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Short: Maybe a Gnome shell and macOS Expose like dashboard for Xfce

Longer: xfdashboard provides a GNOME shell dashboard and macOS Mission Control (Exposé and Spaces) like interface for use with the Xfce desktop. It can be configured to run with any keyboard shortcut and when executed provides an overview of applications currently open enabling the user to switch between different applications. The search feature works like Xfce's app finder which makes it convenient to search for and start applications.


Required packages

  • libwnck >= 3.0
  • clutter >= 1.12
  • glib >= 2.38
  • gio >= 2.38
  • gio-unix-2.0 >= 2.38
  • xfconf >= 4.10.0
  • garcon >= 0.2.0
  • gtk+ >= 3.2
  • libxfce4util >= 4.10.0
  • libxfce4ui >= 4.10.0

… and the dependencies of these libraries of course ;)

The following libraries are semi-optional:

  • dbus-glib >= 0.98 (required if xfconf < 4.13)

The following libraries are optional and configurable:

  • libXcomposite >= 0.2 (for live windows)
  • libXdamage (for live windows)
  • libXinerama (for multi-monitor support)

On debian based distros, all requirements are installed with:

    apt-get install xfce4-dev-tools build-essential glib2.0 libglib2.0-dev 
    xorg-dev libwnck-3-dev libclutter-1.0-dev libgarcon-1-0-dev 
    libxfconf-0-dev libxfce4util-dev libxfce4ui-2-dev libxcomposite-dev 
    libxdamage-dev libxinerama-dev

