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Xfwm4 4.11.0 has been uploaded recently to the Xfce 4.12 PPA for (X)Ubuntu 13.10, 13.04, 12.10 and 12.04, bringing Sync to VBlank support for the Xfwm4 (Xfce's window manager) compositor, which should prevent tearing when dragging/resizing windows, media players and flash applications, etc.

xfce sync to vblank

The latest Xfwm4 comes with an updated version of the patch we wrote about a while back but it seems the issues posted HERE still apply (I'm not sure exactly which), so the Vsync support is not perfect, but it should be a great improvement for many users.

Along with Xfwm4, some other components were also updated:
  • xfce4-settings 4.11.1 (complete changelog):
    • automatically re-enable Laptop-displays if all other displays get disconnected;
    • add option to automatically show minimal-display dialog when new display gets connected;
    • fix bugs with mnemonic accelerators;
    • make touchpad type delay configurable.
  • xfdesktop 4.11.0 (complete changelog):
    • Custom folder icons;
    • Apply wallpaper to all workspaces option;
    • Add an unmount option and notifications when a device is removed.
  • libxfce4ui 4.11.0 (complete changelog):
    • GTK3 version of libxfce4ui for applications that use it.
    • improved keyboard shortcut handling code.

Upgrade Xfwm4 in Xubuntu

To upgrade Xfwm4 and the other Xfce components in (X)Ubuntu (13.10, 13.04, 12.10 and 12.04), you must add two PPAs: the Xfce 4.10 PPA, which will upgrade Xfce to version 4.10 for Xubuntu 12.04 and which also provides updated packages for all Xubuntu versions: Thunar, Xfce4 Terminal, Parole and so on, as well as the Xfce 4.12 PPA.

Before proceeding, please note that the packages in the Xfce 4.12 PPA are pre-releases, which may contain bugs! Use them at your own risk!

Add the PPAs and upgrade using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.10
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Important: when running "dist-upgrade", make sure you read the output before entering "y" to make sure no important packages are removed!

Then log out and log back in.

The VSync to VBlank support option in Window Manager Tweaks doesn't work so to enable Sync to VBlank, use the following command:
xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p "/general/sync_to_vblank" -s true

Revert the changes

If you want to downgrade the packages installed from these PPAs to the versions available in the official (X)Ubuntu repositories, use the commands below:
sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12
sudo ppa-purge ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.10