Jul 20, 2023

Xfce’s panel

Xfce panel supports multiple panels, with many options for their position, appearance, transparency and behavior.

First, before we delve into the details about the Xfce4 Panel, it is essential to comprehend the significance of FreeBSD ports— an integrated package management system for the FreeBSD operating system. This powerful tool facilitates the installation, upgrading, and even deletion of software on your FreeBSD server, while also gracefully handling their dependencies.

This discussion will focus particularly on the Xfce4 Panel under the category of x11-wm, or X11 window manager. This software is indispensable for the smooth functioning of the Xfce desktop environment.

The Xfce4 Panel module is part of the Xfce4 desktop environment, and it is responsible for managing the panels on the Xfce desktop. It provides a system tray, tasklist, clock, and other utility-like functions for managing the desktop sessions.

Now, let us delve into the actual workings of this software how to install, configure, and take full advantage of the features that it provides.


Assuming you have a functional FreeBSD system, installing the Xfce4 panel is as easy as running a single command.

pkg install xfce4-panel

If you prefer to compile from source, you can use the ports system

cd /usr/ports/x11-wm/xfce4-panel
make install clean

After the installation process, the Xfce4 panel can be launched from the command line by typing xfce4-panel. It can also be added to your “.xinitrc” or “.xsessions” file to be executed at the start of your X11 session.


The configuration of the Xfce4 Panel is a breeze, owing to its graphical configuration interface. By right-clicking on an empty area of the panel and selecting ‘Panel -> Panel Preferences’, a dialog box will be launched, presenting various settings to adjust.

As for tweaking the panel’s contents or adding new items, simply select the ‘Items’ tab in the panel preferences dialog. Here, you can add, remove, or edit panel items by clicking the respective buttons.

Moreover, the ‘Appearance’ and ‘Display’ tabs provide further customizability options for the panel.

Additional Tips

The Xfce desktop is renowned for its flexibility and minimalism, majorly due to the Xfce4 Panel.

The panel includes an array of built-in plugins that can enhance functionality, these include

  • Tasklist & System Tray
  • Application launcher
  • Workspace switcher
  • Window buttons
  • Clock & Calendar

The XFCE4 Panel also supports multiple panels – with each panel capable of holding different plugins; a feature that provides endless possibilities for customization.

You can configure the panel to automatically hide when not in use, resulting in a clutter-free desktop. Giving a right-click on the panel and navigating to ‘Panel -> Panel Preferences -> Automatically hide the panel’ will enable this feature.


The Xfce4 Panel is a vital part of the Xfce desktop environment. It has a user-friendly and intuitive configuration interface; every aspect of the panel, from its size, position, appearance, to its content, can be easily customized to fit the user’s preferences.

One might argue that the desktop environment of an operating system is purely cosmetic; however, it is the very interface that users engage with to interact with their system. Therefore, being able to furnish that interface to one’s liking through tools like the Xfce4 Panel is undeniably advantageous.

We hope you found this guide on the FreeBSD’s Xfce4 Panel port helpful. There’s more to the world of FreeBSD ports. For instance, if you’re interested in IT security, you might want to look into [nmap]https//freebsdsoftware.org/security/nmap.html, another extremely useful FreeBSD port.

Unleash the power of FreeBSD and its myriad of ports to suit your needs. Happy computing!

Checkout these related ports:
  • Yeahwm - Minimal X11 window manager with BeOS-like tabbed titles
  • Xfce4 - Meta-port for the Xfce Desktop Environment
  • Xfce4-wm - Xfce's window manager
  • Xfce4-session - Xfce's session manager
  • Xfce4-panel-profiles - Xfce's panel multiple layouts manager
  • Xfce4-desktop - Xfce's desktop manager
  • Xdgmenumaker - Generates XDG menus for several window managers
  • Xcompmgr - Sample X compositing manager
  • Wmx - Simple window manager based on wm2
  • Wmname - Prints/sets the window manager name property of the root window
  • Wmii - Dynamic, minimalist window manager for X11
  • Wmii-devel - Dynamic, minimalist window manager for X11
  • Wmconfig - Menu generation tool for X window managers
  • Wmanager - X11 window manager selector
  • Wmanager-addons - Helper scripts and documentation for the X11 window manager selector