Parrot Security OS - MATE 2 XFCE

Heyho all,

upon Phoenix750 request I create this tutorial. Here I will show you how install Parrot Security and how to change the desktop environment of Parrot from MATE to XFCE.


  • What is Parrot Security?
  • Installation of Parrot Security
  • Change your DE.

What is Parrot Security?

Parrot Security is our complete all-in-one environment for pentesting, privacy, digital forensics, reverse engineering and software development.
The system includes a full arsenal of security oriented tools to cover many categories of the work of a pentester.
It’s a Debian based Linux Distribution and it’s an alternative to Kali Linux and BlackArch.

Installation of Parrot Security

First tings first. You will need to download the Image and check the hashes.
To do so go to ParrotSec and choose the Image you want to download. After downloading check the signed hashes of it.

If the hash is the same we can install the system.
Install the system based on your needs.

Change your DE

Since 1 Sep 2017 the development Team of Parrot added full Parrot-XFCE support to their system.

  1. First of all we have to install XFCE.

sudo apt install xfce4

  1. After that go to /usr/share/xsessions/ directory.

cd /usr/share/xsessions/

  1. Create a new directory. In my case its other_de .

sudo mkdir other_de

  1. Move all *.desktop-files except xfce.desktop to other_de directory.

for i in $(ls | grep -v xfce.desktop);do sudo mv $i other_de/;done

  1. Reboot the system.


After logging in your desktop environment will be XFCE.

It should looking like this:


Have fun!

Best regards,


Just for clarification: does the theme get copied too? That was my biggest reason for suggesting this :stuck_out_tongue:.

Of course. :wink:
I added a screenshot how it does look like after changing the DE.

That the labels under the icons are not centered is triggering my OCD :grimacing: .
Also isn’t the top bar looking rather weird?

It’s just an example, but you can customize the XFCE further.

Take a look into this guide. It’s should give you some ideas about further customization. :wink:

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