How To Install Xubuntu 17.04

This tutorial guides you to install Xubuntu 17.04 in step-by-step. You’ll prepare 2 blank partitions first (20GB for main, and optionally 1GB for swap) nad use a USB flash drive as bootable media. You can apply this tutorial either for singleboot or dualboot mode. Total time needed for installation is only around 10 minutes (including all firmware & drivers). I hope this tutorial will be easy for any newbie and soon everyone can feel how joyful Xubuntu is. Happy installing!

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Note: this article is about installing. If you’re looking for something else, we have Xubuntu 17.04 review, complete 17.04 family download links, and zsync to cut download cost.

a. Preparations

Get Xubuntu 17.04: you can download it from this link. It’s about 1.2GB for 64bit and 1.3GB for 32bit.

Create 2 blank partitions: you need one blank partition at least 20GB, and (optionally) a smaller blank partition 1GB. First partition will be main, and second one will be swap partition. It’s better to prepare them before the actual installation.

Create bootable media: burn Xubuntu image into a USB drive using Unetbootin (available for Windows) or Disk Utility (Ubuntu built-in). I choose USB drive because it’s cheaper than DVD but it’s up to you to use DVD instead.

Backup: if you would install Xubuntu in dualboot mode with another OS, make backup for your important data.

Example: I prepared my /dev/sda4 70GB as main partition, /dev/sda3 2.5GB as swap partition, and /dev/sda as the bootloader location. Note: the main partition I prepared was containing Ubuntu 17.04 (as you can see below) and I decided to wipe it.

b. Booting

Boot your computer into bootable media and you should enter Xubuntu Live Session. From this point, select “Try Ubuntu” and run the icon “Install Xubuntu 17.04” from desktop.

1. Select Language

First step: choose a language. This determines the whole user interface language later. Choosing English is safe.

2. Select No Connection

Second step: choose “I don’t want to connect…” so the installation will finish quicker.

3. Select No Download

Third step: blank all choices on downloading/installing third-party programs. You can do anything like this after installation.

4. Select Something Else

Fourth step: choose “Something else” to enter full-control partitioning.

5. Create Main Partition

Fifth step: on the advanced partitioning screen, choose the first blank partition you’ve prepared (in my example: /dev/sda4 70GB) > press Change button > on the Edit partition dialog determines Size=, Use as=”EXT4″, Format partition=”check on”, Mount point=”/” > OK.

6. Create Swap Partition

Sixth step: still on the advanced partitioning screen, and this is optional, select your second blank partition (the smaller one) > press Change button > on Edit partition dialog set Use as=”swap area”, Format this partition=”check on” > OK.

7. Determine Bootloader Location

Seventh step: select the location of the bootloader. It’s typically the parent disk of your main partition. See picture below for example, my main partition is /dev/sda4 so the parent is /dev/sda and I select this parent as my bootloader location. The partitions always have number on each of their name (/dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, etc.), while parent doesn’t (/dev/sda, /dev/sdb, etc.).

8. Start Installation

Eighth step: after determining all partitions, make sure all choices are correct, and then press Install Now. Once pressed, the actual installation begins and you cannot go back.

9. Enter User Info

Ninth step: you will be asked for 3 types of user info:

Geolocation: select your geolocation. This determines your local time/date, your currency, and local formatting. Yes, you can also change this after installation.

Keyboard layout: select your preferred keyboard. Xubuntu offers Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, and many more layouts if you need. However, default choice is safe.

Username: determine your own username & password here.

10. Wait The Progress

Tenth step: after entering all user info, you’ll wait Xubuntu System Installer to finish its job. While waiting, you’ll served with a gorgeous slideshow introducing Xubuntu. This should not take more than 15 minutes.

11. Installation Finished

After 10-15 minutes total time of installation, you’ll see Installation Complete dialog. This means it’s finished and you can enjoy Xubuntu right now.

Source link:


GNU/Linux Review: Xubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus

Please welcome Xubuntu 17.04, a newly released GNU/Linux OS with very low memory consumption and pretty desktop interface. It ships with XFCE 4.12, Firefox 52, and LibreOffice 5.3. It consumes only around 330MB of RAM at idle time, very convenient for low-end and old computers. It provides complete and large number of software on official repository, a big win for powerful computers for serious purposes. Xubuntu 17.04 is released at same day as Ubuntu 17.04, April 13th 2017. And this is a review to introduce you how great Xubuntu 17.04 is.

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First Time to Xubuntu Zesty?

Don’t worry. You can have complete download links, how to install it (the steps are similar to Ubuntu Unity), know what to do after install, or use zsync to save bandwidth while downloading. Indeed, Xubuntu is a very user-friendly (and also machine friendly) operating system with huge comunity worldwide.

1. Desktop Overview

Here is the desktop interface of Xubuntu 17.04. It’s very traditional with cascading menu (plus a search bar) and also you can put app icons on desktop. This traditional concept really helps people who came from Microsoft Windows.

