Xfce Workflow

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.

We can install it with:

# pacman -S xfce4 xfce4-goodies

I’m using GDM as a display manager:

# pacman -S gdm

Tiling WM (Pytyle3 + Patch)

Xfce is a floating window manager, but since I like tiles sometimes, I’ve installed pytyle3:

$ yaourt pytyle3

There’s a bug though, when you press MOD+L or MOD+K or MOD+Enter, pytyle will crush.

I’ve patched this bug, you can apply the patch by executing: Actually this was merged with upstream, so I suppose you can ignore the steps bellow.

$ sudo su

# curl https://raw.github.com/VxMxPx/pytyle3/master/pt3/layouts/layout_vert_horz.py > /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pt3/layouts/layout_vert_horz.py

You can diff it first, to see there’s nothing evil in it (there should be only one if statement added):

$ curl https://raw.github.com/VxMxPx/pytyle3/master/pt3/layouts/layout_vert_horz.py | diff /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/pt3/layouts/layout_vert_horz.py -

Launcher (dmenu - patched)

As a launcher I’m using (patched version of) dmenu. Dmenu is a fast and lightweight dynamic menu for X. It reads arbitrary text from stdin, and creates a menu with one item for each line.

Install it with:

# pacman -S dmenu

If you want xmms-like pattern matching, then you need to install a patched version:

$ yaourt dmenu-tok-patch

Please read on to see how to attach the dmenu_run command to a keystroke combination.


For music I’m using Ncmpcpp and for my Skyping Finch.

I’ve added only one panel to Xfce, on the top of the screen, and set Row Size to be 18px. I’ve also added a little bit of style to it (create file ~/.gtkrc-2.0) with following content:

style "panel"
  bg[NORMAL]   = "#414140"
  fg[NORMAL]   = "#cccccc"
  font_name    = "PT Sans 9"

widget_class "*Panel*"      style "panel"
widget "*Panel*"            style "panel"
class "*Panel*"             style "panel"

I’m using Numix style, Faenza-Dark icons, DejaVu Sans Book/9 font, Litestyle theme, PT Sans/9 as a title font.

I’ve created five workspaces, four are present all the time and the fifth I add only when I need it. I’ve named them:

1: Ground # Everyday: Browser + 2 Terminals
2: Air    # IM: Finch
3: Water  # Music: Ncmpcpp
4: Fire   # Work: Sublime Text 2, etc...
5: Chaos  # Various things

Keyboard Shortcuts


XF86AudioLoweVolume   amixer set Master 5%-
XF86AudioRaiseVolume  amixer set Master 5%+
XF86AudioMute         amixer set Master toggle
XF86AudioNext         ncmpcpp next
XF86AudioPrev         ncmpcpp prev
XF86AudioStop         ncmpcpp stop
XF86AudioPlay         ncmpcpp toggle


For Finch, create a file ~/.gntrc with the following content:

a-n = window-next
a-p = window-prev
a-c = window-close
a-w = window-list
a-c-d = dump-screen
a-, = shift-left
a-. = shift-right
a-e = action-list
a-R = start-move
a-r = start-resize
a-q = wa-quit
a-l = refresh-screen
a-s = workspace-list
a-t = window-tag
a-T = place-tagged
a-C = toggle-clipboard
a-/ = help-for-widget
a-c-j = window-scroll-down
a-c-k = window-scroll-up
# The following action is still incomplete, and doesn't have a default binding
# switch-window-n
# Other actions: window-next-urgent, window-prev-urgent

# For the sample custom window manager
a-b = toggle-buddylist

# For the irssi window manager
a-L = move-right
a-H = move-left
a-J = move-down
a-K = move-up


Alt+t  xfce4-terminal

# Special command for dmenu, parameters set background and text colors
Alt+d  dmenu_run -t -nb "#414140" -nf "#cccccc" -sb "#dd5555" -sf "#ffffff"

WM, Tiling

Alt+Tab        Cycle windows
Alt+F4         Close window
Alt+F10        Maximize window
Alt+F11        Toggle fullscreen
Primary+Alt+1  Move window to workspace 1
Primary+Alt+2  Move window to workspace 2
Alt+1          Workspace 1
Alt+2          Workspace 2
Alt+Up         Tile window to the top
Alt+Down       Tile window to the bottom
Alt+Left       Tile window to the left
Alt+Right      Tile window to the right
Alt+Insert     Add workspace
Alt+Delete     Delete last workspace

Add a file ~/.config/pytyle3/keybind.py with the following content:

import state
import tile

bindings = {
    'Mod1-a':       tile.cmd('tile'),
    'Mod1-u':       tile.cmd('untile'),
    'Mod1-h':       tile.cmd('decrease_master'),
    'Mod1-l':       tile.cmd('increase_master'),
    'Mod1-j':       tile.cmd('prev_client'),
    'Mod1-k':       tile.cmd('next_client'),
    'Mod1-Shift-j': tile.cmd('switch_prev_client'),
    'Mod1-Shift-k': tile.cmd('switch_next_client'),
    'Mod1-Shift-period': tile.cmd('remove_master'),
    'Mod1-period':  tile.cmd('add_master'),
    'Mod1-Return':  tile.cmd('make_master'),
    'Mod1-m':       tile.cmd('focus_master'),
    'Mod1-z':       tile.cmd('cycle'),

    'Mod1-q':       tile.debug_state,
    'Mod1-Shift-q': state.quit,