open-source desktop environment for Unix and Unix-like platforms which aims to be fast, intuitive, user-friendly and lightweight, while still being visually attractive for user.

In the below short tutorial we will install Xfce 4 Desktop Environment on CentOS 7 system in few steps.


1. Install EPEL release
Since Xfce4 packages are not included in standard CentOS repo, we need to install EPEL repo which provides Xfce4 RPMs:

[root@tuxfixer ~]# yum install epel-release

2. Install X Window System packages
Install X Window System support packages, which provide basic low level functionality for graphical environment:

[root@tuxfixer ~]# yum groupinstall "X Window system"

3. Install Xfce packages

[root@tuxfixer ~]# yum groupinstall xfce

4. Switch to graphical target in systemd

[root@tuxfixer ~]# systemctl isolate
PolicyKit daemon disconnected from the bus.
We are no longer a registered authentication agent.
PolicyKit daemon reconnected to bus.
Attempting to re-register as an authentication agent.
We are now a registered authentication agent.

5. Enable graphical target (X Window System) on boot

[root@tuxfixer ~]# systemctl set-default
Removed symlink /etc/systemd/system/
Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/ to /usr/lib/systemd/system/

6. Reboot your PC

[root@tuxfixer ~]# reboot

After reboot your computer should enter into and you should see GDM Splash Screen (GDM was installed along with Xfce4 packages):

xfce installation on centos 7


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5 thoughts on “Install Xfce 4 Desktop Environment on CentOS 7”
  1. My screen is blank after I login to the GUI. This is on a new centos minimal install and doing a “yum update”. Happening on both Esxi and Virtualbox hypervisors.

  2. Yeah, mine’s just a blank grey screen after login. You have to right-click grey background to get menu.

  3. Most excellent to the point install for xfce!

    Additionally I install xrdp since my IT folks only allow 3389/TCP on a UTM fw.

    sudo yum install xrdp

    this explains making xfce the default or use the steps below:

    create/edit: /etc/xrdp/
    cat /etc/xrdp/
    XFCE=”$(which xfce4-session 2>/dev/null)”
    exec “$XFCE”

    Edit /etc/xrdp/sesman.ini and change the DefaultWindowManager to include the fullpathname to your script:

    sudo chmod +x /etc/xrdp/

    do these systemd steps:
    sudo systemctl enable xrdp
    sudo systemctl start xrdp

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