As you probably know Xubuntu uses version Beta1 of the upcoming Xfce 4.4 desktop environment. It has since been updated twice, to Beta2 and most recently Release Candidate 1. If you want to know what's new in them you can find the changelogs here(B2) and here(RC1). And over here you can find a nice visual explanation about the new features that Thunar 0.4.0 has, the biggest one probably being the addition of Trash.
NOTE: I can't guarantee that I've found all the dependencies yet. If your installation aborts due to a missing one and you restart your system, your themes will look messed up and Xfce might act a bit strange but it shouldn't be anything too serious. Installing the missing dependencies and completing the installation will fix this. Or atleast it did for me I take no responsability of broken systems, updating your desktop environment is quite a big operation so proceed with caution.
EDIT: Many people seem to be getting an error at every startup that says: Unable to contact the Xfce trash service. Read the solution below.
- For some people USB has stopped working. In my experience installing gnome-volume-manager fixes these problems.
- xarchiver permanently took over file-roller that I'd like to use as the default archiver in Gnome.
You can run the installer in your existing Xfce or Gnome desktop. Apparently you can also install it from Ubuntu without xubuntu-desktop although I haven't tried it myself. I've only tried it in Dapper, not sure if it works in Edgy. This topic does have one reply that says that it doesn't.
1. Install the dependencies
Paste this into the terminal:
2. Get Xfce 4.4rc1
sudo apt-get install build-essential libxml-parser-perl libgtk2.0-dev libxml2-dev libvte-dev libxpm-dev libdbh1.0-dev libxfce4mcs-dev liburi-perl libCGI-perl libwww-perl libxml-perl libdbus-1-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev xorg-dev
Download it from here or just paste this to the terminal:
3. Run the installer
After the download has finished go to the terminal and the directory where the .run file is and type:
chmod +x xfce4-4.4RC1-installer.run
4. Choose the options
The installer is a pretty straightforward wizard but you do need to note a few things:
- The correct installation folder is /usr/local, this is the default when you run it with sudo
- Decide if you need a composition manager. I wouldn't recommend for older maschine.
- Extra optimizations have worked fine for me. Read the description and decide if you want them.
- Configure display manager. I've chosen yes for this one.
- Choosing the sound manager is a bit more tricky one. I think Xfce uses OSS by default but you can enable ALSA from this option. I chose yes for my newer computer and no for my older one. Sound works on both but on the newer computer I can't control it from the panel thingy anymore. So I'd choose no, don't enable ALSA.
The installer takes a while. If it doesn't complete successfully then it's missing some dependecies. Please tell me if you get errors. Starting it again and completing successfully will fix the problems an aborted installation might have caused.
Enjoy your new Xfce 4.4rc1 Might take a restart to get er up and running completely, not sure.
7. Old Thunar getting in the way? (optional)
I noticed that even though the installer successfully installed Thunar 0.4.0, the older 0.3.1 still popped up every now and then. Xubuntu couldn't decide which to use so it was pretty random, though mostly 0.3.1. Maybe it's because it's still the version in Synaptic.
To fix this I installed a Thunar 0.4.1 from svn. Beware that it might not be as stable as 0.4.0 for example. Here are the instuctions. Don't use the debs, they're pretty old. If you get an error during thunar configuration about tar-ustar then install automake1.9.
To completely replace 0.3.1 I replaced that HOWTO's last command, sudo make install (for thunar directory) with so that it would replace it for good. Of course you have to first install it with
The version number for Thunar when using checkinstall seems to be incredibly long and is causing troubles for some. If you notice that's it's a long list of numbers then change it to 0.4.1svn for example. Now you can enjoy a brand spanking new Thunar with a trash can and everything
sudo apt-get install checkinstall
8. Fixing the trash error at startup (optional)
The error's being caused by xfdesktop being loaded before Thunar.
Paste this into terminal:
Then switch the commands of Client2_Command and Client3_Command so that it looks like this:
sudo cp /usr/local/etc/xdg/xfce4-session/xfce4-session.rc /usr/local/etc/xdg/xfce4-session/xfce4-session.rc_backup
sudo gedit /usr/local/etc/xdg/xfce4-session/xfce4-session.rc
This way Thunar loads before xfdesktop.
Okay, that should be it. During the next login remember to change your default session from Xfce 4.2 to Xfce 4 (or from 4 to 4.4, seems to vary a bit). If you have any problems, especially with dependencies, report them here.
Here's the thread that inspired this HOWTO.
Thanks for the additional help videodrome.