Category Archives: Xfce

Road to Xfce 4.14

The looong road to xfce 4.14. I hope you still want some news about Xfce !
As usual, the xfce development is slow, has some organisation problems (only few members have access to servers, and are often not present), and lack “core” maintainers/mentors. But hey, we do our best :).

The bigger change for 4.14 is the port / upgrade to GTK+ 3.x.
It will be a like-for-like port. New and “big” features are postponed to 4.16.

You can read the thread on the ML about the decision of only port to gtk3 and not introduce any new features for now.

The roadmap is available on the Wiki : The minimum requiered version has been fixed to be GTK+ 3.14.

Roadmap / Planned Features :

  • All components of -core will be ported to Gtk+ 3.
  • Replace dbus-glib with GDbus.
  • Review icon-names in all components and use consistent naming, following the fd.o spec where possible
  • Use symbolic icons for panel plugins and in apps where suitable
  • Replace deprecated widgets.

Here is a quick (and somewhat incomplete) overview of what is already done !

Core components

Work is on progress for core components, with “users” branches availables on (xfce4-panel, libxfce4ui, xfce4-session, panel etc). Nothing really available for daily use though.

Lots of works on xfwm4’ compositor (in master), with implementation of vsync using OpenGL, libepoxy support, adding of DRI3/Present to the compositor, use of GLX for compositing instead of Xrender…

Libxfce4ui 4.12 already compile with gtk2 and gtk3 support, exo git master have a gtk3 preliminary support, garcon is already ported. xfdesktop have a gtk3 branch

The panel support GTK-3 plugins since 4.12, but it core need to be upgraded to use gtk3.


One of the most active project. Version 1.6 (released last month) is a complete port to gtk3 and gdbus, see


A GTK3 branch exist, you can read the thread on the ML : I use it since few months, and it works pretty well :)


xfce4-appfinder progress to gtk3 :
Can you guess which one use GTK3 ? (hint: the left one ;)) xfce4-appfinder gtk3


Some plugins are still active, and are already ported to GTK-3 (xfce4-indicator-plugin, xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin), as xfce4-panel support both gtk2 and gtk3 plugins.

Last months have seen new versions of xfce4-equake-plugin, xfce4-embed-plugin, xfce4-verve-plugin, xfce4-notes-plugin, xfce4-cpufreq-plugin.

One of the more usefull new plugin is the pulseaudio-plugin, a replacement for xfce4-mixer :, I use it and it works well.

xfce4-notifyd gtk3

Stay tuned !

News from Xfce 4.12, part 3

A bunch of news from the development of Xfce 4.12 !
Since my previous post in november (read it !) , many things have happened.
First, the most awaited news ... wait for it... a date has been decided ! 4.12 will released by the last week end of February 2015 ! (yes, 1 week from now)

Now, I would like to draw your attention to a list of threads on the xfce4-dev mailist :

Core Apps :

xfce4-panel :

  • The intelligent panel hiding feature (see my previous post) has been released in 4.11.2 !

xfwm4 :

Oh wow, many commits, such features ! You can read the 4.11.3 announcement here

  • Add titleless maximization feature.
  • Client Side Decoration (CSD) support ! (Compositor need to be enabled). A screenshot with and without on gedit (an application that need CSD) CSD on xfwm4
  • Windows preview in alt+tab (Compositor need to be enabled too). Windows preview in alttab
  • Nice, right ? :)

xfce4-settings :

  • Release of 4.11.4
  • Add touchpad support with libinput (yes, already !)
  • Better monitor and multi monitor support
  • Add Gtk+ theme palettes in the appearance dialog (see screenshot)
  • Add previews for icon themes in appearance settings (see screenshot) Themes and icons preview

xfce4-session :

  • Bugfixes, bugfixes, bugfixes !
  • The "logind runtime detection to support suspend/hibernate" patch has been merged.
  • Release of 4.11.1

thunar :

  • Add support for the GTK 3 bookmarks file,
  • Bugfixes, support for binary file size units
  • Release of 1.6.4

gtk-xfce-engine :

xfce4-dev-tools :

  • Fixes, dependencies update etc
  • Release of 4.11.1

xfconf :

  • Not many exciting changes for this release, mostly translation updates, small fixes and code tweaks.. 4.11.0

Apps :

xfce4-screenshooter :

  • Support of imgur uploads ! Yes ! imgur upload
  • Release of 1.8.2 . Thank gaston !

xfce4-taskmanager :

  • Big cleanup of UI, with new treeview mode, general UI/graph overhaul and lot of bugfixes) xfce4-taskmanager
  • Release of 1.1.0 with all theses changes. Thanks gaston, ochosi and Cavalier

xfce4-power-manager :

Panel Plugins :

Some love for panel plugins, from Harald Judt and Landry Breuil, mostly build/bugfixes and translations updates :

As you can see, xfce development is more active than ever !
So be prepared to be amazed by 4.12 in a few weeks !

Sources :

News from xfce 4.12, part 2 !

Update 19/02/2015 : A new post is available !

