Four more years! Four more years! Svelte Linux desktop Xfce gets first big update since 2015

Hop from 4.12 to 4.14 fixes 'a boatload of bugs'. Hooray!


In contrast to the frenetic pace of updates now typical in the software industry, the team behind Xfce, a lightweight desktop for Linux, have released version 4.14 nearly four-and-a-half years since the last stable release, 4.12.

Xfce aims to be fast, consume minimal resources and embody the UNIX philosophy of modularity. Its features include a window manager, a desktop manager, a file manager and an application finder.

The product is not exclusively for Linux, but works on other UNIX-like operating systems including FreeBSD. Its origins go back to 1996, when it was created by Olivier Fourdan. The name initially stood for XForms Common Environment but is no longer relevant since in 2003 the project was converted to the GNOME Toolkit (Gtk).

Don't expect a ton of new features in version 4.14, but the announcement does refer to fixing "a boatload of bugs". The main goal was to port core components to Gtk 3 and from D-Bus Glib to GDBus, these last being client libraries for the Desktop Bus communication mechanism. Xfce's slow pace of development is entirely in keeping with its minimalist approach.

There are some features that users will notice, including an improved display dialogue with support for saving and restoring multi-screen configurations, an updated file manager, better support for keyboard (as opposed to mouse) users, a screensaver, and official adoption of a file search tool called Catfish. The complete list of changes and bug fixes is here.

Although 4.14 has been released, it will not immediately appear for users of systems like Xubuntu (a version of Ubuntu that uses Xfce) as it takes some time for distro-specific packages to be updated. That said, we installed 4.14 on Xubuntu by opting into the Staging PPA (Personal Package Archive), and wrote this piece on LibreOffice, which is part of the Xubuntu default installation.

Why would you use Xfce? The main reason would be either because it runs better on old or low-end hardware than systems like GNOME Desktop (used by the main Ubuntu distribution) and KDE, or because you prefer its performance and minimalist approach.®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022