Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

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Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby GeneC on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:53 am

Fond this blog which I found of interest

http://lionel.lefolgoc.net/blog/article ... ian-ubuntu

Status of Xfce in Debian/Ubuntu
Written by Lionel


This is a short summary of the status of Xfce (especially 4.10) in Debian and Ubuntu.

Debian

To sum up: 4.6 is in squeeze, 4.8 in testing/sid/wheezy, 4.10 core in experimental.

We packaged 4.10 in experimental, but it only covers core packages (apt-get install xfce4). Goodies that haven't been rebuilt since 4.8 (e.g. panel plugins) will not work with 4.10. Don't upgrade if you need a special panel plugin and don't know how to rebuild it, or don't know what you're doing.

It's very likely that the next stable release (wheezy) will stick to Xfce 4.8. The main reason: direct upgrades from 4.6 to 4.10 are unsupported, untested, and very glitchy (xfce4-panel and xfce4-session don't like that very much, you'll experience problems to close your session from your Xfce desktop after the upgrade). Another important reason is the date of the freeze (expected in June). The Release team is currently fighting with transitions -- a backlog of two months according to some of its members --, and to "help" them some maintainers start uncoordinated transitions (e.g. mysql, gcc-defaults).


Ubuntu

Executive summary: precise has 4.8, quantal 4.10.

People wonder why "we chose to stick to 4.8 for the LTS, as 4.10 release was very close and known". Actually, the release schedule of Xfce 4.10 has been uncertain for several months, and only clarified around FOSDEM. That wouldn't have left us much time to package/test/check for regressions (hint: LTS) before the feature freeze. That's why I chose to keep Xfce 4.8, and of course you're free to think I was wrong. Still, I wasn't so lazy, and backported several useful features from xfce4-settings and xfdesktop 4.9.x to precise. Also, most of the changes included in 4.10 have been made by one single person, that's not a big number of active core developers. The current Thunar developer is also very busy at work, that's why the improved sidepane rewrite hasn't made its way into 4.10.

Obviously, Xubuntu 12.10 will ship Xfce 4.10 (it's already been in quantal for a week). I maintain a PPA for precise too, many people are using it, and I didn't receive too many complaints. ;-)


Xfce 4.12 and future

The current plan (feel free to read the Xfce development mailing list) is to keep using gtk+2 for Xfce 4.12. Xfce developers experienced an increased memory consumption when they ported and tested some components to gtk+3. Some of them also feel it's less fun for them to spend another development cycle only to port to gtk+3.

With my Xubuntu developer hat on (all distribution packagers will probably feel the same), I can say this will make my life a nightmare until the next LTS (and Xfce 4.14). Some Canonical/Ayatana/Unity people are very good at trashing "outdated technologies": one insane person, with apparently no knowledge of the Ubuntu archive -- he has upload rights, that's very reassuring --, even proposed to drop gtk+2 from the archive for 14.04 (for reference, it took more than 5 years to transition away from gtk+1), of course without offering his help to attain that goal.

So, yes, I very much disagree with the decision to stick to gtk+2 for Xfce 4.12, but I'm not the one maintaining core components, nor doing the porting, and if active Xfce developers don't find that fun, you can't force them, unless you want them to burn out, and you know I don't want that. :-)
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby ukbrian on Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:31 pm

+1
Thanks for the info friend, I guess that means Xfce won't run on SolusOS 2 only SolusOS 1, that's bad news I only enjoy using Xfce the others annoy me.
How many Xfce OS's do you run?
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby GeneC on Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:32 pm

Hiya Brian.. :D
You should have no problem in SolusOS 1 or 2(Wheezy) with XFCE
Debian

To sum up: 4.6 is in squeeze,
4.8 in testing/sid/wheezy,
4.10 core in experimental.


I've become quite fond of XFCE. I had been a Gnome exclusively user, but got dis-enamored with it. Too much useless flash, too many rapid changes. Too much hunting around for 'applets'...

Right now running
1. LMDE-XFCE 4.8 tracking SID
2. Mint 13 XFCE 4.10

Both rock steady and do everything I want. I've got them set up pretty much like I had old lovable :oops: Gnome 2.3 with a top panel, AWN dock at bottom, and an 'autohide; docky on the right side with 2ndary 'favorites'....SWEET!.... :lol:

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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby squeezy on Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:38 pm

Ha! I just set up an Xfce/SID install, posting from it right now :)

What theme are you using, Gene? I have mine set up to look like the old Mint 9 Xfce edition. Kind of a retro/modern thing going on.
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby GeneC on Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:49 pm

squeezy

Its about the only 'dark' theme that works for me with all apps.