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Latest Release

  • xfdashboard 1.0.0 released (2022/08/12 20:23)
    xfdashboard 1.0.0 is now available for download from
    What is xfdashboard?
    xfdashboard provides a GNOME shell dashboard like interface for use with
    Xfce desktop. It can be configured to run to any keyboard shortcut and
    when executed provides an overview of applications currently open
    enabling the user to switch between different applications. The search
    feature works like Xfce's app finder which makes it convenient to search
    for and start applications.
    Release notes for 1.0.0
    xfdashboard-1.0.0 "3652 days, 10 years + 2135 commits + 83 releases
    results in 1.0.0" or short "Now I'm ready! :D" was released on
    This is the first stable major version 1.0.0.
    * New feature: Introduces XfdashboardSettings as settings object
      for libxfdashboard. This is the first step to turn libxfdashboard
      into a real library and removes xfconf as dependency from it but
      it is still needed for the application and settings application
      to store settings permanently as XfdashboardSettings is just a
      in-memory storage.
    * New feature: Introduces XfdashboardPluginSettings as settings
      object for plugins like XfdashboardSettings is for the library.
    * New feature: Move XfdashboardApplication out of library
      libxfdashboard into application xfdashboard and turn
      libxfdashboard into a complete library
    * New feature: Implemented a new color class XfdashboardGradientColor
      which support solid colors (single colors) and path gradients. Path
      gradient will follow a path (the outline) and draw a gradient
      orthogonal with color stops along this path.
    * New feature: Outlines (through XfdashboardoutlineEffect) do now
      use the new XfdashboardGradientColor to support the usual solid
      colors as befeofre as well as a new path gradient.
    * New feature: Enhanced new color class XfdashboardGradientColor
      to support also linear gradients besided solid colors
      (single colors) and path gradients. Added support to specify
      colors for XfdashboardGradientColor in CSS.
    * New feature: New search provider plugin "recently used" to search
      through list of recently used files provided by GTK+ recent-used
    * New feature: New plugin "autopin-windows" which will automatically
      pin each window moved to any non-primary monitor and unpins them if
      moved to primary monitor. This plugins runs in daemon mode only
    * New feature: Added a new property "visibility", which is stylable,
      to XfdashboardActor, so each actor inherits this new stylable
      property. This stylable property controls if an actor should be
      visible if requested to using clutter_actor_show(). Setting
      "visibility" to false is similar to "display: none;" for CSS of
      HTML while setting it to true will allow the actor to be shown.
    * New feature: Added new actions for key bindings to add, remove,
      toggle or apply CSS classes to a target actor at runtime. Using
      it by default to switch between list and icon mode at application
      view with -i for icon mode and -l for list mode
      when application view has the focus. (#16)
    * Fixed crashes with animations when user disabled animations in
      settings (#9)
    * Fixed missing $(XFDASHBOARD_DEBUG_CFLAGS) in all Makefile.am files
      except of libxfdashboard and common folder. So debug macros to print
      debug message where empty and not printed at all, e.g. at plugins
    * Fixed registering focusable actors from other stage interface as
      the main one for primary monitor. (GH#194)
    * Fixed signal definition of "can-suspend" at XfdashboardCore which
      prevented it to return the correct value if suspend is supported.
      It always returned FALSE even if xfdashboard is run in daemon mode
      and stopped to run background and activating some plugin. (GH#197)
    * Fixed compiler warning about "'__atomic_load' discards 'volatile'
      qualifier" in g_once_* functions of Glib which was changed in
      releases since 2.66.3
    * Fixed crash on start-up if xfdashboard was started for the very
      first time without any settings in xfconf (GH#200)
    * Fixed back button not working in sub-menu "all applications" (#21)
    * Fixed incorrect allocation for quicklaunch actor when horizontal
      orientation is used. Thanks to michal4132 for the hint where to
      look at ;) (#2)
    * Fixed switching to workspace of window being activated when window
      was selected at pop-up menu (#15)
    * Fixed intltool lock file bug in make distcheck. Thanks to Simon :)
    * Fixed failing to create texture for outlines because either width
      or height is zero (#8)
    * Fixed visual bug in default theme drawing wrong fill and outlines
      corners at workspace selector
    * Fixed not to draw outlines with rounded corners if background type
      has not set rounded corners, as the fill background method has
      already checked for years
    * Fixed AppInfo to match AppStream specification (#4)
    * Fixed lots of typos I've done sadly
    * Fixed enabling full debug builds again with removal of all deprecated
    * Fixed using deprecated function by using g_memdup2() instead of
      g_memdup() when compiling against GLib 2.67.4 or higher
    * Changed themes/CSS: Changed default theme to make use of new path
      gradients at outlines. 
    * Changed themes/CSS: Improved window placements in
      XfdashboardWindowsView by centering windows in usused space of last
    * Enhancement: Do not compile and install the "example-search-provider"
      plugin anymore but include sources and Makefile example (now called
      Makefile.am.example) in distribution file. Should make life easier
      for packagers ;) ... and for users as this plugin is useless ;)
    * Enhancement: Dropped support of Xfconf legacy (versions below 4.13.0)
      because of new XfdashboardSettings and XfdashboardPluginSettings
      object. Therefore also the dependency on dbus-glib was dropped which
      was needed for Xfconf legacy.
    * Enhancement: Removed all xfdashboard_*_get_default() function to
      access singleton instances of the subsystems/component, like plugins
      manager etc., as these singleton instances should now to access
      through XfdashboardCore and its xfdashboard_core_get_*(...) functions
    * Enhancement: Background fill color of XfdashboardBackground as well
      outline color of XfdashboardOutlineEffect do support all types of new
      color class XfdashboardGradientColor, i.e solid colors, linear
      gradients and path gradients
    * Enhancement: Improved algorithm to detect application and determine
      its desktop file (*.desktop) for X11 windows by checking for the X
      atom called "_GTK_APPLICATION_ID" at X11 window properties and at
      Linux also lookup executable file from /proc filesystem in
      database. For *BSD unixes I need help!
    * Enhancement: Plugins can now use the debug infrastructure of
    * Enhancement: Configuration and data files for application added to
      XfdashboardSettings and also added to plugins for plugin-specific
      configuration and data filesystem
    * Enhancement: Implemented function to set "urgent" state at X11
    * Simplied animation creation and usage (or not if disabled) by
      returning an empty animation object which the "done" signal can be
      connected to
    * Disabled applications-search-provider statistics as it uses a file
      instead of settings object or similar and does not work with new
      XfdashboardSettings object.
    * Prepared for newer libxfce4util (version 4.17.2 or higher) which
      changed function xfce_append_quoted to xfce_g_string_append_quoted
    * And many, many and several and a lot of smaller bug-fixes
    * Lots of more API documentation
    * Thanks to all contributors on the way to this major release. It were
      not many commits but very meaningful ones :)
    * A hugh thanks you to all translators out there for their great
      work of creating and updating translations:
      be, bg, ca, da, de, el, es, et, eu, fr, gl, he, id, it, ja, ko, lt,
      nb, nl, pl, pt, pt_BR, ru, sl, sq, sr, sv, tr, zh_CN

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Source code repository

The latest development version is hosted on Xfce Git. You can browse it using the web interface at the following URL:https://gitlab.xfce.org/apps/xfdashboard

Here you can find the documentation for theming and settings of the latest development version.

For older development releases, or stable, releases look at the release archive.

Reporting Bugs

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