XFCE desktop setup

Customize the desktop

Add a panel for application launchers. I like to have “dock”-style panel on the left side of the screen that has my most frequently used applications. I want the panel to appear to be centered.

  1. Click on the “Settings Manager” button
  2. Click on the “Panel” icon in the “All Settings” window
  3. Click the green “plus” button to add a panel (Panel 1)
    a. Display tab:
    – Mode = Vertical
    – Row size = 48
    – Number of Rows = 1
    – Lenght = 96%
    b. Appearance tab
    – Alpha = 0
    c. Items tab
    – Click on the green “plus” button to add the following items. They should appear in the following order, top to bottom:
    – Separator
    – Show Desktop
    – Separator
    – Trash applet
    d. We also want to add application launchers to this panel but there is an easy way to do that than using the Panel window. See the next step, below.
    e. Click the “Close” button to close the window
    f. click on the panel’s “grab bar” at the top and drag it to the left side of the screen. Ensure that the panel does not overlap with Panel 0 (the top panel).
    g. Open the panel preferences window again and check the “Lock Panel” box, then close the window.

Now, configure the two separators so that the apps in the panel are centered.

  1. Right-click on the top separator bar in the panel. Select “Properties”
  2. Change the properties:
    a. Style = Transparent
    b. Check the “Expand” box
  3. Repeat for the bottom separator bar.
  4. Now you should see one icon in the middle of the left-side panel, and the trash icon at the bottom.

Now, add application launchers to the panel. Pick an applicaion from the “whiskers” start menu and drag it’s icon to the panel.

  1. Click on the “Whiskers” start button and navigate to the application you wish to have available in the panel.
  2. Click and drag that icon to the panel, close to the already-existing icon(s) in the center.
  3. The system will display a dialogue box asking you to confirm that you want to create a launcher. Click the “Create Launcher” button in the dialogue box.

I added the following applications to my launcher panel (Panel 1)

  • Terminal
  • Firefox
  • Catfish file finder
  • File Manager
  • Mousepad
  • Screenshot
  • ReText
  • Pinta

Clean up icons on desktop.
Xubuntu creates some system icons on the desktop: File System, Home folder, and Trash. I like a clean desktop so I will remove these.

1) Right-click on the desktop to open the Desktop Settings window.
2) Click on the “Icons” tab
3) At the bottom of the window, uncheck the following Default Icons boxes:
* Home
* Filesystem
* Trash
4) Leave the Removable Devices box checked.

Back to my computer setup page.

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