Theme is not stock at all..... :lol:
A modified 'selene' (made scroll bars wider, change background color 2 shades lighter).
Window Borders are 'GnomishDark'. (nice BIG re-size grippers)
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby aes2011 on Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:33 pm

.
+1 for posting this link from me as well. Nice to know about the behind-the-scenes activity!
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby squeezy on Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:17 pm

GeneC wrote:squeezy

Its about the only 'dark' theme that works for me with all apps.

Theme is not stock at all..... :lol:
A modified 'selene' (made scroll bars wider, change background color 2 shades lighter).
Window Borders are 'GnomishDark'. (nice BIG re-size grippers)


Hmmm, never tried modding a theme yet. You're getting me in deeper and deeper!
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby jjaythomas on Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:30 am

Read that also

I would think 'Debian 7' will keep to 4.8 (easier upgrade) But testing (hence normal LMDE) will get 4.10 after the release and freeze over. (probally right after)

P.S. found 4.10 works good but be on the lookout for panel plugins ect. that don't play nice (including the 'goodies' meta package as a whole).
Got around with a Conky for the plugins (I use on panel atleast) :wink:

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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby ukbrian on Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:40 am

GeneC
You should have no problem in SolusOS 1 or 2(Wheezy) with XFCE
I hope your right
Ikey is using Gnome 3 in his Alpha Wheezy version does that make a difference? as it's quite important to my long term thinking.

I went looking for another desktop when testing came out of the freeze 18 months ago and things became more difficult with LMDE and settled on SalineOS 1 Xfce and it's been my main man for the last trouble free 18 months.

Anthony Nordquist the developer has just released SalineOS 2 Dev you might enjoy having a play with, I spent 7 hrs yesterday installing it and doing the basic new OS tweaks. I make install videos so I was doing more thinking than anything else.
He's also written some very handy utils that run on LMDE, he uses a slightly modified version of remastersys but a much better installer also a thing he calls Grub Doctor to fix MBR's

I use custom menus in a self contained folder on a data partition with Xfce so that all my xfce installs on my machine LMDE, Xubuntu, SolusOS all use the same menu files.

I unpack Firefox ESR and Thunderbird ESR into folders on my data partition so all the OS's on that machine use the same executables and profiles, it makes my life so much easier than maintaining multiple copies, i've started looking at what other apps I can do the same with so I can slim down my installed apps for quicker backups.

I'm going to record a video of installing and then the initial desktop tweaks with SalineOS 2 today, I'll PM you a link if you want so you can see how easy custom menus make an initial install.

I know you use Clonezilla and could you tell me if it backs up windows 7 partitions?
If it does then it would be well worth doing a simple GUI for it.
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby GeneC on Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:34 am

ukbrian wrote:
GeneC
You should have no problem in SolusOS 1 or 2(Wheezy) with XFCE
I hope your right
Ikey is using Gnome 3 in his Alpha Wheezy version does that make a difference? as it's quite important to my long term thinking.


Brian. Gnome and XFCE can exist well on the same installation. My Debian - Shell 3.4/SID partition has both Gnome 3.4 (shell) and XFCE. Sometimes Nautilus gives some problems with XFCE (like taking over the desktop). If that's a problem just remove Nautilus.
viewtopic.php?f=220&t=107701

I went looking for another desktop when testing came out of the freeze 18 months ago and things became more difficult with LMDE and settled on SalineOS 1 Xfce and it's been my main man for the last trouble free 18 months.
Anthony Nordquist the developer has just released SalineOS 2 Dev you might enjoy having a play with, I spent 7 hrs yesterday installing it and doing the basic new OS tweaks. I make install videos so I was doing more thinking than anything else.
He's also written some very handy utils that run on LMDE, he uses a slightly modified version of remastersys but a much better installer also a thing he calls Grub Doctor to fix MBR's


Hmm. :) I will take a look at SalineOS. Thanks for that.

I use custom menus in a self contained folder on a data partition with Xfce so that all my xfce installs on my machine LMDE, Xubuntu, SolusOS all use the same menu files.
..................
I'm going to record a video of installing and then the initial desktop tweaks with SalineOS 2 today, I'll PM you a link if you want so you can see how easy custom menus make an initial install.


Yes, PM me the link.
My ONLY complaint about XFCE is the difficulty (for me :cry: ) of customizing menus. Alacarte does little to nothing. LXMED works to some degree but not all changes there show up in XFCE menu? I looked at editing the text files manually, but that left me crosseyed...
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I know you use Clonezilla and could you tell me if it backs up windows 7 partitions?
If it does then it would be well worth doing a simple GUI for it.


