Installing XFCE on Linux Mint Cinnamon

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panjia
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Installing XFCE on Linux Mint Cinnamon

Post by panjia » Sat May 27, 2017 6:25 pm

Hi all,

I have installed Linux Mint with Cinnamon Desktop on my rather old laptop (Acer Aspire 4732z).
It has Intel Dual Core processor, with 3 GB of RAM (upgraded from 1 GB).
Although Cinnamon is very nice desktop, my laptop seems a little bit slow.
I guess this is caused by extensive graphics use in Cinnamon desktop and my laptop only uses an on-board graphic card (I don't know what to call it).

I decided to try XFCE desktop and it seems faster than Cinnamon.
Initially, I installed xfce4 from Software Manager and it ran pretty well but it lacked of a lot of components, like audio and brightness controllers.
So I opened up terminal and ran command: " sudo apt-get install xfce4* " so it would install everything related to XFCE.
Did I do it right?
Any other required packages to make XFCE performs better?

Another thing I can't figure out is how to lock screen. In Cinnamon, it's already there by default on the menu.
I read the articles and forums here and there and they say something about xflock4, and although the shortcut is already set up (Ctrl+Alt+L), it does not work.

I know it's probably better to do a fresh installation using Linux Mint XFCE edition, but I'm trying to get it done without re-installation.
Any more suggestion from anyone who had success using XFCE not as the default desktop?

Cheers!

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Pjotr
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Re: Installing XFCE on Linux Mint Cinnamon

Post by Pjotr » Sat May 27, 2017 6:38 pm

Best thing to do: a clean re-installation of Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce. No pollution, just what you need. :)
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FreedomTruth
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Re: Installing XFCE on Linux Mint Cinnamon

Post by FreedomTruth » Sat May 27, 2017 7:09 pm

You probably want to install mint-meta-xfce ... I successfully installed xfce over mate once (switched to xfce session and I think I later uninstalled mate, but I won't swear to that), but the general advice is to do a new LM xfce installation.
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karlchen
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Re: Installing XFCE on Linux Mint Cinnamon

Post by karlchen » Sat May 27, 2017 7:19 pm

Hello, panjia.

In case your current Mint Cinnamon installation is a fresh default installation, which you have not customized to your personal needs a lot, following Pjotr's advice may be a good approach. Another clean installation of Linux Mint xfce, replacing the current Linux Mint Cinnamon, and you will be done.

Yet, there is a pretty simple way of adding the complete Linux Mint xfce desktop to a Linux Mint Cinnamon system and make xfce the new default desktop. Although some experts keep on warning this were discouraged, my experience tells that turning a Cinnamon system into an xfce system is pretty hassle-free:
  • I installed Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon, added xfce later on and used Linux Mint 16 xfce as long as it was supported.
  • I installed Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon, added xfce later on and used Linux Mint 17 xfce, till ...
  • I updated it in-place via update manager to Linux Mint 17.1 xfce + Cinnamon and still use it without hassle till today.
I would be more than amazed if the same did not work on Linux Mint 18 / 18.1, too.

Please, find the steps on how to add the xfce desktop to Linux Mint Cinnamon here:
xfce instead of mate
(Do not let yourself be confused by the name "mate" in the thread title. I have done so on "Cinnamon". )

Regards,
Karl
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lmintnewb2

Re: Installing XFCE on Linux Mint Cinnamon

Post by lmintnewb2 » Sat May 27, 2017 8:14 pm

+1 Pjotr

Would be much easier on you and less time consuming for sure. Though also don't go over-board with all things xfce4ish. If light-weight and more responsive are what you're going for you don't want all things xfce4 and the kitchen sink. You'll likely want to prune out unneeded stuff even from the xfce edition.

See-search what's installed in synaptic to see what xfce packages are already installed on the xfce4 release . Then take it up with google, searches along the lines of "lighten xfce +linux" or "minimal xfce install", "optimize xfce for performace" and similar.

