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#1 2010-02-13 12:35:11

MagnusBerg
Member
Registered: 2004-12-17
Posts: 45

Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

I wonder why Xfce is slower than KDE and Gnome on Debian Sid.
Don't get upset now, my question is not a provocation but a serious question. I'm a longtime Xfce4 user.

Two weeks ago I installed KDE 4.3.4 on a clean partition. To my big surprise KDE was faster than Xfce. Therefor I installed Gnome 2.28 on another partition. And Gnome was faster to.

I realise that Xfce is slowest. Xfce starts applications slower and Xfce open files slower.
Xfce connect my digital cameras slower and downloads the pictures slower. For this I used GTKam on all three systems. Xfce surf the web with Iceweasel slower. I have used KDE and Gnome close to a week each and everything seems to go faster on KDE and Gnome.
Why?
Must tell that I let Thunar handel the device mounting in Xfce. I don't know which aplication who handle that on Kde and Gnome. Can Thunar be the bottleneck?

I got one disk ther I keep all three systems on different but equall partitions. All - Xfce, Gnome and KDE - are installed as ordinary Debian desktop installs (I chosed desktop-kde, desktop-gnome and desktop-xfce then I installed whose three systems). All have the same home partition, on another disk, with the same user configuration files.
I have backed up all three systems to a backup disk and then put them back to their own partition avoid defragmentation that can reduce file reading speed and start up speed. Therfor I can't see any disadvantages for Xfce.


I have use Xfce for a long time. It has allways been faster than KDE and Gnome. Then I started use Xfce it was even faster than FVWM. But after 4.2 Xfce wasn't what fast anymore. Why? There is the bottleneck?

Can it by any configuration I must do manually, after the install, to make Xfce competible with KDE and Gnome. Can it be some configuration that Kde and Gnome does during the install, but Xfce doesn't?

Right now I use Gnome. It was the fastes one and, more important, the one that look and behave most like Xfce. I should really like to use Xfce again but it feels wrong to use a less userfriendly and less functional environment then it not even is fast as the easy to use and functional competitors.

Is it a fact that Xfce sucks or is the bottleneck somethere else??? This is a serious question not a intention to start a flame war.

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#2 2010-02-13 13:00:10

mueller
Member
Registered: 2009-02-06
Posts: 17

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

Do you have any objective measurement of "fast" and "slow"?
One possible reason is that KDE and Gnome load many things at startup. Also it might depend heavily on the application you are starting. If those apps are kde or gnome they would be starting slower on xfce because there you need to load all the kde and gnome stuff. This is already loaded if you start those apps from within kde or gnome.

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#3 2010-02-13 13:23:32

MagnusBerg
Member
Registered: 2004-12-17
Posts: 45

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

GTKam and Iceweasel are not preload in any DE. And then I use Gimp my pictures are loaded faster in KDE and Gnome. Open conection to my digital camera and download files with GTKam is really slow in Xfce but close to instant with Gnome.
My prefeneces for fast is how fast applications start (and I exclude preloaded KDE and Gnome applications then I compare with Xfce), how fast files are loaded and transfered and the over all feeling then I use the system.

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#4 2010-02-14 01:09:41

Von_Zipper
Member
Registered: 2006-01-10
Posts: 3

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

Well, the first thing would be running top to see if some process is eating up resources.

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#5 2010-02-18 02:43:32

etnlWings
Member
Registered: 2007-10-30
Posts: 218

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

I found Xfwm's compositing can make a pretty drastic difference to performance. Other than that, no idea.

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#6 2010-02-26 05:37:32

alloydog
Member
Registered: 2009-11-29
Posts: 6

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

It could that if you have both KDE and Gnome installed as well, there are background applications, such as a wireless network manager, and so on, that are running, and maybe taking higher priority that the desktop services, like the file manager. Just a wild stab in the dark - my PC is a ten-yen old Toshiba laptop, so everything is slow anyway...

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#7 2010-02-28 21:06:40

KitchM
Member
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 87

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

MagnusBerg, I agree with mueller that the subjective methods are not the best measurements.  Because I've worked on so many computers for customers, I have developed a fair degree of "feel" for this method, but I still can't rely upon it when it comes to a need for actual concrete facts because people may not believe me.

Try to use a stopwatch or just a clock's second hand to figure the length of time.  Write those down and let us know.  At that point, your subjective measurements may actually turn out to be legitimate, but we'd like to know before we can help further.

Thanks.

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#8 2010-05-15 17:16:18

fredbird67
Member
From: St. Louis, MO
Registered: 2007-11-27
Posts: 10

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

I really can't say that it is.  I'm running PC/OS, which is my official distro of choice since it's one of only two distros I've ever tried that properly detected the Broadcom wireless card in my wife's laptop, which was a BEAR to configure with other distros, including Ubuntu.