Yep! No problems cloning Windows or ANY partition or whole drive.
Its not really that hard to use, after the first somewhat intimidating try..... :lol:
First time, you want to read all the text.
From then on you just breeze right through it.
Nice tutorial
http://clonezilla.org/show-live-doc-con ... disk_image
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby GeneC on Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:49 am

jjaythomas wrote:Read that also

I would think 'Debian 7' will keep to 4.8 (easier upgrade) But testing (hence normal LMDE) will get 4.10 after the release and freeze over. (probally right after)

P.S. found 4.10 works good but be on the lookout for panel plugins ect. that don't play nice (including the 'goodies' meta package as a whole).
Got around with a Conky for the plugins (I use on panel atleast) :wink:

J.Jay


JJ
Yes, I upgraded to 4.10 in SID, but was a bit disappointed, as you say, not all applets worked. Went back to 4.8 on SID. Will wait. Not missing much with 4.8.
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby jjaythomas on Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:12 pm

I also don't really miss anything in 4.10 compared to 4.8 Except...

The app finder makes a great Menu (can get a MintMenu feel) in the icon view and playing with preferences (and setting in setting editor :P ).

Work great as allway there backgrond. :wink: Going to try as a basis of tablet (TC1100) staying active in background/as wallpaper. Now doing similiar with MintMenu (but not having to activate from panel first :) . But looking for tranparency or theming support (white background/canvas sucks).

J.Jay
EDIT big icons work easier for old eyes compared to menu lists. :mrgreen:
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby GeneC on Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:09 pm

Hey JJ

I agree. App Finder makes a nicer menu than xfce appmenu.... :P

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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby jjaythomas on Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:51 pm

I agree. App Finder makes a nicer menu than xfce appmenu....


have to try that theme :D :D

I use settings for size and where window is (I keep app Finder runing in background) I also have a auto-hide panel next to for favorites type drag droping of icons.

Wonder if '4.10 app finder' will work stand alone in 4.8 (old eyes like the icon view :roll: and sizable)

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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby dajare on Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:51 am

jjaythomas wrote:
I agree. App Finder makes a nicer menu than xfce appmenu....


... Wonder if '4.10 app finder' will work stand alone in 4.8 (old eyes like the icon view :roll: and sizable)


Does anyone in these parts have experience of Cardapio for doing this sort of thing? I saw it mentioned on the Xfce forum, and it looks intriguing.
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby GeneC on Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:03 am

dajare wrote:Does anyone in these parts have experience of Cardapio for doing this sort of thing? I saw it mentioned on the Xfce forum, and it looks intriguing.


Take a look here... :)
http://forum.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.ph ... 24&start=0

It was problematic. I had to keep reloading it every-time I logged in. It has a bunch of Gnome dependencies. Also you need xfapplet (not yet available in XFCE-LMDE).
But that attempt was a while back.(6 months ago).

It would be a great addition if the bugs could be sorted out. When xfapplet comes to LMDE/XFCE I may try it again.


=============================
GnoMenu also somewhat worked.
I liked this one better.
viewtopic.php?f=110&t=97028
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby jjaythomas on Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:14 am

Soor for new post (geting way way off topic)

Tried new 12.04.01 activated 4.10 repo and tried bringing app-finder (without recomends), Wants all (most?) of 4.10 as dependecies. So probally will still break some plugins and such :(

J.Jay

you do have 'xfapplet' on Maya13-Xfce (hence cardapio) (might as well use MintMenu in MayaX)
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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby GeneC on Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:18 pm

WARNING: The following may break your system.
If you are going to try it make a CLONE first.


I was playing today as well.
Got tired of waiting for 4.10 to come to SID, so enable Experimental...AND
Commit Log for Fri Aug 24 09:40:24 2012


Removed the following packages:
xfce4-datetime-plugin
xfce4-places-plugin
xfce4-utils
xfce4-weather-plugin

Upgraded the following packages:
exo-utils (0.6.2-5) to 0.8.0-1
libexo-1-0 (0.6.2-5) to 0.8.0-1
libgarcon-1-0 (0.1.12-1) to 0.2.0-1
libgarcon-common (0.1.12-1) to 0.2.0-1
libthunarx-2-0 (1.2.3-4+b1) to 1.4.0-1
libxfce4ui-1-0 (4.8.1-1) to 4.10.0-1
libxfce4util-bin (4.8.2-1) to 4.10.0-2
libxfce4util-common (4.8.2-1) to 4.10.0-2
libxfcegui4-4 (4.8.1-5) to 4.10.0-1
libxfconf-0-2 (4.8.1-1) to 4.10.0-1
thunar (1.2.3-4+b1) to 1.4.0-1
thunar-data (1.2.3-4) to 1.4.0-1
thunar-volman (0.6.1-1) to 0.8.0-1
xfce-keyboard-shortcuts (4.8.1-1) to 4.10.0-1
xfce4-panel (4.8.6-4) to 4.10.0-1
xfce4-session (4.8.3-2+b1) to 4.10.0-1
xfce4-settings (4.8.3-2) to 4.10.0-1
xfconf (4.8.1-1) to 4.10.0-1
xfdesktop4 (4.8.3-2) to 4.10.0-2
xfdesktop4-data (4.8.3-2) to 4.10.0-2
xfwm4 (4.8.3-1) to 4.10.0-2
xfwm4-themes (4.6.0-3) to 4.10.0-1

