Xfce Archive

Xfce’s Wayland roadmap updated

The Xfce Wayland road-map on the project’s Wiki has been updated a few times over the past two weeks, namely around the desktop panel plug-ins and applications support for Wayland. There still isn’t a firm timeline or release where they expect to have a complete Xfce Wayland transition complete, but ultimately are aiming to have a native Wayland experience that doesn’t depend at all on XWayland and will be using wlroots as part of its compositor. Many Xfce panel plug-ins are working under Wayland as are a number of Xfce’s own applications. Do note, though, that there’s no certainty at all yet that Xfce will transition to Wayland completely. As the roadmap clearly states: It is not clear yet which Xfce release will target a complete Xfce Wayland transition (or if such a transition will happen at all). So, the future of Xfce on Wayland is not yet set in stone – but with X.org having effectively been abandoned, I doubt Xfce will have much say in the matter.

Xfce 4.18 released

Nearly two years after the release of Xfce 4.16, here comes another major update to one of the oldest and lightest desktop environments for GNU/Linux distributions, Xfce 4.18. Xfce 4.18 is packed with lots of new features and improvements to the file manager, panel, plugins, and other core components. For example, the Thunar file manager now features not one but two image preview side panes, a new Split View, recursive search, and finally lets you undo or redo basic file operations. It also contains fixes for HiDPI, which was a major sticking point for my when I tried 4.16. Can’t wait to see how much it has improved.

Xfce 4.16 released

4.16 was a special cycle in many respects (not only pandemic-wise, but also). One of the corner-stones of the non-code changes concerns our migration to GitLab, which is a change in development workflow and a huge step forward in terms of becoming more contributor-friendly and welcoming. In parts, the humungous changelog of Xfce 4.16 can be attributed to new contributors proposing merge requests (288 merge requests were merged or closed against our core components alone!). We also created a reference Docker container (xfce/xfce-build) and added CI pipelines to all components to ensure we don´t break the build. This is one hell of a big release, and contains everything from an entirely new icon theme to the end of Gtk2 support. The visual tour gives a good overview of that’s new.

Xfce 4.16 development phase starting

Xfce developers have detailed their plans for the next release, and it includes a change that might ruffle some feathers. We will also play with client-side decorations where we feel it makes sense (for instance replacing the so-called XfceTitledDialog, that is used for all settings dialogs with a HeaderBar version). Before anyone gets too excited (both positively or negatively): It is not planned to redesign more complex applications (like Thunar) with Headerbars in 4.16. We will however try to keep the experience and looks consistent, which means gradually moving to client side decorations also with our applications (please note that client side decorations are not the same as HeaderBars!). Through this change e.g. “dark modes” in applications will look good (see the part about the Panel below). Now before there is a shitstorm about this change I would kindly ask everyone to give us time to figure out what exactly we want to change in this cycle. Also, switching to client-side decorations alone is not a big visual departure – feel free to also dig through the client-side decorations page if you want to read/see more on this. Not everyone likes these, but I think they tend to look better and cleaner, so I’m all for it.

Xfce 4.14 released

In this 4.14 cycle the main goal was to port all core components to Gtk3 (over Gtk2) and GDBus (over D-Bus GLib). Most components also received GObject Introspection support. Along the way we ended up polishing our user experience, introducing quite a few new features and improvements (read below) and fixings a boatload of bugs (read changelog). A lot of focus seems to have been on HiDPI support, which, in 2019, is probably a good thing. Multimonitor support received quite a bit of love, too, as did other display-related things like colour profiles, display scaling, and so on. That’s just a selection though, so be sure to read through all the changes.

Xfce 4.12 released

Today, after 2 years and 10 months of work, we are pleased to announce the release of the Xfce desktop 4.12, a new stable version that supersedes Xfce 4.10.

This long period can only be explained by how awesome Xfce 4.10 was. But as all things, it needed some refreshing - and for that we saw lots of new contributors providing valuable feedback, features and bugfixes. As always, Xfce follows its steady pace of evolution without revolution that seems to match our users' needs.

