Features in Xubuntu 12.04

The new features and changes for this release of Xubuntu are as following:

  • The i386 images use a non-PAE kernel. The non-PAE kernel will not be available in future Xubuntu releases.
  • Some default shortcuts have been changed, added and deleted. See the section 'New default shortcut keys' below for the complete list.
  • Lots of appearance improvements, including new branding and wallpaper, fixes for Greybird, Ubiquity, Plymouth, LightDM, and Terminal theming
  • Syncs, updates and patches from Debian and upstream, including xfce4-power-manager, Ristretto and gmusicbrowser
  • xfdesktop4 updated to support single-click opening and thumbnail support for the desktop
  • xfce4-settings has been updated to include the new mouse and touchpad dialog
  • Completely refreshed documentation (12.04.4)

To learn more about Xubuntu, navigate to our website at xubuntu.org.

Xubuntu Applications

  • Pavucontrol is used instead of xfce4-mixer due to latter not supporting Pulseaudio
  • The Alacarte menu editor is installed by default and will work with Xfce-related menu items as well

Common Infrastructure

  • Up until Ubuntu 11.10, administrator access using the sudo tool was granted via the "admin" Unix group. In Ubuntu 12.04, administrator access will be granted via the "sudo" group. This makes Ubuntu more consistent with the upstream implementation and Debian. For compatibility purposes, the "admin" group will continue to provide sudo/administrator access in 12.04.
  • Hibernate (suspend to disk) has been disabled by default, as it was found to be unreliable, very slow and confusing to have two suspend modes. See bug 812394 for details. If you want to re-enable it, please follow this recipe.

  • pm-utils now has two new scripts to power down USB and various PCI devices in battery mode. A number of desktop packages were fixed to wake up less often. Both of these reduce power consumption and thus improve battery lifetime.
  • resolvconf is now used to manage /etc/resolv.conf on all Ubuntu systems. You can learn more here

  • Backports are now more easily accessible -- to enable users to more easily receive new versions of software, the Ubuntu Backports repository is now enabled by default. Packages from backports will not be installed by default — they must explicitly be selected in package management software. However, once installed, packages from backports will automatically be upgraded to newer versions.
  • DVD Images -- the DVD images have been cleaned up significantly reducing their size to around 1.5GB to ease consumption. The remaining software remains available via download.
  • As of 12.04.2, it is possible to install on UEFI systems with Secure Boot enabled (using signed versions of Shim, GRUB, and the Linux kernel). This is only currently set up for Ubuntu (desktop, alternate, and server) and Edubuntu images due to pressures of time.
  • Both the 3.2 and 3.5 versions of the Linux kernel included as part of the 12.04.2 release have a workaround for 1040557, which bricked some models of Samsung laptops when installing Ubuntu in UEFI mode. (The underlying problem is a firmware bug, and may still be triggerable in other ways.)

Ubuntu Kernel 3.11

By default, the 12.04.4 point release will ship with a newer 3.11 Ubuntu kernel from Ubuntu 13.10, and a matching X.org stack. This is based on the 3.11.0 Extended Upstream Stable Kernel Release. The purpose of providing a newer kernel in the 12.04.4 point release is for hardware enablement. For more information regarding the 12.04.4 LTS Hardware Enablement Stack, please refer to:

Upstart 1.5

Upstart has been updated to version 1.5. More details are available in the Upstart Technical Overview.

GNU Toolchain

Ubuntu 12.04 is distributed with a default toolchain that includes: GCC 4.6.3 (and changes from Linaro GCC 4.6-2012.02), binutils 2.22, eglibc 2.15, and Linaro gdb 7.4-2012.04.

Compared to the 11.10 release, the toolchain saw only incremental changes and bug fixes; comparing to the 10.04 LTS release, GCC updates include

  • Updated frontends for better standards support (Ada 2012, Objective-C 2.0, improved experimental support for the upcoming C++0x ISO C++ standard, Fortran 2003 and 2008 improvements, new Go frontend)
  • Improved optimizations, including better inter-procedural optimizations, and link time optimization (LTO).

Further information can be found upstream (GCC-4.6, GCC-4.5, binutils, gas, ld, gdb).

Python Toolchain

  • Ubuntu 12.04 includes Python 2.7.3 and Python 3.2.3. Python 2.6 is no longer available for install.

  • There is expanded support for Python 3 in this release, with Python 3 ports of python-dbus, python-feedparser, germinate, lazr.ui, wadllib, python-defer, python-keyring, and python-qt4 now included, among others.

Java Toolchain

The default run time for Java is OpenJDK 6b24 (IcedTea 1.11.1). OpenJDK 7u3 (IcedTea 2.1) is available in the archive as well.

