Xfce4 Display Settings status

  • June 28, 2010
  • Jérôme Guelfucci

As promised, here comes the post about recent changes in Xfce4 Display Settings. For those who do not know, Xfce4 Display Settings is the dialog which allows you to set the screen resolution, refresh rate, to activate external monitors, etc.In Xfce 4.6, it only had one problem: it was totally useless and not working.

Then came mr_pouit, who decided it was time to clean that mess! He started to dig in the xrandr code to understand how the kryptic Randr API works and to bring that sweet magic to Xfce. So what do we have at the moment?

Display Settings

The new dialog is at the moment almost similar to the old one, except that every thing should work correctly and that it is rocking simple to use! We also added some goodies such as timed confirmation for critical changes and a simple dialog which can be called with the media keys or with Win + P to quickly configure an external output.

Timed Confirmation

Minimal Display Settings

But there is more to come! First, we are still working on fixing bugs, simplifying the code to make it rocking stable and awesome like Barney's suit. Then, we are planning a lot of UI improvements, the biggest one being a graphical way of setting the screens' layout : it will allow the user to set the relative positions of external monitors. We hope to have that done in the next two weeks, but it could take a little more time. And yes, that'll mean that 4.8 TODO list will have lost one item ;)

Yes, Xfce 4.8 is delayed!

  • June 22, 2010
  • Jérôme Guelfucci

I've seen a lot of people on IRC lately asking why 4.8 was not released on the 12th of June as scheduled. Well, the schedule could not be respected and we currently have no scheduled release date. There is still a lot of work to do and we lost several key contributors and we obviously did not gain new ones...

So if you want to see Xfce 4.8 out, come and help us! We need help to implement the 4.8 features (have a look at the bottom of schedule page, there are links to the goals of each module) and to fix bugs.

A good way to get started is to choose some bugs on the Xfce bugzilla and to submit patches, come and bug us on #xfce to get your patches reviewed (it may take a while but that's definitely useful!). We need a lot more contributors if we want to get things moving forward!

In a post that will follow shortly, I will discuss a merrier topic: the new awesome work of the mighty mr_pouit (his only vice being that he maintains Xubuntu :D) on the display settings dialog (the dialog to set the screen resolution, frequency...). Stay tuned! (Yes, this means we are still active :D)

Major changes in the Xfce Task Manager going 1.0

  • June 14, 2010
  • Mike Massonnet
It's done. The task manager application available in Xfce for quite some years is now available with major changes. It has been rewritten from scratch, with GtkBuilder UI definitions and GObjects, everything is fresh and clean. The application has support for Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and OpenSolaris.

Let's start by visual changes:
  • The buttons at the bottom are gone, the progress bars at the top are vanished, say hello to a toolbar with buttons and monitors.
  • You read well, monitors are in, they show a graph of the CPU and memory usage by time.
  • A status bar is visible at the bottom, it displays a general information about the system usage.
  • Icons are displayed beneath the task names.

Let's continue with less visual:
  • Tasks that start are displayed with a green background for a short delay and tasks that terminate with a red background.
  • Tasks which state is changing are temporarily displayed with a yellow background. This covers tasks changing their state from idle to running, vice versa and etc.
  • The tree views context menu contains the same actions as before, sending signals to the task and changing the priority. They have been polished however, for example the continue and stop signals aren't shown altogether anymore, and there are only five priorities to set ranging from Very low to Very high.
  • The tree view columns can be reordered as you wish.
  • An optional status icon can be activated allowing you to hide the application.
  • It is possible to display percentage values with more precision.
  • And finally, the default refresh rate is 750ms and it can be switched from 500ms up to 10s.

And the result is as follows:

The application is fully translated into fifteen languages!

Go to project webpage.

June Xfce desktop

  • June 5, 2010
  • Josh Saddler

This month's Xfce desktop was inspired by old Japan.

Summer wave

icons: Feel of Japan
gtk+: Simplistica
xfwm4: axiomd
background: The Great Wave off Kanagawa
cursor: Obsidian xcursors

The icon set is very pretty, with lots of creative touches. It can be a little hard to tell what an icon represents, but the more time I spend with this set, the easier it is to recognize items. Sadly, this set only had one release, and it's still incomplete.

The gtk+ theme Simplistica (from April's desktop) returns for June's desktop. Its colors add an old-time feel to the desktop. The blue menu rollovers even match up with the wave colors of the background image.

The window manager theme is the darker variant of axiom, a simple, elegant theme. Its deep hue provides richly contrasts the sandy, woody tones of the gtk+ theme, and suggests dark, stormy skies to match the waves of the background image.

The wallpaper is a famous woodblock print by Hokusai, from the series 36 Views of Mount Fuji, and a simple Google search turns up any resolution you could want. The Great Wave is one of my favorite works. It was on my February calendar, and now it's on my desktop. The image isn't quite the rustic picture of ancient Japan that I'd like - that would take a couple of weeks to locate - but it's still pleasing. Sakura, from last month's desktop, is another good choice, but variety is the spice of life. The Great Wave goes well with my SLiM login theme, Wave.

I picked the mouse cursor theme because it reminds me of wet ink on rice paper, and it has occasional blue animations that match the wave colors. It's available in Portage; you can install it by running emerge obsidian-xcursors.

The uncluttered version that shows off the wallpaper:

The Great Wave


Thunar is the filemanager open in the foreground. An Xfce terminal shows an update to Gnumeric being compiled in the background.

Running in the panel are an assortment of application launchers, including customized dropdown menus for frequently used programs.

In the panel, I changed the default Xfce menu button (the blue X on the far left) to use a different icon; look in /usr/share/pixmaps for the four menu icons shipped with Xfce. Right click the menu button to change the icon. Since you have to supply the full path, it means that when you change icon themes, any menu icon included will not automatically be applied to the menu button. You'll have to change it manually every time you change your theme.

After the launchers and taskbar, the notification area holds the tray icons for Claws Mail and Pidgin. Then a genmon applet that runs my lastsync.sh Portage script. After genmon, there are plugins for volume control, the Orage clock, and local weather.