Xubuntu Development Update June 2018

It’s time for another Xubuntu development update! With the successful release of Xubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver” in April, the team got some much-needed R&R for a few days. But with the announcement of the 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish” release cycle, it was time to get back to work. Here are some quick updates.

Cosmic Cuttlefish

On May 8th, Mark Shuttleworth announced the codename for 18.10, “Cosmic Cuttlefish!” This announcement comes with an increased push for security in the Ubuntu ecosystem. With the unending news about security breaches and the EU’s push for enhanced data privacy, this is certainly a welcome direction. Ubuntu 18.10 is expected to be released on October 18, 2018.


The 18.10 blueprints have been created and linked to the development tracker. The xubuntu-c-roadmap umbrella blueprint is configured and linked to each team’s blueprint. So far, here’s what’s in store for this development cycle.

  • Artwork: Maintenance of the existing themes, syncing upstream updates for the elementary icon theme, and a new wallpaper as always.
  • Bugs: Largely focusing on fixes for 18.04. The 18.04.1 point release is expected on July 26, 2018, and there are a few things we’d like to resolve soon.
  • Development: Making Xubuntu Core (or “Base”) official, migrating all Bazaar branches to Git, migrating our downstream Xfce projects and patches back up to Xfce, and improving developer documentation.
  • QA: New tester wiki and IRC session(s), package test updates, and other test case improvements.
  • Website: Web UI for development tracker administration, Xubuntu-themed ISO download pages, updated homepage on Xubuntu.org, and several wiki updates.

New Tester Wiki

Ever wondered how easy it is to get started with testing Xubuntu? It’s a lot easier now that we have our own new tester wiki! This is largely thanks to our new contributors, Willem and Leigh, so be sure to thank them next time you see them on #xubuntu-devel. As mentioned by our QA lead,

Written by two from the community who asked for simpler documentation to help people new to testing after they were asked to write it 🙂

Xubuntu Core/Base

For several cycles now, a few of our contributors and users have kept alive the dream of the minimal Xubuntu desktop. With an early start this cycle, we hope to finally make the project an official option available from the Ubuntu download mirrors. All of our patches [1] [2] [3] have been refreshed and merge proposals have been submitted, so now it’s just a poke-and-wait game.

Git Migration

With the LTS development cycle out of the way, we’re finally able to focus on improving our workflows. One improvement we’ve just completed is the migration from Bazaar to Git. I’ve documented our reasoning here, but the #1 reason we (and others) have turned to Git is to make it easier for our contributors to get started and get comfortable.

Git is one of the leading version control systems for open-source projects. Contributors to past projects are more likely to have used Git before, and many of our upstreams (Debian, Xfce, Shimmer Project, and others) are also using Git. If we make it easier to contribute, we’ll see an increase in contributors.

I’ve drafted up some documentation to ease the transition, and more is on the way. For now, have a look at these wiki pages:

Also, please note that this news has nothing to do with the recent news related to GitHub. All of our code will continue to be hosted on Launchpad for the foreseeable future.

Podcast Appearances

I’ve recently had some fun conversations about Xubuntu and Xfce with the great folks from Destination Linux and Late Night Linux Extra, so be sure to check those out if you haven’t already and send them some love if you like what you hear.

What’s Next?

Over the next month, I will be focused on fixing bugs and getting those fixes back into Xubuntu 18.04. There are also a few pending patches for Exo and Xfce Settings, so pushing out some brand-new releases is on my agenda as well. I regularly post release announcements here, so be sure to subscribe or check back soon for all the new Xfce and Xubuntu goodness.