Xfce 4.16 is out with client-side decorations and a ton of improvements

After 1 year and 4 months of development, the team behind the Xfce project has released the Xfce 4.16 desktop. This is the new stable version that replaces
Xfce 4.14. Xfce is my favorite desktop environment under Linux, it remains relatively light while fairly close to the classic desktop paradigm.

Xfce 4.16 is the first DE version that no longer supports GTK2. You can’t compile it with this old GTK library anymore. It is also the first version to use the GTK3 Client Theme for the parameterization applications.

What’s new in Xfce 4.16

Decoration for customers (CSD)

DE now uses GtkHeaderBar, with which menus and buttons can be placed directly in the title bar of the application. CSDs apply to settings only.

New icons

Xfce 4.16 now uses an updated version of the symbolic icons. The set of symbols has been given a refined look with a new uniform style. The user interface now follows the icon naming scheme defined by freedesktop.org.

New colours

Xfce now uses a new colour palette to ensure a consistent look for all elements.


The panel has received the following improvements.

  • A smooth and whimsical animation that also shows the blurring direction of the panel when set to automatic blurring.
  • The Workspace Switcher plugin now supports automatic naming (numbering) of virtual desktops.
  • With the Windows Button Plugin you can now start a new application instance via the right-click menu. menu.
  • There is a dart mode for the control panel that makes it possible to have a dark theme panel with a light theme. This only works with thematic support. For example, the themes GTK Adwaita and Greybird support both light and dark options.
  • A new statustray plugin that combines drawer icons with a notification manager.

Window manager

The xfwm window manager has a number of improvements for compositing and GLX. It also supports mouse pointer scaling. Alt+Tab now appears on the main screen, only in multi-headed configurations.


  • You can now pause and resume the file operations, including the copy and move operations.
  • You can now set the view mode for each folder.
  • The application now supports transparency (must be defined in the GTK theme, just like the Arc theme).
  • The address bar now supports environment variables such as $HOME.
  • It is possible to rename the target file if a filename conflict occurs during copying.
  • The thumbnail preview mode now supports drag and drop.
  • Actions with files on the desktop are now available for the Home, Computer and Recycle Bin icons on the desktop.
  • View thumbnails of EPUB files.
  • You can exclude certain folders from the thumbnail generator.


In addition to the DSC, the Configuration Manager has been given the following new options.

  • Search for comments in the desktop files.
  • You can now hide the filter field.
  • By default, the UPower function is disabled.
  • There’s an open… Possibility to install standard applications.
  • The standard applet now contains a pantomime type editor.
  • The display scale now supports floating point numbers.
  • The size ratios are now displayed for the display resolution.
  • The current screen resolution now has an asterisk in the name.
  • If the newly set resolution is not accepted, Xfce returns to the previous screen resolution.
  • Improved user interface for assigning shortcuts with new standard shortcut keys for opening Tunar and Tile windows.
  • The updated About Xfce dialog now contains brief information about the software and hardware.

Other changes

The Power Manager application now displays more detailed and accurate battery usage information in 10% increments. It also includes a new display for presentation mode. Finally, the battery and the connected options are now more clearly separated.


  • Improving the stability of the boys’ library
  • App finder can now sort applications by frequency of use + last runtime.
  • The session manager now works more reliably with the GPG Agent 2.1. It also has a dialog box with updated settings.

You can find the complete log of changes here.

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