How to install xfce on PureOs?

Hi, it’s my first post. I’d like to use xfce. Can you help me how to install xfce on PureOs?


Open a command terminal and type

sudo apt install task-xfce-desktop


Only one command for installing?

How about “sudo apt-get install xfce4-goodies” and “sudo systemctl set-default” after?

The command might pull in xfce4-goodies with the rest of the packages, its been awhile since I installed it, but if it doesn’t then “sudo apt-get install xfce4-goodies” command will get it.

I’m not sure about the second command you listed. You should be able to select xfce at the login screen to start it.

Hey guys, is installing xfce on PureOS still a doable thing?
I’ve thought of switching over to Xubuntu for my laptop (because GNOME is too much a resource hog for me), but I paid ~$70 (incl. shipping) to get my thinkpad X200t librebooted, and I’d like to stick with a fully libre distro that’s also somewhat user friendly. So I’m staying with PureOS, for now (and hopefully a long while). I just really need to get out from under GNOME.

Anyway, here’s the error I’m getting when I try the above-mentioned commands:

[chewie@falcon ~]$ sudo apt install task-xfce-desktop xfce4-goodies
[sudo] password for chewie: 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 task-xfce-desktop : Depends: lightdm but it is not going to be installed
                     Depends: light-locker but it is not going to be installed
                     Recommends: xfce4-mixer but it is not installable
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

(Latest PureOS, by the way:)

[chewie@falcon ~]$ cat /etc/debian_version 


Guys, is it possible or intended to be possible to run a non-gnome desktop on PureOS?

I love the distro, and its stated intent. But [shields up] I consider Gnome 3 to be a garbage fire when it comes to system resources, especially on my Core 2 Duo X200, but even on my i5 desktop at work. You guys may prefer gnome shell over everything, and I think that’s totes cool. But I’d just like to know if the ability to use other DEs is possible or planned with PureOS? Much thanks, I know you guys are busy on many, many fronts right now.

If this is just temporarily broken, or if there is a not-exceedingly-hacky fix, I’d love to hear it.


Yes, XFCE is still in the repo and able to be installed. One way you could check, without risk of modifying your current system, would be to boot from the pureOS live image and run apt-search “de name” if it’s in the repo it will show up.

Thanks. My system is pretty fresh and I haven’t done any major hacking to it.
PureOS seems to have some un-sastisfiable dependencies when attempting to install xfce.
Please see here

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I believe that you need to remove the gdm package before you can install xfce as that is most likely what is causing the problem. This is because gdm and lightdm are both login managers and thus conflict with each other.

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That’s worth a try! :grinning:

Well, somehow I seem to have weaseled my way into having a different desktop. I found out that PureOS’ gdm will let you choose a different desktop (if you look in the right place).

I couldn’t get xfce4 to install, so I installed budgie instead. I was liking it pretty decently, and I thought I’d go ahead and try xfce4 on a fluke – it installed with no errors.

Go fig ^___^

Honestly, I did NOT want to leave PureOS. As much as I love vanilla debian, I didn’t want to scrounge around for linux-libre packages. I looked at all of the other fsf-approved distros, and none of them really appealed to me. So I’m glad I’m here to stay, at least for now.

I was tempted to go back to Manjaro, and I’m glad I resisted that temptation. I love the distro, but their nonchalant attitude towards free software is a real bummer. I couldn’t even get a definite list of what packages were and weren’t free, 200+ of the default packages were just marked “custom.”

I was away from the Linux desktop for several years (about 2005 - 2019), although I was a linux guy at work for a long time. I’m impressed by how much the software has matured, but at the same time dismayed at how far apart the free-software and open-source camps have gone, how nonchalant most linux guys are about proprietary software, and (sorry not sorry?) how continually extreme rms has become. Well, not that much more extreme than he was 15 years ago, but there is a perceptible difference.

I’m still thankful for GNU and rms. I just wish the fsf folks could get about 10-15% more pragmatic, and the “linux desktop guys” could get about 75% more dogmatic.

Glad you got it to work for you :slight_smile:
I’m not really a big fan of the gnome shell either and hope that PureOS will make it easier to install a different desktop during the initial install but they have their hands pretty full with the phone and other projects so it will likely be a while before that happens.


Totally understandable and totally acceptable.

I think that many people make the mistake of coming into this with a consumerist attitude (referring to the L5, specifically).

The Librem 5 isn’t so much a product as a moon shot. And I wish them well.

I’m not getting one just yet, because I recognize my need for a “product” at this time. But I am rooting for them ALL THE WAY