Installed the following packages:
libxfce4util6 (4.10.0-2)
xfce4-appfinder (4.10.0-1)
gtk2-engines-xfce (3.0.0-1)
gtk3-engines-xfce (3.0.0-1)


That got me to 4.10 but with some applets not yet available.
xfce4-appfinder (4.10.0-1) was though. :)

Only thing misssing was xfapplet.. :?
Don't advise this next part. But just an experiment.. IT COULD BREAK your system.

I enabled the Mint Maya repo (Ubuntu with Debian..... :shock: :shock: )
apt-get would not solved dependencies for xfapplet
It needed a bunch of MATE packages

But APTITUDE would.

Code: Select all
gene@zordon:~$ sudo aptitude install xfce4-xfapplet-plugin
[sudo] password for gene:


The following actions will resolve these dependencies:

      Remove the following packages:             
1)      lzma   ( Compression and decompression in the LZMA format - command line utility  )                           

      Install the following packages:           
2)      fuse-utils [2.9.0-5 (unstable)]         
3)      libmate [1.2.0-1 (debian)]               
4)      libmate-common [1.2.0-1 (debian)]       
5)      libmatecanvas [1.2.0-1 (debian)]         
6)      libmatecomponent [1.2.0-1~mate (debian)]
7)      libmatecomponentui [1.2.0-1 (debian)]   
8)      libmateconf [1.2.1-0 (debian)]           
9)      libmatecorba [1.2.1-1 (debian)]         
10)     libmatevfs [1.2.0-1 (debian)]           
11)     mate-conf [1.2.1-0 (debian)]             
12)     mate-conf-common [1.2.1-1~precise (maya)]
13)     mate-corba [1.2.1-1 (debian)]           
14)     mate-keyring [1.2.1-1 (debian)]         
15)     mate-mime-data [1.2.2-1+precise (maya)] 
16)     mate-vfs [1.2.0-1 (debian)]             
17)     mate-vfs-common [1.2.0-1 (debian)]       



Accept this solution? [Y/n/q/?] y

-----------------------

The following NEW packages will be installed:
  fuse-utils{a} libmate{a} libmate-common{a} libmatecanvas{a} libmatecomponent{a} libmatecomponentui{a} libmateconf{a} libmatecorba{a} libmatevfs{a}
  mate-conf{a} mate-conf-common{a} mate-corba{a} mate-keyring{a} mate-mime-data{a} mate-vfs{a} mate-vfs-common{a} xfce4-xfapplet-plugin
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  lzma{a}
0 packages upgraded, 17 newly installed, 1 to remove and 2 not upgraded.
Need to get 8,602 kB of archives. After unpacking 36.9 MB will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?]


Now I have xfapplet.

Next to get Mintmenu...
Code: Select all
gene@zordon:~$ sudo aptitude install mintmenu

The following actions will resolve these dependencies:

     Install the following packages:   
1)     libmatedesktop [1.2.0-0 (debian)]
2)     libmatekeyring [1.2.0-1 (debian)]
3)     libmatemenu [1.2.0-1 (debian)]   
4)     libmateui [1.2.0-1 (debian)]     
5)     mate-menus [1.2.0-1 (debian)]   
6)     python-corba [1.2.0-1 (debian)] 


Accept this solution? [Y/n/q/?] y

The following NEW packages will be installed:
  libmatedesktop{a} libmatekeyring{a} libmatemenu{a} libmatepanelapplet{a} libmateui{a} mate-menus{a} mint-common{a} mint-translations{a} mintmenu
  python-corba{a} python-mate{a} python-mate-desktop{a} python-mate-menu{a}
0 packages upgraded, 13 newly installed, 0 to remove and 15 not upgraded.
Need to get 4,536 kB of archives. After unpacking 17.5 MB will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?] y


Worked just fine..... :mrgreen:

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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby jjaythomas on Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:31 pm

two much for me (I'm a WUZ)

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Re: Status of XFCE in Debian/Ubuntu

Postby GeneC on Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:19 pm

JJ
I would not do it to my main XFCE partition. :cry:
I have a spare partition that I use for experiments. If something breaks.. Not a big problem.
Just my luck Clem will probably port xfapplet and mint menu to LMDE in a couple of days..... :lol:

I thought I read somewhere that he would have XFCE 4.10, and Mint Menu for Update Pack 5... :?
Doesn't look like that will be..
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