I am trying to solve the following problem: At home, I have several workstations and laptops running various Linux/Unix flavours. Most of them have the same users and all corresponding home directories are mounted via NFS. Currently, I use Xfce on two of the machines - both Xubuntu 12.04/Xfce 4.8. These two machines, however, differ quite a bit in set-up - one is using dual-4:3 monitors, the other a single widescreen monitor. Also, installed applications are different and a few more things. Hence, I do not want to use the same per-user Xfce configuration on both machines but rather have the option to configure both of them independently even if I log in as the same user using the same home directory.
After having a look at the configuration system, the first idea I had was to move the configuration from $HOME/.config to $HOME/.config/HOSTNAME - that way I would be able to accomplish what I want and even get the added bonus that other xdg-compliant applications would also be configurable on a per-host basis. From what I gathered from the xdg-documentation, I should be able to simply set XDG_CONFIG_HOME to $HOME/.config/$HOSTNAME and be done with it.
When I tried this, however, Xfce would no longer start at all - I got an error message stating that XDG_CONFIG_HOME must be set wrongly because it does not contain /etc. This surprised me, as I could not find any documentation about this variable stating that it must contain that directory (I may have missed things, of course).
I then proceeded to set and export XDG_HOME_DIRECTORY directly in /etc/xdg/xfce/xinitrc. This seemed to work and have the desired effect (a directory $HOME/.config/$HOSTNAME was created and the configuration was placed there) - but it looks like an awful kludge to me. In addition, I will have to do this again each time Xubuntu provides updated Xfce packages, which seems somewhat annoying.
Hence, I would be very grateful if someone could point me in the right direction to solving my original problem, either using XDG_CONFIG_HOME or in some other way. Pointers to RTFM are most welcome.
You might try asking on Linux Questions in the Slackware forum. Reading about configuring Xfce4 there, I get the impression that what you are doing is the only way to accomplish it. There is a guy that makes a micorlinux distro that uses Xfce and he has done considerable work in customizing it.