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The os-cillation team maintains unofficial, always up to date Debian packages for the Xfce Desktop Environment, which are used in creation of the Xfld Live-Linux Distribution.

We provide binary packages for i386, which we've built on a Debian testing (sarge) machine, so you need atleast Debian testing to install them. We don't test these packages on Debian unstable (sid), but it is likely that they work with unstable as well (users have reported that they are using the packages on Debian unstable without problems); afterall, we don't provide support for installing our packages on a Debian unstable system.


To start the installation of the Debian packages, add the following two lines to the file /etc/apt/sources.list on your system:

deb http://www.os-works.com/debian testing main
deb-src http://www.os-works.com/debian testing main

You'll have to update your package cache afterwards, using the command (as user root):

apt-get update

This may take some time dependeing on your bandwidth.

Now, if you want to install the whole Xfld desktop - including the Terminal emulator, the ROX file manager, the Xfmedia media player and several additional panel plugins - you should run the command

apt-get install -t testing xfld-desktop

as user root. This will download all required packages and install them on your computer. The parameter -t testing should not be needed in most cases, but it doesn't hurt either. It tells apt-get to use packages from the testing release - which is the release name we use for our repository - even if your system defaults to another release (e.g. unstable). See this introduction to APT Pinning for further details on how to manage multiple APT sources. For example, if you are using Debian unstable (aka sid), you may need to add the following lines to the file /etc/apt/preferences/ (create the file if its not already present on your system) to ensure that you will actually install Xfce 4.2 and not Xfce 4.0 from Debian unstable:

Package: *
Pin: origin www.os-works.com
Pin-Priority: 999

These three lines will make sure that APT assigns a higher priority to the Xfce 4.2, when installing or upgrading software on your system. Once you have added these lines, you don't need to use the -t testing option to apt-get any longer.

In case you want to use only the core components of the Xfce 4.2 Desktop Environment, the command

apt-get install -t testing xfce4

will install the window manager, session manager, panel, file manager and the various utilities that ship with Xfce, but not the additional software that completes the Xfld Desktop.

If you have Xfce 4.0.x currently installed on your system, you can try to upgrade to the Xfce 4.2 packages using the command

apt-get dist-upgrade

If you have trouble upgrading from the Xfce packages in the official Debian repository, you could try to uninstall the official packages first:

apt-get remove libxfce4util-1

will remove all Xfce packages from your system. Afterwards, you should retry with the installation as described above.

Installation (non-i386)

In addition to the i386 binary packages, we provide the Debian sources, so you can use our packages on non-i386 machines as well. Read the section Installation above for information how to add our repository as additional source to APT. Once you've setup APT, you can build packages using the Debian tools. For example, to create a binary package of libxfce4util for your machine, use the commands:

apt-get build-dep libxfce4util
apt-get -b source libxfce4util

Read the section Working with source packages in the APT HOWTO for further details.

Andreas Weber provides ready-to-install Debian/amd64 versions of our Debian packages. Just add the lines

deb-src http://www.os-works.com/debian testing main
deb http://www.kanotix.lxserv.de/debian ./

to your /etc/apt/sources.list. Note, that os-cillation doesn't officially support these packages. Please contact Andreas Weber if you experience problems with those packages.

Rob Thijssen provides ready-to-install Debian/alpha versions of our Debian packages. Just add the lines

deb-src http://www.os-works.com/debian testing main
eb http://thini.net/debian testing main

to your /etc/apt/sources.list. Visit his website for more information.

Nacho Barrientos provides pre-built Debian/ppc versions of our Debian packages. Just add the lines

deb-src http://www.os-works.com/debian testing main
deb http://amok.criptonita.com/~nacho/xfce unstable main

to your /etc/apt/sources.list. Visit his website for more information.

Setting up Xfce

Once you have installed the packages, you can start using Xfce now. If you are using a display manager like GDM or KDM to log in to your system, Xfce will automagically appear in the session chooser menu, and you can start it. Else, if you are using a simple display manager like XDM, you will have to create a file .xsession in your home directory with the following content

exec /usr/bin/startxfce4

and mark the file as executable (chmod +x ~/.xsession). Otherwise, if you use startx to log in to your X desktop session, create a file called .xinitrc in your home directory which contains

exec /usr/bin/startxfce4

and mark it executable (chmod +x ~/.xinitrc).


If you want to use our Debian packages on multiple systems in a networked environment, it might be a good idea to establish a local mirror of our Debian repository, so you don't need to fetch the packages from the internet for every system. You can use the utility debmirror to create a mirror of the packages and keep it up to date.

For example, to mirror the i386 binary packages into the directory /ftp/mirror/debian, use the command:

debmirror -a i386 -s main -h www.os-works.com \
          -d testing -r /debian --progress \
          -e http --ignore-release-gpg \

Say, for example, the directory /ftp/mirror/debian is accessible via ftp as ftp://mymirror/debian/, then you'd put the line

deb ftp://mymirror/debian/ testing main

in the /etc/apt/sources.list file on every system in your network.