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I want to set up users on an Xubuntu desktop with a workspace plugin and 2 workspaces. I do not want to guide each of hundreds of users through panel -> add item -> add workspace switcher.

I have made a copy of .config/xfce4 but that does not install the switcher. If you install the switcher plugin via the gui then the .config/xfce4 backup does set number, position etc.

Other distros e.g. openSUSE, Manjaro do setup the desktop with switcher enabled and 2 workspaces selected.

How is this done?

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The panels

Install Panel Profiles in all the machines you want to customize:

sudo apt install xfce4-panel-profiles -y

Replicating panels

  1. Create your custom panel
  2. Backup your panel(s) to your home folder using xfce4-panel-profiles save ~/myPanel.bak
  3. Copy myPanel.bak to the home folder of the users you want to customize
  4. For every user, load the configuration with xfce4-panel-profiles load ~/myPanel.bak

Customize Workspaces

  1. Set the amount of workspaces with xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/workspace_count -s X, where X is the number of workspace you want

You can probably script this using ssh, but thats beyond the scope of this answer


Other userful xconf settings:

  • Window Manager theme xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/theme -s 'THEME_NAME'
  • GTK theme xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/ThemeName -s 'THEME_NAME'
  • Thunar location bar style xfconf-query -c thunar -p /last-location-bar -s 'XXX', where XXX can be either ThunarLocationButtons or ThunarLocationEntry

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