I have a XFCE installation with many difficulties. Will preserve a
'apt-get install --reinstall xfce4'
everything else intact?
All this will do is re-install the Xfce system files. It might fix the problem if the problem is a result of corrupted system files.
You have another post here about an xfsettingsd crash through vnc. I just posted a reply to it. If that is what you are trying to fix, then no, this command won't help you.
also a better way would be to remove xfce first:
aptitude purge '~n^libxfce4.*' '~n^libexo.*' '~n^libgarcon.*'
and to reinstall it by installing the meta package "xfce4" or the xfce task "task-xfce-desktop"
$ aptitude why gnome
Unable to find a reason to install gnome.
Thanks, all - got it !