Xfce 4.2.0 Release Announcements (Draft 1)
I. Short announcement (for posting on news sites)
Xfce 4.2.0 released
The Xfce Team is pleased to announce
the availability of Xfce 4.2.0, the next major version of the Xfce Desktop
Environment and Development Framework for Unix and Unix-like platforms.
Xfce 4.2.0 can be downloaded from here.
Xfce 4.2.0 includes new applications, like a session manager and an
application finder, a new and innovative icon theme, support for
bleeding edge features (like the X.org Composite extension), usability
and performance improvements, better support for multihead desktops,
new and updated translations, additional themes, and various other
improvements over the previous stable releases. See this page (link to changelog) for a complete list
of changes between Xfce 4.0 and Xfce 4.2.
Furthermore, Xfce 4.2 is the first desktop environment to ship with an
easy to use and platform independent graphical installation wizard,
which takes care of compiling and installing Xfce on your system.
Visit the os-cillation
installers website for download links and instructions.
If you want to try Xfce 4.2.0 first, without necessarily installing it
on your system, you might want to try the Xfce Live Demo 0.2, provided by os-cillation to demonstrate
the power and high fitness for use of Xfce.
II. Website announcement
Xfce 4.2.0 released
Today the Xfce project has released
version 4.2.0 of its Desktop Environment and Development Framework for
Unix and Unix-like platforms, based on the Gtk+ toolkit and designed
following the Freedesktop
specifications. It can be downloaded from here.
Xfce 4.2 is the first desktop environment to ship with an easy to
use and platform independent graphical installation wizard, which
takes care of compiling and installing both Xfce and contributed
packages on your computer. Visit the os-cillation installer
website for download links and instructions.
The new Xfce desktop, while still being lightweight and easy to install,
offers several new and awaited features in comparison with its previous
4.0 stable release, like a brand new session manager, keyboard shortcuts
and a graphical desktop menu editor, multihead support (Xinerama and
Multi-Screen mode), Kiosk Mode support, optional support for
icons in the desktop menu, a desktop menu plugin for the panel,
CUPS and BSD-LPR printing support, a new icon theme, and various
other small enhancements. Moreover, Xfce 4.2 provides bleeding
edge features, like a compositing manager for xfwm4 (a manager for
the new Xorg Composite extension, which brings true transparency to the
Xfce desktop) and support of the XDG base directory specification (see
for an explanation of the new file locations). A
complete list of changes between Xfce 4.0 and 4.2 is available on
this page (link to change log).
It includes, among others, the following applications:
Window manager (xfwm4): The Xfce 4.2 window manager
with optional support for the new Xorg Composite extension
Panel (xfce4-panel): It provides easy-to-setup
detachable menus and application launchers and is compatible with
the numerous plug-ins provided by the Xfce Goodies Project,
including the popular taskbar plugin
Desktop manager (xfdesktop): the desktop background
and root window menu manager
Session manager (xfce4-session): allows you to
restore your desktop the way you left it
File manager (xffm): a fast file manager, with
double pane and integrated samba network browser
Utilities (xfce-utils): includes the Xfce user guide,
and, among other tools, xftaskbar4, a separate taskbar
that provides an intuitive way to manage windows
Application finder (xfce4-appfinder): a new
application, which allows you to search, launch, and find
information about applications installed on your system
Iconbox (xfce4-iconbox): an icon box that can
be used as an alternative to the taskbar
Settings manager (xfce-mcs-manager and
xfce-mcs-plugins): provides a centralized Multi-Channel
Settings manager and plugins, which allow instant application of
Print manager (xfprint): the print dialog and manager
In addition, Xfce 4.2 has its own Gtk+ theme engine and window
manager themes that allow homogeneity in applications for both
business and personal desktops.
If you want to try Xfce 4.2.0 first, without necessarily installing
it on your system or if you are looking for a nice Xfce 4.2 based
Linux-Live CD, you might want to try the Xfce Live Demo 0.2, provided by os-cillation. Xfld is a
Live CD based on Knoppix, that features Xfce 4.2 as its primary
Huge progress has been made in the area of internationalization,
and so Xfce 4.2.0 is now available in about 41 different languages,
thanks to the impressive work of our translators.
About the Xfce Project: The Xfce Project is a collaboration of
international developers working together to develop a desktop
environment that is both lightweight and full featured. Keeping
with the Unix philosophy of small, modular programs that are
very good at doing one thing, the Xfce Project has created a
desktop environment which consists of lightweight components
which can be strung together in virtually any configuration to
create a desktop solution that fits any user just right.