Following my first post about the Xfce development status 4 months ago (you can (re) read it here), let's go for a bunch of reviews of the last commits.

A little clarifications about comments on my 1st post : I'm NOT a core xfce dev, I'm just a small contributor, who try to help as much as I can.

Note: You can see lots of screenshots about all theses news features on the xfce forum, in the What's New in Xfce topic from ToZ.

xfce4-power-manager :

  • A new xfce4-power-manager release (compatible with xfce 4.10), thanks to Eric Koegell and Simon Steinbeiss
  • Provide a better support of systemd and upower
  • Brightness plugin has been merged into the battery indicator plugin so a new plugin is born, "Power Manager plugin"
  • Some design changes, see screenshots
  • The roadmap to 1.5 :

xfdesktop :

  • Add a --next option to force wallpaper changes
  • Add a move to trash menu option
  • Add an --enable-debug option added to xfdesktop-settings
  • Add optional blurring on shadow on text of icons, see Screenshots

xfce4-panel :

  • Implementation of a intelligent auto-hide functionality by Jannis Pohlmann !
  • Whenever the active window changes or whenever the geometry of an already active window changes, the algorithm checks whether the active window and the panel overlap. If this is the case, the panel is hidden. Otherwise, it is made or remains visible.
  • A quick demo (only available in git version for now)

xfce4-session :

  • Add logind runtime detection to support suspend/hibernate
  • Support for upower 0.99
  • Add DragonflyBSD to host check

xfce4-settings :

  • Reapply settings when external keyboard connects
  • New display settings dialog
  • Add support for upower 0.99

Thunar :

  • Default application not respected with glib >= 2.4
  • Check for thumbnails in the location
  • Add appdata file
  • Add pkexec policy. This way if the user of a desktop system wants to use thunar to modify files as root and has the proper credentials they can.

Apps / Plugins :

  • Mousepad and Parole have been ported to gtk3 !
  • Partial rewrite of squeeze (Archive manager)
  • Multiples releases/bugfixes of xfce4-netload-plugin, xfce4-weather-plugin, xfce4-equake-plugin

Development Releases of core components :

Maintenances/New Releases (for xfce 4.10 ) :

Others :

  • A side note about light-locker, a simple session-locker for lightdm, which work really great with xfce :). If you want a nice and modern locker, try it !
  • Debian Jessie will use xfce 4.10 (as 4.12 is not ready on 5th November, the date of Debian Freeze)
  • If you are an ArchLinux user, and want to test the devel version of xfce, you can use my [xfce411] repo. NO WARRANTY, support or whatever ! Use it at your own risks. Read the README ;)
  • Last minute : A reorganisation of the team is running, to list our current force, identify weak spots (where we urgently need new contributors), welcome new members etc. See for more informations !

Sources :

  • Thanks to ToZ on the xfce forum
  • The #xfce-dev IRC chan on Freenode, the best way to be involved in Xfce development
  • Xfce4 dev list

News from Xfce !

Update 19/11/2014 : A new post is available !

Some news from Xfce, my favourite Desktop Environment, that I use since something like 2006.

The development is relatively slow (the last stable version, 4.10 was released in April 2012). There is not so many developers, 1 or 2 "core" devs, and less than 10 contributors (who are generally distributions maintainers, from debian, xubuntu, gentoo, arch, thanks to them !).

There was a roadmap for 4.12, where it was planned to release 4.12 mid-2013. But, hey, it's open source, it will be out when "it will be ready" :-).

Some weeks ago, it was decided to establish a list of "critical bugs" to be eradicated in order to release xfce 4.12.
You can find the list here :
Xfce 4.12 will still use gtk2, with some support of gtk3 for better integration.
Port to gtk3 will maybe be done for the next version.

What will be new in xfce 4.12 ?

All major components are already available in development version (4.11), here are a small list of what to expect :

xfwm4 :


xfce4-settings :

xfdesktop :

xfce4-panel :

And lot of works on other components, like xfce4-power-manager (systemd support), xfburn, xfce4-mixer etc There is still some works/tests to be done on upower or systemd support for example.

Update : You can see lot of screenshots of new features on the Xfce forum, by ToZ :


A new buildbot based on jenkins is available since few days on


It's easier to copy the mail from Simon Steinbeiß to explain this part :

To get to the point: we see bountysource[2] as an easy way to offer
the community with a way to financially support Xfce. There are two
avenues a backer can choose from.
1) Set a bounty on a specific bug (we've pulled in all the reports for
many components already, so you can easily find them on
2) Back the Xfce team

Update: More explanations about bountysource:

So if you are interested yo help Xfce, go to the contribute wiki page !

Xfce – Xfwm4 zoom mode in 4.12

Xfce is my main desktop environment since more than 6 years, and I really like it. I try to make some patch from time to time, and if you search a project to contribute, it's here ;-)

The core team is really small (2 or 3 people), so development evolves rather slowly, and the 4.12 will be released when it is ready.

One of the latest feature is the implementation of a compositor zoom, like the compiz ezoom plugin, from an external developper ( see this thread).

