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Xfce 4.20 Goes Beyond X11 with Wayland Support

To bring support for Wayland to Xfce, the developers have created a new library called libxfce4windowing


Xfce is a popular, lightweight desktop environment used by many Linux enthusiasts and users. With the latest major release, Xfce 4.20, the developers of Xfce have brought a highly requested and long-anticipated feature to the table – Wayland support. The release of Xfce 4.20 is still in the early development phase, but it is expected to be available by the end of 2024.

What is Wayland?

Wayland is a next-generation display protocol that provides a modern and efficient approach to managing displays and graphical interfaces. The development of Wayland started as an alternative to the X Window System, which is widely used in Linux-based operating systems. The goal of Wayland is to provide a modern and secure display protocol with improved performance and more efficient resource utilization.

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To bring support for Wayland to Xfce, the developers have created a new library called libxfce4windowing. This library provides support for the Xfce desktop environment to use the Wayland display protocol. This library is still in development, but it has already been used to port two important components of Xfce to Wayland – xfdesktop and xfce4-panel.

Xfdesktop Ported to Wayland

Xfdesktop is the desktop manager for Xfce, and it has been ported to Wayland with the help of the libxfce4windowing library. The port is still in the preliminary stage, as the libxfce4windowing library only partially supports Wayland. Nevertheless, this is a big step forward for Xfce and Wayland support.

Xfce4-Panel Ported to Wayland

In addition to xfdesktop, the Xfce panel (xfce4-panel) has also been ported to Wayland. This porting has been accompanied by bug fixes and code cleanup to improve the performance of the tasklist, windowmenu, clock, and other components. Like xfdesktop, xfce4-panel’s Wayland support also depends on the libxfce4windowing library. However, all X11/Wayland-specific dependencies are optional.

Benefits of Using Wayland

  1. Improved Performance: One of the biggest benefits of using Wayland is improved performance. By using a modern display protocol, Wayland provides better performance compared to the X Window System. This means that Xfce users will experience faster and smoother graphical interfaces when using Wayland.
  2. Enhanced Security: Wayland is designed with security in mind, making it a more secure display protocol compared to the X Window System. With Wayland, the risk of malicious attacks and vulnerabilities is reduced, making it a safer option for users.
  3. Efficient Resource Utilization: Wayland is designed to be more efficient in terms of resource utilization compared to the X Window System. This means that Xfce users will experience less resource usage when using Wayland, leading to a more efficient desktop environment.

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Advantages of Using Xfce with Wayland

  1. Lightweight Desktop Environment: Xfce is known for being a lightweight desktop environment, making it a popular choice among Linux users. By combining Xfce with Wayland, users will experience a lightweight and efficient desktop environment with improved performance and security.
  2. Customization Options: Xfce provides a wide range of customization options, allowing users to tailor their desktop environment to their needs. With the addition of Wayland support, Xfce users will have access to even more customization options, making it a more flexible and versatile desktop environment.
  3. Large Community: Xfce has a large and active community, which means that users can expect a high level of support and a large number of available resources. With the addition of Wayland support, Xfce users can expect even more resources and support from the community.


The addition of Wayland support to the Xfce desktop environment is a major step forward for Xfce users. By using a modern and efficient display protocol, Xfce users can expect improved performance, enhanced security, and efficient resource utilization. The combination of Xfce and Wayland provides users with a lightweight, flexible, and versatile desktop environment, with a large and supportive community. Keep an eye on the development of Xfce 4.20, and soon you will be able to experience the benefits of Wayland for yourself.

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Final Thoughts

The development of the Xfce 4.20 desktop environment is taking place under the Xfce 4.19 umbrella, and packages are already available for Arch Linux. The release of Xfce 4.20 is expected to bring a full implementation of Wayland, making it a more modern and efficient desktop environment for Linux users. Keep an eye on the development cycle, and soon you will be able to test the Xfce 4.20 desktop environment on top of Wayland. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated with the latest developments in tech and programming field.

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