Old habits die hard

I am a sucker for nostalgia. For instance, I am a huge fan of the Common Desktop Environment (CDE). My first serious UNIX experience was with a Solaris box back in the late 90’s when CDE was the de facto standard. It took a fair amount of time to get used to it, but after that it was a fascinating computing experience. Every now and then I would configure my desk to look like CDE. Fortunately, it is easier now, thanks to Karsten’s OpenCDE project. That fact that it was developed on a FreeBSD box, it is pretty easy to set it up without changing any of the installation files. I have used it a lot before.

But this post is about Xfce and its pre version 4.x CDE look. A visitor of this blog asked how it could be configured that way. Hence, this post.

First, you need the source files. I used Xfce release 3.8.18. You could grab them from sourceforge, of course. Extract the archive and a simple ./configure, make, make install should do the rest. That’s just about it. Bad news is, on amd64 boxes it is likely that the build would fail when compiling xfgnome. But the good news is, it can be patched to rectify that. To make matters easier, I have uploaded the archive (with the patch) over at omploader. The patch sits in the xfce-3.8.18 root directory (called patch) and you should simply patch it before the build. It should work just fine after that.

Just click on the image to download the archive directly from omploader.

Xfce-3.8.18 Sources+patch for amd64

In addition, you can parse various options when you run configure. You can enable old style panel (see screenshot), CDE specific files, etc. ./configure –help should give you all the options. Good luck.

Now, the obligatory screenshot.

Xfce-3.8.18 on FreeBSD 8.2 amd 64

If you guys encounter any issues, please let me know with your comments. For FreeBSD, xfce 3.8.18 is still available in ports, although deprecated.

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