Home > Xfce > XFCE 4 beta 1 Released; Enlightenment 0.16.6 Beta XFCE 4 beta 1 Released; Enlightenment 0.16.6 Beta Submitted by Jasper Huijsmans 2003-06-08 Xfce 56 Comments The first beta of XFCE 4 was released. Release notes here, and a number of screenshots here. On other X-related news, Enlightenment DR16.6-pre3 is available for testing, while Epiphany 0.7 for Gnome is out. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 56 Comments 2003-06-08 4:07 am It is very lightweight like WindowMaker, while providing essential functionality and good visuals =) For anyone looking for a light desktop without compromising too much functionality, this si your baby! 2003-06-08 4:20 am Looks like a large improvement from the previous version. Too bad I reinstalled Windows 98 a couple hours better this window manager’s release 2003-06-08 4:23 am In the second screenshot listed, isn’t that your window concept? I mean the window with the two circles and the X, I swear that was yours. 2003-06-08 4:25 am Yes. Designed by me, implemented by three individuals. This version is Eric Ritezel’s. 2003-06-08 4:28 am Very cool – I like it. Although I don’t actually think it’s any more or less usable than any other style, I do think it adds a bit for visual flair to an oft mangled part of design. In other words, rock on! 2003-06-08 4:43 am It looks great – I’ve just got upgrade from 3.8. XFce is already a better Desktop Environment than win XP, Gnome and KDE (I don’t know about OSX and BeOS as I haven’t tried them). This looks like a real winner. 2003-06-08 5:00 am Why is it better than XP, Gnome and KDE ? 2003-06-08 5:30 am It reminds me of CDE. It is also based on GTK2.0, but how much lighter than Gnome2.2 is it? 2003-06-08 5:32 am What do they mean when they say on the news page, Many tweaks and bug fixes for Extended Window Manager Hint code (i.e. GNOME2/KDE3 compatibility) 2003-06-08 5:51 am I believe this means that they have added / extended support for the window manager hints and specifications at http://www.freedesktop.org/ 2003-06-08 5:56 am 1. XFce is not based on the the win 9x/XP/Gnome/KDE hierachical menu, launched from a button in the left hand corner of the screen paradigm (the start paradigm). Instead it uses pop-up menus associated with specific launch buttons. I personally have found this to be a much superior approach to the start paradigm. I have been using XFce 3.8 as my primary destop at home for the last year before that I had used both Gnome and KDE. At work I have been using win NT4/2000/XP (plus a little KDE from my vncserver) and I find it a pleasure to use XFce in comparison. 2. The other great feature is it has the best drag and drop support of any desktop. For example you can drag a file from a file manager on to the icon on a pop-up menu to launch it. 3. I really like XFtree ( developed as Xffm in XFce 4) it might appear old fashioned or strange to some people – but it is incredibly versatile and functional – the bloat of Nautilus and Konqueror is one of the things that put me off these desktops – when I am in KDE at work I always use XFtree rather than Konqueror if I want to get any real work done. 4. XFce has a very fast and efficient graphical configuration which looks like it has been further improved in 4. 5. XFwm 3 – though not the prettiest of window managers does seem to give the greatest and most ergonomic control over windows without going to bloat like in Enlightenment. The new XFwm 4 looks like the prettiest of window managers and I trust that the user control remains. So there it is why XFce is for me the best desktop environment. 