How to Make Xfce More Like Windows

Get a Windows-Like Linux desktop

Xfce happens to be one of the most configurable desktops on the market. Tweak this desktop to look a bit more like the Windows environment you most likely migrated from.

We’re going to walk you through the process of making Xfce like Windows 10. It won’t be a perfect match, but it’ll be enough to make you feel at home on the desktop.

For our demonstration, we used Xfce version 4.12 running on the Xubuntu Linux 19.04 distribution.

Customizing the Panel

Out of the box, Xfce defaults to a single panel at the top of the screen.

Screenshot of the default Xfce desktop.

First is move the panel to the bottom of the desktop, then make it a bit taller.

  1. Right-click the panel and select Panel > Panel Preferences.

    Screenshot of the Panel Preferences entry.
  2. In the Preferences window, click Lock panel to uncheck it.

    Screenshot of the Lock panel checkbox.
  3. In the upper left corner, click the drag handle (two vertical rows of dots) and drag the panel to the bottom of the screen.

    Screenshot of the panel drag handle.
  4. Drag the Row size adjuster to the right to increase the height of the panel.

    Screenshot of the Row Size option.
  5. When finished, click Lock panel again. At this point, your panel should now be at the bottom and a much more acceptable height.

Customizing the Xfce Windows Theme

Adjust the theme of Xfce so it looks even more like Windows 10. There are quite a lot of Windows 10 themes available, some of which offer both a light and dark version, and some of which don’t really do enough to satisfy most users.

We’re going to demonstrate installing the Windows 10 Modern Theme. Here’s how to install it.

  1. Open your web browser and go to the Windows 10 Modern Theme page.

  2. Click Download and save the file to your Downloads directory.

  3. Open the Downloads directory.

  4. Click the Xfce desktop menu, then click Settings > Appearance.

    Screenshot of the Xfce Appearance menu entry.
  5. Click the .gz Downloaded Windows 10 Modern Theme file, drag it into the Style tab, and release.

    Screenshot of dragging the new theme into the Style tab.
  6. Click the newly added style in the Style tab. It’ll be listed as "Windows10Modern."

    Screenshot of selecting the new theme.
  7. Your Xfce desktop should look considerably more familiar to you. It’s not a perfect match for Windows 10, but it's certainly closer than the default.

    Screenshot of the newly applied theme.
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