A Sneak Peek at What's Next in Xfce 4.12

This week, quite interesting news about the development of some Xfce applications for cycle 4.12 has come to light, which gave me the idea of ​​making a summary of how the general development of it is going based on the news and my own experience because I use various of the development packages through the ppa.

Remember that at the moment the packages are still in testing and are not recommended for a stable environment as they can present errors, however for those who want to help testing and reporting errors all the code is in the project GIT page, for Xubuntu users there is the developers ppa  but remember that it is necessary to previously have Xfce 4.10


The Xfce media player has come out in a new version that not only fixes some bugs (like freezing with some subtitles that happened to me often) but also with several new features:

  • History of files and locations
  • Detection and installation of missing codecs
  • Upload custom subtitles (previously it was only possible to place them with the same video name in the same location)
  • Support for CD and DVD playlists
  • New notification plugin
  • New view for playing audio formats
  • New embedded mode to be used for example in web browsers (as can be done with Totem or Xine but in this case it would have to be done from mozplugger)
  • Parole in Audio playback view (ignore translation errors, fixes are being sent)

  • Configuration ported to Xfconf
  • Keyboard shortcut improvements


    Ctrl + A Open Dialog
    Ctrl + L Open Location Dialog
    Ctrl + Q Exit Parole

    Play list

    F9 Show / Hide Playlist
    Up and down Browse Playlist


    F11 Enter Full Screen
    Escape Exits Full Screen
    Left Right Middle Search Back / Forward 10 seconds
    Ctrl + Left / Right Middle Search Back / Forward 1 minute
    0 zero) Dumb
    - (less) Decrease Volume
    + (plus), = (equal) Increase Volume

You can see a more extensive description of the new features and more screenshots in the Sean Davis blog who worked hard on this project. and he is also doing a couple of things because he is working on a redesign of the catfish file browser and adding some menu editing capabilities to MenuLibre (which is your project too) that would be more useful for environments like Xfce and Lxde

Small glimpse of catfish redesign


The project's text editor returns after a long time (almost 4 years) in which its development was considered almost dead, remember that the Leafpad-based Mousepad was developed to provide printing support that the latter did not have at that time. And now version 0.3.0 arrives with the following news:

  • A complete rewrite of Mousepad. The code is now written in GObjects to have a solid foundation for further development.
  • Multiple windows in a single instance
  • Support for dragging and dropping text within a document, between tabs and between windows, as well as opening files by dragging it within the window.
  • Support for multiple tabs in a window, which are rearranged and detachable.
  • Support for recent files re-implemented. Recent history can be cleared, and the file is removed from it when Mousepad is unable to open it.
  • Support for editable accelerators
  • Syntax highlighting for many file types.
  • Support for color schemes (like Gedit)
  • Status bar with file type, cursor location and if overwrite is enabled.
  • Loading multiple files at once from the opening dialog and from the command line.
  • Search and highlight as you type (ala Firefox)

Mousepad 0.3.0 with new features including my favorite Oblivion color scheme


The Xfce terminal emulator also comes with some changes, the keyboard shortcut editor has been removed from the preferences to instead use the editable accelerators of the menu that manages the environment to change the shortcuts of your applications (Thunar for example) and the ability to edit the toolbar which allowed removing some dependencies. In addition, a very interesting feature for me is that it will now have a 'drop-down' or drop-down mode in the style of Yakuake !. The ad can be seen here!


Xfce's deployable terminal in the Yakuake style and the like


Although it is not news this week the development of Thunar after the big change in version 1.6 with the introduction of tabs does not stop, several bugs have been fixed such as that it is now possible to view the properties of several folders at the same time, all partitions are displayed in the side panel even if they have been mounted via fstab.

In addition to the redesign of the bookmarks panel and the ability to save bookmarks over the network, so Gigolo would no longer be necessary, and also integration with gphoto that offers better support for Android devices and cameras.

In addition, the new version of Tumbler has been released, which now supports a configuration file to control the priority, file size location that a plugin uses, and an extra interesting feature, being able to obtain the covers for the thumbnails of the movies through an API of The Open Movie Database o The Movie DB , although it is disabled by default because it uses information (The title of the movie that it extracts from the file name) to send it online and thus obtain the poster.

The information sent is harmless, but being private they have decided that it is best for the user to decide. For more information check the page on the wiki.