2003-06-08 6:18 am I’ll mostly second that. GNOME and KDE are both more powerful in theory, but in practice I didn’t find myself missing things running XFce 3.x–but I definitely did notice the difference in speed. XFce is the most spry full-featured window manager I’ve used. I also appreciated the fact that you could configure everything from the GUI quickly. I don’t have anything against text configuration files, but it’s nice to see an implementation of a GUI configuration system that doesn’t make me run screaming for Vim. And as someone else mentioned, XFTree is a surprisingly great file manager–really about the best one I’ve used on any system. Like the rest of XFce, it does a great job of simply not getting in your way. (And as an ex-BeOS guy, I appreciated the fact that XFTree showed changes to the file system in real-time, something that Windows still didn’t do as of Windows 2000. I haven’t used XP enough to notice whether it does it.) 2003-06-08 6:40 am Is the file manager the window in the screenshots that have a listing of directories in a tree control but now listview? That looks a little odd. 2003-06-08 9:33 am aww nothing like armchair gui critics…. 2003-06-08 9:36 am > XFce is already a better Desktop Environment than win XP ROTFL 2003-06-08 9:37 am > Yes. Designed by me, implemented by three individuals. > This version is Eric Ritezel’s. The WM here is not Metacity, but xfwm4. This version is based on this screenshot http://img.osnews.com/img/3476/theme.png Published here : http://osnews.com/story.php?news_id=3496 And ported to xfwm4 by Drewbian and myself. Cheers, Olivier. 2003-06-08 9:41 am >> XFce is already a better Desktop Environment than win XP > >ROTFL ROTFL 2003-06-08 10:16 am I’ve always loved CDE’s simplicity. Provide the user with the basics and if they need more, let them install it. XFCE is a sexy version of CDE whilst still maintaining simplicity, something that KDE has lost along “lets add as many features as humany possible” path they chose to follow. 2003-06-08 10:20 am More recent screenshots here: http://www.xfce.org/en/screenshots.html And, no, I disagree, xfce doesn’t look like CDE anymore. That was true with version 1 and 2, a bit less with version 3 and a lot less with version 4. Cheers, Olivier. 2003-06-08 10:32 am Is there a metacity theme like the one on screenshot 5 from the top? I love it. 2003-06-08 11:24 am xfwm4 is a drop in replacement for metacity. It even has session management. 2003-06-08 11:25 am Any idea how to change the fonts for xfce4? I can’t find a dialog anywhere )-: 2003-06-08 11:55 am Click on the desktop, choose Settings->All settings… from the menu and choose “User interface” in the dialog 2003-06-08 11:58 am It’s in the “ui” settings: Left click on the desktop => Settings => All settigns… Then choose “User Interface” and click on “Font select” button. Cheers, Olivier. 2003-06-08 12:03 pm I don’t see that in the setting manager. What is the best way to start xfce4? I think I may be missing a step or two. Here is my ~/.xinitrc file. xfce4-iconbox& xfdesktop& xfce4-panel& xfwm4 2003-06-08 12:10 pm The best way is to run startxfce4 from a console or use gdm session “XFce4”. You might have forgot to install xfce-mcs-plugins package Cheers, Olivier. 2003-06-08 12:17 pm Your right… I did (-: Anyways, it all looks great… btw.. anyway to turn of AA? It really drives me nuts… 2003-06-08 12:31 pm Also, I’m always overshooting things w/ xfce4 w/ my mouse because of the acceleration. Is the anyway to turn it off w/out slowing to a crawl? 2003-06-08 12:38 pm I’ve been running XFCE4 for several months now; it is not the default desktop on all of my Linux systems. It combines low overhead with a clean, simple system of menus; after the bulk of KDE and Gnome, XFCE4 is a welcome relief. Highly recommended. 2003-06-08 12:38 pm I’ve been using Xfce for longer than I can remember now, probably 4 or 5 years. I’m waiting for the final release to hit Debian unstable (I’ve tried to install the pre-release versions of Xfce 4 on Deb unstable, but I can’t get them to work) and the FreeBSD Ports collection. Then I can upgrade my 3.8.18 desktops 🙂 2003-06-08 1:08 pm I’ve never used Xfce before.. so is it like blackbox & fluxbox? and how stable is it? fluxbox has never crashed on me.. I want a desktop with a lil more flash.. but not bloated pieces of crap like gnome, kde, etc.. 2003-06-08 1:37 pm XFce 3 is/was vey light, a bit heavier than Fluxbox, WAY lighter than “the big two.” Maybe about the same as WMaker, but with a lot more features/utils. XFce4 is a bit heavier again, as it uses GTK2 (which has great font support at the price of performance.) If