How to Install Xfce Desktop 4.16 in Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20

Last updated: December 24, 2020

Xfce Desktop 4.16 was announced as the new major release a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20 for testing.

Xfce 4.16 features include:

  • New icons and palette
  • New Default Applications dialog merges ‘Mime Settings’ and ‘Preferred Applications’ dialogs
  • Better HiDPI support with fractional scaling
  • More default keyboard shortcuts.
  • Add pause button in Thunar’s file copy and move dialogs
  • Dark panel mode (Enabled by default)
  • New ‘Status Tray’ plugin combines both legacy Systray and StatusNotifier.
  • New ‘About’ dialog shows basic system information.
  • Improved power manager settings and more.

How to Install Xfce 4.16 in Ubuntu:

So far the only easy way to get the desktop packages is using the “Xubuntu Developers” team QA Staging PPA.

As the description says, the packages in the PPA are primarily geared towards testing. Use it at your own risk!

1.) Open terminal from your system application launcher. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

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

Type user password (no asterisk feedback) for sudo prompts and hit Enter to continue.

2.) For XUbuntu and Linux Mint Xfce Edition, install available system updates either via the package manager or by running command:

sudo apt update; sudo apt upgrade

For others, install Xfce desktop via command:

sudo apt install xubuntu-desktop

Uninstall Xfce 4.16:

For XUbuntu and Linux Mint Xfce Edition, run command to purge the PPA which will downgrade Xfce packages to the stock versions:

sudo apt install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:xubuntu-dev/staging

To just remove the “Xubuntu Developers” team PPA, run command:

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

To completely remove xfce packages (not recommended for XUbuntu and Linux Mint Xfce), run command:

sudo apt remove --auto-remove '~nxubuntu*' '~nxfce4*' '~nthunar*' atril-common brltty-x11 tumbler-common


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee:

6 responses to How to Install Xfce Desktop 4.16 in Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20

  1. I tried it on Ubuntu 20.10, at my risk :-) The panel doesn’t start after installation. To repair it, with searching and fiddling, I downloaded and installed libxfce4ui-4.16.0.tar.bz2 . This helped. Then I had to install new xfce4-clipman and xfce4-clipman-plugin. Be warned :-)
    Merry Christmas! Stay safe and healthy you all!

  2. Well. In Mint the synaptic says xfce4-settings paackage is broken and cannot be repaired. Had to revert to 4.14.

  3. You are probably ok installing 4.16. But! I created a problem when after I installed double commander, I then made it the preferred file manager. You can do this in 4.14. But 4.16 removes that option. Grrr. This left me with folders not opening because 4.16 could not find Double Commander. So, I rolled it back. Pissed that the preferred file manager option was removed. I want More features not less!!!