Lumina Desktop 0.8.7 Released 10

It is my great pleasure to announce the release of version 0.8.7 of the Lumina Desktop Environment! This version includes a massive number of changes from the previous version. Here are some of the highlights:

New desktop item interaction system!

  • There is no longer any need to lock/unlock the desktop
  • Everything is drag and drop based. A simple click/drag to move a plugin, or right-click (or click and hold for 1/2 second) to open a menu of options for the item (start moving/resizing, remove item, increase/decrease all items).
  • File drops from external applications onto the desktop is also now supported (using the standard “text/uri-list” mimetype).
  • All desktop items are now aligned on a transparent “grid” ensuring uniform spacing and alignment between items.
  • Items for files/dirs in the “Desktop” folder have also been significantly changed. They are now uniform in size (but may be individually resized  as desired), require a double-click to launch the item, show if the item is simply a link to some other file on the system, and also have a contrasting outline effect behind any text (ensuring that the text is visible no matter which wallpaper is used).

Completely overhauled version of the Insight File manager!

  • Completely new, self-written backend information system!
  • Now supports browsing multiple directories in distinct tabs or side-by-side columns
  • Full drag and drop support between applications
  • Icon sizes may now be adjusted independently of the item view mode (replaces the old “Icon View” mode).
  • Support for multiple instances of the file manager while still utilizing the single-instance framework/functionality by default.
  • ZFS snapshot browsing has now been seamlessly integrated into the browser itself with a simple “time slider” of snapshots which appears when available.
  • Image slideshow functionality has been moved into a separate tab/feature (independent of a particular directory), and support has been added to zoom in/out on a slideshow image as desired.
  • The multimedia player has also been moved into a separate tab/feature (independent of a particular directory), allowing for multimedia files to be played in the background while the user continues to browse the system.
  • This version of file manager has also gained a significant speed boost (due to the new backend), with some tests resulting in directory contents loading ~2000% faster than previous versions of the utility.

New Plugins!

  • The “Start Menu” panel plugin is a new “Windows-esque” button which provides access to all system applications and favorites, shortcuts to system management tools, access to some basic system functionality (volume, screen brightness, workspace, locale settings, and battery status), and logout options. Applications within the start menu also have some additional options: create a link to the application on the desktop, add/remove app from the favorites, and add/remove a “quicklaunch” panel button for the app. This plugin provides a new alternative to the existing “application menu”, “user button”, and “system dashboard” panel plugins.
  • The “Line” panel plugin is a simple visual separator which can be placed between items as needed.
  • The “Time/Date” panel plugin has been overhauled to now provide a popup menu with a calendar as well as the option to see/change which time zone is used.


The handbook for Lumina has been fully updated as well. Special thanks go to Dru Lavigne for all her work on the documentation as well as a significant amount of all-around bug reporting and testing for Lumina.


Updated packages are already available on PC-BSD systems, and the ports tree on FreeBSD (x11/lumina[-i18n]) has already been updated as well. For other operating systems, please contact your package manager to ask about the availability of pre-built packages for this version. For additional information about OS availability/support as well as instructions on how to install Lumina directly from sources, please visit the Lumina website.

Localization support:

  • Complete:
    • US English (default), German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.
  • Partially Complete:
    • Catalan (99%), Chinese (41%), Czech (23%), Dutch (42%), Estonian (55%), French (45%), Hungarian (51%), Indonesian (62%), Korean (94%), Latvian (59%), Polish (74%), Portuguese (72%), Portuguese-Brazil (68%), and Turkish (92%).

To get involved in translations for future versions, please visit the PC-BSD translations website to get started! To stay informed of translation deadlines and release schedules, please sign up for the PC-BSD translations mailing list.


Full Changelog from 0.8.6:


Overall Project

  • Convert everything to XCB and remove XLib dependencies
  • DragonFlyBSD support has been updated quite a bit.
  • Adjust build procedures to better support multiple concurrent threads (the “-j<#cores>” make option)
  • Add better relative path support for launching apps in the mimetype database.
  • Add support for a new instance of a LuminaSingleInstance application (the “-new-instance” CLI flag).
  • Add better fallback methodology for detecting/fixing stale single-instance flags.
  • Now uses the Qt5-Concurrent build module for additional multi-threading support in various utilities.


  • Add support for selecting a mouse cursor theme (requires session restart)
  • Add new color schemes: Grey-Dark, Solarized-[Light/Dark], Blue-Light
  • Customize the Lumina-default theme quite a bit
  • Add Inheritance to theme files and convert Lumina-default to inherit the “None” theme.


  • Add single-screen snapshot support in multi-screen arrangements
  • Add support for including/excluding window borders for single-window snapshots.


  • Add support for various background image scaling/placement options.
  • Add a number of new desktop shortcuts for the session (requires existing users to remove their “~/.lumina/fluxbox-keys” file before logging in to get the new settings)
  • Clean up the panel activation/detection routines so it better responds to mouse-over events (particularly for “auto-hidden” panels)
  • Completely overhaul the desktop plugin container system. Now it is completely drag and drop based with an intelligent “grid” of items/locations. Right-clicking (or click and hold) on an item will open a menu of additional plugin configuration options. NOTE: Any previous plugin locations will be reset to defaults on update to this new system.
  • Add support for dropping files/dirs from other applications onto the desktop (will create a sym-link to the desktop folder when appropriate).
  • Add font outlining to all the desktop items. Now the text is visible even if the font color blends into the background image.