you disabled the AA font support in GTK2 I think that XFce4 would be about as light as 3. (This is after a week or two of using the Debian snapshot from 20030430.) Anyway, 4 offers a lot more features than 3 did, I’ll gladly pay the small performance hit. (Heck, it has great a great BeOS look-alike theme!) XFtree is/was one of my favourite file managers, I’m still getting used to xffm, but it seems quite nice too. (Though to be honest, I still prefer ROX for light, Nautilus for features.) Hope that helps! Ben PS: Olivier, if you haven’t got enough to do, I’d love a small volume control module for the panel/taskbar. gnome-volume-control is sloooow! 2003-06-08 1:43 pm “XFtree is/was one of my favourite file managers, I’m still getting used to xffm, but it seems quite nice too. (Though to be honest, I still prefer ROX for light, Nautilus for features.)” Rox has way more features than Nautilus. 2003-06-08 1:57 pm “PS: Olivier, if you haven’t got enough to do, I’d love a small volume control module for the panel/taskbar. gnome-volume-control is sloooow!” It’s already there under “Volume Control”. 2003-06-08 2:11 pm I haven’t tried it yet, but XFCE has always been VERY usable, VERY fast, and VERY VERY easy to use. Anyone know if theme/icon set support is going to be a very simple thing this time around? It used to be a little tough. 2003-06-08 2:38 pm No way in hell does rox-filer have more features than Nautilus (and even more so than Explorer/Konqueror.) 2003-06-08 3:05 pm No way in hell does rox-filer have more features than Nautilus (and even more so than Explorer/Konqueror.) No, but it does have almost the exact subset of features that I like and use, unlike Nautilus, Explorer and the like, which have so many features available and so few useful features… IMHO. I do mean to give XFCE a try though. I’ve been using XFWM4 for a while, after all. 2003-06-08 3:08 pm The “Volume control” panel plugin can be found in xfce4-extras/xfce4-mixer in CVS, or use the xfce4-mixer tarball from BETA1. 2003-06-08 3:25 pm “No way in hell does rox-filer have more features than Nautilus (and even more so than Explorer/Konqueror.)” Way…. On earth’s surface too! Can you select file based on a regex like search w/ Nautilus? Can you show all hidden files w/ one key stroke? What about automatically resizing the window based on the window contents? How about binding directories and files to key strokes? You can’t even create a new blank file w/ Nautilus. Hmmm What about setting the permissions of a directory recursively? What about color coding files/folders based what type they are… like executables, black devices, pipes, dirs or regular files? Can you bind *any* of the functions in the menu of Nautilus to key strokes? What about tab completion when navigating from one dir to another? How fast can you get to /etc/X11/sysconfig/ without using a bookmark or copying and pasting? 2003-06-08 5:03 pm Have just downloaded and installed it. Never tried it before. What I can say — WOW!!! Finally I found the DE that I really like! Fast speed, gorgeous look, consistent and logical UI, graphical customization tools… The only thing I miss is multi-level menu (a-la Start). I would seldom use it, but it is a convenient way to review all your applications. Not always you can remember the name of an executable. 2003-06-08 6:20 pm I don’t understand.. is it XFce 4 final release (not beta, not release candidate)? If I look at xfce.sf.net, there is huge load of files and they are like 3.90.xyz.. What should I download and compile? And as I understand all applets/dockapps/whatever must be separatley downloaded and compiled? It looks good though and don’t want to wait couple of weeks until it gets to fbsd ports collection.. 2003-06-08 6:26 pm fsck, I’m dumb and blind. 