Default View

Icons on Desktop

What’s XFCE? XFCE is a desktop environment created by The XFCE Project for GNU/Linux and any other Unix-like OS. It blends simplicity and beauty, power and speed, so the user gets a low-resource desktop yet beautiful and customizable.

What’s Whisker Menu? XFCE has 2 types of menu, and Whisker is the greatest one. Xubuntu installs it by default as your top-left menu. Whisker is customizable and has more features.

How about Super key? Yes, Xubuntu supports Super key to open/close desktop menu. It’s the same as Unity or Windows.

Can I customize the interface? Of course and pretty well! Despite its calm & simplicity, XFCE is actually “the beast” when it comes to desktop art. See Xubuntu Settings and you’ll see them.

2. Wallpapers

These are Xubuntu 17.04 wallpapers. They’re the same as Xubuntu wallpapers for 16.04. Different to Ubuntu Budgie, there’s no wallpaper contest for 17.04. If you want to know more about this contest, see winners announcement. However, I must admit that I like this set more than Ubuntu Budgie’s and Ubuntu Unity’s one, especially Mountainous View by Sven Scheumeier. How about you?

3. Memory Usage

At idle time after freshly installed, Xubuntu 17.04 consumes around 330MB of RAM constantly. It’s a happy surprise to cost very small memory requirements while we can have a beautiful desktop, functional & powerful one in 2017. This beats Ubuntu Zesty (1GB), Ubuntu GNOME Zesty (1.4GB), and even elementary OS Loki (600MB). I can recommend Xubuntu 17.04 for all people as many as I can, including those having 512MB RAM computers or any Windows 10 user there.


As you can see, it’s around 330MB out of 2GB RAM on my laptop.


From my desktop, the top memory-consuming processes are Xorg (50MB), blueman-applet (50MB), and nm-applet (30MB). If you notice the picture above, actually we can safely disable blueman-applet and update-notifier to get lower memory use. The sum of them are still 1/3 of Ubuntu Unity and even almost 1/5 of Ubuntu GNOME, all Zesty versions. So Xubuntu’s still highly recommendable for old/low-end computers.

4. Default Applications

Xubuntu 17.04 ships with plenty of good free software.

  • Office suite: LibreOffice 5.3 (Writer, Calc, Math)
  • Web browser: Firefox 52
  • Email client: Thunderbird 45.8.0
  • Chatting: Pidgin 2.12
  • File manager: Thunar 1.6.11
  • Control panel: Settings Manager 4.12.1
  • Calendar: Orage 4.12.1
  • App store: GNOME Software 3.22.7
  • Terminal: XFCE Terminal 0.48
  • Media player: Parole 0.9.1
  • CD/DVD burner: Xfburn 0.5.4
  • PDF reader: Evince 3.24
  • Menu editor: MenuLibre 2.1.3

5. Repository

Xubuntu repository is the same as Ubuntu Regular’s one. So, there are more than 70000 packages available to install for Xubuntu 17.04. This huge numbers of package covers all human computing needs, anything from kids education until complex scientific calculations. You want graphic design tools, or video games, or audio editor, or programming libraries, just search them on repo. Xubuntu ships with GNOME Software to make searching & installing easy for you.

Our “App Store”

Looking for “games”

6. Audio/Video

Xubuntu by default can play MP3, MP4, OGG, WEBM, and FLV multimedia formats thanks to Parole Media Player. You are not required to install any external program anymore. Picture below shows Parole playing MP3 audio & FLV video files.

7. Desktop Customization

XFCE is one of the top customizable desktop environments. You can use its System Settings to do almost all customizations, like changing theme and icons; colors and style. This is a special part that should mentioned separately here.

Theme Changing

Altering installed themes is very easy on Xubuntu, thanks to its System Settings. As you see in picture below, by default I can change the window borders to translucent and the theme into Numix.

Menu Editing

Xubuntu ships with MenuLibre program to allow you add/edit menu entries. This makes end-users more comfortable because they can change any icon, change the command, or add new entry, especially for application that is installed manually (like Telegram).

Custom Shortcut Keys

Xubuntu has a very flexible way to edit shortcut keys and to add custom ones. Like picture below, I assign Super key to Whisker Menu (as you know in Windows).

8. Daily Life

What you need for daily computing? Most users will come with web browsing, text editing (office documents), email, graphic design, software development, or anything around such things. Also, people needs easy software installation system. Xubuntu fulfills those all needs.

Files: your daily life will occur on Thunar file manager. It has very simple interface, yet functional and lightweight as well (low memory use). Press F9 to hide/show sidebar, press Ctrl+L to type an address, right-click > Find in this folder to search a file, these are the simplicities offered.

Office documents: you have LibreOffice, the best free office suite available for all operating systems. It supports .docx/.xlsx,/.pptx as well as .odt/.ods/.odp documents. This is an example Writer opening .odt file of an UbuntuBuzz Ebook.

PDF reading: you have Evince. It’s a small yet functional PDF reader.

Browsing: you have Firefox, the well-known browser. Here’s some good addons recommendation for you.

Mail & RSS: config Thunderbird so can read your Gmail locally, without browsing. It has also RSS reader built-in.

