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Nexus 5x running Xfce4
Nexus 5x running Xfce4

Xfce4 is a GTK-based desktop environment aiming to be fast and lightweight. It works on most devices with a working display, and runs fine without hardware acceleration. Uses latest Xfce version packages from Alpine repository.


  • pmbootstrap init
  • User interface: xfce4
  • Extra packages: xf86-video-vesa mesa-egl
    • Add matchbox-keyboard[1] or corekeyboard [2] to get an on-screen keyboard

Note: As the on-screen keyboard is not displayed on demand automatically, it's best to add it to autostart.

Better (touch) usability

Example configuration with CoreKeyboard running on Nexus 5x
Example configuration with matchbox-keyboard running on Galaxy SII
  • Rotate the display and touch to horizontal using Display guide.
  • To hide the cursor, edit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf: uncomment xserver-command=X and add -nocursor.
  • Change the scaling settings to 2x in Applications/Settings/Appearance/Settings/Window Scaling setting.
  • In Window Manager settings, choose font size of about 16.
  • In Panel settings, increasing panel height, and setting panels to hide Intelligently, will make them easier to interact with, without losing effective screen real estate.
  • Install lxdm to get restart options in power manager.
  • Disable Compositor from Window Manager Tweaks in settings to get faster experience.
  • In panel setting, change the mode to Deskbar and remove other plugins.
  • In FileManager settings, shortcut pane icon size to 48 px and enable Single Click in Behavior section.

Additional software

  • Use CoreApps as they work best on horizontal screens.
  • gvfs and thunar-volman for mounting drives and drive management