New default shortcut keys

The new shortcut keys for window manager are:

  • Alt F5, maximize window horizontally

  • Alt F6, maximize window vertically

  • Alt F7, maximize window horizontally and vertically

  • Alt F8, stick window (make it appear in all workspaces)

The shortcuts for moving and resizing windows have been removed in favor of more powerful mouse gestures. Naturally, if you need these shortcuts, you can enable them from Settings Manager » Window Manager » Keyboard tab.

The new shortcuts for applications are:

  • Super W for Firefox (think Web)

  • Super M for Thunderbird (think Mail)

  • Super F for Thunar (think Files)

  • Super T for Terminal

The aforementioned shortcuts are bound to exo-open launchers. This means they will always open any browser, mail reader, file manager or terminal emulator you have set as the default.

Other new application shortcut keys are:

  • Super R for Application finder (think Run)

  • Super E for Leafpad (think Editor)

  • Super 1 Gmusicbrowser

  • Super 2 Pidgin

  • Super 3 Abiword

  • Super 4 Gnumeric



Preparing your computer for Xubuntu is now much simpler, with a wider range of disk setup options. Each of these are detailed at length to provide you with a clear understanding of the actions that will take place with your selection.

You can now reinstall or upgrade an existing copy of Xubuntu with the Desktop CD installer, provided that your computer is connected to the Internet.


Xubuntu 12.04.4 images can be downloaded from:

System Requirements

Minimum system requirements for Xubuntu fall roughly between Ubuntu Server and Desktop:

  • 512 MiB of system memory (RAM)
  • 5 GB of disk space
  • Graphics card and monitor capable of 800x600 resolution


Upgrading from Xubuntu 11.10

The update manager GUI will offer you 11.10 Xubuntu (it shows as Ubuntu, but updates Xubuntu); Alternatively, launch a Terminal and enter sudo do-release-upgrade

Known Issues

Graphics and Display


Shortcut keys

  • There is a change in how the shortcuts are handled, which will render all shortcuts with the Control key ususable on upgrade. To fix this, you need to update all your current shortcuts with Control: In Settings Manager » Keyboard » tab Application shortcuts, double click on the Shortcut column where it reads <Control> and press the (same) key combination. This will change the part <Control> to <Primary> and the shortcut will work again. The other option is to revert the keyboard shortcut settings back to defaults and readd your custom shortcuts.

  • Some users might experience problems with any other keyboard shortcuts as well. To fix this, you need to revert the keyboard settings back to defaults and readd your custom shortcuts.

Boot, Installation and Post-Installation

  • Importing of existing Windows user accounts fails in some cases. (987902)

  • Wubi (the Ubuntu installer for Windows) is not available as an option on the Ubuntu Desktop/DVD any more. Instead, it is now a separate download.
  • A bug in the firmware on certain Samsung laptop models leaves these machines at risk of being rendered inoperable ("bricked") when booted in UEFI mode. Steps have been taken with the kernel in 12.04.2 to mitigate this problem, but only a future firmware update from Samsung will resolve this issue with 100% reliability. It is therefore recommended that users boot their systems in CSM ("compatibility support module") mode to avoid this issue. (1040557)

  • Performing automatic encrypted LVM installation using Kubuntu and Xubuntu 12.04.4 alternate installer images results in a failure to configure encrypted volumes. Please either use manual partitioning to create encrypted volumes with any non-default "IV algorithm" setting or use 12.04.3 media to complete the installation. (1276739)


  • If you have overridden the value of APT::Cache-Limit in /etc/apt/apt.conf or /etc/apt/apt.conf.d, you should remove these settings before upgrading. The release-upgrader-apt used by update-manager for upgrades from lucid to precise no longer has any hard coded limit on the cache size.
  • If you are running a KVM host with libvirt and are upgrading from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS you may find that some existing virtual machines are no longer recognized (virsh list --all). A change to each guest's XML file may be needed, related to how console and serial devices are now configured. (931350)


  • On ARM omap images, the networking support for the Beagle XM board is broken (838200)

  • On systems with an ATI Radeon 9200 graphics card the system will boot to a black screen. As a work around edit the kernel command line in the boot loader and add "nomodeset". (725580)

  • Fujitsu Siemens Amilo M 7400 and Maxdata 7000DX wireless RF kill handling triggers a kernel panic preventing wireless from operating correctly. This may be worked around by editing your kernel command line and adding "noexec=off". (979253)

  • Beagle XM systems which are capable of running at 1GHZ will be initialised at 800MHZ leading to slower than optimal performance. (771537)

  • Some EFI systems fail to boot in EFI mode. BIOS mode is advised in these situations. (721576)


Xubuntu 12.04 is a Long Term Support release (LTS) and will be supported for three years per the Xubuntu LTS plan.

For support, navigate to the Help -section in the Xubuntu website for a full listing of methods to get help.

PrecisePangolin/ReleaseNotes/Xubuntu (last edited 2014-02-05 20:53:31 by xdsl-83-150-81-40)