Open in Terminal: Thunar supports right-click > Open Terminal Here to make your life easier anytime you need command line. This feature is very helpful whenever you need to follow a tutorial performing a command in specific directory, especially to install a single .deb package.

Desktop search: you have Catfish. It can search for any file on any folder you wish, and greater than that, search file contents (just like googling). Imagine you need a file you forgot the name, but you remembered the text inside, then Catfish is there for you.

CD/DVD creation: you have Xfburn. Imagine you sell CDs and you need program to burn files (like Nero Burning ROM on Windows), then you don’t need to stop your business, because Xfburn is there for you.

9. Documentation

Xubuntu 17.04 ships with a preinstalled complete guide book. It’s very cool! It’s available both in web page and PDF formats. It consists of 14 chapters arranged in user-friendly fashion. See picture below, left for PDF and right for Web, they’re the same documentation.

To access it:

  • Web: go to menu > Help > Firefox will show the page > click the “Official Documentation” link.
  • PDF: open the Document Viewer > open the PDF in /usr/share/xubuntu-docs/user/C/.

10. Technical Details

  • OS name: Xubuntu
  • Version: 17.04
  • Codename: Zesty Zapus
  • Release date: April 13th 2017
  • Support lifespan: 9 months
  • OS family: GNU/Linux
  • Developer: Xubuntu Project
  • License: free software
  • Architecture: 32 bit & 64 bit
  • ISO size: 1.2GB
  • Desktop environment: XFCE 4
  • Init system: systemd
  • Source code:
  • Website:

11. Conclusion

Xubuntu 17.04 is really beautiful and functional. I can recommend it for any of you that have only 1GB of RAM (while I cannot with Ubuntu 17.04), or any of you that have old computers, or even any of you that have powerful computers but doesn’t like the memory-hungry Unity or GNOME. For the same Zesty Zapus release, Xubuntu is clearly more lightweight than Ubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, and of course Ubuntu GNOME. Xubuntu 17.04 fulfills both the daily life needs and the low-cost hardware requirements. And the last thing, the built-in documentation is complete and worthy for all users.

Release Notes

Source link:


Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus Beta 1 Flavors Available For Download

The official Ubuntu 17.04 flavors are available for download. Here’s a quick look at what’s new in the latest 17.04 beta release of Ubuntu Budgie, Xubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, and Kubuntu.

This article doesn’t cover Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin and Ubuntu Studio, flavors that also had a 17.04 beta 1 release, but which don’t seem to have any interesting changes, at least according to their release notes. Other flavors, such as Ubuntu MATE, as well as Ubuntu (with Unity) did not take part in the 17.04 beta 1 release.

Ubuntu 17.04 will be released on April 13, 2017, and it will be supported for only 9 months, until July, 2017. If you want to use an Ubuntu version that’s supported for longer, use a LTS release (16.04 LTS)!

All the Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 1 flavors include Xorg server 1.18.4, Mesa 13.0.4 (17.0.0 is available in the proposed repositories) and the 4.10.0-8.10 Ubuntu Linux kernel, based on the upstream 4.10-rc8 Linux kernel.

Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 1

Ubuntu Budgie Zesty Zapus

Ubuntu Budgie is a newcomer among the official Ubuntu flavors. It uses Budgie Desktop by default, and it consists on a libmutter-based window manager and a customizable panel which includes an applet, notification and customization center, called Raven.
Ubuntu Budgie integrates tightly with the GNOME desktop, making use of its System Settings as well as the GNOME application stack, such as GNOME Files (Nautilus), Documents (Gedit), and so on.

Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 1 includes the latest Budgie Desktop 10.2.9 along with:
  • GNOME 3.22 for the most part, with various 3.24 beta bits;
  • Budgie Welcome application comes with a browser ballot screen;
  • AppIndicator is supported by default;
  • Terminix is the default terminal emulator;
  • compared to the unofficial Budgie Remix, Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 beta 1 includes quite a few extra GNOME applications by default. Among the applications included are: Files, Software, Books, Documents, Eye of GNOME (Image Viewer), System Monitor, Maps, Weather, Calendar, Contacts and Disks.

Here are a few more Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 screenshots:

Ubuntu Budgie Zesty Zapus

Ubuntu Budgie Zesty Zapus
A browser ballot is included with Budgie Welcome

Ubuntu Budgie Zesty Zapus
Terminix is available by default in Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 beta 1

Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 1

Ubuntu GNOME Zesty Zapus beta 1
Ubuntu GNOME is an Ubuntu flavor that tries to provide a pure GNOME experience. It uses GNOME Shell as the default shell, and ships with most GNOME applications by default.

Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 1 includes:

  • GNOME Shell 3.24 beta (3.23.90), which includes a Night Light, a new feature that can be used to automatically reduce the blue light emitted by your computer screen at sunset or whenever you choose;
  • GNOME 3.24 beta bits, mixed with GNOME 3.22. Among the GNOME 3.24 beta packages included are: GNOME Control Center / Settings Daemon, Photos, Videos (Totem), Maps, Music, and Disks.
  • there are a couple of applications that have not been updated from version 3.20: Files (Nautilus) and Terminal;
  • the Software app has been updated to version 3.22 and now supports Flatpak;
  • Flatpack 0.8 is installed by default (snapd is also available);
  • Chrome GNOME Shell, a package that provides support for installing GNOME Shell extensions from Google Chrome, Chromium and other Chromium-based web browsers (Opera, Vivaldi) is installed by default;
  • the tracker search indexing engine is now sandboxed;
  • some applications are no longer installed by default: Brasero, Evolution, Seahorse and Xdiagnose. They continue to be available in the repositories though;
  • for new installs, a swap file will be used by default instead of a swap partition;
  • the default DNS resolve is now systemd-resolved.

Here is the new Night Light option available in GNOME Shell 3.24 beta:

Ubuntu GNOME Zesty Zapus beta 1

Xubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 1

Xubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus

Xubuntu is an Ubuntu flavor which uses Xfce by default, a fast, lightweight desktop environment.

Xubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 1 includes:

  • Parole 0.9.0 which comes with a new mini mode and some other changes
  • Thunar 1.6.11, which comes with quite a few bug fixes, including for crashes when cuting/pasting multiple files, renaming files, and more.
  • Whisker Menu 2.1.0 now supports editing launchers from the context menu, supports desktop actions amd there’s an option to hide category names;
  • Xfce4 Task Manager now includes the ability to click on wondow to select process
  • various other application updates.

Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 1

Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus

Kubuntu is an Ubuntu flavor which uses the KDE Plasma desktop as the default desktop environment.
Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 1 includes KDE Applications 16.12.1 (see what’s new in 16.12.0 , since .1 is a bugfix release) and Plasma 5.9.2 (see what’s new in Plasma 5.9.0), which ships with quite a few changes:
  • interactive previews for the desktop notifications;
  • it’s now possible to switch between windows in Task Manager using the Meta + number shotcuts;
  • the Task Manager now supports pinning different applications in each activity;
  • application playing audio are now marked in the Task Manager similar to how this is done in most web browser; also, you can easily mute an application from the Task Manager context menu;
  • the Quick Launch applet now supports jump actions;
  • improved look and feel, including a more compact and beautiful design for the Breeze scrollbars;
  • global menus have returned;
  • new configuration module for network connections.

Here are a few more Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus beta 1 screenshots:

Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus
Global menu button

Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus
Global menu widget

Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus
New network configuration module

Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus
The Quick Launch applet now supports jump list actions

Download links and release notes for the other Ubuntu flavors:

Source link:


Ubuntu 17.04 Beta 1 Now Available to Download

The first beta releases in the Ubuntu 17.04 development cycle are ready for testing, with Xubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME and Ubuntu Budgie among the flavors taking part.

This post, Ubuntu 17.04 Beta 1 Now Available to Download, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Source link:


Alternative Global Menu For MATE And Xfce: Vala Panel AppMenu [PPA]

A while back I wrote about TopMenu, a panel plugin that provides global menu (AppMenu) support for MATE, then also included support for Xfce and LXDE.
The problem with TopMenu is that it only partially supports GTK3, it doesn’t support LibreOffice, and with Ubuntu 16.04, it doesn’t support Qt (4 or 5) applications.
Here’s where Vala Panel AppMenu comes in.

Vala Panel AppMenu is a global menu panel applet for Xfce, MATE and Vala panels, which uses unity-gtk-module as its backend, and it works with all the applications supported by Unity’s AppMenu.

Global Menu Linux Mint Vala Panel AppMenu

As a result, Vala Panel AppMenu provides global menu support for GTK2, GTK3, Qt4 and Qt5 applications, as well as applications like Firefox, Thunderbird, Google Chrome / Chromium, and LibreOffice.

For MATE, Vala Panel AppMenu requires MATE Panel built with GTK3 (so for Ubuntu, it requires Ubuntu MATE 16.10 and newer). Its README also mentions that to build Vala Panel AppMenu, you’ll need GTK 3.12 or newer, GLib 2.40 or newer, valac 0.24 or newer and libbamf 0.5.0 or newer.
Here’s Vala Panel AppMenu in action with Chromium, Firefox, Gedit (GTK3), LibreOffice, VLC (Qt5), and Thunar (GTK2):

Global Menu Xubuntu Xfce Vala Panel AppMenu

Global Menu Xubuntu Xfce Vala Panel AppMenu

Global Menu Xubuntu Xfce Vala Panel AppMenu

Global Menu Xubuntu Xfce Vala Panel AppMenu

Global Menu Xubuntu Xfce Vala Panel AppMenu

Global Menu Xubuntu Xfce Vala Panel AppMenu

Here’s an Ubuntu MATE 16.10 screenshot as well:

