Xubuntu Development Update August 2021

Xubuntu saw a number of updates in August with an updated Focal Fossa release as well as several updates for the current development release, Impish Indri. Showing the applications menu with the Super key is a newly-added, long-requested feature.

Xubuntu Development Update August 2021

Xubuntu 20.04, Focal Fossa

The Xubuntu Linux desktop showing the panel, wallpaper, and desktop icons.
Xubuntu 20.04.3, our latest LTS release update.

Xubuntu 20.04.3 was released on Thursday, August 26th. It's a maintenance release consisting primarily of bug fixes and security updates. You can find the full list of changes here. Special thanks to everybody that helped test this release! Download links are available on xubuntu.org. Some important updates include:

  • exo 0.12.11-1ubuntu1.20.04.1: Fixes resizing the xfce4-settings window smaller (LP: #1874954)
  • xfce4-weather-plugin 0.10.1 -> 0.10.2: Fixes weather lookups due to an expired API  (LP: #1918002)
  • firefox 85 -> 91
  • linux 5.8 -> 5.11
  • thunderbird 68 -> 78

Xubuntu 21.10, Impish Indri

Enabling the Super (Windows) Key

A popular request over the years has been to bind the Super key to show the applications menu. For technical reasons, we weren't able to implement this change using what's included in Xfce.

On the upstream bug, Andre Miranda recommended using xcape to work around this particular issue. We've adopted this solution for Xubuntu, and now the Super key shows the applications menu without breaking other Super key shortcuts! I've demoed the Super key functionality on Twitter:

Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar Layout

Rhythmbox 3.4.4 in Xubuntu 21.10 with the Alternative Toolbar layout
Rhythmbox 3.4.4 in Xubuntu 21.10

Last month the Twitter community voted on whether to include the standard or the "Alternative Toolbar" layout for Rhythmbox in Xubuntu. With 89 votes and 82% of the vote in favor of the Alternative Toolbar layout, we're now shipping it in Xubuntu!

Slideshow Translations

The Xubuntu installation slideshow demonstrating each screen.
The slideshow displayed while installing Xubuntu.

I did some cleanup on the Xubuntu installer slideshow this month, merging in a pull request, bulk updating translations, and getting everything synced over to Transifex. I was also granted push permissions to the upstream Ubiquity slideshow codebase, making it much easier to sync the Xubuntu updates back over. Going forward, we'll have a lot more control over the delivery of our translations. If you want to help contribute to our slideshow translations, please sign up on Transifex!

Package Updates

In August, the Xubuntu packageset saw updates to several Xfce components, MATE 1.26, and the Xubuntu default settings. Remember that you can keep up with Xubuntu's latest package updates by following Planet Bluesabre (RSS, Twitter).

Upcoming Dates

There are some key dates just around the corner in the Release Schedule. Now's the time to start testing if you haven't already!

We're getting close to the final release of 21.10 and then beginning of our next LTS, 22.04. If you'd like to help out, check out the Get Involved section of the Xubuntu website. We need all sorts of help, so if you've got the time, we'd love to help you help us!