Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Xubuntu 14.04, the Xfce Ubuntu flavor, was released today along with the other Ubuntu flavors. Let's take a quick look at what's new.

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots

Xubuntu 14.04 video

Here's a quick video in which you can see the changes in Xubuntu 14.04:

(direct video link; for more videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel)

Xfce changes

Xfce 4.12 was initially supposed to be released in March, 2013, but was delayed and it's not known when it will be released. The Xfce roadmap wiki page mentions that Xfce 4.12 will be released when "is ready".

Because of this, Xubuntu 14.04 ships with a combination of Xfce 4.10 and 4.11. With this release, two more Xfce 4.11 packages were added:  Xfdesktop 4.11 and Xfwm 4.11, which bring some new features:
  • Vsync support for the compositor;
  • apply wallpaper to all workspaces option;
  • the Xfce Display Settings now supports monitor hotplugging
  • individual wallpapers for each workspace;
  • option to change wallpaper automatically after a given number of minutes/hours/days, etc. as well as a chronological option which will sort the available wallpaper pictures according to their filename and then goes through them in their sort order and spread them equally over one day;
  • Add an unmount option and notifications when a device is removed;
  • new accessibility feature: zoom into your desktop using Alt+Scrollwheel;
  • an option to enable tooltips, which will appear when hovering over icons on the desktop with the mouse.

Here are screenshots with some of the changes mentioned above:

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots

New defaults

Xubuntu 14.04 ships with quite a few new default applications / packages. The most important from an user's point of view is probably WhiskerMenu, which replaces the old Xubuntu menu:

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots

WhiskerMenu is an alternative to the Xfce application menu that tries to make finding and launching applications easier. The tool allows you to quickly search for the application you want to launch or, if you don't know the application name, you can browse all the applications installed on the system by browsing through categories.

Along with Whisker Menu, Xubuntu 14.04 now uses a single-panel layout and it's also important to note that the panel now supports GTK3 indicators so you shouldn't run into Ubuntu incompatibility issues. For instance, the Sound Menu / Indicator now works out of the box:

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots

As you can see in the screenshot above, Xubuntu 14.04 uses the Network, Sound and Power Ubuntu indicators.

MenuLibre, an advanced menu editor "that provides modern features in a clean, easy-to-use interface" was added by default:

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots

MenuLibre is lightweight, doesn't use any GNOME dependencies and can be used with any desktop environment, be it GNOME, LXDE, Xfce or even Unity.

Another important addition to Xubuntu 14.04 is Light Locker, which is the new default screen locker, replacing Xscreensaver. Along with it, Xubuntu 14.04 also ships with Light Locker Settings, a GUI that lets you tweak various lock screen settings such as the blank screen or display off timeout, when to automatically lock the session, etc:

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots

An user configuration tool called Mugshot was added by default in Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr. The tool allows users to easily set a profile image and enter user details for use with any supported application. Currently only LibreOffice and Pidgin support it though:

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots

Other changes

Other changes in Xubuntu 14.04 include:
  • as usual, the GTK themes preinstalled with Xubuntu were updated with support for the GTK 3 version available in Xubuntu 14.04 (GTK 3.10);
  • the LightDM GTK Greeter has a new theme;
  • new default wallpaper;
  • improved documentation which is also updated to match new applications and application versions;
  • the image viewer and organizer gThumb is no longer included by default, Ristretto is still included for photo viewing;
  • a community wallpaper package is finally available starting with Xubuntu 14.04. In this first release, the package includes 6 beautiful wallpapers.

Here are a few screenshots with the changes mentioned above:

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots
New LightDM GTK Greeter theme

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots
Numix (included by default) was updated to work with the latest GTK, like all other preinstalled themes

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots
The default Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr wallpaper

Default applications

Among the default Xubuntu applications, Parole and Catfish have received the most important changes.

Parole (0.6.1) now uses GTK and GStreamer 1.0, it comes with a new UI and more while Catfish (1.0.2) has got an interface refresh along with other changes.

Besides Parole 0.6.1 and Catfish 1.0.2, Xubuntu 14.04 ships with Firefox 28, Thunderbird 24.4, Pidgin 2.10.9, Thunar 1.6.3, Gnumeric 1.12.9, Abiword 3.0.0, gMusicBrowser 1.1.12, GIMP 2.8.10, Ristretto 0.6.3, Transmission 2.82 and XChat 2.8.8.

Like Ubuntu, Xubuntu 14.04 also ships with the 3.13.0-24.46 Ubuntu Linux Kernel, based on the upstream 3.13.9 Linux Kernel, Xorg server 1.15.1 and Mesa 10.1.0. It's also important to note that the default I/O scheduler was changed from CFQ to Deadline.

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots

Xubuntu 14.04 screenshots

Download Xubuntu 14.04

Before downloading Xubuntu 14.04, make sure you read the release notes.

Download Xubuntu 14.04 * (will be supported for 3 years)

* Not all the mirrors are ready yet so I suggest getting the torrents.

For how to upgrade to Xubuntu 14.04, see THIS Ubuntu wiki page.

What's new in: Ubuntu 14.04 | Lubuntu, Kubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME 14.04

Also check out our 10 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr To Get A Near Perfect Desktop article! While it's made with Unity in mind, there are many tweaks that also apply to Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu or Ubuntu GNOME.