Here a little video with latest git version ( from ). You just need to press ALT and scroll up/down to zoom in/out.

(yeah, it's an excuse to test the html5

I will try to make some blog posts about new features in xfce world for the upcoming 4.12 (in 2014 I hope!), stay tuned !


i pulled the slow magnetic hdd running gentoo from my thinkpad r61i; swapped it with a 2009-era 32GB ssd running archbang, a variant of arch linux.

it’s been several years since i last tried arch, and i wanted a desktop environment installed & preconfigured. archbang offers a minimal openbox desktop with a few basic programs: web browser, terminal, text editor, file manager, etc.

arch is fast. from cold boot to logged-in at the desktop: 5.5 seconds. that’s on an old supertalent ssd, artificially limited to SATA-I speeds by the thinkpad’s BIOS; the hardware is capable of running at SATA-II. even topped out at 150MB/sec read/write, this system is screaming fast. apps execute instantly, queries and searches complete as soon as i hit Enter, and even heavyweight firefox only takes a second or so to load. my experience is vastly improved over the same environment on gentoo, on the magnetic hdd.

gentoo didn’t run this fast on this drive when it was installed in my now-defunct desktop. i switched to a more useful xfce desktop, which didn’t affect boot/login times at all; still under 6 seconds.

so, why arch, and not gentoo? apparently, my music-making environment went through too many upgrades and changes between 2011 and now. i probably should have left it as-is once i got a working setup for live performances and studio production. it mostly doesn’t work anymore. kernel changes, upstream audio package changes, lots of factors. it’s impossible to diagnose, so i’m temporarily without a gentoo system, at least until i swap disks.

the upstream developer of my primary audio software runs arch, so i figured i may get better support & overall user experience by running the same OS and environment. i haven’t yet configured my desktop for realtime/low-latency audio work besides install the ck kernel. arch has most of my usual music stack available as binary packages, so i’ll only have to compile a few apps from the AUR.

i really like installing binary packages, rather than having to spend a whole day building them on this slow 2007-era CPU. and, since this is an exceptionally light flavor of arch, i don’t have the bloat and slowdown i experienced when using ubuntu for music production.

i’m not sure if i’ll keep arch installed or not, but this has been an interesting trip so far.

Xfce translations moved

For quite some time Xfce used a private installation of Transifex because this “old” version was capable of pushing to git directly and the tools provided by were not extremely suitable at the time. But time went by and improved to a nice platform, while our installation started to struggle more and more.

So it was about time we moved and since yesterday all translations moved to the Xfce hub project! There are separate projects for the core modules because there we work more active with different branches, and there are “collection” projects for the various goodies, like panel plugins, thunar extensions and applications outside Xfce core.

The platform is (imho) a huge improvement for translators; the interface is very nice, a way better online editor and a translation memory across the components to translate similar string more quickly and consistently. On the developers since everything is still automated since a cron script will pull the translations and submit them to git (if they reached a minimum percentage of 50% and passed all checks).

During the migration a lot of files were removed from git because they did not pass msgfmt –check, so at the same time this was a nice cleanup of broken translations in the repositories.

There are still some things to do; cron script needs some more testing and also more pot files need to be removed from the repositories to avoid broken or incomplete translations, but the largest step is taken.

So in case you were translating Xfce or want to, sign up at and joint a translation team in the Xfce project!

Making use of custom actions with Xfce Appfinder

One addition in the latest versions of Appfinder was the custom actions. I never used it until after I started typing several times twitter which didn't work (a habit from the web browser url bar).

The custom actions can be useful for anything, and it's really quick to run it.

Examples of custom actions:
  • twitter: xdg-open
  • us: setxkbmap us
It can be very handy, check the online documention for a quick setup. There are also online examples, don't mind to leave a comment or to fill the bugtracker if you have clever ideas, I can add them, I just did with the setxkbmap us example ;-)

Stable releases!

Last week-end, our awesome Nick released new stable versions for almost all Xfce major components: libxfce4util, tumbler, xfce4-appfinder, xfce4-session, xfce4-panel, xfwm4, xfce4-settings, garcon, thunar, xfce4-terminal and tumbler (this is not amnesia, we got two releases in a single day for this component!).

I still need to release libxfce4ui 4.10.1 which would fix some keyboard shortcut issues: numpad shortcuts, shortcuts with Shift, shortcuts with Alt+Print... I need some testers for this stable branch before releasing. So grab the code on git or from this tarball and please confirm if it works fine after restarting your session. Thanks in advance for your help.

The list of changes which can be found in those stable releases in available on the Xfce Announcement mailing list. I wish you all an improved Xfce experience!

Xfce4-notifyd 0.2.4

This quick follow-up release contains a single fix contributed by "Coacher": proper border drawing when compositing is disabled (bug #10021). It also contains a few updated translations: Bulgarian, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Flemish and Indonesian.

For the next release, I'm considering implementing (as time allows) notification filtering so that you can turn off notifications from applications which annoy you.