Planet Bluesabre

All the latest from Xfce, Xubuntu, & Friends.

Xubuntu 22.04: New Since 21.10

Xubuntu 22.04 “Jammy Jellyfish” will be released tomorrow, April 21, 2022. It features a modest set of updates for users coming from Xubuntu 21.10. If you’re coming from 20.04, there’s a lot more to take in. Check out the 20.10, 21.04, and 21.10 release notes to catch up!

Community Updates

Wallpaper Contest Winners

Six winners were selected from a pool of over 100 submissions for the 22.04 Community Wallpaper Contest. These winning submissions are included on the Xubuntu 22.04 ISO.

View fullsize "Kanchanjunga Peaks" by Pushkar Deshpande (CC-BY-4.0)
View fullsize "Journey home" by Juliette Taka (CC-BY-4.0)
View fullsize "Field" by Tibor Mokánszki (CC-BY-4.0)
View fullsize Untitled by Mathias Hüber (CC-BY-4.0)
View fullsize "Dolomites" by Felix Hartlieb (CC-BY-4.0)
View fullsize Untitled by Dagat (CC-BY-4.0)

Refreshed User Documentation

Over the course of two years, eight contributors came together to refresh our aging user documentation. The new documentation can be found on the Xubuntu ISO and online. Read about our journey in my previous blog post.

A section from the “What is Xubuntu?” chapter of the new Xubuntu docs.

Appearance Updates

Greybird 3.23.1

The latest version of the Greybird GTK theme adds initial support for GTK 4 and libhandy. The addition of libhandy makes GTK 3 GNOME applications such as GNOME Software better integrate with the Xubuntu desktop. GTK 4 support makes new and updated GNOME applications such as Document Scanner look acceptable.

GNOME Software (GTK 3)
Document Scanner (GTK 4)

elementary-xfce 0.16

elementary-xfce 0.16 includes numerous new and updated icons from upstream, refreshing the desktop and adding better support for applications.

elementary-xfce includes many new and updated icons.

Application Updates

Firefox Snap

As of Ubuntu 22.04, Firefox is no longer available as a Debian package. You will still find the Debian package in the repository, but it is a transitional package to install the Firefox snap. The new Snap package is maintained by Mozilla and sandboxed to restrict access to your system and limit the impact of vulnerabilities.

A screenshot of the Firefox Snap package in Xubuntu.

The Firefox snap package. It’s… basically the same as before.

Most Xubuntu users won’t notice much of a difference. Known issues for the Snap firefox include:

  • Slow cold boot startup times. After you’ve opened Firefox once since booting, subsequent launches should be much faster.

  • The locally-installed Xubuntu docs cannot yet be opened. This issue has been fixed in Snapd and should land in the Ubuntu repositories in the coming days.

  • PKCS#11 smartcard support is not currently available. A new portal has been created for this hardware and the Firefox snap just needs to be updated to support it.

Other Apps

Xubuntu 22.04 includes updates for all of its core applications. Applications featured are from Xfce 4.16, MATE 1.26, and GNOME 40-42. For all current application versions, check the Updates section of the Xubuntu 22.04 release notes.

Wrapping Up

We hope you enjoy this new Xubuntu release! Are you interested in a New Since 20.04 blog post? Let me know in the comments or on social media.

If you’d like to support me as I work on and write about Xubuntu, consider donating via GitHub Sponsors, Ko-Fi, or Patreon! Links to each can be found on my Donate page.

Thanks for reading and using Xubuntu!

Xubuntu 22.04 Community Wallpaper Contest Winners

The Xubuntu team is happy to announce the results of the 22.04 community wallpaper contest!

As always, we’d like to send out a huge thanks to every contestant. The Xubuntu Community Wallpaper Contest gives us a unique chance to interact with the community and get contributions from members who may otherwise not have had the opportunity to join in before. With around 130 submissions, the contest garnered less interest this time around, but we still had a lot of great work to pick from. All of the submissions are browsable on the 22.04 contest page at

Without further ado, here are the winners:

From left to right, top to bottom. Click on the links for full-size image versions.

Congratulations, and thanks for your wonderful contributions!

xfce4-eyes-plugin (4.6.0-1) unstable

[ Debian Janitor ]

  • Set upstream metadata fields: Bug-Submit (from ./configure).
  • Update standards version to 4.5.1, no changes needed.
  • Avoid explicitly specifying -Wl,–as-needed linker flag.

[ Unit 193 ]

  • New upstream version 4.6.0.
  • d/copyright: Update years.
  • Update Standards-Version to 4.6.0.

xfce4-terminal 1.0.2 released

Stable release fixing a regression related to switch/move tab accelerators.

  • Regression: MiscCycleTabs preference does not work for accelerators (#186, #24).
  • Translation Updates: Russian

The Road to New Xubuntu Docs

The new Xubuntu documentation is finally complete. Two years, eight contributors, and numerous Zoom meetings resulted in over eighty commits refreshing our user docs. Incredibly, we managed to land all of the updates in time for the Xubuntu 22.04 “Jammy Jellyfish” release. Here’s how we got here.