Tabs in Thunar and redesigned side panel


Keyboard shortcuts

Work is also being done to improve the handling of keyboard shortcuts, more specifically some bug fixes from their implementation in version 4.10 and to make their labels readable in the interface, since they used to appear with their system name [ Super, Primary]


Native Support for Extended Mode in Multi-Monitor Configurations

The new Xfce now implements support for multi-monitor configurations so it will no longer be necessary to use extra tools such as Arandr to make these configurations. The first dialog is shown when a new screen is connected and gives quick access to the four most used modes:


Display Settings Dialog

If another configuration is required, it is accessed by clicking on Advanced where the normal screen configuration interface is reached

In addition, emerging identifications will also be shown in the lower part of the respective screen while the dialog is open so that you know which screen we are modifying, these show both the name and the resolution:

Monitor pop-up identification

All this will arrive in Xfce 4.12 but there are still some initiatives that although they have not progressed much are interesting for future versions. For example, it is planned to redesign the desktop preferences interface and to be able to select a different wallpaper for each desktop, it is also allowing themes for the Alt + Tab window as Cinnamon and KDE do, although at the moment it does not go beyond a few mockups are great news as changes are being considered, some of the other projects can be seen (once again) in the wiki from Xfce, if they have been accepted or not and news of their development:

No text (with / without composer)

With text

Text only


What is left for me to finish? Well, for me it is clear that Xfce is becoming more and more a competitive desktop environment option and not so much the light option (which still is) but that it has changed the focus from a light option to a complete option for a modern desktop and Without a doubt, all those who have not had the pleasure of trying it should do so as soon as the new version is released (which should be around the beginning of March if everything goes well and there are no major errors)


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  1.   Holmes said

    hello, one question: when is version 4.12 for? Holmes

    1.    Rayonant said

      According to schedule http://wiki.xfce.org/releng/4.12/roadmap for March

  2.   elav said

    How nice Xfce .. how nostalgic: '(and it comes in handy from what I see ..

    1.    Rayonant said

      If deep down Xfce cannot be left, I still keep my KDE test partition in Chakra and it seems very functional, but when I go back to the mouse I feel at home 🙂

      1.    elav said

        Ehh !! Come on chu chu, get out of here with those ideas that creep into my brain .. xDDD

        1.    Pavloco said

          Come back like a prodigal son, you know you never felt so free. LOL

          1.    elav said

            No, no and no .. I'm fine at my 7-Star Hotel.

    2.    Oberost said

      Go back home

      1.    elav said

        No, I'm comfortable in this 7-star hotel of the KDE SC chain. When I get bored of the pool, the free food, the good service, and all the amenities, I go back to the cottage.

        1.    Oscar said

          Hahahaha, we will see, we will see… time will tell, you know that «there is no hard that does not soften.

  3.   Giskard said

    It's very good. I really like what comes for Thunar and the multimonitor (right now I have to use ARandr). But I don't like the weight they are going to add to the Mousepad at all. Just what I like about it is that it is simple as it is. Why put all that into it if there are other editors who already do it? No way, I'll have to install Leafpad (until someone comes up with the great idea to damage it too)
    In order.

    1.    Rayonant said

      Yes it was simple, but it had been almost 4 years without development! Now, as I always say for color tastes, the options that mousepad now offers are useful to me, but being lighter than other editors. but for those who are not there this leafpad, as a simple text editor, does its job very well.

    2.    Pavloco said

      I believe that as a lightweight alternative, leafpad is unrivaled. Mousepad is looking for a place between Leafpad and Gedit. It seems like a correct strategy to me.

  4.   Rainbow_fly said

    Xfce is for me the best desktop after KDE xd humble opinion
    It is very customizable and at the same time it is very light although you can see that it is missing parts

    something I would like to see is the globalmenu 😀

    1.    Giskard said

      I hope, on the contrary, that we will NEVER see the globalmenu in Xfce.

      1.    Rainbow_fly said

        Why not?

        1.    diazepan said

          It is one of the many reasons why I was chased away from gnome

  5.   Helena said

    Very interesting and exciting! but you haven't talked about the support for GTK3: O
    in short it is the best desktop after awesome; D

    1.    Helena said

      aaah and forgive the windoze icon, I'm a borrowed PC O_o

    2.    Rayonant said

      Well, correct me if I'm wrong then, but I understood that the migration to GTK3 was not going to be done in 4.12

  6.   jorgemanjarrezlerma said

    I agree with you, XFCE is giving way to leave the stigma of light (without ceasing to be light at all) to be a very complete and competitive desktop. Although I must comment that enlightenment is not bad at all (although it still lacks a lot).

    I use it on my home PC and the truth is that I have no complaints, quite the contrary. An excellent option for those looking for something different.

  7.   cooper15 said

    Xfce took over my laptop after the disaster gnome 3 caused me, now I am using version 4.10 and I fell even more in love with this beautiful environment. The bad thing is that now with your article, I want the 4.12: D to come out. Anyone know how long this development cycle will take? Any schedule?

