Tech

Free Desktop: XFCE 4.14 appears with GTK3 port


After nearly four and a half years of development is the free Unix desktop XFCE in version 4.14 released, The work on the project is supported by a comparatively small community. The minimal desktop conceived especially for less powerful systems has been ported to GTK3 for the current version.

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This should affect all core components. The desktop now also uses GDbus, instead of Dbus-Glib as before, to connect the usual inter-process communication on Linux systems. The team has already begun implementing the GTK3 port with the previous version 4.12, which was released at the beginning of 2015.

GTK3 first appeared in 2011 with Gnome 3 and has evolved very quickly with it, which has often made porting difficult. Only for about three years there is a stability guarantee for GTK 3 and a long-term care for the project.

Many detail improvements on the desktop

In addition to the porting work, the team has improved some important details on its graphics stack. The in-house Window Manager now supports VSync as well as high-resolution displays (HiDPI). Support for the proprietary Nvidia driver has also improved the team.

XFCE 4.14 has been released. (Image: XFCE)

Thanks to a better connection to Randr, both the desktop shell and the panel now support the function of setting a primary monitor. The settings can be used to save the configuration when using multiple displays.

The team also made adjustments to the details of the file manager Thunar, its own media player Parole and the image viewer Ristretto. A new screensaver has been added to XFCE, which the team commented on with a joke about the late date. The panel now also supports notifications according to the status notifier standard via a plugin. Ubuntu calls these app-indicators.

Other innovations listed the official announcement, The source code of XFCE 4.14 is available for download ready. Binary packages of the desktop should soon be available for various distributions.