Much of the stuff already installed could be unneeded or stuff you don't use and should be gotten rid of to facilitate lower system overhead and better performance. Disabling unneeded bling, bling features in xfce too. The same deal, stuff you don't use or want that's taking up system resources is bloat, shrugs.
Dang it, one more thing about this. When you do get around to removing packages in Mint, pay attention to what else is going to get removed along with them. If synaptic starts telling you 42 other packages are going to be jettisoned, obviously don't proceed with that until you've asked about it and/or done more googling about it.
Arghhh in for penny, in for pound. Also optimize Mint itself, disable unwanted startup daemons you don't use and etc. Do you use bluetooth ? If no ... then you don't need it autostarting everytime you boot the OS. Is no shortage of info about the how to involved there, in this forum and all over the webz. You can optimize a de or windows manager and for sure much improve things but optimize the underlying gnu/Linux OS too for best results.

panjia
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Re: Installing XFCE on Linux Mint Cinnamon

Post by panjia » Mon May 29, 2017 8:56 am

lmintnewb2 wrote:+1 Pjotr

Would be much easier on you and less time consuming for sure. Though also don't go over-board with all things xfce4ish. If light-weight and more responsive are what you're going for you don't want all things xfce4 and the kitchen sink. You'll likely want to prune out unneeded stuff even from the xfce edition.
That's what I'm thinking. I may have installed too many things I don't need.
So, I did " sudo apt remove xfce4* " to remove all xfce4 packages, and do " sudo apt autoremove " to clean everything else it came with (I'm a bit afraid to use "purge").
Later I followed FreedomTruth and karichen to install " mint-meta-xfce " instead, but still, I can't lock the screen.
Volume control is now missing too.

I'll do clean installation when MInt 18.2 or 18.3 comes out.
I don't have big internet quota at home so downloading another 1.8 GB ISO file will be too much for me.
I have also installed a lot of applications, I'm not sure if my software backups using Aptik will work. If not, then I would need to re-download everything else too.

EDIT: Lock screen is available on the menu now, but when I click on it, the screen will just go blank and I can't do anything.
Later, I opened terminal with ctrl+alt+F1 and shutdown from there because I don't know what to do :?
Last edited by panjia on Mon May 29, 2017 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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austin.texas
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Re: Installing XFCE on Linux Mint Cinnamon

Post by austin.texas » Mon May 29, 2017 9:02 am

panjia wrote:
lmintnewb2 wrote:I have also installed a lot of applications, I'm not sure if my software backups using Aptik will work. If not, then I would need to re-download everything else too.
The downloaded programs (.deb files) are stored in /var/cache/apt/archives/
Copy all those .deb files to your new installation (to the new /var/cache/apt/archives/ folder), and you can then install the programs with no downloading - or at least minimal downloading..
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panjia
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Re: Installing XFCE on Linux Mint Cinnamon

Post by panjia » Mon May 29, 2017 9:14 am

austin.texas wrote:
panjia wrote:
lmintnewb2 wrote:I have also installed a lot of applications, I'm not sure if my software backups using Aptik will work. If not, then I would need to re-download everything else too.
The downloaded programs (.deb files) are stored in /var/cache/apt/archives/
Copy all those .deb files to your new installation (to the new /var/cache/apt/archives/ folder), and you can then install the programs with no downloading - or at least minimal downloading..
I didn't know that. Thanks!
Aptik seems just copy the files from that folder.
If along the way I have updated some of them, will they be the latest version?

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austin.texas
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Re: Installing XFCE on Linux Mint Cinnamon

Post by austin.texas » Mon May 29, 2017 9:32 am

panjia wrote:If along the way I have updated some of them, will they be the latest version?
The latest version that you installed will be there, yes.
Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, Quad core AMD A8-3870 with Radeon HD Graphics 6550D, 8GB DDR3, Ralink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
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panjia
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Re: Installing XFCE on Linux Mint Cinnamon

Post by panjia » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:21 pm

Well, the reason why the screen lock didn't work is because Xfce needs its own screensaver, so I installed xscreensaver. Gnome-screensaver might work too.
For brightness control I installed xfce4-power-manager and for sound I installed pavucontrol.
Anyone reading this might want to follow karichen's link for the list of packages to install.

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