Xfce 4.6 ALPHA ('Pinkie') Released!!!

Stephan Arts stephan at xfce.org
Sun Sep 14 14:16:57 CEST 2008

Hello everybody,

After about 18 months of development, we are pleased to announce the release
of Xfce 4.6 ALPHA, codename 'Pinkie'.

Xfce 4.6 is going to be the next major release of the Xfce desktop
environment. The previous release was 4.4 with the last bugfix release
being 4.4.2 released in December 2007.

The release schedule for Xfce 4.6 is available to the public on

What's new?

Xfce 4.6 comes with a lot of new components, some of them replacing old
code and some of them being completely new. A preliminary ChangeLog for
the alpha release can be found at


There is also a page which contains general information about the
components of Xfce 4.6 and changes that are supposed to go into 4.6:


Updated components:

  * Thunar
  * exo
  * libxfce4util
  * libxfcegui4
  * xfce-utils
  * xfce4-dev-tools
  * xfce4-panel
  * xfce4-session
  * xfdesktop
  * xfprint
  * xfwm4

Replaced components:

  * libxfce4mcs      => xfconf
  * xfce-mcs-manager => xfconf, xfce4-settings
  * xfce-mcs-plugins => xfce4-settings
  * xfce4-mixer      => xfce4-mixer (rewrite)
  * xfce4-appfinder  => xfce4-appfinder (rewrite)

New components:

  * libxfce4menu (used by xfdesktop and xfce4-appfinder)

Excerpt of new features:

  * While Xfce 4.4 shipped a centralized settings storage system with
    dynamically loaded plugins, 4.6 features a D-Bus based settings
    daemon (xfconfd). All settings dialogs are just standalone
    applications now which makes the whole platform more flexible. You
    can now much easier write a settings dialog and remove/add
    components from/to Xfce.

  * In addition to xfconf and the settings dialogs being ported to
    xfconf, there will also be tools addressed to users who would you
    like to have direct access to the settings. There is a shell
    application xfconf-query which allows to list/get/set properties
    and a graphical settings editor is in development and will most
    likely be part of 4.6 as well.

  * We have tried to make the keyboard shortcuts settings more
    transparent to the user. Shortcut themes have been completely
    dropped and there are dialogs now which help resolving conflicting
    shortcuts between xfce4-settings (command shortcuts) and xfwm4
    (window manager shortcuts).

  * The settings dialogs will be available as standalone apps but they
    will also support embedding into the main Xfce settings dialog
    which helps making the desktop less intrusive.

  * In 4.4 xfdesktop used a pseudo-fd.o-compliant menu system. In 4.6
    this is replaced by libxfce4menu which aims at implementing the
    fd.o menu spec. It's still in development but covers enough of the
    specification already to replace the old code.

  * The volume control (xfce4-mixer) has been replaced with a
    completely new mixer based on GStreamer 0.10. This removes the need
    to maintain support code for different sound architectures and also
    provides some new features.

Base dependencies

Xfce 4.6 is going to depend on GTK+ 2.10 and GLib 2.12. There are some
optional features available with more recent versions like with the
tooltips API of GTK+ 2.12. Some of the (optional or not optional)
dependencies introduced by core components include:

  * gstreamer 0.10
  * gstreamer-plugins-base 0.10
  * libnotify >= 0.4.0
  * hal-storage >= 0.5.7
  * libstartup-notification-1.0 >= 0.5
  * libglade-2.0 >= 2.0.0
  * dbus-glib-1 >= 0.72
  * dbus-1 >= 1.0.0
  * libwnck-1.0 >= 2.12
  * cairo >= 1.0.0
  * xrandr >= 1.1.0

For a complete list, look here:


Known Issues

As this is a development-release, we do not claim it is perfect. Here
is a list of issues we have already identified:

  * Some Xfce Menu items are unsorted.
  * xfdesktop and xfce4-menu-plugin can crash when installing new
    .desktop files or icons.
  * xfwm4 does not use the keyboard shortcuts configured in the settings dialog.
  * xfce4-settings-editor cannot be used to edit settings.
    It does show some of them though.
  * Due to a bug in xfce4-settings-editor using the wrong API, it depends
    on glib 2.14 instead of 2.12.
  * Workspaces settings dialog is missing the margins settings.
  * Workspaces settings dialog cannot set workspace names.
  * Icons for app launchers are not shown properly on the desktop.
  * "Help" buttons in settings dialogs aren't hooked up yet.

Downloading Xfce 4.6 ALPHA

Getting excited? You can download xfce 4.6 alpha from here:


We hope you have a lot of fun trying out this new Xfce. If you find
any issues, don't hesitate to check out http://bugzilla.xfce.org/ and
look for the bug, or submit a new report if your issues are not
already mentioned.

Kind regards,

The Xfce development team

You might need to be a little patient until the mirrors have synced.

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