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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
"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
When we reported
on the release of Xfce 4.8, we ignored a statement inside the release announcement about the lack of new features coming to the BSD world. The statement was a bit disconnected from the rest of the press release, but Xfce developer Jannis Pohlmann has published a blog post giving a few more details about the issue
Okay so it took them two years, but hey, good things come to those who wait. The Xfce team has finally released version 4.8 of their Gtk+-based desktop environment
. This release
contains a lot of work under the hood, as well as a number of new features.
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."
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).
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."
It took them two years, but the Xfce team has just released Xfce 4.6.0
, with a whole slew of improvements. Xfce started back in 1996 as a Linux equivalent of CDE, but soon diverged from that goal to stand on its own two feet, and by now it's safe to say that Xfce is the best of the rest - after KDE and GNOME. Xfce 4.6.0 seems to cement them further into that position.
Submitted by Michael Larabel
It's been nearly 18 months since the last major Xfce release - Xfce 4.4, to be exact. Xfce 4.6
was supposed to go final this month, but the Xfce team didn't meet the deadline. Instead, they released the first alpha release
of Xfce 4.6, and Phoronix summarises the most important changes
, including a number of screenshots.
"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."
"By popular demand, I decided to push the limits of Xfce's customisability even further. This time, I would make it look like Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
. This task proved more difficult than trying to make it look like Windows Vista. Though I haven't achieved the same degree of perfection as I did when replicating Vista
, I still think I came pretty close."
"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."
Xfce 4.2.2 has been released. "Xfce 4.4.2 is now available. It's the second maintenance release in the 4.4 stable series, focusing on fixing bugs and updating translations."
You can download it off the Xfce website
, or read the changelog
Submitted by Scott Ruecker
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)."
The Xfce project just announced
the first maintenance release of the Xfce 4.4 branch, Xfce 4.4.1. There is a changelog
, and you can download it from the Sourceforge download page
. In case you lived under a rock the past few years: "Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for unix-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and easy to use."