The "About the Name" section from the new Xubuntu docs. It includes a graphic of Ubuntu, Xfce, and a Heart emoji being added together to equal Xubuntu.

A section from the “What is Xubuntu?” chapter of the new Xubuntu docs.

Doing Things Differently

In April 2020, Yousuf reached out to the Xubuntu Development list interested in kicking off some discussions around contributing to Xubuntu documentation. Our previous documentation lead, David Pires, had been offline and unreachable for nearly a year. I agreed to meet with Yousuf in David’s stead. Our first Zoom meeting led to a plan: copy all existing documentation to Google Docs, collaborate on the updates, and apply the changes to our official docs.

The next several weeks consisted of a series of weekend Zoom meetings, Telegram discussions, and lots of documentation edits and reviews. The team consisted of myself, Yousuf, and six other contributors, most of them new to contributing to Xubuntu. Our contributors came from a variety of backgrounds: history, education, networking, software development, and politics (and that’s just what I gathered from our normal conversations)!

A mockup of the Xubuntu documentation language selection page.

A mockup of the new language selection buttons for the Xubuntu docs homepage.

We worked on a chapter at a time. Yousuf would write up the changes, the team would mark them up, and the following weekend we would review, discuss, and apply those changes. We also discussed updating the homepage to modernize the language selection and updating the CSS to better match the current Xubuntu website. Those changes were ultimately scrapped due to time constraints and relative disinterest in that area. As the chapters were completed, we started working on porting the content back to Docbook. This porting process proved to be especially confusing and time-consuming.

Docbook, Work Harder to Publish More Easily

A screenshot of Docbook XML code to render a section with two paragraphs and an image.

Docbook: A section with a title, two paragraphs, and an image requires a lot of code.

Docbook is an XML-based documentation solution that Xubuntu has used for years to produce its user and contributor documentation. It enables us to easily output our documentation in HTML or PDF format so users can easily get the help they need, even offline. The tradeoff is that the format is difficult to get used to and ultimately led to me converting 95% of the docs to the Docbook format by myself. There were some early attempts by the team to port the documentation, but with a litany of unresolved schema validation issues, interest and contributions waned.

An example Docbook validation error showing a complex and confusing warning and error message.

If your code does not pass Docbook’s strict validation, prepare for an intimidating error log that references the wrong file and line.

That said, it wasn’t all bad news. Along the way, I learned more about GitHub Actions and GitHub Pages and implemented an automatic testing and deployment workflow. With each new commit or pull request, the submitted code was built and tested, and successful builds were automatically deployed to for review. These workflows are now a permanent addition to the Xubuntu Documentation and will make it easier to perform code reviews and make sure translations continue to pass validation. And if you want the latest and greatest version of the docs, you can find them in one place.

Getting It Done

Fast forward to this year and the urgency of an impending LTS release. Over the course of a few weeks, I finished converting the docs and pressed others for reviews. The team offered some quality feedback which helped the docs get to an acceptable level. Just days before Final Freeze I was able to merge, package, and upload xubuntu-docs 22.04. And you can use it today, with the exception of one remaining issue: Snap package confinement.

The Firefox window displaying the error "File not found" when trying to access the Xubuntu docs.

Attempting to load the new Xubuntu Docs today will show a “File not found” in the Snap-packaged Firefox or Chromium browsers.

With the release of Ubuntu 22.04, all flavors are now using the Firefox Snap package. Snaps are sandboxed, preventing access to most system resources and files. Unfortunately, this also blocks access to the Xubuntu Docs, LibreOffice Help, and many other files that should be accessible. A fix has already been applied to snapd and should be landing in the next couple of days. In the meantime, if you want to access the docs you can visit the online docs or load the PDF version from /usr/share/xubuntu-docs/user/C/xubuntu-documentation-USletter.pdf in Atril.

Getting to this point was a long and exhausting journey. I’m grateful to our new contributors for stepping up and bringing our documentation back to a great place. That said, I hope I never have to work with Docbook again. It’s tedious, and if you’re the only one working on it, it can suck up all of your time just getting your code to work. Here’s to hoping it stays maintained this time from community contributions. 🤞

xfce4-panel 4.17.0 released

[Please note that this is a development release.]

