A modern and lightweight Arch-Linux (xfce) configuration

System utilities

Let’s install the basics:

yaourt redshift oh-my-zsh
  • redshift allows you to change the temperature of your screen. It tires the eyes less than having a blue screen, especially during the night.
  • oh-my-zsh is a zsh plugin that easily lets you configure your zsh.
lxrandr xfce4-screenshooter xscreensaver
  • lxrandr is a small utility that lets you configure the resolution and external monitors. It is graphical, and very user-friendly.
  • The screenshooter is the official xfce screenshooter. You can set any keyboard shortcut to launch it in Settings > Keyboard > Application Shortcuts.
  • I like to use xscreensaver to lock my PC. It’s customizable and there are plenty themes available. I often even display a RSS flux. It starts with the xscreensaver-command --lock command. It can be configured through xscreensaver-command --demo.

XFCE is fast

I didn’t have the opportunity to test in depth a lot of graphical interfaces. Yet it’s because xfce remains my favorite for now, and I don’t feel like testing other GUIs, as this one entirely supplies my needs. It’s very fast, and highly customizable. During summer, I ended up having this ChromeOS-like desktop, on xfce. Now I went back to a more classic layout.

Autostart xfce at login

Simply add this line to your zshrc config file, if this is the shell you’re using :

startxfce4

A beautiful xfce interface

Here is a beautiful theme, for afficionados of flat and sober themes like me. Its creator also made a great theme for firefox/chrome. The rendering is beautiful, and I didn’t notice any bug so far.

XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"                       XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/Documents"                       XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/Downloads"                       XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/Music"                       XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/Pictures"                       XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR="$HOME/Public"                       XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/.Templates"                       XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/Videos"

Conky

Conky is a little tool that allows to display system informations directly on the desktop. The refresh rate is customizable, and a lot of information can be displayed ( list of available variables here). I like to keep it simple, and to only display the date and time. Here is how my ~/.conkyrc file looks like :

#############################                       
# Conky settings
update_interval 10
total_run_times 0
double_buffer yes
no_buffers yes
#############################
# Text settings
use_xft yes
xftfont Ubuntu
#############################
# Window specifications
own_window yes
own_window_type override own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager gap_x 90
gap_y 800
#############################
# Graphics settings
draw_shades no
default_color ffffff #############################
TEXT
${font Open Sans Light:pixelsize=80}${time %H:%M}${font} ${alignc} ${font Open Sans Light:pixelsize=30}${time %d %b %Y}${font}

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