Xfce vs. Fluxbox: What’s the Difference?

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Two popular desktop environments are Xfce and Fluxbox in the open source world, and there has been disagreement among users about which of the two is better. However, you can still see its difference.

In the next sections, we will compare them with each other so that you can understand each one’s strengths to know if any could fit your liking more than another. Let’s begin!

What Is Xfce?

The lightweight window manager builds on GTK2. (Plus it comes with a few extra things to add on for performance to get going like Fluxbox.) Meanwhile, this is another Linux favorite, easy enough for newbies to start using from day one.

However, the other WMs have many customization options that are not available in Xfce and this makes its interface quite daunting for beginners. Learn how to use its app menu.

Xfce features

  • It provides maximum flexibility as there is a core that has additional parts that can be added or removed as desired making it a lighter-weight alternative.
  • When supported by your hardware, the Xfce desktop has a smooth and elegant appearance with many graphical effects.
  • This doesn’t ship with any applications installed but there are several ways you can have new software on board easily.
  • For further information on installing software within Linux distributions and asking questions regarding how it can be done via their IRC channel, I suggest looking at Ubuntu.

What Is Fluxbox?

A lightweight window manager for Linux. It’s one of those desktops that boot completely off a CD/USB flash drive/memory card. But first things first – its primary benefit has always been its small footprint (about 20-40MB depending on which version you choose to download) taking fewer resources away from your computer as opposed to heavier desktop environments doesn’t let your machine slow down as many of these heavier desktops do.

Fluxbox features

  • On the other hand, the feature list under Fluxbox is way shorter than Xfce’s. This also means it’s easier to get into but it doesn’t offer as many features to play with.
  • It is therefore less configurable than xfce which could make fluxbox more complicated for someone who has just switched to it.

Difference Between Xfce and Fluxbox

However, there are a few more than a couple of others besides KDE and Gnome that are used by Linux users. Here we would learn about setting up two light desktop environments—Xfce and Fluxbox. While both of the GUIs prevent your productivity from being affected by various design choices they would enable you to maintain an optimized system.

1. Uses

  • If you’re looking for a modern desktop environment that isn’t quite as heavy as KDE or GNOME, Xfce may be your answer.
  • And if you use Ubuntu’s or another Linux distribution’s default desktop environment, but want to customize it a bit more, take a look at Fluxbox.
  • In case neither of these sounds appealing, then give Enlightenment a shot.

2. Customization

  • FXCM is highly customizable. FXCM’s default theme is beautiful, but you can adjust them, so they don’t look like your neighbor’s desktop.
  • Here is the bottom line: how do you want your desktop to look when all is said and done?

3. Resources

  • Linux Command (Basic Commands) – Alltop xiv- A Linux command used to display current keystroke events in X.
  • It may help diagnose keyboard, mouse, or touchpad issues. track- Sets timeouts for users who have tried too many times to get their password correct. test- For testing whether all keys on your keyboard are functioning.


Both of these environments are quite customizable overall. Nonetheless, with so many options available, it becomes much more difficult to settle on which environment would suit you best. Ultimately personal preference will probably guide your decision-making process: Do you prefer a lighter system with less eye candy or a heavier system with extra visual goodies? The good news is that both environments are very easy to install on almost any kind of Linux-based system making them both worth trying out at least once.