In this 4.12 cycle, we mainly focused on polishing our user experience on the desktop and window manager, and on updating some components to take advantage of newly available technologies.

Xfce 4.10: Simple, Fast, Reliable

Over the past several years, mobile devices have greatly influenced user interfaces. That's great for handheld users but leaves those of us who rely on laptops and desktops in the lurch. Windows 8, Ubuntu Unity, and GNOME have all radically changed in ways that leave personal computer users scratching their heads.

One user interface completely avoided this controversy: Xfce. This review takes a quick look at Xfce today. Who is this product for? Who should pass it by?

Xfce 4.10 released

"Today, after 1 year and 4 months of work, we are pleased to announce the release of the Xfce desktop 4.10, a new stable version that supersedes Xfce 4.8. In the 4.10 cycle we mainly focused on polishing the desktop and improving the user experience in various ways." A detailed overview of the changes compared to Xfce 4.8 and Xfce 4.10 preview releases can be found in the ChangeLogs. Xfce 4.10 will make its way to your distribution of choice, but of course, you can always download it and build it yourself.

Xfce 4.8pre1 Released

"This release incorporates major changes to the core of the Xfce desktop environment and hopefully succeeds in fulfilling a number of long time requests. Among the most notable updates is that we have ported the entire Xfce core (Thunar, xfdesktop and thunar-volman in particular) from ThunarVFS to GIO, bringing remote filesystems to the Xfce desktop. The panel has been rewritten from scratch and provides better launcher management and improved multi-head support. The list of new panel features is too long to mention in its entirety here. Thanks to the new menu library garcon (formerly known as libxfce4menu, but rewritten once again) we now support menu editing via a third-party menu editor such as Alacarte (we do not ship our own yet). Our core libraries have been streamlined a bit, a good examplle being the newly introduced libxfce4ui library which is meant to replace libxfcegui4."

Xubuntu: The Better Ubuntu than Ubuntu

While we regularly discuss Ubuntu, and to a lesser degree Kubuntu, there's also a version of Ubuntu tailor-made for the Xfce desktop environment. As most of you are aware, it's called Xubuntu, and after trying it out for the first time, I have to say that I find that it provides a better and more coherent experience than Ubuntu (let alone Kubuntu).

Xfce 4.6.1 Released

The Xfce team has released the first bugfix release in the 4.6.x tree of the Gtk+ desktop environment, Xfce 4.6.1. "The first bugfix-release of xfce 4.6 has been released. Thanks to all the people who have been using xfce 4.6 and took the time and effort to submit bugreports for stuff that wasn't quite working the way it is supposed to. We have been able to fix several issues during the past few weeks."

What Does XFCE Need to Become Number One

"Although I have some doubts that XFCE is 'so very much lighter' than GNOME (GNOME 2.20 doesn't take too much memory if you don't start all kind of crap), it is still lighter, and in a few years there will be less and less antiquated computers who require extra-light window managers (Fluxbox, Openbox, Blackbox, WindowMaker, IceWM). XFCE is reasonably mature, and constantly improving, so it has all the chances to become the mid-weighted Desktop Environment of choice pretty soon! What is XFCE needing to reach the Nirvana? Here's the way I see things."

Design Your Own Desktop with Xfce 4.4

"Xfce is just as customizable as KDE or GNOME, so I set myself a goal: make Xubuntu look like Windows Vista. Though you won’t be told how to achieve the exact same end result, this guide provides comprehensive instructions helping you make Xubuntu look the way you want it to. In any case, I would certainly not recommend such a setup for someone new to Xubuntu. Xubuntu is different than Windows; making it look similar is only confusing."

Interview: Benedikt Meurer, Xfce

LXer interviews Benedikt Meurer, a developer of the Xfce project. "One of advantages over KDE and GNOME is the simplicity. You can still get to know the code base in less than a week and you are able to understand the basic design decisions. This way, Xfce 4.x has still a lot of potential, while the major desktop environments are in need for a rewrite (KDE already started the rewrite, a lot of GNOME contributors/maintainers are voting for a 3.0 rewrite)."