Xfce 4.14pre2 released!

As scheduled, the team has released the second pre-release for Xfce 4.14, which is due later this summer, yesterday evening. As this release was mostly focused on bugfixing there are not that many highlights, but as with Xfce 4.14pre1 I’ll try to point out a few – as before, not completely unbiased.

Some highlights

xfce4-panel
Several bugs were fixed, most notably Bug #15044, which caused applications used with multi-touch devices to regress into single-touch.
A new visual indicator for grouped windows was introduced to the tasklist plugin and the default panel layout was refreshed, adding several plugins (if not installed/shipped, they will simply be automatically and silently removed from the panel on its first run).
Furthermore some usability tweaks were done (e.g. more mnemonics) and translations have been updated.

xfce-panel’s grouped window indicators

xfwm4
Several fixes and improvements to compositing (GLX backend), HiDPI and theming have made it into the latest release.

thunar
A bug where writable shares were wrongfully detected as read-only was fixed as well as some other, less critical bugs.

xfce4-settings
Several regressions and bugs were fixed in the color dialog, the display dialog (the display settings were not retained across sessions) and the settings manager.

xfdesktop
The new “Add Next Background” option was added as well as several fixes around interactivity (drag-and-drop, open items on keypress) and theming.

xfconf
The settings backend of Xfce gained support for GObject introspection and vala.

Testing

If you want to get a taste of Xfce 4.14 pre2 without compromising your main system you can grab the Docker container of xfce-test that we tagged today as ubuntu_19.04-xfce-4.14pre2 with all the components in their up-to-date versions from dockerhub. If you haven’t used xfce-test before I heavily recommend reading its helpful Readme.

Furthermore, several distributions have already commenced on packaging (Xubuntu, Fedora, Manjaro, OpenBSD etc) so we hope to get even more testing and feedback until the final release of Xfce 4.14.

Next steps

The next release – aka pre3 – is optional, so we may decide to skip it and go straight for the final release if the release team is confident that there are no showstoppers.
Until then enjoy Xfce 4.14pre2!

27 thoughts on “Xfce 4.14pre2 released!”

    1. In theory distributions can decide to disable Gtk+2 already. However there are still some applications that rely on the libraries that are not yet ported to Gtk+3 (see the Roadmap page, e.g. Ristretto) so those would be broken by that change.

      As soon as we have stable releases of all applications in a Gtk+3 version we will probably remove Gtk+2 support altogether.
      For the panel we will at least disable Gtk+2 support by default upstream as there are only very few unported plugins.

  1. I been looking forward to jumping on the Linux train for years now (roadblocks keep stopping me). Always wanted to go XFCE first (unless it’s broken and I have to choose something else….. of course), glad the project is NOT dead.

  2. Congratulations, and thanks for the great job!

    > Furthermore some usability tweaks were done (e.g. more mnemonics)

    Can you expand on this?

  3. For some time I have a problem with xfce4-appfinder that starts several instances and I have to kill the processes manually. Does someone else happen?

  4. Please take into consideration that; while resizing a window, the resizing mark in the lower right corner is so difficult to catch (my experience with xubuntu). It is almost like a 2×2 pixel. Believe it or not, that is the only reason why I do not use xubuntu. I searched solutions on the internet, there were some likewise complaints, but I couldn’t manage to solve it.

    1. I agree, it is absurd how fussy the 2×2 zone is, in all WM’s. Maybe a 16×16 block could appear, that you either move out of, or drag around.

    2. i agree this is an annoyance. this is an issue with xfwm4 (xfce4 window manager) themes, including the default one, often having an absurdly tiny window frame thickness.

      there are two solutions for this. one is go to settings/window manager/themes and pick a theme with a thicker window border (if your distro doesn’t include one by default look on http://www.xfce-look.org).

      the other, even simpler solution is hold down the alt key and use the LEFT mouse button to resize windows, you can click ANYWHERE in the window to resize the window by mouse with this method!

      it took me a little while to get used to using alt-left-click to resize windows by default. but now i do it that way by habit and it’s great.

      1. sorry for the typos, it’s the right mouse button for the above combos (alt-right-drag) not left. i was was thinking right but i typed left… lol. anyway, it’s a very convenient way to resize windows. 😉

        oh, and it’s settings/window manager/style… haha. this is why the commenter needs an “edit” button in blogs/forums. 😐 resume normal transmissions.

  5. Since Xfce 4.14 is the first release in GTK3, I think that this is an error to disable backward compatibility by default with GTK2 plugins in xfce4-panel.

    And please, please, provide a way to completely disable those awful symbolic icons system-wide, it’s an insult to our freedom of choice that we are used to have with Xfce! Will you follow those GNOME folks when they will decide to get rid of normal icons in GTK4.xxxxxxxxx?

    1. Which icons don’t harmonize with the others on the left panel?

      http://pix.toile-libre.org/?img=1563371825.png

      The GTK theme is Xfce Evolution, the icon theme is Elementary Xfce. The left panel is composed, from top to bottom, of the place, clipman, mailwatch and pulseaudio plugins, and four launchers. The symbolic icons of the clipman and pulseaudio plugins don’t fit at all and are ridiculously hideous! The same can be said for the symbolic icons on the Thunar toolbar, they don’t fit with the rest at all…

    1. Fractional scaling isn’t really possible with X11 (other than using xrandr with quite the performance penalty), so you’ll have to wait for Wayland there.

      In general though hidpi support has been improved (or one could say: it’s only supported since the 4.13/4.14 cycle as it was impossible with Gtk+2) a lot lately!

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