How to upgrade xfce 4.10 to 4.12 in xubuntu

In this tutorial I will show you how to upgrade from xfce 4.10 to xfce 4.12 in Xubuntu 14.04 and Xubuntu 14.10. What is xfce? Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for Linux, Solaris, and BSD. Xfce is always my favorite GUI (Graphical user interface) since it has what I need without being too bloated with what I don’t need. I’m kind of a command line guy, I don’t rely on GUI much unless I do word processing for watching videos.

xfce-logo-150x150After 3 years long from Xfce 4.10, Xfce 4.12 is the newest stable version of Xfce lightweight Desktop Environment which is released in February 2015. The new Xfce desktop 4.12 fixed lots of bugs from 4.10 version with many new improvements & features for Development Tools, Utility Library, Widget Library, Extension Library, Menu Library, File Manager (thunar), Application Finder (xfce4-appfinder), Panel (xfce4-panel), Session Manager (xfce4-session), Settings Manager (xfce4-settings), Configuration Manager (xfconf), Desktop Manager (xfdesktop), Window Manager (xfwm4), Theme Engine (gtk-xfce-engine), Power Manager (xfce4-power-manager), and Thumbnail Generator (tumbler):

  •  New optional windows preview and list mode in Alt+Tab dialog in window manger
  • Support gtk3 graphical user interfaces’s library, updated lots of third-party plugins
  • Auto hide panels intelligently by themselves
    New dialog for wallpaper settings, support different wallpaper for each workspace
  • better suport for multi-monitor
  • Xfsettingsd now supports libinput (Libinput is a generic input library used by Wayland compositors and optionally as an X11 input driver, etc)
  • New plugin was created for power management to handle control batter/lid/brightness events, new locking via light-locker was implemented.
  • Bugs are fixed in file manger Thunar with new improvements like tab support (I was waiting for this feature for a long time)
  • Themes no longer requires theme engines but convert to CSS

Check current xfce version

You can use xfce4-about command to check what version of xfce you are running to make sure you have an old version of xfce 4.10

$ xfce4-about

Update your system

Make sure you system is updated before you update xfce 4.10 to 4.12. You should always have your system updated all the time, it helps your system run smoothly and keep it secured.

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Install/upgrade xfce 4.12

To install/upgrade xfce 4.10 to xfce 4.12 in Xubuntu 14.04/14.10, you will need to add the Xubuntu Dev PPA (ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12) and Xubuntu extras (ppa:xubuntu-dev/extras) to Ubuntu’s Software Sources for extra packages like xfdashboard, Pulseaudio plugin and etc…

$sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/extras
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Please note: backup your system before you do anything, running these commands at your own risk. These commands may not break my sytem but may to yours, so process with caution!

user@user-virtual-machine:~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12[sudo] password for user: 
 As always, install packages from PPA's at your own risk.

Xfce 4.12 packages for currently supported versions of Xubuntu. Please note that these are pre-release versions, which may contain annoying bugs and/or crash.

NOTE: For 12.04, you MUST enable the PPA for Xfce 4.10 packages (https://launchpad.net/~xubuntu-dev/+archive/xfce-4.10) as well.

If you need and/or want stable versions, wait for the final release date of Xfce 4.12. More information at http://wiki.xfce.org/releng/4.12/roadmap.
 More info: https://launchpad.net/~xubuntu-dev/+archive/ubuntu/xfce-4.12
Press [ENTER] to continue or ctrl-c to cancel adding it

gpg: keyring `/tmp/tmpxiv0fzz2/secring.gpg' created
gpg: keyring `/tmp/tmpxiv0fzz2/pubring.gpg' created
gpg: requesting key 142986CE from hkp server keyserver.ubuntu.com
gpg: /tmp/tmpxiv0fzz2/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created
gpg: key 142986CE: public key "Launchpad PPA for Xubuntu Developers" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg: imported: 1 (RSA: 1)
user@user-virtual-machine:~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/extras

 As always, install packages from PPA's at your own risk.

This is a preview PPA for Xubuntu. The packages in this PPA are considered for inclusion in the Ubuntu repositories and/or Xubuntu at a later time. The packages are uploaded for the convenience of people willing to preview the new features.

NOTE: The packages haven't undergone major testing and are not suitable for most installations!

There is no guarantee that these packages will make it into the Ubuntu repositories (or the Xubuntu seed) and they can be removed from the PPA at any time by the Xubuntu developers. Please DO NOT rely on this PPA for features you need in any installation.

File bugs!
Xfdashboard: https://bugzilla.xfce.org/buglist.cgi?component=General&product=Xfdashboard

Xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin: https://bugzilla.xfce.org/buglist.cgi?component=General&product=Xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin
 More info: https://launchpad.net/~xubuntu-dev/+archive/ubuntu/extras
Press [ENTER] to continue or ctrl-c to cancel adding it

gpg: keyring `/tmp/tmpvb108eub/secring.gpg' created
gpg: keyring `/tmp/tmpvb108eub/pubring.gpg' created
gpg: requesting key 142986CE from hkp server keyserver.ubuntu.com

gpg: /tmp/tmpvb108eub/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created
gpg: key 142986CE: public key "Launchpad PPA for Xubuntu Developers" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg: imported: 1 (RSA: 1)

You will be asked for permission to upgrade packages and install new packages to your system. Go ahead and say Y for yes.

The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
 libgtksourceview2.0-0 libgtksourceview2.0-common
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
The following NEW packages will be installed:
 gstreamer1.0-clutter libgtksourceview-3.0-1 libgtksourceview-3.0-common
 libxfce4util7 xfce4-power-manager-plugins
The following packages will be upgraded:
 catfish exo-utils gmusicbrowser libexo-1-0 libexo-common libexo-helpers
 libgarcon-1-0 libgarcon-common libthunarx-2-0 libtumbler-1-0 libxfce4ui-1-0
 libxfce4ui-2-0 libxfce4ui-common libxfce4ui-utils libxfce4util-bin
 libxfce4util-common libxfce4util6 libxfcegui4-4 libxfconf-0-2 menulibre
 mousepad mugshot orage parole ristretto thunar thunar-archive-plugin
 thunar-data thunar-volman tumbler tumbler-common xfburn xfce4-appfinder
 xfce4-cpugraph-plugin xfce4-dict xfce4-indicator-plugin
 xfce4-mailwatch-plugin xfce4-netload-plugin xfce4-notes xfce4-notes-plugin
 xfce4-notifyd xfce4-panel xfce4-places-plugin xfce4-power-manager
 xfce4-power-manager-data xfce4-quicklauncher-plugin xfce4-screenshooter
 xfce4-session xfce4-settings xfce4-systemload-plugin xfce4-taskmanager
 xfce4-terminal xfce4-verve-plugin xfce4-volumed xfce4-weather-plugin
 xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin xfce4-xkb-plugin xfconf xfdesktop4 xfdesktop4-data
61 upgraded, 5 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 14.7 MB of archives.
After this operation, 8,948 kB of additional disk space will be used.

After the installation process is done, you can now reboot your system

@ sudo reboot

By now you should have xfce 4.12 installed in your Xubuntu 14.04/14.10. You can run xfce4-about command again to confirm.

$ xfce4-about

Uninstall/Remove xfce 4.12

In case you want to remove xfce 4.12 from your system and revert your xfce desktop to previous version, you can use ppa-purge command to purge xfce 4.12 ppa

Xfce 4.12 Screenshots

Settings Manager

Appearance Setting

Power Manger

Intelligent Mode in Panel Setting


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