Lumina-fm (Insight File Manager)

  • Completely overhaul the utility:
    • ZFS snapshot browsing is now seamlessly embedded within the directory viewer itself.
    • Add support for either tabs or columns when viewing multiple directories at once.
    • Remove the “Icon View” mode, and replace it with the ability to adjust the icon sizes as desired.
    • Add support for running the slideshow viewer and multimedia player in the background (separate tabs).
    • Add the ability to zoom in/out on a slideshow image as desired.
    • Full drag and drop implementation: Can drag files/dirs to external applications that support the standard “text/uri-list” Mimetype for drag and drop operations.
    • Directory/Thumbnail loading is now a couple orders of magnitude faster than before.
    • Add support for the “back” mouse button when viewing a directory.
    • The thumbnail loading routine is now a completely separate background thread – preventing any delays in application functionality while loading.


  • Completely overhaul the utility.
  • Now it is an almost complete front-end for the Qt/Lumina file information and XDG entry structures.


  • Add support for detecting/allowing user-local Fluxbox themes (not just system-local)
  • Decrease initial loading time by making it load all the background image thumbnails on demand instead of up-front.
  • Update the widget used for panel configuration: Now it is much easier to read/use.


  • Update the widget used for application selection in the fileopen dialog. Now it is *much* easier to find the proper application to open the designated file.


  • Overhaul the “Clock” panel plugin: Now it provides a menu with a calendar as well as an option for the user to instantly switch the time zone shown.
  • New panel plugin: “Start Menu” is a windows-esque system menu which incorporates the functionality of both the userbutton and the system dashboard plugins in one place. This plugin also supports creating/removing desktop links for applications, as well as “quick-launch” buttons for application on the panel itself.
  • Update the “Workspace Switcher” panel plugin so it stays in sync with external changes to the current workspace.
  • New panel plugin: “Line” is a simple visual line to provide separation between plugins as desired.

General Bug Fixes

  • Fix up or bypass some more Fluxbox window placement bugs.
  • Fix up some bugs in the userbutton (regarding file/dir removals)
  • Clean up a number of built-in text strings for clarity/consistency
  • Ensure that graphical sliders for adjusting screen brightness only go down to 10% minimum (prevent the user from blacking out their screen entirely).
  • Update the support for non-xterm terminal emulators to be opened within a particular directory.
  • Update URL syntax handling in lumina-open a bit.
  • Update support for “sticky” windows to appear in the task manager on all workspaces.
  • Clean up a number of possible bugs with regards to how external application might be launched/used. This fixes the extremely random “race” condition where a process finished but the thread in Lumina which called it still thinks it is running.
  • Ensure that all calendar widgets (desktop/panel) update as necessary to ensure the correct date is shown during multiple-day sessions.
  • Add a small CLI flag to lumina-open for testing the crash handler (“-testcrash”)
  • Ensure that on FreeBSD the disk I/O information is the instantaneous values instead of system-averages.
  • Fix other various small bugs

10 thoughts on “Lumina Desktop 0.8.7 Released

  • JohnnyK

    Okay I have to preface this message with I have been using Lumina since it was released to the general public. I love love love Lumina. So here are the things I like and don’t like so much.

    1) Thank you so much for giving the date/time widget on the panel a click event to start the calendar. I thought I was going to have to do that myself but you guys beat me to it you rock.
    2) I don’t like the new Smart menu. I hate having to scroll forever to get to stuff. I liked the old start menu but would like a tool to manage it. What was wrong with the previous Smart menu? I don’t like “smart” menus… I like simple dumb menus. Not sure but there is a huge gap in the “smart” menu between my login name at the top and the few initial icons. What belongs in that gap?
    3) I don’t like the tiling of items on the desktop. Besides it seems a bit on the slow side when you move things on the screen also when I drop them they don’t drop right were I want them. I will say this I have never been a big fan of window managers that force a user to move stuff the way it wants you too instead of the way the user wants too. If I want to cover up another desktop Icon I should be able to do so on my own machine. If I want to put an icon half on the screen and half off that should be up to me and not have the window manager try to think about that for me. just give me a right click context menu to arrange the desktop items to an invisible grid if you must control my icons.
    4) I love the new file manager it is 2000% faster.

    All in all it is coming along really nice and is a much appreciated project. Anyway keep up the good work. I just can’t wait to see what you do next.

    • Ken Moore Post author

      1) Glad you like it! It was on the roadmap to “finish” the clock plugin eventually (that was the first plugin ever written for the panel), so we managed to add that in to this recent version alongside all the work for time zone support.
      2) No problem, the other types of start menus (user button, app menu) are still available as panel plugins, just replace the “start menu” plugin with the one that you like… 🙂
      I have also been doing some more work on the application list in the new start menu recently, and just last week added the ability to set your preferred “categorization” level for the list: “None” for a long alphabetical list, “Partial” for the current method (one long list, but divided up by categories), and “Full” for the traditional Linux/Windows organization of just categories shown, then you click-into a category to see the apps. That is already available if you built 0.8.8-devel from the Lumina sources and want to try it out.
      3) Yes, the new desktop plugin system is quite a bit different from the old one and we are still working on optimizing it. Feel free to open up a ticket on the bug tracker about any slowness (and be as descriptive about the problem as you can), and we will take a look at trying to speed things up here soon.
      4) Yep – I am really happy with how fast Insight is now as well… 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback!

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