XFCE 4.16 pre2 Release Brings Major Updates

2 min

Xfce team announced the availability of the lightweight desktop environment Xfce 4.16 pre2. This is the second pre-releases and probably the last before the final release.

Xfce 4.16 pre2 in openSUSE Tumbleweed
Xfce 4.16 pre2 in openSUSE Tumbleweed

Xfce 4.16 Release Date

The final Xfce 4.16 releases on December 2020 or January 2021. The final release depends on how the testing goes with the second pre-release.

Xfce team announced the first pre-release a while back where I took a glance at how the change is coming along in this desktop environment. You can take a look at the hands-on I did with Xfce 4.16 pre-release version here.

Xfce 4.16 new features

Xfce 4.16 brings numerous new improvements. Some of them are really long due. Alongside overall system changes, the individual Xfce components, native applications are also getting revision with bug fixes and improvements.

Here are some of the major improvements of Xfce 4.16.

Xfce 4.16 is enabling Client Side Decoration (CSD) by default. This change is a topic of debate among many users who love Xfce. People feel that with this change, Xfce is losing its classic legacy look and becoming more like “GNOME”.

Xfce 4.16 probably completes the process of removing the old GTK2 code. Porting to GTK3 almost complete hopefully when Xfce releases. This makes Xfce faster and lighter.

A new set of desktop icon set changes the .visual aspect of Xfce 4.16.

A brand new Default Application dialog is designed, eliminating two separate dialogs (Mime settings, and preferred applications).

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

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

Thunar File manager sees a bunch of updates. A pause button was introduced for the copy/move dialog. And finally, Thunar can remember directory view settings per directory.

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.

The Workspace labels can have workspace numbers beside them for easy identification. Super useful feature.

Workspaces can have numbers
Workspaces can have numbers

Xfce 4.16 brings configurable shortcuts for Window Tiling. That means you can use Super+Up arrow, Down Arrow, Left, and Right Arrow to tile the windows.

The top Panel can have nice little animation when set to autohide.

So these are some of the major updates that come with Xfce 4.16.

Xfce 4.16 – pre2 – download

If you are using Arch, you can get the development version already in Arch User Repo. You can go ahead and compile using the package manager.

You can also get the source code from below.

If you are interested, take a look at the complete list of changes and review of Xfce 4.16.


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