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Xfce - Google Summer of Code 2022

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Students work with an open source organization on a 10 week programming project during their break from school or university.

If you are a developer who would like to get involved with the Xfce project, please see Xfce Development Information for additional resources.


Students should idle in IRC in order to stay connected with mentors, other GSoC students and xfce developers:

If you use a native IRC client, please make sure to run a bouncer(bnc) in order to receive offline messages, so that you will not miss anything. (There are some websites around which provide bouncer services free of charge for the for Libera network. Though you as well can host a bouncer yourself)

Alternatively you can use Matrix, which provides bridges to the #freenode IRC network and stores the communication. You can login via OpenID, and it makes a bouncer obsolete. To try that, just follow the links to the channels above.

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Project Ideas

Feel free to package a numer of issues to a GSoC project, for which you think, you can solve them in the given timeframe. Note that the issues you pick dont need to share the same mentor.

Here some suggestions to pick from, where mentors already confirmed to support them as part of a GSoC project. You can as well check our gitlab issue tracker for other issues from the projects listed below, though please make sure that there is a mentor supporting your choice !


Thunar is Xfce's file manager and one of its core components. There are many new features pending to be implemented and bugs that need fixing, some of which are listed below:

    • [Difficulty: medium] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Alexander Schwinn]
    • Currently the only thunar custom action which is provided by thunar is “open terminal here”. (Xubuntu adds some more). To add additional custom actions from the wiki is not very user-friendly. Thunar could be improved alot here by adding some meaningful default custom-actions, e.g. for catfish search (which now is an Xfce project), PNG/JPG conversion, rotating jpegs, creating symlinks/hardlinks, printing.
    • Like that we would have the possibility to provide translations for all of these UCA's
    • We would need the possibility enable/disable UCA's, so that we can add more “disabled by default” UCA's. That would prevent overload of the menu with UCA's which are possibly of no use for certain users.
    • One job here would be to modify the UCA-management dialog in order to show disabled UCA's grayed out. A checkbox inside UCA config dialog could be used to enable/disable it. Like all other UCA attributes, that attributes would need to be stored. (The commit adding support for “UCA submenus” will help to see what has to be done)
    • In a second step, default UCA's could be added from the wiki page
    • Code in Xfdesktop, the desktop manager, would also need to be modified to handle disabled UCA's.
    • [Difficulty: medium] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Alexander Schwinn]
    • Like for Mac, it would be nice to have the possibility to set custom colors for file and folder names.
    • The chosen color could be saved as gvfs-metadata value, like done for e.g. emblems.
    • The property dialog of files/folders would require a color picker.
    • [Difficulty: challenging] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Alexander Schwinn, Sergios - Anestis Kefalidis]
    • While it would be good to know how many files are inside a folder, that can be very resource-consuming, specially on remote locations
    • The linked bug contains an old WIP patch, which already worked for local files.
    • The mission would be, to port that patch to thunar master and make it usable for remote location / figure out how to best do so.
    • It is likely that a good solution requires running this functionality in a separate thread so experience with multi-threading could prove useful.
    • If that is not challenging enough for you, there is an issue for showing recursive file size (as well that issue has a partly functional patch attached).
    • [Difficulty: challenging] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Alexander Schwinn]
    • Several thunar plugins, like rabbit-vcs, the thunar-vcs-plugin and thunar-dropbox would profit from the possibility to set emblems on files. Though currently plugins are not able to do so.
    • Nautilus already seems to provide such a service. Most likely the nautilus code can be used as inspiration.
    • It would be required to extend the thunarx API (API used by thunar plugin) in order to support custom emblems.
  • Move resources which can be shared between thunar and xfdesktop into libxfce4util/libxfce4ui
    • [Difficulty: challenging] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Alexander Schwinn]
    • Both components need to do file operations, mounting and provide context menus. The related code currently is duplicated.
    • The idea is to move that code and it's dependencies to a shared library in order to reduce duplication, and to ease maintenance work.
    • There is no issue yet for that project …feel free to open one
    • [Difficulty: challenging] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Alexander Schwinn]
    • So that all applications which want to pick a file, will see the thunar dialog, instead of the foreign GtkFileChooserDialog
    • Possible required to implement a service xdg-desktop-portal-xfce, according to xdg-desktop-portal-gtk (to be checked)
    • Creation of the related DBUS Service in thunar
    • Dialog to pick specific file(s) and hit “done”/“abort” using the current thunar widgets.
    • [Difficulty: challenging] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Andre Miranda, Alexander Schwinn]
    • So that the side panel icons are more consistent and less distracting
    • There is already a WIP implementation that needs to be rebased and finished.
    • [Difficulty: challenging] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Alexander Schwinn]
    • A new view in order to maximize the space taken by thumbnails, not showing the file names any more
    • Most likely would require work on the exo-icon-view.
    • [Difficulty: challenging] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Sergios - Anestis Kefalidis, Alexander Schwinn]
    • The goal of this project is to implement 'Undo' functionality for file operations (where it makes sense).
    • Examples of such operations are: “copy”, “cut”, “rename”, “move to trash” (I might be forgetting something).
    • A possible solution would be to create a Stack where information about file operations is kept. To undo Thunar would get the top element of the Stack and execute the reverse operation.
    • For example, if the top element of the Stack says that a FileA was moved from DirA to DirB Thunar would need to move FileA from DirB to DirA to undo.
    • [Difficulty: challenging] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Sergios - Anestis Kefalidis, Alexander Schwinn]
    • The goal of this project is to expand the Details View to be able to handle expanded folders like the Tree View in the sidepane does.

