Meet the new Xfce Desktop Environment

It took about three years to develop the Xfce desktop 4.12 version. This long period, a lot feedback was send from contributors, a great value to correct bugs and add new features. Take a full tour of the new Xfce desktop environment, and check the full list of highlights.

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.

The main highlights of this release are:

The window manager gained a new themable Alt+Tab dialog with optional windows preview and a list mode. Initial Client side decoration support was implemented, window tiling mode was improved providing support for corner-tiling, and a new zooming mode was added. A HiDPI Xfwm theme was also added.

The panel can now intelligently hide itself, supports Gtk3 plugins, and saw lots of its third-party plugins updated to take full advantage of the features added in 4.10.

The desktop has a new wallpaper settings dialog, per workspace wallpaper support, and better multi-monitor handling. It also supports displaying folder cover art and emblems on icons now.

Our session manager was updated to use logind and/or upower if available for hibernate/suspend support. For portability and to respect our users’ choices, fallback modes were implemented relying on os-specific backends.

Support for multi-monitor use was improved in a new display settings dialog and a quick setup popup on monitor plugging.

The appearance dialog now showcases previews for icons and themes.

Xfsettingsd now supports libinput.

Power management was not forgotten: A new panel plugin was created, logind/upower support was added to handle battery/lid/brightness events, and locking via light-locker was implemented. The settings dialog was also revamped, and support for X11 screenblanking was added.

Our file manager, the beloved Thunar, saw an insane amount of improvements: tab support, tons of bug fixes, speed-ups, key shortcuts for custom actions, better naming of file copies and links, nice freespace bar in properties, tweaks for the renamer and other dialogs, improved keyboard navigation, fixes for the treeview pane, better wallpaper support, Gtk3 bookmarks support, multiple file properties… need we say more?

To prepare the future of Xfce with Gtk3, which no longer requires theme engines, we are stopping the development of our Gtk theme engine, and dropping our Gtk3 engine – theme makers, please update your themes to CSS if you want them to work on the next Xfce version.

Due to gstreamer1.0 having dropped the mixer-interface entirely, and xfce4-mixer and xfce4-volumed relying on this interface with gstreamer0.10, our mixer application and volume daemon cannot be ported to 1.0 and are consequently not maintained anymore.

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