    1.    Rayonant said

      As I mentioned in the post, the launch would be around the beginning of March if there are no setbacks, here is the timeline for the wiki:

  8.   Pavloco said

    Long live XFCE the best pound-for-pound desktop.

  9.   maxigens180 said

    Could someone tell me what is the theme of the captures?

    1.    Rayonant said

      The theme I use is Greybird, but the GIT version of the Shimmer Project:

  10.   Blaire pascal said

    Ahh, I even shed a small tear when I saw this ... T_T. I think it will give Gnome Shell a fight, I will leave KDE to test this for a while.

  11.   jamin-samuel said

    Sooooo good 😀

  12.   jamin-samuel said

    Things are getting too interesting ... I would never imagine that I would end up falling in love with XFCE

  13.   Gabriel said

    He is nearing the end to mate.

  14.   cooper15 said

    Then they will shorten the release cycles, great.

  15.   fmonroy said

    These new features are very cool, good for XFCE.

  16.   JackassBQ said

    Excellent by XFCE. It is without a doubt, for me, the best desktop.

  17.   Paul said

    I like XFCE a lot but the truth is, for video playback, etc. I use vlc that always worked well and for music the already known audacious that also works very well, (I never liked the automatic playlists, nor the creation of automatic albums , etc). Except for these utilities, the rest of the improvements make me like XFCE more every day.

  18.   ernest21 said

    compgen -c | wc -l

  19.   Carlos-Xfce said

    Hi Rayonant. Thank you very much for your article. I'm glad to hear about anything about Xfce. I recommend that you pay more attention to your spelling and punctuation marks: there are several errors by default of tildes, commas, periods and one of the open question mark.

    In the warning box at the beginning of the article, I recommend that you do not use sentences that begin with the infinitive: "Remember that ...". In this case, the reader, when looking at the table, understands that it has the function of highlighting important information, so it is possible to omit the two moments where you use "remember that ...". Look, here I transcribe it improved:

    “The packages are currently still in testing and are not recommended for a stable environment as they may be buggy. However, for those who want to help out with testing and reporting bugs, all the code is on the project's GIT page. For Xubuntu users there is the developers' ppa; it is necessary to have previously Xfce 4.10 ».

    In your original paragraph, there were no periods; it was as if the whole paragraph were a single sentence. Here it is segmented into three sentences, and these in turn have commas that facilitate reading by readers. I hope you don't take my corrections the wrong way. We can all learn here and I like to offer corrections because this blog offers quality information; I don't want future readers to get a bad impression of From Linux by noticing errors in writing, punctuation, and spelling.

    I hope you continue to share more information about Xfce. Regards.

    1.    Rayonant said

      Man, no more was missing, constructive criticism is always welcome, I'm really sorry for spelling mistakes, it's not my style, for the next few times I'll give it an extra review to correct that. The subject of punctuation is always a point to improve. Thank you very much for your comment, I will talk with the moderators to see if I can edit some parts of the article.

      1.    Carlos-Xfce said

        Hello again, Rayonant. Don't worry about mistakes, they can always be corrected. And of course the moderators will let you edit it, I don't think they will object.

        Of course, there was something that I forgot to tell you, but I am telling you now: your mistakes are not exactly because you misspelled the words (wrong letter), but by omission: you do not place the accents and you do not place the punctuation marks. In this case, the correction and care to be taken in the future is easier: always worry about adding.

        Take heart and please keep sharing more information about Xfce.

  20.   cryotope said

    To those who asked about the migration to GTK3, some components have already been ported as gtk3-engine-xfce, however the increase in resource consumption and the inconsistency of GTK developers (who modify fundamental things from one version to another) It has made xfce developers (with Nick Shermer at the helm) not very clear about porting all xfce to version 3 of the libraries.
    All of this has been discussed at length on the mailing list, in fact some even suggested porting the system to the Enlighment project libraries and another opining on porting to QT. Both opinions were dismissed due to understaffing and loss of stability.

    And about staying in GTK2, sooner or later its maintenance will be abandoned, when GTK3 (and the developers) are more mature and do not require radical changes as is happening now.

  21.   cryotope said

    And after the previous roll, the changes that are being carried out for 4.12 are going to be tremendously practical some (like having Terminal with drop-down features) that will avoid having to use ad hoc programs (in my case I use guake) and others are more of a "look nice" style, such as having different desktop backgrounds on virtual desktops.

