Xfce 4.16 Desktop Environment Switches to Client-Side Decorations

Work on the upcoming Xfce 4.16 desktop environment continues in 2020 with a lot of new features and improvements that the community can test drive using the Xfce 4.15 development branch.

Xfce developer Simon Steinbeiß reports on the latest changes and improvements that have been added to the forthcoming Xfce 4.16 desktop environment release, and the biggest new feature so far is support for client-side decorations (CSD) or GtkHeaderBars for all dialogs.

“The first big step in this direction has now happened in libxfce4ui, our main user interface library. With the change, almost all dialogs will be converted to using CSD by default without any code changes in existing projects,” said developer Simon Steinbeiß in a recent blog post.

Dark panel now enabled by default

Among other enhancements that landed lately for the Xfce 4.16 desktop environment, we can mention that the Xfce Panel’s dark mode is now enabled by default to look nicer with the Adwaita theme, the application icon lookup was improved, and it’s now possible to create files and folders directly from the Directory Menu plugin.

Several dialogs received improvements as well, starting with the “About Xfce” dialog, which now displays basic information about the system properties and the right Xfce version. Furthermore, the “Display” dialog now shows Aspect Ratio and Preferred Mode, and the “Appearance” dialog now only shows GTK3 themes.

If you can’t wait for the final release of the Xfce 4.16 desktop environment to hit the streets around June 2020, you can test drive the 4.15 packages from the unstable repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution, if they’re available. Xfce 4.16 will be the first release of the open-source desktop environment to drop GTK2 support.

Settings manager

Settings manager

About Xfce dialog

About Xfce dialog

Appearance Adwaita

Appearance Adwaita

Panel sys tray

Panel sys tray

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