Global Menu Ubuntu MATE Vala Panel AppMenu

Vala Panel AppMenu is not perfect though, and I did encounter a few issues in my test:
  • when no window is focused / the desktop is empty, a menu containing “Desktop” and “Files” is displayed by the Vala AppMenu applet. These menu items don’t work, at least in Ubuntu, and using them can cause the Xfce / MATE panel to crash;
  • Qt5 supports the AppMenu feature by default, without using any additional packages (I’m not sure which version introduced this feature), however, there’s a bug with this and Vala AppMenu which causes the global menu for Qt5 applications to be displayed for a few seconds after the app is closed. This doesn’t occur if the appmenu-qt5 package is installed though;
  • MATE only: GTK2 applications have the menu displayed on both the panel and in the application window. If someone can find a way to solve this, please let us know in the comments!;
  • MATE only: there’s no easy way of moving the applet to the desired position, but it can be done using Dconf Editor;
  • there’s no way of changing the global menu font color, and that can be problematic with some themes. For example, the menu font is dark on a dark panel background using the default Xubuntu 16.04 theme (Greybird). This doesn’t occur with Numix GTK theme (which is installed by default in Xubuntu) or Greybird in Xubuntu 16.10.
You may also want to check out the Vala Panel AppMenu issues page on GitHub.

Install and set up Vala AppMenu in Ubuntu (MATE/Xubuntu) or Linux Mint (Xfce) via PPA

If you don’t use Ubuntu or Linux Mint, you can grab the Vala Panel AppMenu source from GitHub.

Arch Linux users can install Vala Panel AppMenu via AUR.

For Ubuntu or Linux Mint, see the instructions below.

1. Install Vala AppMenu.
Vala AppMenu is available in the WebUpd8 MATE and Xfce PPA.
For Ubuntu MATE, the plugin is only available for Ubuntu 16.10, because it requires MATE Panel built with GTK3, and that is only the case for Ubuntu 16.10 and newer.
For Xfce, the Vala AppMenu plugin is available for Xubuntu 16.10 and 16.04, as well as Linux Mint Xfce 18.x.
To add the WebUpd8 MATE and Xfce PPA and update the software sources, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/mate
sudo apt update

Then, install the Vala AppMenu plugin / applet:

– for Xfce (Xubuntu 16.10, 16.04 / Linux Mint Xfce 18.x):

sudo apt install xfce4-vala-appmenu-plugin unity-gtk3-module unity-gtk2-module appmenu-qt appmenu-qt5

– for MATE (Ubuntu MATE 16.10):

sudo apt install mate-applet-vala-appmenu unity-gtk3-module unity-gtk2-module appmenu-qt appmenu-qt5

2. Disable the menu from being displayed in application windows (so it’s only displayed on the panel; without this, you’ll get double menus, in both the panel and application windows).

2.A. for Xfce, simply run the command below:

xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Gtk/ShellShowsMenubar -n -t bool -s true
xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Gtk/ShellShowsAppmenu -n -t bool -s true

2.B. for MATE, you’ll need to edit the ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini file (if this file doesn’t exist, create it) and in this file, add the following under “[Settings]”:


Here are step by step instructions for doing this. Firstly, create the ~/.config/gtk-3.0/ folder in case it doesn’t exist, by using the following command:

mkdir -p ~/.config/gtk-3.0/

Then open ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini with Pluma text editor:

pluma ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini

If this file has a “[Settings]” section, paste under it the following:


If the file is empty, paste the following in this file:


… and save the file.

Unfortunately, for MATE, this will not disable the menu from being displayed in app windows for GTK2 (I mentioned this in the issues section above).

3. Restart the session (logout, then log back in).

4. Add the Vala AppMenu applet to the panel (and how to change its position on the MATE panel).

4.A. For Xfce, right click the panel on which you want to add Vala AppMenu to, and select Panel > Panel Preferences (I prefer this to directly adding the applet to the panel, because it also allows moving it to the desired position), and on the Items tab, click “+” and add “AppMenu Plugin” to the panel:

You can move Vala AppMenu to the desired position on the panel via the Items tab from the Xfce4 Panel Preferences.
If you have TopMenu installed, make sure you don’t mix the two!
4.B. For MATE, right click the panel, select “Add to panel”, then search for “Global Application Menu” and click “Add”:

Unfortunately there’s no easy way of moving the applet to the desired position on the panel. That’s because the Vala Panel AppMenu responds in the same way to both left and right click, and there’s no area to access its context menu.
To change the global menu position on the MATE panel, you’ll need Dconf Editor, which can be installed using the following command:
sudo apt install dconf-editor

Next, launch Dconf Editor, navigate to org > mate > panel > objects and in the “objects” tree, you should see some items called “object-1”, “object-2” and so on. Start from the last object and see which has the “applet-iid” value set to “AppMenuAppletFactory:AppMenuApplet”.

Note: you may have multiple applets (“object-1”, “object-2”, etc.) with the “applet-iid” value of “AppMenuApplet…” – in that case you’ll need to change the settings for the last one (the higher number).