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Xfce Terminal is a lightweight and easy to use terminal emulator application with many advanced features including drop down, tabs, unlimited scrolling, full colors, fonts, transparent backgrounds, and more. Work is currently being done to update its legacy parts and add missing features.

  • Rewrite the Preferences Dialog
    • [Difficulty: easy] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Sergios - Anestis Kefalidis]
    • The current xfce4-terminal Preferences Dialog was build using Glade. Glade is, in general, unpleasant to work with which has led a lot of other Xfce apps to build their UI through code (see Thunar's thunar-preferences-dialog.c).
    • Additionally, this makes it harder to embed the newly created XfceShortcutsEditor (part of libxfce4ui) in the Preferences Dialog.
    • The goal of this project is to rewrite the Preferences Dialog manually and embed the XfceShortcutsEditor in the PreferencesDialog.
    • There is no open issue for this project but you are free to open one and discuss it there.
    • Note that most likely this issue alone will not be sufficient for a GSoC Project, you will need to bundle multiple issues.
    • [Difficulty: medium] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Sergios - Anestis Kefalidis]
    • Currently xfce4-terminal doesn't have a way to quickly change between different sets of preferences.
    • Many other terminal emulators use the notion of “Profiles” which are essentially a collection of preferences that the user can save and load at will.
    • The goal of this project is to implement the aforementioned functionality in xfce4-terminal and in addition give the option to assign accelerators (i.e. shortcuts) to switch between profiles easily.
    • It might be advantageous for this project to first migrate the preferences to xfconf, there is already an issue open for investigating the pros and cons of such a change.

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Screenshooter is a simple and flexible tool to take screenshots. It supports fullscreen, active window and select region modes. Once a screenshot is taken it can be saved, opened with an application, stored in the clipboard or uploaded to Imgur. Screenshooter can be used via its friendly dialogs, command line or panel plugin.

    • [Difficulty: medium] [Required Skills: C, Gtk] [Possible Mentors: Andre Miranda]
    • Currently screenshooter only supports 4 actions, oftentimes users need to craft scripts that store the screenshot somewhere (i.e. /tmp) and do something else with it.
    • With custom actions it should be more intuitive on how to extend screenshooter to fulfill several user cases without having to implement all or none (my current take).
    • We also would like to decouple screenshooter from Imgur, it is a non FOSS service with privacy implications many users disagree.
    • With custom actions it should be trivial to add support to any file hosting service.

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GSoC Participants Blogs

  • to be added

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