Hands on With Upcoming Xfce 4.16 Release

3 min


I managed to install and did hands-on with the upcoming Xfce 4.16 Release (pre1 release)using the development build. It’s super exciting with new features and updates. Have a look.

Xfce 4.16 currently in the development phase and the first pre-release is available. The release planned around November 2020 this year, hopefully, if things go smoothly.

It is going to be a moderate release from the Xfce desktop environment. Although it is coming after years from earlier Xfce 4.14. All the stable Xfce based Linux distributions are currently offering the current stable Xfce 4.14.

With that said, I did a hands on with the new features of upcoming Xfce 4.16 pre-release. Take a look.

Xfce 4.16 pre1 Release
Xfce 4.16 pre1 Release

Hands on With Upcoming Xfce 4.16 Release

  • From the last release of Xfce 4.14, the team started dropping support for the older version GTK2 to make way for GTK3. Xfce 4.16 also removing older codes catering to GTK2 making it faster.
  • The settings dialog is changed to Client-Side Decoration (CSD). There has been a debate and argument related to CSD in Xfce. Some user complains about it because CSD is fundamentally changing the essence of Xfce and becoming more “GNOME”.
Xfce CSD for Settings Window
Xfce CSD for Settings Window
  • A brand new Default Application dialog is designed, eliminating two separate dialogs (Mime settings, and preferred applications).
Default Application Dialog
Default Application Dialog
  • The Xfce desktop icon set is completely changed in Xfce 4.16 to overhaul the vial aspect of the Xfce desktop environment.
Xfce 4.16 icon set
Xfce 4.16 icon set
  • Xfce 4.16 finally introduces fractional scaling for your high-resolution displays with the support of XRandR (resize and rotate). The display dialog has the 1x, 2x, 1.5x, and custom scaling options available.
Xfce Fractional Scaling
Xfce Fractional Scaling
  • Xfce Panel which is the heart of Xfce desktop sees a new plugin “Status Tray” merging the statusnotifier and systray plugins. You can now change the icon size in the panel using this plugin.
New Status Tray Plugin
New Status Tray Plugin
  • The Xfce Panel’s application context menu now has an additional option called “Launch New Instance“. Launching another instance of the running application is much easier now instead of opening from the application menu.
New Option to launch new instances
New Option to launch new instances
  • The panel now supports dark mode if your current theme allows it.
  • Thunar File manager sees a bunch of updates. A pause button was introduced for copy/move dialog. And finally, Thunar can remember directory view settings per directory.
Pause option in Copy Dialog
Pause option in Copy Dialog
  • Improved Xfce Window manager (Xfwm4) now shows the Alt+Tab in the primary monitor for a multi-display setup.
  • Xfce Power manager sees now tiny yet powerful usability updates. A visual indicator in the panel when presentation mode is enabled and low-power notification automatically turns off when a power source is connected.
  • The About Xfce dialog shows more information about your system such as CPU name, OS info, etc.
About XFCE Dialog
About XFCE Dialog
  • The Workspace labels can have workspace numbers beside them for easy identification. Super useful feature.
Workspaces can have numbers
Workspaces can have numbers
  • You have configurable shortcuts as a keymap for Windows Tiling. Use Super+ Up arrow, Down Arrow, Left, and Right – to tile the windows.
  • The top Panel can have nice little animation when set to autohide.

So, these are the visible features at the moment. Do follow the project in GitLab for the latest updates and contribute to the testing.

Xfce 4.16 did not make it for Xubuntu 20.10 release. It will not be available for Fedora 33 (Xfce spin) as well. So hopefully, Ubuntu’s next iteration in 2021 will feature Xfce 4.16.

Xfce 4.16 will be released on December 2020 – January 2021 (tentative).


Arindam

Creator of debugpoint.com. All time Linux user and open-source supporter. Connect with me via Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or send us an email.
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