The “position” value represents the number of pixels between the left-hand side of the panel and the applet position. So once you find the right applet, change its position value to suit your needs (try to approximate it, if the other applets are locked, a lower value than the actual position will work in some cases).
In my case, I have a menu, a Firefox launcher, and a separator and I want to move the global menu next to them, so I set the “position” value to “100”:

Global Menu Ubuntu MATE Vala Panel AppMenu

After you change the position, you’ll need to restart the MATE panel to apply the changes (or logout/login). To do this, open a terminal and type:
mate-panel --replace &

5. Optional: enable Vala Appmenu (global menu) for Firefox and Thunderbird.

By default, Vala AppMenu will only display the Thunderbird and Firefox Unity actions (quicklists) on the panel. To enable the full Firefox and Thunderbird menu on the panel, you must launch Firefox and Thunderbird with “UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0”.

You can do this automatically (by copying the Firefox and Thunderbird .desktop files from /usr/share/applications to ~/.local/share/applications/ so they are not overwritten when they receive updates, and modify the .desktop files there) for both Firefox and Thunderbird, by using the commands below:

mkdir -p ~/.local/share/applications/
cp /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/
sed -i 's/^Exec=/Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 firefox %u/' ~/.local/share/applications/firefox.desktop
cp /usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/
sed -i 's/^Exec=/Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 thunderbird %u/' ~/.local/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop

Undo the changes

Below you’ll find the exact steps required to undo the changes made by following the instructions mentioned above.

1. Remove Vala AppMenu:

sudo apt purge xfce4-vala-appmenu-plugin mate-applet-vala-appmenu

If you are sure (Important! don’t remove these packages if you also use Unity) that the Unity GTK module and AppMenu packages are not used by any other packages on your system, also purge them by using the following command:

sudo apt purge unity-gtk3-module unity-gtk2-module appmenu-qt appmenu-qt5

2. Undo the MATE/Xfce menu disable settings

2.A. For Xfce, use the following commands:

xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Gtk/ShellShowsMenubar -n -t bool -s false
xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Gtk/ShellShowsAppmenu -n -t bool -s false

2.B. For MATE, open ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini with a text editor – the command below uses Pluma to open this file:

pluma ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini

And from this file, remove the following two lines:


If this file was created by following the instructions in this article (was empty or it didn’t exist before), you can simply remove it by using the following command:

rm ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini

3. Restart the session (logout, then log back in)

4. If you applied the optional Thunderbird and Firefox tweaks mentioned above, you can undo this step by simply removing their .desktop files from ~/.local/share/applications/. To do this from a terminal, use the following commands:

rm ~/.local/share/applications/firefox.desktop
rm ~/.local/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop

Thanks to WebUupd8 reader omg2090 for the tip and information (check out his comment for how to build this from source and an extra tweak).

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Recent Notifications Indicator Lets You Access Missed Desktop Notifications

Recent Notifications is an Ubuntu Indicator that collects desktop notifications, displaying them in its menu. This is useful if you missed some important notification for various reasons, like being away from the computer, etc.
Ubuntu recent notifications
I’ve covered Recent Notifications before, however, the last article on WebUpd8 dates back to 2011, so I decided to post another article about it (and redirect the old ones to this one), especially since the indicator changed / improved since then.

Recent Notifications indicator collects notifications sent with libnotify to a notification daemon, such as NotifyOSD, and supports Unity, Xfce, MATE and GNOME Flashback session.


  • collect notifications and display the 5 (this is configurable) most recent notifications. Older notifications can be accessed by clearing some of the most recent notifications;
  • clear individual or all notifications;
  • option to ignore notifications by application name;
  • GTK3 version only: links in notifications are clickable;
  • keyboard support: you can dismiss notifications using your keyboard. Press space to dismiss the notification but leave the indicator open, or press enter to dismiss the notification and close the indicator menu.

The Recent Notifications indicator menu allows removing individual notifications or clearing all notifications, without any other options. However, the indicator does support some customization via Dconf Editor. If you don’t have Dconf Editor, you can install it using the following command:
sudo apt install dconf-editor

Using Dconf Editor, navigate to net > launchpad > indicator > notifications (or notifications-gtk2), and you’ll find 3 configurable options for Recent Notifications: blacklist, hide-indicator, and max-items:

Ubuntu Recent Notifications dconf

Note that if you had to install the GTK2 version (if you’re using Ubuntu MATE older than 16.10), both “notifications” and “notifications-gtk2” will show up – you’ll need to change the options for “notifications-gtk2”.
The last two options are self-explanatory, so I’ll only explain the blacklist option. This allows blacklisting applications so their notifications are not collected by Recent Notifications.
The blacklist feature can be used to filter out less important notifications, like those sent by a music player, or the Sound Indicator (which displays notifications when changing the volume, something that’s not really useful to have in Recent Notifications).

For example to blacklist Sound Indicator notifications from showing up in Recent Notifications, set the “blacklist” value using Dconf Editor to:
Blacklisting the Sound Indicator worked in my test under Unity, but it didn’t under Xfce (Xubuntu).