    Regarding parole, they did not use it much because in its first versions (when Ali Abdalah created it), the truth is that it suffers from a lack of characteristics.
    their problem lay in their stability. And also in front I had VLC. I will give it a new timely when version 4.12 comes out.

    Mousepad was too limited. It was with the Windows notepad on Linux. Going through somewhat large configuration files with him was a nightmare. The two modifications that I think will be most useful to me will be tabs and syntax highlighting. And for certain tasks it will unseat VIm.

    However, if someone looks at the changelog for each package they will see that a large part of the modifications are bug fixes, which explains the bomb-proof stability of the desktop.

  22.   shattered said

    The new version of Xfce looks very good. I wanted to stay stable with Debian 7, but we will have to go back to testing, I don't want to stay without testing that version 4.12.

    A silly question I'm going to ask:

    What is the correct way to write xfce?
    XFCE, xfce or Xfce
    Only for curiosity. Thank you.

    1.    Rayonant said

      Here it is taken from the wiki:

      «How to pronounce Xfce and what does it mean?

      "Ecks Eff See Eee." The name Xfce originally stood for XForms Common Environment, but since then, Xfce was rewritten twice and doesn't use XForms toolkit anymore. The name survived, but the F is nolonger capitalized (not “XFce”, but “Xfce”). Currently the acronym doesn't stand for anything (suggestion: X Freakin 'Cool Environment).
      Answer: Xfce

  23.   elruiz1993 said

    Still nothing said about moving to GTK3?

  24.   omarxz7 said

    I really like how xfce is evolving, although also in audio and video tools I prefer others than the default ones, however the rest is very good for the performance and fluidity, especially for the dozens of windows and terminals that I open, my A suggestion would be to install it in Ubuntu, since Xubuntu works fine, but you would have to install other Gnome 3 applications around there, it seems a bit late, although it is not that bad.

  25.   Percaff_TI99 said

    Today elav was looking at a mockup made by you in elav's blog of xfce 4.8 and how good it would look in this version with transparencies.

    1.    elav said

      O__O Which one?

  26.   Percaff_TI99 said

    The post is from July 7, 2009, it will seem strange to you that I come out with these things but I followed you from before in the other blog and that is why I came to FromLinux, another thing that I follow is show us your desktop which is still very current so much so it is first in most visited content with 3572 responses, the one that you started with these lines:

    "I don't know if they had this idea before, I don't even know if we can carry it out, but why don't we make a kind of gallery to see how we have the desks?"

    What followed:

    «Since you started the thread, let's start with your desktop, you are the creator of it, don't you think?
    Sebas »

    From now on not for. I am registered here and I am exploring the forum little by little, then I will put my 4 desks here where my place is.

    1.    elav said

      : O But the Mockup was in Xfceando .. well .. now I see it and it makes me ugly hahaha

  27.   Percaff_TI99 said

    You're right elav, what happens is that I followed you on your other blog, I didn't know about Xfceando, and the Mockup isn't ugly, it would have to be modernized a little xD.

    Cheers !!!

  28.   Carlos JC said

    Very interesting the position of the XFCE developers. While KDE and GNOME "rushed" with their new versions, XFCE supports a much more balanced development. Although KDE4 and GNOME3 are very pleasant to look at and contain many interesting innovations, they also carry serious problems that negatively affect the user experience ...

    After the "death" of GNOME2, XFCE became my favorite DE, although I no longer use any DE ...


  29.   Jesus said

    Can someone tell me what is the theme of the icons in the image of tunar?

    1.    Rayonant said

      They are the Faenk folders making them depend on Faenza Dark.

  30.   Alrep said

    It was the second distro I tried and I stayed there for a long time until I switched to debian.
    But if it goes very well, what I like the most is the support for mousepad schematics and the new ones from thunar (which from my point of view is better than nautilus).

  31.   Ignacio Menz said

    Reviving posts ..
    Still looking forward to xfce 4.12 🙂

  32.   eliasmtz said

    I would think a great idea to do what unity did, the global menu, that cumbersome menu of almost all applications that has too much space on laptop PCs, every pixel is worth it on a small monitor; they should implement it, in some future 😉

  33.   Luis Alejandro CV said

    interesting I will install it

  34.   joaoco said

    Crazy, I want him to come, by God, it's very good, just what I want

  35.   Jonatan said

    I used very little XFCE, I liked that it offered a light and stable desktop, but there were things that did not convince me, I found a translation error and uploaded the Bug and I was pleased that they notified me that the bug had been accepted (http://git.xfce.org/xfce/xfdesktop/commit/?id=d5efeebceddef920630ce0551035e20ad65fd461) Anyway, this version that is coming is very promising I will have it as an alternative on some occasion. 😀