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I installed Xubuntu 16 and have the latest version of xfce 14.12. However, some of the applications of xfce4 are not the latest version. For example, my version of Thunar is 1.6.11, whereas the latest is 1.7. Software centre does not propose any upgrades.

As far as I understand, the developer could either upload the latest version to the software centre or create ppa. It seems that the developer didn't choose these options (by the way, I wonder what is the reason. It seems that many applications in software centre are outdated).

Do I correctly assume that the only way to install the latest version of xfce4 applications is to download them and install manually one by one?

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Yes, download and install. Sometimes you find PPAs. But you would need many updated dependencies and it will be a more difficult than usual project.

With Ubuntu 17.10, I notice my Thunar is 1.6.12. Are there particular features from newer Thunar 1.7 you need? That is beta software you are wanting. Danger Will Robinson. Look at the Thunar 1.7 release notes: https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce-announce/2017-November/000559.html. It is a development release that interoperates with the XFCE4 4.13 test package set. Unless you are super enthusiastic and need a particular feature, wait until 1.8 is released.

I just tried building Thunar 1.7, following along with notes here: http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/cvs/xfce/thunar.html. It requires Exo-2, which is not avail in Ubuntu repositories. That's why running a PPA for this will be a big project. Somebody needs to give an integrated set of packages, not just one.

Usually, the only XFCE4 pieces I need to manually compile and install is xfwm4, that's because I know how to patch software and there are a couple of changes that I really enjoy. I would not do that if I did not know for sure that there was something I really wanted.

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