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#1 2015-03-15 22:06:25

PMI
Member
Registered: 2015-03-15
Posts: 5

XFCE 4.12 test drive...

I am looking for a convenient method to try Xfce 4.12.  I have an existing installation of linux Mint Xfce which I can upgrade, but since I have not invested much time in it, I don't mind starting with a new install, so other suggestions would be welcome.

Whatever the version, the most likely platform is an older 2.8 Ghz core 2 Duo system, although better hardware is an option if needed.  The machine will have to coexist gracefully networked with a couple also older Windows 7 systems.

I am generally familiar with Linux Mint, an older version of Ubuntu, and older version of Red Had and Solaris (the latter two in a work environment).

Thanks.

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#2 2015-03-16 00:40:26

alcornoqui
Member
Registered: 2014-07-28
Posts: 99

Re: XFCE 4.12 test drive...

I use Xubuntu 14.04 (which is a Long Term Support version) with the Xfce 4.12 PPA and it's great. It is my understanding that you can run said PPA in Linux Mint as well.

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#3 2015-03-16 01:46:03

PMI
Member
Registered: 2015-03-15
Posts: 5

Re: XFCE 4.12 test drive...

alcornoqui wrote:

I use Xubuntu 14.04 (which is a Long Term Support version) with the Xfce 4.12 PPA and it's great. It is my understanding that you can run said PPA in Linux Mint as well.

Thanks.  I have the standard Ubuntu 14.04 w. Unity installed on a different machine, but I don't know very much about it yet.  I Have found some odd issues (well, to me anyway) with CPU load on Ubuntu/Unity/Compiz, compared to Linux Mint/Rebecca... who can remember all these names, anyway, wink

Are there any significant differences when running XFCE 4.12 on Ubuntu v. Linux Mint, or Debian that I should be aware of, or comparisons posted somewhere?

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#4 2015-03-16 05:47:54

MountainDewManiac
Member
From: USA police-state welfare-state
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 858

Re: XFCE 4.12 test drive...

I recently installed Mint 17.1 (Xfce, of course) alongside Mint 17 on the same laptop. They're both running Xfce 4.10 at present. My intentions were to add the 4.12 PPA to one or the other in order to make a comparison. But I've just about decided that I'd be better off doing so on two more or less identical setups, which means either turning the 17 into 17.1 (either via an upgrade via mintUpdate, or by overwriting it with a fresh installation) or overwriting the 17.1 with 17 - and I haven't decided which to do, yet.

I'll probably do a fresh install of 17.1 where 17 is now to avoid the possibility of differences between "fresh" and "upgraded" (different kernel versions, for example). I just have to figure out how to move what turns out to be a relatively large amount of data from my 17 in a laptop that is my only functioning computer (and that has only one hard drive with, perhaps, not the best partitioning strategy in the world roll ) and deal with a couple of remaining minor setup issues (best way to setup Netflix in 17.1, moving all my Firefox bookmarks/passwords/etc., and the like). In the meantime, there have been several quick bugfixes released for Xfce 4.12 since its initial release and there will probably be at least a few more in the next couple of weeks, so... No worries!

My thinking is that testing new versions of software - especially major items such as desktop environments - should be done the way a scientist would perform an experiment, by changing only one thing at a time instead of several.

It has also given me the impetus to figure out how to install Mint Xfce 17.1 in place of an existing but unused Mint 14; this laptop does not have a functional optical drive and Samsung thought I'd be better off without the option of booting from USB, so I thought it would be difficult, but it turned out that it was as easy as downloading (and verifying via .md5sum) the .iso, placing it in the /boot/grml folder, pasting a few lines into a terminal, and then rebooting and selecting the live .iso as I would any other installed linux distro in my grub menu - which I still think is pretty cool, lol. Not only can I now install pretty much any linux distro I like to "play/test" on a one-drive computer without using any other media (at least if/when I get my partitions sorted out so that I have an extra one handy) but it turns out that placing a live/install .iso on an internal hard drive - even the same hard drive that the distro is to be installed on - makes said installation happen remarkably quickly (for a full OS installation). This looks to have become my new distro installation method of choice (when circumstances allow, IOW, an existing linux setup and either an empty partition or room to create one). Err... [/RAMBLE]

Regards,
MDM

Last edited by MountainDewManiac (2015-03-16 05:49:30)


Mountain Dew Maniac

How to Ask for Help <=== Click on this link

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#5 2015-03-16 11:50:48

PMI
Member
Registered: 2015-03-15
Posts: 5

Re: XFCE 4.12 test drive...