For applications, simply enter the application name. Note that the app name is case sensitive. For instance, to blacklist Rhythmbox, use:

To blacklist multiple items, separate them with a comma, then a space. For instance, to blacklist both the Sound Indicator and Rhythmbox, use:
['indicator-sound', 'Rhythmbox']

Install Recent Notifications

For MATE and Xfce, the Indicator Applet / Indicator Plugin is required for this to work (it must be added to the panel). Also, for Ubuntu MATE versions older than 16.10, you’ll need to install the GTK2 version of Recent Notifications.
To install Recent Notifications in Ubuntu, Xubuntu, or Ubuntu MATE, you can use its official PPA. To add the PPA and update the software sources, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jconti/recent-notifications
sudo apt update

Then, to install the Recent Notifications GTK3 indicator, use the command below:
sudo apt-get install indicator-notifications

If you use Ubuntu MATE older than 16.10, you’ll need the GTK2 version, which you can install using the following command:
sudo apt install indicator-notifications-gtk2

Once installed, restart the session (logout/login) and Recent Notifications should start automatically.
Report any bugs you may encounter @ Launchpad.

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Xfce Gets A `Do Not Disturb` Mode And Per Application Notification Settings

The Xfce developers are busy porting Xfce applications and components to GTK3, and in the process, they are also adding new features.
“Do not disturb”, a much requested feature, landed in xfce4-notifyd 0.3.4 (the Xfce notification daemon) recently. Using this, you can suppress notification bubbles for a limited time-frame.

Furthermore, the latest xfce4-notifyd includes an option to enable or disable notifications on a per-application basis.
After an application sends a notification, the app is added to a list in the notification settings. From here, you can control which applications can show notifications.
Both the “Do not disturb” mode and the application-specific notification settings can be found in Settings > Notifications:

Right now there’s no way of accessing notifications missed due to the “Do not disturb” mode being enabled. However, a notification logging / persistence feature is expected in a future release.

And finally, yet another feature in xfce4-notifyd 0.3.4 is an option display notifications on the primary monitor (until now, notifications were displayed on the active monitor).
This option is not available in the GUI for now, and it must be enabled using Xfconf (Settings Editor), by adding a Boolean property, called “/primary-monitor” (without the quotes), to xfce4-notifyd and set it to “True”:

xfce4-notifyd 0.3.4 is not available in a PPA right now, but it will probably be added to the Xfce GTK3 PPA soon.
If you want to build it from source, download it from HERE.
Looking for a “Do not disturb” mode for Unity? Check out NoNotifications.

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An Everyday Linux User Review Of Xubuntu 16.10 – A Good Place To Start


Xubuntu has always been one of my favourite distributions. It doesn’t look as glamourous as some of the other Linux offerings out there and it certainly doesn’t come with all the software you need pre-installed.
The thing that Xubuntu gives you is a great base to start from.
If you are the sort of person who likes to customise the look and feel of their desktop then XFCE is definitely the best desktop environment for this.
If you are low on system resources or you like to keep things nice and slick then XFCE is again a great option.
Xubuntu therefore has a head start on many of the other top Linux distributions because the XFCE desktop is installed by default.
There is no doubt that when it comes to hardware compatibility, ease of use, stability, ease of installation and a large community, Ubuntu is hard to beat.
Xubuntu is an official flavour of the Ubuntu Linux distribution so you get the best of Ubuntu but with the XFCE desktop installed instead of Unity.
If you want to be the one to choose the applications that come with your distribution then some other distributions come lots of applications pre-installed that you may not need.
Xubuntu comes with the bare essentials and beyond the small core of default inclusions it is up to you to find and install the rest.
This for me is why Xubuntu has always been a great distribution. Start with a simple base installation and customise it to be what you want it to be.

How To Get Xubuntu

You can visit the Xubuntu website at
The download page can be found at
There are two versions available. The LTS version is 16.04 and is the one most people will want to go for unless you like updating your operating system every 6 months.
The other version is the one I am reviewing today which is version 16.10.
You can either download a torrent in order to get the ISO file or you can visit one of the mirrors.
If you choose to download from a mirror click on the appropriate ISO. For example click on the amd-64.iso file for 64-bit or i386.iso for 32-bit.
There are lots of guides for showing how to create bootable Linux USB drives:


Installation of Xubuntu, as with other flavours of Ubuntu, is relatively straight forward.
If you have installed one, then you can generally install any of them.
Start off by choosing the installation language.
You will be asked whether you want to update as you go and whether you wish to install the third party codecs and tools which enable you to play MP3 audio and use proprietary drivers.
You need to be connected to the internet in order to do either of these things.
Again It is relatively straight forward and covered later on in the review.
If you have a spare unallocated disk partition and you have Windows installed you will see the option to install Xubuntu alongside Windows in a dual boot setup.
You also get the option to install Xubuntu as the sole operating system and you can also choose something else which lets you partition the way you want to.
The next step is to choose where you live. This sets your time zone so that the clock is set up correctly.
Two steps to go.
Choose your keyboard layout by choosing the language and keyboard configuration.
Finally create a default user.
Enter your name, give your computer a name, set a username and then enter and repeat a password.
Xubuntu will now install and you should be good to go.

