Introduction to Xfce4 Session

Xfce4 Session is a session manager for Xfce. Its task is to save the state of your desktop (opened applications and their location) and restore it during a next startup. You can create several different sessions and choose one of them on startup.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 12.1 platform.

Package Information

Xfce4 Session Dependencies


libwnck-43.0 and libxfce4ui-4.18.5


Required Runtime


Installation of Xfce4 Session

Install Xfce4 Session by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --sysconfdir=/etc \
            --disable-legacy-sm &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--disable-legacy-sm: This switch disables legacy session management which isn't necessary on modern system.

Configuring Xfce4 Session

There are several optional run time dependencies for Xfce4: dbus-1.14.10, GnuPG-2.4.4, hicolor-icon-theme-0.17, OpenSSH-9.6p1, and xinit-1.4.2

When building an Xfce4 package, some configuration files are installed in /usr/share/applications, /usr/share/icons, and /usr/share/mime. In order to use those files in your Xfce4 session, you need to update various databases. Do that by running, as the root user (you need to have the recommended dependencies installed):

update-desktop-database &&
update-mime-database /usr/share/mime

Starting Xfce4

You can start Xfce4 from a TTY using xinit-1.4.2, or from a graphical display manager, such as lightdm-1.32.0.

To start Xfce4 using xinit-1.4.2, run the following commands:

cat > ~/.xinitrc << "EOF"
dbus-launch --exit-with-x11 startxfce4


The X session starts on the first unused virtual terminal, normally vt7. You can switch to another vtn simultaneously pressing the keys Ctrl-Alt-Fn (n=1, 2, ...). To switch back to the X session, normally started at vt7, use Ctrl-Alt-F7. The vt where the command startx was executed will display many messages, including X starting messages, applications automatically started with the session, and eventually, some warning and error messages. You may prefer to redirect those messages to a log file, which not only will keep the initial vt uncluttered, but can also be used for debugging purposes. This can be done starting X with:

startx &> ~/.x-session-errors

When shutting down or rebooting, the shutdown messages appear on the vt where X was running. If you wish to see those messages, simultaneously press keys Alt-F7 (assuming that X was running on vt7).


Installed Programs: startxfce4, xfce4-session, xfce4-session-logout, xfce4-session-settings, and xflock4
Installed Library: None
Installed Directories: /usr/lib/xfce4/session

Short Descriptions


is a script responsible for starting an Xfce session.


starts up the Xfce Desktop Environment


logs out from Xfce


is a GTK+ 3 GUI which allows you to alter your preferences for your Xfce Session