Submit News Alternative Tip Form

Xfce 4.12 Released After Almost 3 Years — And The Changes Are Huge

The latest version of lightweight open-source desktop can be installed in Ubuntu, too

Notice: This post is more than a year old. It may be outdated.

Xfce 4.12

Two years and ten months in development, this weekend saw the release of Xfce 4.12.

The latest version of the light Xfce desktop and related software continues to use GTK2+ but adds plenty of new features, usability improvements and bug fixes to make it feel fresh.

Client Side Decorations in Xfce 4.12

Client Side Decorations in Xfce 4.12

Chief among the new features in Xfce 4.12 is initial support for Client Side Decorations (like those found in apps like Geary), a new Alt+Tab window switcher with window previews, a panel that can intelligently hide, support GTK3 applets and more.

Other notable changes include better support for HiDPI displays thanks to a new Xfwm theme, better support for multiple monitor setups, including per-desktop wallpapers, and better support for window tiling mode thanks to new features like zoom mode.

You’ll also find more tweaks and additions in the Thunar File Manager, which gains tabbed browsing, better loading times, keyboard shortcuts, and so on.

For a full rundown of all the new features do check out the comprehensive release notes and screenshot tour over on the Xfce website.

How To Install Xfce 4.12 in Ubuntu via PPA

Although probably not recommended just yet (early doors and all that) the Xubuntu Development PPA contains pre-release builds of Xfce 4.12 for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 14.10 users to install from at their own risk.

Add the Xubuntu Dev PPA to Ubuntu’s Software Sources using a Terminal and the following commands (assuming the Xfce desktop is already installed):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

To remove the PPA and downgrade to the version of PPA in the main Ubuntu repos/other installed PPAs the ‘ppa-purge’ utility should be installed and used:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Whether you try this latest version of Xfce out for yourself or just admire the screenshots, be sure to let us know what you think of the changes in the comments below.

H/T Adam Eveleigh