Upgrade to XFCE 4.18 on Xubuntu

Want the latest and greatest Xfce on your Xubuntu? Here's a PPA you can use to get the newer Xfce version on Xubuntu.

Whenever the new version of Xfce is released, it is bound to excite Xubuntu users.

Why? Because you won't find them releasing new updates frequently as Xfce is inclined toward stability rather than releasing new features every month.

This also means you won't get the latest Xfce directly from Xubuntu.

Worry not. If you feel experimental, you can upgrade to the latest Xfce version in Xubuntu.

Let me tell you how!

How to upgrade to Xfce 4.18 on Xubuntu

But before I jump to the how-to part, here's a quick summary of new features you get with Xfce 4.18:

  • File manager improvements.
  • Changes in desktop panel.
  • New wallpapers.
  • Initial Wayland support.

If you are curious to learn more about new features, we have a detailed article on what's new in Xfce 4.18.

XFCE 4.18 Release Looks Impressive!
Xfce 4.18 is here with interesting feature additions and subtle changes.

Now, let's start the process with the first step.

🚧
I suggest making a Timeshift backup of your system settings. That assures you to go back if you don't like things.

As Xubuntu does not ship with Xfce 4.18, you'd need to use PPA. It is used by the developers to try and test Xfce for the next version release of Xubuntu.

To add the PPA to Xubuntu, you'd need to use the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/staging

To take effect from the PPA, you'll have to update the repositories:

sudo apt update
update repository in ubuntu

It will show you pending updates for packages.

To verify whether the packages that you are about to install belong to Xfce 4.18 or not, you can use the following command:

apt list --upgradable | grep '4.18'

You will see a list of packages that are going to be updated to 4.18!

Now, to upgrade those packages, you will have to use dist-upgrade instead of upgrade:

sudo apt dist-upgrade

And if you are curious, we have a detailed guide on the difference between apt-get upgrade vs dist-upgrade.

Once you are done with the installation, log out and log back in and you will be using Xfce 4.18.

Use the following command to check the Xfce version:

xfce4-about
check the Xfce version on xubuntu

And as you can see, I'm running Xfce 4.18.

What's Next?

If you don't like the changes, you can downgrade to the older Xfce version. All you have to do is to purge the PPA and update your system.

What is PPA Purge? How to Use it in Ubuntu and other Debian-based Distributions?
PPA is a popular method of installing additional applications or newer versions of a software in Ubuntu. I have written a detailed guide on PPA so I will just quickly recall it here. PPA is a mechanism developed by Ubuntu to enable developers to provide their own repositories. When you

Don't you feel Xfce looks a bit outdated? You can spend some time and beautify it. We have a detailed guide on how you can make Xfce look modern and beautiful:

4 Ways You Can Make Xfce Look Modern and Beautiful
Brief: Xfce is a great lightweight desktop environment with one drawback. It looks sort of old. But you don’t have to stick with the default looks. Let’s see various ways you can customize Xfce to give it a modern and beautiful look. To start with, Xfce is one

And if you are confused about which theme to choose, we have compiled a list of themes to make Xfce look modern and beautiful.

💬 Questions? Suggestions? The comment section is all yours.

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