III. Press Announcement
Xfce 4.2.0 released
The next major version of the popular, multi-platform desktop environment
brings new applications and numerous improvements to the existing
Siegen, Germany -- January 09, 2005 --
The Xfce Team today announced the release of version 4.2.0 of the
Xfce Desktop Environment and Development Framework for Unix and
Unix-like platforms. Xfce 4.2 adds several new applications, support
for bleeding edge features, greater usability, performance
and better internationalization to the desktop environment.
Xfce 4.2 consists of a number of components that together provide the
full functionality of the desktop environment. They are packaged
separately and users can pick and choose from the available packages to
create the best personal working environment. Xfce 4.2 includes some
new applications, like a session manager, an application finder and a
menu editor, and comes with a new and innovative icon theme, which
complies with the freedesktop.org icon theme standard. The existing
applications have been improved in the areas of functionality, usability
and interoperability with other applications and desktop environments.
In addition to that, Xfce 4.2 supports bleeding edge features like the
new X.org Composite extension and related extensions, which enables
you to use real transparency for the windows on your desktop. To obtain
the best possible user experience, Xfce 4.2 includes several new themes
for a perfect, unified working environment.
With the ever increasing popularity of the Xfce desktop environment,
people have started to write 3rd-party applications that enhance the
basic desktop functionality provided by Xfce. Besides the various
additional panel plugins available from the Xfce Goodies project,
there are currently two applications available, that were developed
with focus on Xfce. These applications are Xfmedia, which
is a lightweight media player with a nice and intuitive user interface,
and Terminal, which is
a lightweight and easy to use terminal emulator for Xfce.
Xfce is Free Software. The separate components are released under either
the BSD license, the GNU Lesser General Public License or the GNU
General Public License. The source code is freely available and while
Xfce is highly portable to all Unix flavors, there is already native
support and packages for many popular Linux distributions, SPARC and
x86 Solaris 8/9, FreeBSD 4.x and 5.x, NetBSD 1.x and 2.x, OpenBSD 3.x,
while more Unix and other X11-based plattforms are expected to be
supported out-of-the-box soon.
Xfce is a free software project that provides a lightweight desktop
environment for Unix and Unix-like operating systems. It aims to be
fast and lightweight, while remaining visually appealing and easy to
install and use. Originally built as a free alternative to industry's
standard desktop environment, CDE, it has evolved into a completely
new, innovative and widely deployed desktop environment with exceedingly
growing popularity. Currently, more than 60 developers, translators,
artists and helpers from every corner of the globe contribute their and
effort to the project.
About the Xfce Team
The Xfce Team is comprised of many volunteer developers, translators,
artists and others who are committed to the advancement of the Xfce
desktop environment. The group helps determining Xfce's vision and
roadmap. Xfce is a free software project which develops a lightweight
desktop environment for Unix and Unix-like operating systems. The
project offers a responsive, stable, efficient, intuitive and innovative
user interface with minimum migration path as it is among the very few
fully compliant, with the freedesktop.org standards, desktop
Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other names and
trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
IV. List of changes between 4.0 and 4.2 (for the website)
Most important changes between Xfce 4.0 and 4.2
- Minimum required GTK version is 2.2 (2.4 is recommended).
- Improved Xinerama support.
- Improved support for Cygwin.
- Support for partial struts in xfwm4, xftaskbar4 and xfce4-panel.
- Freedesktop specifications compliance for menu and icons themes.
- New file locations based on the Freedesktop.org
XDG Basedir Specification
(all Xfce settings are now stored under the ~/.config/xfce4/
- New and updated translations.
- Support for kiosk mode, in which the allowed user actions
can be restricted in xfce4-session, xfce4-panel, and xfdesktop
(see included doc/README.Kiosk files).
Window Manager (xfwm4)
- Native multiscreen support (manage all screens from a single window
- Enhanced support for Xinerama.
- Support for more hints from the Freedesktop.org Extended Window
Manager Hints specification version 1.3 and above.
- Supports the Show Desktop protocol.
- Supports KDE context help.
- Support KDE system tray icons.
- Window menu features an Always on top option.
- Graphical keyboard shorcuts editor included in the xfwm settings
- Xfwm4 now has his own optional compositing manager (a manager for the
new X Composite extension present in X.org 6.8). This adds a
dropshadow to all windows and supports setting window transparency by
applications themselves or by using a tool like transset.
- Improved focus management.
- Support for image composition with PNG images layered above the pixmap
frame, allowing for gradients or other color effects.
- Completely new default look. Several new themes added.
- Change location of themes to be more in line with gtk, metacity,
- Application's icon and name shown in the Alt+Tab dialog.
Settings Manager (xfce-mcs-manager)
- New dialog layout: buttons have a label below icon and are arranged
in multiple columns.
- Font rendering setup dialog.
- Merged Desktop Workspaces and Workspace Margins dialogs.
- Display resolution and gamma correction dialog.
- API version was bumped (plugins linked against the old version
won't work until you recompile them).
- Customizable icons.
