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Samsung Galaxy SII running XFCE
Samsung Galaxy SII running XFCE

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.


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

Calibrate the touchscreen

If you rotate the screen, change/add a value in this file:

sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/90-android-touch-dev.rules
# default			ENV{LIBINPUT_CALIBRATION_MATRIX}="1 0 0 0 1 0"
# Left - 90 degree clockwise	ENV{LIBINPUT_CALIBRATION_MATRIX}="0 -1 1 1 0 0"
# 180 degree clockwise		ENV{LIBINPUT_CALIBRATION_MATRIX}="-1 0 1 0 -1 1"
# Right - 270 degree clockwise	ENV{LIBINPUT_CALIBRATION_MATRIX}="0 1 0 -1 0 1"
# reflect along y axis		ENV{LIBINPUT_CALIBRATION_MATRIX}="-1 0 1 1 0 0"

Display Power Management

To control display from a terminal, first set DISPLAY environment variable:

export DISPLAY=:0.0

The xset command can be used to turn display on and off, or set a display timeout value.

xset dpms force off    # To turn off display
xset dpms force on     # To turn the display back on
xset q                 # Prints current display status info

Improving Touchscreen-Friendliness

Example configuration with matchbox-keyboard running on Galaxy SII

In Window Manager settings, changing the theme to Default-hdpi or Default-xhdpi will make window buttons and title bars larger. A font size of about 16 can work well with these themes.

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.

This results in something like the right. The only obvious problem is the large, permanent, title bars.