Xubuntu 21.10 Dev Update
Development on Xubuntu 21.10 has kicked off with some new additions to the seed. Expanding Xubuntu's core application set continues to make it easy to use and meet the needs of its users.
I'm finally getting back to regular FOSS development time, this time focusing again on Xubuntu. Resuming team votes and getting community feedback has kicked off development on Xubuntu 21.10 "Impish Indri". Recent team votes have expanded Xubuntu's collection of apps. Read on to learn more!
Update 7/31: Added Hexchat as another GTK 2 application. Thanks Yousuf!
Disk Usage Analyzer (baobab)
Baobab is a utility that scans your storage devices and remote locations and reports on the disk space used by each file or directory. It's useful for tracking down what's eating your disk space so you can keep your storage from filling up.
Disks is an all-in-one utility for managing storage devices. It's feature list is expansive, but some key features include:
- Create and restore disk images (including flashing ISOs to thumb drives)
- Partition and format disks, with encryption support
- Inspect drive speed and health
- Edit mounting rules (basically a user-friendly fstab editor)
Rhythmbox is a music playing and library application. It supports local files and audio streams, and includes a radio browser to find online radio stations. In Xubuntu, we're currently using the default layout (see left screenshot), but members of the community have proposed using the Alternative Toolbar plugin. Which do you prefer? Vote in the Twitter poll!
Clipman is a clipboard management application and plugin. It keeps a history of text and images copied to the clipboard and allows you to paste it later. Clipboard history can also be searched with the included
Pidgin is a multi-client chat program that has been included in Xubuntu since the beginning, when it was known as Gaim. In recent years, as chat services have moved to proprietary and locked down protocols, Pidgin has become less and less useful, leading to its removal in Xubuntu. If you want to install Pidgin on your system, it can be found on GNOME Software.
Active Team Votes
We've got an active team vote to add two new themes to our seed. The themes in question are Arc and Numix Blue.
The Arc theme is a series of flat themes with transparent elements. It includes both light and dark themes with support for numerous desktop environments and applications.
Numix Blue is a blue variation of the Numix theme already included in Xubuntu. It's an unofficial fork that does have some graphical differences beside the switch to a blue accent color.
Clipman by Default
Since we added Clipman to Xubuntu, we now have a second vote for including it in the panel by default. This would automatically enable Clipman's clipboard management, which I'm personally opposed to. For my use case, I frequently copy sensitive strings to the clipboard, and I don't want them to be saved or displayed anywhere. New users would have no idea the clipboard monitor is even running.
Because our seed is also updated by Ubuntu maintainers, it is important that the code continues to be hosted on Launchpad. The @Xubuntu/xubuntu-seed code is mirrored from Launchpad every few hours. To help reduce the friction between the two systems, I made some small improvements.
Issues are now synced from Launchpad for the xubuntu-meta source package. I found a solution by the Yaru team for syncing the issues using GitHub actions. Our syncing scripts run daily, syncing both newly created issues and issues that have been closed out.
I've also added a GitHub action to prevent pull requests on our mirror repository. Since the repository is a mirror repository, pull requests are not actionable on GitHub. This action automatically closes those pull requests with a comment pointing the contributor in the right direction.
Votes are ongoing, and there's a lot of activity in the Ubuntu space. GNOME 40 and GTK 4 are starting to land, so there's a strong likelihood that GTK 4 components will make their way into Xubuntu. This means we'll now have 3 versions of the toolkit thanks to GIMP and Hexchat (GTK 2), Xfce (GTK 3), GNOME 40 (GTK 4). Hopefully we'll see a stable GIMP 3.0 release soon so we can free up some space.
There's some important dates coming soon in the Impish Indri Release Schedule. August 19 marks Feature Freeze, so the outstanding team votes and new feature requests should be settled soon. A couple weeks later, we have the User Interface Freeze on September 9. Let's keep Xubuntu development rolling forward!
Post photo by Adriel Kloppenburg on Unsplash