How to install xfce on Manjaro Linux

Endrit Qerreti

Endrit Qerreti

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install xfce desktop environment on Manjaro Linux. If you have downloaded manjaro with another desktop environment installed, there's no need to worry, as xfce can be easy downloaded and installed. Then you can use both or only xfce as main desktop environment on your system.

Step 1 - Update your system

To update your system, run the following command

sudo pacman -Syu

If you use a password for your account, you need to authenticate in order to be able to run the update command. Simply enter your password and press enter when required.

Step 2 - Install XFCE

Once you have updated your system , install xfce by running the command below

sudo pacman –S xfce4 xfce4-goodies network-manager-applet

The command above will install xfce4-goodies and network manager applet, you will be asked which packages you want to install. Press enter to install all as default option.

Next, you should see the following prompt. Press Y to confirm and then press enter to begin the installation of xfce

and the download will start

Once DE and network manager has been successfully installed on your system, you should see the following image. Now, we can move to next step, to install the display manager that we'll be using with xfce.

Step 3 - Install Display manager

We are going to install lightdm in this tutorial, but you can go with any display manager you like. There are multiple display managers, and all of them do the same job, choose any display manager you think it will fit your needs.

sudo pacman -S lightdm

Next, confirm with Y and press enter

Now that lightdm is installed on your system, you need to enable it to make sure it starts when you boot your computer. Run the following command to do this

sudo systemctl enable lightdm.service --force

Next, you need to install a greeter.

Greeter is the GUI that you will see when you boot your computer, we installed lightdm and enabled its service, now we need install the greeter. Like with display managers, there are multiple different greeters also, we are going with lightdm-gtk-greeter

sudo pacman -S lightdm-gtk-greeter

Once installed, you need to configure the greeter, the configuration file that you need to edit is /etc/lightdm/lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf.

sudo nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm-gtk-greeter

We are using nano text editor. However, you can use any other text editor if you like.

This is how the default config of lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf looks like

This file contains the configuration for the greeter, stuff like what background to use, cursor, font to use etc. The files are commented out by default, so you need to uncomment them once you set your own configuration.

Configure lightdm-greeter

background - Allows you to set the path of the image you want to use as background on the login screen. Xfce images are located on /usr/share/background/xfce, for example we are going to use the default blue background image for the greeter

user-background = Set this to true if you want the changes to be active

background = /usr/share/backgrounds/xfce/xfce-blue.jpg
user-background = true
theme-name = Adwaita-dark
icon-theme-name = breeze-dark

Login screen GUI using the above configuration

Alternatively, you can install the gtk greeter settings which is a GUI tool that allows you to configure this file without having to write any config manually. Run the command below to install this tool

sudo pacman -S lightdm-gtk-greeter-settings

Once installed, launch the tool from the applications menu, or by simply using the terminal


You must have sudo access in order to make changes to /etc/lightdm/lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf

Now you can set your own settings, make sure to click the save button to save changes you make.

Step 4 - Reboot

If you made changes to lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf you will need to reboot your system in order to see them.  Logout will also work. However, we'd recommend rebooting because sometimes logging out causes crashes.


In this tutorial, you learned how to install XFCE on manjaro linux. We also explained how to install a display manager, plus how to customize the greeter to your own preferences.