The only other distro that's ever done that that I've tried is Mepis.  But Mepis comes with KDE and in fact, just recently upgraded to KDE 4.3.  Right after I got the wireless to connect with that, the Mepis live CD soon ground to a halt, and I was completely frozen up and couldn't do anything except forcefully shut down (the laptop only has 512 MB of RAM in it).

PC/OS and Xfce, on the other hand, connected wirelessly and let me keep surfing away with no freeze-ups.  Therefore, I don't buy this notion that KDE and GNOME are faster than Xfce.  At least that hasn't been the case with me, anyways...

Just my $.02 worth,
Fred in St. Louis


Have you heard that Microsoft bought Hoover vacuum?  This means that Microsoft finally has a product that doesn't suck!

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#9 2010-05-16 04:26:29

etnlWings
Member
Registered: 2007-10-30
Posts: 218

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

fredbird67 wrote:

PC/OS and Xfce, on the other hand, connected wirelessly and let me keep surfing away with no freeze-ups.  Therefore, I don't buy this notion that KDE and GNOME are faster than Xfce.

Therefore? That's a complete non sequitur. And clearly the op is having performance difficulties; you're practically calling them a liar.

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#10 2010-05-16 13:52:03

cwizard
Member
Registered: 2009-09-05
Posts: 7

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

MagnusBerg wrote:

I wonder why Xfce is slower than KDE and Gnome on Debian Sid....

Sorry, don't buy that for a second.  I am a long term user of KDE, but switched to Xfce over the last year and everytime I fire up Xfce I'm amazed at just how much faster it is than KDE. The latest version of KDE, 4.4.3, comes close, but it still is not as fast as Xfce.

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#11 2010-05-16 14:40:22

etnlWings
Member
Registered: 2007-10-30
Posts: 218

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

cwizard wrote:

Sorry, don't buy that for a second.  I am a long term user of KDE, but switched to Xfce over the last year and everytime I fire up Xfce I'm amazed at just how much faster it is than KDE. The latest version of KDE, 4.4.3, comes close, but it still is not as fast as Xfce.

etnlWings wrote:

And clearly the op is having performance difficulties; you're practically calling them a liar.

If you don't have any idea why the op is experiencing problems, just don't bother. You're not helping. You're also betraying your own ignorance, when it comes to the highly varied and fluid *nix ecosystem, where it's always the case that results may vary.

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#12 2010-05-16 20:52:31

KitchM
Member
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 87

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

This is a toughie.  I believe it still has to do with the issue of being too subjective.  I recognize the value of both the subjective side of feelings and intuition, as well as that of a more objective approach with concrete facts.  In fact, I've struggled with that right here with Xfce. smile

With that said, it is also true that we won't get far without facts in this case, because it has to do with that.  I didn't gather from the title of this that the issue was subjective.

My experience is that Xfce appeared noticeably faster than KDE, especially after the "upgrade" (?) to 4.0.  However, at this point in time, things are changing.  My system is actually having freeze up problems with certain programs, and the environment appears quite slow.  But after determining that the hardware is not at fault, I am left with the increasing bloat of Linux and the ensuing foundational issues it causes to any program run on it, which programs are also experiencing code bloat.  (It all appears to be more Windoze-like every day; though not the fault of Xfce of course.) :cry:

So where does that leave us?  Well, maybe we just need the facts.  I realize that some people are not convinced on one issue or another, while they still have a right to believe what they will.  I can only trust that it isn't meant to be personal, unless facts clearly indicate otherwise.  So, let's stick with the facts for now. :-|

Do we have any actual speed comparisons?  That would be nice.  However, how are we going to compare with differing hardware configurations, and differing combinations of installed software?  Even one program brings along extra programs because of dependencies, and each of them can impact other programs.  This whole process cries out for one individual being willing to take the time and effort to install and uninstall on one specific computer, so as to make accurate comparisons for us.  Without that, there is no way to be sure of anything.  Sorry, that's just the way it is in the computer industry.

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#13 2010-06-18 01:48:35

hpp3
Member
Registered: 2004-03-17
Posts: 24

Re: Why is Xfce is slower than both KDE and Gnome.

@MagnusBerg (if you're still reading this) use the 'time' command to get some hard numbers on application startup.
Do this in a terminal in each of the Desktop Environments:

time gimp

After Gimp starts up, close it and look at the time reported under 'user'.
This is what I got on my 2.some GHz 64-bit Xubuntu 9.10 w/4GB RAM

real    0m3.937s
user    0m2.250s
sys    0m0.280s

The 'user' section is how long it took for you to see the application window (roughly)
If you are seeing actual slowdowns of more than a second or two, than we can dig further.

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