  • Dependency Changes:
    • Garcon >= 0.8.0
    • GLib >= 2.56.0
    • Libxfce4ui >= 4.17.1
  • Code Refactoring:
    • Remove unused project files
    • Use GLib structured logging
    • Remove obsolete Exo version checks
    • Bump minimal required Garcon to 0.8.0 i.e. Xfce 4.16
    • Remove obsolete GTK version checks
    • autoconf: Some updates
    • libxfce4panel: Silence -Wredundant-decls warnings (#495)
    • Revamp the documentation to modernize and uniformize accross components (!35)
  • Bug Fixes:
    • panel: Fix regression "intellihide does not hide when leaving slowly" (#388)
    • panel: Fix regression "'Span Monitor' has no effect" (#405)
    • panel: Keep a reference on item during drag and drop
    • panel: Fix a memory leak
    • systray: Do not apply icon if not yet set
    • Fix deadcode.DeadStores warnings from scan-build (!56)
    • Fix core.UndefinedBinaryOperatorResult warning from scan-build (#142)
    • Fix core.NullDereference warning from scan-build (!57)
    • panel: Fix broken drag and drop between panels (#561)
    • systray: Only activate item under mouse
    • Use a normalized URI internally for the background image
    • panel: Disconnect from screen signals when window is destroyed
    • Fix ignored * in .gitignore
    • systray: Do not connect to proxy signal if async method failed
    • actions: Lay out buttons in grid for deskbar (#437, !69)
    • wrapper: Rework widget drawing (#520, !67)
    • windowmenu: Emit "deactivate" signal when hiding the menu (#22, !68)
    • systray: Trust the status to update the attention icon (#392, !64)
    • tasklist: Add a setting to control the display of tooltips (#548, !63)
    • Fixed some window buttons not appearing in the panel (#188, !66)
    • Remove ellipsis (#480, !65)
    • launcher: Only activate under mouse (Fixes #519)
    • launcher: Clear action menu when destroyed (Fixes #540, !61)
    • actions: Block panel autohide (Fixes #431, !62)
    • panel: Fix grabs for popup commands (Fixes #506, !60)
    • Fix compilation warnings (#492, #493, #494, !53)
    • launcher: Adjust menu icon size (Fixes #255, !51)
    • Fix exit procedure when plugin insertion failed (!49)
    • libxfce4panel: Review memory management for context menu (#452, !46)
    • panel: Mitigate a memory leak when removing items (!46)
    • tasklist: Silence an allocation warning (!48)
    • launcher: Check for menu item initialization (!47)
    • panel: Change width of default panel-2 to 1% (Fixes #454, !44)
    • Fix some *-CRITICAL warnings (!43)
    • libxfce4panel: Do not destroy context menu if popped up (#442, !45)
    • tasklist: Auto-adjust icon size (v2) (#90, !29)
    • pager: Allow disable switch with mouse wheel for miniature view (#253, !37)
    • Add icons to help and about items in panel menu (#421)
    • pager: Use gobject bindings (Fixes #376, !32)
    • launcher: avoid double fork (#407, !25)
    • Fix build warnings (!31)
    • Display tooltip title of statusnotifier items as plaintext (!30)
    • pager: Switch to new workspaces icon name
    • statustray: Prevent crash when parsing properties (Fixes #379, !26)
    • windowmenu: fix use-after-free in window_menu_plugin_window_item_new (!24)
  • Translation Updates: Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian (Armenia), Asturian, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Hong Kong), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Eastern Armenian, English (Australia), English (United Kingdom), Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Interlingue, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk, Occitan (post 1500), Panjabi (Punjabi), Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uyghur, Vietnamese

xfce4-panel 4.16.4 released

  • Update copyright year and standardize formatting
  • Update and sort author list by name
  • panel: Fix regression "intellihide does not hide when leaving slowly" (#388)
  • panel: Fix regression "'Span Monitor' has no effect" (#405)
  • panel: Keep a reference on item during drag and drop
  • Fix core.UndefinedBinaryOperatorResult warning from scan-build (#142)
  • panel: Fix broken drag and drop between panels (#561)
  • panel: Disconnect from screen signals when window is destroyed
  • systray: Do not connect to proxy signal if async method failed
  • panel: Mitigate a memory leak when removing items (!46)
  • windowmenu: Emit "deactivate" signal when hiding the menu (#22, !68)
  • systray: Fix wrong sanity check
  • systray: Properly initialize systray item
  • systray: Trust the status to update the attention icon (#392, !64)
  • Fixed some window buttons not appearing in the panel (#188, !66)
  • launcher: Only activate under mouse (Fixes #519)
  • libxfce4panel: Review memory management for context menu (#452, !46)
  • actions: Block panel autohide (Fixes #431, !62)
  • launcher: Clear action menu when destroyed (Fixes #540, !61)
  • Translation Updates: Arabic, Armenian (Armenia), Catalan, Malay, Occitan (post 1500), Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai

xubuntu-docs (22.04) jammy

  • New user-docs for 22.04
  • Update Standards-Version to

xfce4-terminal 1.0.1 released

Stable release fixing regressions and a couple of older bugs.

  • A new hidden preference DropdownParametersOnce has been introduced to control whether the drop-down window accepts command line arguments after creation. With the introduction of this preference an older bug was fixed where tabs could be added to the drop-down window even though they weren't supposed to.
  • Options: –active-tab does not behave properly when adding tabs to existing windows.

Regressions fixed:

  • Find dialog does not respond to Return key (Issue #176)
  • Dragging a URL from Chromium ends up truncated (Issue #180)
  • Toolbar size changes when the window is maximized (Issue #181).
  • Unable to create a single window with many tabs through command line options (Issue #182).

Translation Updates: Danish, Finnish, Greek, Russian, Turkish

xubuntu-community-artwork (22.04.0) jammy

  • Include winners from the Xubuntu 22.04 Community Contest
  • d/copyright:
    • Update copyrights for newly-added files
    • Change my email address
  • d/control:
    • Bump Standards-Version to
    • Bump debhelper version to 13
  • d/docs:
    • README >