Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly. -from xfce website
In /etc/make.conf, you can add/customize this line: XFCE_PLUGINS="trash menu brightness logout"
The above options may change, the current list is available here.
Install the complete xfce desktop:
Or you can select only needed packages:
You may need a terminal emulator for Xfce:
To start Xfce automatically with startx:
Configuring consolekit daemon startup
Check if consolekit is started:
If not, setup startup on boot:
Configuring policykit daemon
Example of its configuration:
In this example permission is granted to users in group users.
With xfce4-volumed daemon.
Lightweight method using alsa.
Consistent gtk3 theme
Greybird theme has support for GTK2, GTK3, xfwm4, emerald and metacity.
Go to xfce menu -> Settings -> Appearance. Or run xfce4-appearance-settings. Select "Greybird" from the "Style" list.
Now GTK2 and GTK3 applications should have consistent look.
Application finder: xfce-extra/xfce4-appfinder
Volume control: xfce-extra/xfce4-mixer
Text editor: app-editors/leafpad
Removable media and drives manager: xfce-extra/thunar-volman
Previewer for files from Thunar: xfce-extra/tumbler
CD burning application: app-cdr/xfburn
Archive manager: app-arch/xarchiver
xfce-extra/xfce4-battery-plugin is perfect for laptop users. It displays battery percentage, time remaining, power source (AC or battery), fan status, warnings, and can even be configured to execute commands at certain power levels. This feature can be used to put the laptop into hibernate mode when the battery is almost exhausted.
xfce-extra/xfce4-verve-plugin is a small command line embedded into the panel. It's quicker than opening up another terminal when you want to run a command.
xfce-extra/xfce4-mount-plugin gives you a handy method of mounting devices listed in /etc/fstab just by clicking your mouse.
xfce-extra/xfce4-sensors-plugin lets you monitor your hardware sensors, such as CPU temperature, fan RPM, hard drive temp, motherboard voltage, and more.
x11-themes/xfwm4-themes adds several window manager themes.
app-office/orage is a simple, handy calendar.
xfce-extra/xfce4-power-manager is an application to monitor and manage power usage. This is especially important for laptops! The power manager allows you to adjust screen brightness, choose maximum performance or battery-saving modes, and setup hibernate, suspend, and shutdown actions when the lid is shut or buttons are pressed. You can set xfce4-power-manager to warn you when your battery reaches certain levels, or even turn off your machine. The application comes with a couple of helpful panel plugins to display battery/charging status, and a brightness control.