First Impressions

Xubuntu starts with a blue desktop with a single panel at the top. You will also see all of the drives that are available on your computer as icons on the desktop.
At the top of the screen is a single panel.
The left corner on the panel has a single icon (picture of a mouse) which when clicked brings up a stylish, lightweight but fully functional menu known as the Whisker menu.
The top right corner has icons for notifications, power settings, bluetooth settings, network settings, audio settings and a clock.

Connecting To The Internet

You can connect to the internet by clicking the network icon on the panel. A list of wireless networks will appear and you can connect to one by clicking on it and enter the password for the network.
I have installed Xubuntu on my Lenovo Ideapad Y700 which is quite modern. Many distributions have caused subtle issues with wireless connectivity which I have had to work around.
Xubuntu 16.10 works without having to make any modifications.


It is worth looking for additional drivers which may be available for your computer.
Quite often the default option will be the open source drivers which are decent enough but if you have a good graphics card then it is worth installing the proprietary drivers.
You can find the additional drivers setup screen by opening the menu and searching for additional drivers.
If you see a driver appear for your graphics card and it says not working then I recommend sticking with the default graphics driver.


I have an Epson WF-2630 wireless printer. Xubuntu was able to find the printer straight away and installed the drivers relevant for the printer.
I printed test pages and the output was perfectly adequate.

Network Attached Storage

I have a WD MyCloud Storage device which is accessible over a wireless network.
You can access the device using the default file manager called Thunar. It is worth noting that when I clicked on Network to show devices the WD MyCloud device showed up but when I clicked on it I received an error.
However when I opened the Windows Network Folder the WD MyCloud device showed up again and I was able to access the folders on the drive.


I mentioned at the beginning of the review that Xubuntu comes with a minimal set of applications. There is however almost everything you could need to get started.
Firefox is installed as the default web browser and Thunderbird is the default email client.
You also get the full LibreOffice suite and the Parole media player which does the job.
There are a host of other tools such as an image viewer, calculator, disk burning software and a bittorrent client.
I am glad that Abiword and Gnumeric have largely been omitted from most major distributions nowadays because they are both fairly irrelevant. Most people end up installing LibreOffice anyway.
The lack of a dedicated audio player is a little bit surprising and I have to say that I generally end up installing Google’s Chrome browser as opposed to using Firefox.
The top picture in this section shows why. In that picture I am trying to watch Curb Your Enthusiam via the Google Play store but there were various DRM and other issues which prevented the video playing.
I can’t be bothered jumping through hoops to bypass these issues when a simple download from the Google website sorts out the issue as shown below.

Installing Software

The main issue that has plagued Ubuntu based distributions since the release of 16.04 is the fact that certain applications don’t appear in the graphical software tool used to install software.
For instance you won’t find Steam in the software manager.
If you use the command line and type “sudo apt-cache search steam” you will see that the software is available to be installed.
Steam isn’t the only omission, other packages such as Skype are also not available via the graphical tool.
I would have expected this to have been resolved by now across all Ubuntu distributions.
I reviewed Kubuntu 16.04 recently and the software tool called Discover was completely inept. The search function didn’t work at all.
Fortunately the software manager in Xubuntu generally works for most packages and I used it to search for and install the Quod Libet audio player.
Incidentally if you picked the option to install codecs whilst installing Xubuntu then MP3 audio will play without any issues.
If not then you should open a terminal emulator and install the Xubuntu Restricted Extras package.

Customising Xubuntu

There are so many things you can do to customise Xubuntu as shown here.
Xubuntu comes with a decent set of wallpapers as shown above and one of the first things you might like to do is change the wallpaper and add a new docking style panel with launchers to all of your favourite applications.
A relatively new feature available for Xubuntu is the XFDashboard. This brings up a dashboard similar to the one supplied with the GNOME desktop. You can add a launcher and keyboard shortcut to make it appear.
This view provides a nice way of choosing different workspaces and launching applications.
To be honest when it comes to customising Xubuntu the world is your oyster.


My biggest issue with Xubuntu (along with all of the Ubuntu distributions) is the lack of key software programs in the graphical software installer. Why omit Steam?
I received one crash whilst using Xubuntu and that was during the installation as shown by the following image:
I have no idea what the problem was because it didn’t actually have any side effects. The installation worked without a hitch.


I don’t review Xubuntu that often and it isn’t because I don’t like Xubuntu. In fact I am a big fan of Xubuntu and I have a heavily customised version on one of my other computers.
I use that computer when I want to get things done because lets face it there is nothing more annoying than seeing this:
Seriously how can people say Windows just works when it seems that every other day the message “installing 1 of 285” appears and you lose your computer for an hour whilst it updates itself.
Xubuntu (as with every other distribution) updates without interrupting your day at all.
The truth is that nothing much really changes with Xubuntu. It is solid, steady and it doesn’t need to change (except fot the software manager thing).
I would totally recommend Xubuntu.
I have to say that it is worth also checking out Peppermint OS, Linux Mint XFCE or Manjaro XFCE as well.

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