Removing XFCE in dom0 / Replacing with i3wm

In an XFCE desktop session, typing the following results in:


So, this shouldn’t be the cause of it.

Edit: Adding the following line to the .desktop entries hides them from the dmenu prompt:

For now, I am utilizing this method for uncluttering the dmenu entries list. However, if someone has a better solution for hiding these applications, or disabling them in an i3wm session, or even mass-removing them without breaking some obscure dom0 dependency on those, I am open to hear.

This is interesting, I’ll try tonight and see if it doesn’t break anything.


Thanks! I am looking forward to hearing from you.

I’m glad someone is as interested in trying to ease dom0 away from xfce.
I share my humble experience:
I was able to remove xterm, xfce4-terminal, vi without any problems. Everything else caused me some problems either immediately or after a while, probably due to my stupidity.
I’m no expert, but I noticed that most Qubes programs interface looks like xfce, is it just gtk or Qubes programs like Qube Manager depend on Xfce? Is there anything we can do if this is the case?

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I’ve try building qubes without xfce, and it force me to use openbox instead, there’s only slightly bug, but not a problem at all. Will try to build i3 tonight.


What is openbox?

you may search for better explanation, here is the pict

  • light qubes, not building any template

  • login screen

  • userspace


This is terrific, thanks for your time, can you tell me how to do the same with i3wm?

If you interested in learning how to build qubes without much effort, take a look at Playing with Qubes

As example if you want to remove building templates, you can do :

  • Delete fedora, whonix, and debian build
    • sed -i ‘/@whonix/d’ qubes-src/installer-qubes-os/conf/qubes-kickstart.cfg
    • sed -i ‘/@debian/d’ qubes-src/installer-qubes-os/conf/qubes-kickstart.cfg
    • sed -i ‘/@fedora/d’ qubes-src/installer-qubes-os/conf/qubes-kickstart.cfg

And take a look at what inside qubes-kickstart config, as you can see there’s :

  • @xfce-desktop-qubes
  • @xfce-extra-plugins
  • @xfce-media

I simply remove them, and add i3 package in comps-dom0, since i3 need xorg-x11-fonts-misc package, we remove excluded package in this file

And here’s qubes with i3 :

Actually I wanted to play with this and Improve Playing with Qubes with this guide along with the video like the Playing with qubes part 2, and removed some packages that I never used.


After testing for some time, i think there’s no problem with these.


That’s great!
Can you tell me how you run Qubes inside Qubes? As far as I understand Qubes does not allow virtualization inside virtualization, or is it just StandaloneVM?
Also I am not quite clear where exactly should I add the i3 package in comps-dom0? If I add more package i3-settings-qubes, do I get a nice panel and configured dmenu as it happens during installation?
I am taking the time to study your instructions.
Thank you very much.

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@51lieal thanks for the screenshots, they look interesting indeed.

One thing grabbed my attention immediately was the lack of qubesos specific system tray icons in your i3status bar. For example, you don’t have network manager sys-net tray icon. You also don’t have global clipboard widget in i3bar. Nor the battery (it only says “No Battery”—are you on a desktop machine?).

How do you manage these without having these widgets? Are those widgets XFCE4 desktop environment specific?

it’s just a quick test,

yes it is.

You can create a i3 groupid, and what package you need in there.

It doesn’t even have a template, so there’s no sys-net.

Not sure, It’s just a quick build, I’ll try tonight to build a better iso, and do it on my laptop.


Hey, thanks again! I am looking forward to hearing further!

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I’m doing it, but I don’t quite understand exactly how to do it?

take a look at my comps-dom0.xml and qubes-kickstart.cfg

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Thanks very much.Tell me, you mentioned some extra packages, which ones did you mean?
I am going to remove: gnome-bluetooth, gnome-bluetooth-libs, geoclue2, geolite2-city, geolite2-country, since I am not going to use that and it is not even in my laptop, I won’t break anything that way?
I’m not going to use the login manager and run Xorg with the xstart command, can I do it on Qubes?
I apologize for so many questions, I’m just really hooked on this topic, I appreciate it.

Thanks. I am having a difficulty in following, though. How would I use these .xml and .cfg files?

I’m not sure what you mean, can you quote it if it what i said ?

I’m not sure, it need to be tested.

I’ll try to write a guide about this in Playing with qubes, just follow the doc later.

I’m not good in explaining.

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Got it. Looking forward to.