Anthony upgrades to Xubuntu 11.04

Screenshot of desktop taken 4/30/11, running Xubuntu 11.04Late last night, I upgraded to Xubuntu 11.04, running the newest version of XFCE. As I’ve previously noted, not much caring for the changes to regular Ubuntu (nor GNOME), I thought I’d give moving to XFCE a try.

Installation went reasonably smoothly, and I’ve since customized Xubuntu by installing a few of the GNOME programs I’m used to. While Xubuntu has some OK defaults, a few didn’t pass muster for me (gmusicbrowser ‘s preferences seemed anything *but* simple, and thus I installed Banshee and Rhythmbox instead). I also changed the default theme, of course (to the lighter-colored menus of Clearlooks, as well as different icons).

Observations so far:

  • Xubuntu’s installation doesn’t give a final “are you sure you want to do this?” screen the way Ubuntu provides before going through with installation. This feels like a flaw to me…
  • XFCE fortunately plays nice with/makes use of various GNOME/GTK libraries and programs, making moving over to it easier. Still, it could use an XFCE-based menu editor, instead of relying on GTK-based Alacarte, which doesn’t seem to completely edit the menus as well as I’d hoped—one or two menu items stuck from my previous Ubuntu install are still present, with no clear way of deleting them.
  • The trackpad lock button actually works under XFCE/Xubuntu, unlike the past several versions of Ubuntu. Another plus.
  • Startup, and especially going from the login screen to the desktop, is a lot faster than in Ubuntu. However, Firefox (upon auto-launching at startup per preset preferences) doesn’t display the preset home page I chose, instead throwing up a “failure to load <what’s the wrong site>” window.

I’ll have more to say about Xubuntu as time goes on…

2 comments

  1. I thought I should let you know that this post (I found it on here on LinkedIn helped me decide on using Xubuntu. Unity was such a resource hog and I tried very hard to like it, but it is very much a 1.0 interface that has a lot of room for improvement.

    In all fairness I also checked out Mint (even Debian!), but nothing fit the bill. After installing several desktop environments on my 11.04 install, I had about six different “default” text editors, four email clients, 2 EXTRA browsers (I normally use FF and Chromium), and several office suites. It was time to call it quits. I picked one that was specifically lightweight and reported to work with the same applications I’ve grown accustomed: Xfce.

    For the past few weeks I’ve happily used Xubuntu, but I will soon be forcing myself to learn Xfce. It’s daunting in that I’ve only ever used default Ubuntu as a Linux distro (excluding Fedora, since I was less than pleased with the setup). Have any tips on using Xfce versus Xubuntu?

    1. Xubuntu is merely Ubuntu using the XFCE desktop. Thus, if you’re used to Ubuntu, moving to Xubuntu shouldn’t be too difficult. XFCE/Xubuntu also supports GTK/GNOME applications, so you could install some of your favorite GNOME programs as well (though might go against the “lightweight” nature).

      Beyond that, no real tips to offer right now, though maybe I’ll come up with an update to the “post-installation setup” guide I wrote for Ubuntu 10.10…

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