How to properly install XFCE on Maya MATE [Solved]

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How to properly install XFCE on Maya MATE [Solved]

Postby M@her on Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:26 am

Hello everybody,

I'm currently using Linux Mint 13 MATE at work and I'm wondering if there's any way to install XFCE just the way it looks on Maya XFCE Edition ? I mean with all mint customizations and stuff ?

I'm quitely disappointed with MATE and don't have enough time to install an uncustomized XFCE, I heard that it would be sufficient to install the mint-meta-xfce package, is it true ? Do I also have to change the repos ?

Thank You
Last edited by M@her on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to properly install XFCE on Maya MATE

Postby GeneBenson on Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:01 am

Hi M@her,

I'm currently running Maya MATE with Xfce installed and I'm very pleased with the result. If you install from your current repositories then you will be installing Xfce 4.8. The Maya XFCE Edition is using Xfce 4.10. This is what I have and have found it to be very stable.

To install Xfce 4.10 on Maya Mata issue the following commands in a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.10
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xfce4

After the first command make sure you answer 'y' when asked or you will end up installing 4.8. When the install has finished log out and then in the MDM login screen right click on the middle icon and choose 'Xfce'. Then login as normal. All that's left is to set things up the way you want them. One thing to be aware of though. Not all Xfce 4.8 applets have been upgraded to 4.10 so not all will work. This is no different from Maya XFCE Edition.

I'm not exactly sure what 'mint customizations and stuff' you mean. You will have all the same customizations, themes, and icons you currently have with MATE and you can always install more themes and icons if needed.

Hope this helps. :wink:
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Re: How to properly install XFCE on Maya MATE

Postby M@her on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:14 pm

Hello Gene,

Thank you very much it worked like a charm :) . Everything's ok even the notifications and systray apps integration, installed GTK themes are correctly handled and all Gnome apps are available. Autostart apps are also still there. I had problems using cairo-dock with MATE (right-click actions freezing the dock) all gone with XFCE :D !

Note that this PPA is the one used by Linux Mint 13 XFCE (there's no Xubuntu official repo for XFCE 4.10, Xubuntu 12.10 is not yet available) so there's nothing to worry about, it's a verified source.

I noticed that it's important to set the default XFCE configuration when asked on the first start, you'll lost the mint menu but you'll have clean functional XFCE environment and menus (confused menu and panel lacking systray if not).

Concerning the customizations, I had to do few things to enhance the environment (after setting gtk and icons themes):

- Installing thunar plugins (especially the archive plugin, just type thunar in your software manager all plugins will appear)

- Activating Font antialiasing

- Activating composite display

- Creating a .gtkrc-2.0 file in my user folder where i inserted the following code:

Code: Select all
style "xfdesktop-icon-view" {
    XfdesktopIconView::label-alpha = 0
    XfdesktopIconView::selected-label-alpha = 170
    XfdesktopIconVIew::ellipsize-icon-labels = 1

    XfdesktopIconView::shadow-x-offset = 0
    XfdesktopIconView::shadow-y-offset = 0
    XfdesktopIconView::shadow-color = "#000000"
    XfdesktopIconView::selected-shadow-x-offset = 0
    XfdesktopIconView::selected-shadow-y-offset = 0
    XfdesktopIconView::selected-shadow-color = "#ffffff"

    XfdesktopIconVIew::cell-spacing = 6
    XfdesktopIconView::cell-padding = 6
    XfdesktopIconView::cell-text-width-proportion = 2.5

    base[NORMAL] = "#cccccc"
    base[SELECTED] = "#cccccc"
    base[ACTIVE] = "#cccccc"

    fg[NORMAL] = "#ffffff"
    fg[SELECTED] = "#000000"
    fg[ACTIVE] = "#000000"
}
widget_class "*XfdesktopIconView*" style "xfdesktop-icon-view"


This code sets the desktop font to white and adds background transparency to the desktop icons labels.

I had to restart XFCE to make some apps integrating the new parameters set (transparency and systray icon).

Hope this helps any other XFCE Switcher :wink:
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Re: How to properly install XFCE on Maya MATE [Solved]

Postby Jleeblanch on Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:10 pm

Thank you, this was helpful!

My only question, after setting up and fully switching to Xfce, is it safe to fully remove Mate?
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Re: How to properly install XFCE on Maya MATE [Solved]

Postby GeneBenson on Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:58 am

Hi Jleeblanch,

If you followed the instructions above then
sudo apt-get install xfce4

will only install a bare XFCE DE, Thunar, and a terminal emulator. It won't install any apps so basically you are using the XFCE DE with mostly MATE apps.
Pluma instead of Leafpad (or Mousepad), Engrampa instead of whatever XFCE is using and so on ...

Unless you are pressed for disk space or bandwidth there really is no need to remove MATE. I wish I could be of more help but I've never tried that before. :(
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