2003-06-08 6:27 pm It’s beta1. Look at the small header above the tarball names. They’re named 3.90.0 as in ‘almost 4.0, but not yet’. You probably want to compile all tarballs. Read the release notes here: http://sourceforge.net/project/shownotes.php?release_id=164133 2003-06-08 6:29 pm The latest is 3.90 (aka 4.0 beta 1). It does however include some “off” versions like gtk-xfce-engine-2.1.1. You want pretty much everything here: ftp://ftp.unix-ag.org/user/bmeurer/xfce4/beta1/ 2003-06-08 6:35 pm Grab this script ftp://ftp.unix-ag.org/user/bmeurer/xfce4/update-xfce it will automate the whole cvs-> build process. Easy? 2003-06-08 6:50 pm Excuse my ignorance I am sure it is possible, but can we run metacity instead of xfwm on XFCE? 2003-06-08 6:55 pm I have been using XFWM4 and XFFM along side ROX for quite some months. I can’t wait to finish downloading the entire XFCE4 package!!. XFCE has since V3 had the best Windoze network browser around for Linux and besides, XFCE is SWEET! What a coincidence! I just finished my new XFWM4 theme yesterday! I will be posting it to themes.freshmeat.net later today. 2003-06-08 7:17 pm Damn, just did wget -L -m and extracted everything and then ./configure –prefix=~/stuff && gmake all install in every directory and then copied xfce’s xinitrc to ~/.xinitrc and restarted X. Everything (compiling, starting) was very smooth without any problems at all (on FreeBSD). That’s a sign of truly excellent software. And it is sweet and nice (and has FreeBSD window theme too!). 2003-06-08 9:58 pm > Excuse my ignorance I am sure it is possible, but can we > run metacity instead of xfwm on XFCE? Sure, you can. The question is why ? Better try xfwm4 at first Cheers, Olivier. 2003-06-09 12:42 am the Smb doesn’t work for me in Xffm on RH9. I says “file not found nmblookup”. Nautilus works just fine though, so I’m wondering what nmblookup is and why this doesn’t work? Thanks Otherwise XFce 4 is pretty cool, although I’m not used to it yet, the “drawers” idea if quite different from the “start” button I’m used to. I’m definitely gonna try it for a week or two. Question: why have 2 desktop swithers? on on top and one on panel? Isn’t that redundant and a waste of space? 2003-06-09 12:43 am Lovely job, not heavy on resources here. I was never able to build xffm before for some reason, but I like rox-filer and figured I couldn’t be missing much. Well, I’m just knocked out by it, and that doesn’t happen often. Of course no good deed goes unpunished, so here comes a feature request. 😉 Might be nice to have something like the Blackbox slit, where I autohide apps like gkrellm, ascd, etc. Then if I want to check resource use or play a CD, for example, I just move the cursor to a screen edge – no clicks, menus, etc. Then again, something similar may already exist in XFCE4; if it does, please let me know. Thanks again, folks. 2003-06-09 1:24 am I just installed the xfce4 beta and am quite pleased with it. One thing that still annoys me is the constant grey panel. It would be so nice to get it a little transparent or at least some other color than plain boring grey. 2003-06-09 2:50 am XFFM needs the Samba Client package to use SMB networking. “nmblookup” is one of the command line tools for accessing and browsing SMB networks. My guess is that Nautilus uses some GNOME specific interface library, while XFFM calls the command line tools. 2003-06-09 5:02 am Any chance you could do a small review of XFCE 4 after its released? Just a short comparrison between its features and the ones of GNOME’s and KDE and an explanation of why someone would use it instead of the 2 biggies, its best aspects etc. I really hope you will =) 2003-06-09 9:34 am >Question: why have 2 desktop swithers? on on top and one on panel? >Isn’t that redundant and a waste of space? You’re not forced to use any switchers at all but may use two at a time. That is (obviuosly) configurable. Moe 2003-06-09 9:08 pm I know nothing of the work that must be involved in it, but as a linux@home user, I’ve tried all of the readily available GUIZ etc… I’ve enjoyed them all for various reasons. Fluxbox has become my mainstay for now, though I haven’t tried the latest XFCE. E17 “release” is what I’m waiting for now. Maybe it’s the wrong image painted in me mind’s eye, but I envision a very fun interface. I’ve tried a few of the components intended for E17 and was impressed. I know that as a user, I’m not supposed to ask but… when is E17 going to be released!?!?!?