Anthony upgrades to Xubuntu 11.04

MacBook, coffee mug, and cactus

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…

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