New Session Manager (xfce4-session)
- New module in 4.2: manage applications on Xfce startup.
- Themeable splash screen engines.
- System shutdown/reboot support using the sudo mechanism.
- Major performance improvements over the previous snapshot
- GNOME/KDE compatibility.
- Native multihead support (Xinerama and multiscreen).
- Doesn't rely on smproxy (or any rewrite like gnome-smproxy), but
provides (partial) session management, even for non-SM or X11R5-SM
- Kiosk mode support.
Desktop Manager (xfdesktop)
- Gradient support for background color.
- Brightness adjustment for the backdrop.
- Real multiscreen and Xinerama support.
- Support for icons in window list and applications menu.
- Ability to disable/enable icons in each menu, or the menus
- Graphical menu editor with DnD support from xfce4-appfinder and
.desktop files from Rox, Konqueror, Nautilus, Xffm, etc.
- Add "-menu", "-windowlist" and "-reload" options for "xfdesktop",
to be use in keybindings.
- Support for 'system' menu, which lists all apps that install
*.desktop files according to the Freedesktop.org Menu
- Panel plugin to show the menu (yes, it's a Start button).
- Use a menu cache to improve performance after it has been generated
- Kiosk mode support.
File Manager (xffm)
- Two independent panes (eliminated confusing behaviour from
- Completely reworked toolbars and menus.
- Better archiving support (creating tar/tar.gz/tar.bz2 archives).
- Improved trash handling with support for GNOME and KDE trash
- Use global icon theme (user interface dialog).
- Allow user customization of icon themes.
- Improved Samba support (allow mount/unmount, double click,
- Keeps track of recently and frequently opened files.
- Applications branch is now a toolbar (only avaiable if compiled
- Ability to change file name, group, owner and mode allowed from
inline row editing.
- Dynamic sidebar.
- Improved Asian language support.
- Pastelink option added (i.e., create symlinks to pasteboard
- Recursive scrambling of directories (only avaiable if compiled
- Mount/unmount of fstab points allowed from outside fstab branch
(by popup menu).
- Mouse selection behaviour configurable by user.
- Verbose/nonverbose diagnostics configurable by user.
- Renaming of bookmark elements allowed.
- Noticeable performance improvements under the hood.
- Search window called directly by invoking xfglob4.
- Files opened directly with associated mimetype application if
invoked with "xffm filename" (path to filename can be absolute,
relative or relative to homedir).
- New look with smaller move handles and new default icons.
- Uses global icon theme setting (in user interface dialog).
- Improved resizing and moving behaviour; panel is forced to be on
the edges of the screen.
- The panel is now a dock type window, which means it will always
be on top.
- Improved focus handling; clicking on the panel will not remove
the focus from the currently active window.
- There can be only one panel per X screen. Multihead supported
when environment is set up properly (DISPLAY variable).
- Support for kiosk mode.
- Unload unused plugins and dynamically update plugin list. Use
dialog to add new panel items, instead of a submenu.
- Mail checker now supports mbox, Maildir and POP3.
- Support for dragging applications from xfce4-appfinder to aj
launcher properties dialog.
- Transparency when the X Composite extension is enabled and the
window manager supports it.
- Backward compatibility with the Xfce Goodies plugins available
- Configurable taskbar width and height.
- Taskbar has always group tasks option.
- Taskbar has selectable left/center/right alignment and variable
- Taskbar has right-click action menu.
- Call 'xfrun4 filename' to get an 'Open with...' dialog.
- Taskbar has option to show only icons.
- About dialog can be compiled with extra vendor information.
- Run dialog now properly checks if command fails.
- Updated user guide.
- Small changes to startup script and xfhelp4 script.
Volume Control (xfce4-mixer)
- Complete rewrite of the mixer with settings manager dialog.
- Mixer profiles.
- Support for ALSA, OSS and Sun audio.
New Application Finder (xfce4-appfinder)
- New module in Xfce 4.2: find (and run) applications.
- Alternative interface to the application menu.
Icon Box (xfce4-iconbox)
- Make iconbox a dock type window (always on top), like the panel.
- Make the iconbox transparency configurable when using the X Composite
Printing Helper (xfprint)
- Completely rewritten to use a pluggable printing backend system.
- Use either CUPS, BSD-LPR, or a file as the print
destination; printers are retrieved from the chosen printing
system (no need to add printers to the list manually).
Calendar and Appointments (xfcalendar)
- First day of the week option removed (managed through the
locale settings in gtk 2.4 and above).
Icon Theme (xfce4-icon-theme)
- New module in Xfce 4.2: Freedesktop.org icon theme with special
icons for Xfce; it includes both PNG and SVG icons.
Gtk+ Theme Engine
- Completely new default theme.
- Improved drawing of control elements to enhance usability.