MountainDewManiac wrote:

....placing a live/install .iso on an internal hard drive - even the same hard drive that the distro is to be installed on - makes said installation happen remarkably quickly (for a full OS installation). This looks to have become my new distro installation method of choice (when circumstances allow, IOW, an existing linux setup and either an empty partition or room to create one). Err... [/RAMBLE]

thanks for the encouragement, altho I think that multiple Xfce installations are a bit farther down the road for me yet (chuckle).  Booting directly from a downloaded iso file is definitely a neat trick, but for now I will settle for one well behaved XFCE 4.12 installation.

Doing a little more reading last night, I noticed that the Linux mint "liner notes" for the XFCE 4.10 release say the following:

Linux Mint 17.1 Xfce Edition comes with two window managers installed and configured by default:

    Xfwm (Xfce's very own window manager, simple, fast and very stable).
    Compiz (an advanced compositing window manager which can do wonders if your hardware supports it).

Among the various window managers available for Linux, Compiz is certainly the most impressive when it comes to desktop effects.

There's nothing quite like a rotating cube to catch everybody's attention.

Ummmm, ok... I think I will stay in the Alpha Quadrant and avoid the rotating cubes for now, but I am unsure about how the choice of window managers may affect XFCE, LOL.

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#6 2015-03-16 15:43:03

Jerry3904
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 555

Re: XFCE 4.12 test drive...

I will settle for one well behaved XFCE 4.12 installation.

We are within a few days of releasing MX 14.4 with Xfce 4.12 and a full Users Manual and video set to go along. It runs extremely well on older hardware, as reviewers have repeatedly reported from testing, and might give you some nice practice on your machine.

BTW: it was recently labeled as one of the 4 best Xfce distros, whatever that might mean...


MX-16 (based on Debian Stable) with Xfce 4.12.

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#7 2015-03-16 17:31:22

MountainDewManiac
Member
From: USA police-state welfare-state
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 858

Re: XFCE 4.12 test drive...

Depends on what entity did the labeling, I suppose. Could mean it was ranked high by a number of people in some survey or other - or it could also mean that some guy with a blog tried two distros, couldn't manage to get the first one installed, succeeded on the second... and it was MX-14, lol. Need more information to do more than wildly speculate.

I might have to take a look at your distro. Have you guys had to fix any Xfce-related bugs yourself, or have their developers squashed all that have been found (so far)?

Regards,
MDM

Last edited by MountainDewManiac (2015-03-16 17:31:40)


Mountain Dew Maniac

How to Ask for Help <=== Click on this link

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#8 2015-03-16 19:03:30

PMI
Member
Registered: 2015-03-15
Posts: 5

Re: XFCE 4.12 test drive...

MountainDewManiac wrote:

...some guy with a blog tried two distros, couldn't manage to get the first one installed, succeeded on the second...

@MDM: That sort-of sounds like me... (x'cept I avoid blogging about my various dismal failures, LOL)

Nice to know there is another distro out there, and that Linux has not ceased to fork new branches since I last had time to take a good look.

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#9 2015-03-16 19:16:19

Jerry3904
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 555

Re: XFCE 4.12 test drive...

On the Xfce side, the 4.12 "from above" has tested very well for us on a Debian Stable base--we'll see how it goes as we begin development of MX-15 on Jessie! We did run into a show-stopper just recently that the incomparable ToZ knew about, luckily, so we went upstream to get the Git version and applied a couple of other patches in the process.

Most of our actual development work focuses on our own applications: Installer, Bootloader, a set of MX Tools, etc. Those are always moving in response to outside changes and internal improvements, so we have to stay nimble. Our focus is different from many other distros in that we aim for an audience that just wants a stable, non-demanding OS. The antiX code base give us great speed and low resource usage, and then Xfce on top of it makes a terrific pairing. We know the result is attractive because we have had 50,000 downloads of the last two point releases, and expect this one to get up there as well. If you do give it a spin, let me know your reactions; you'll see me on the MX Forum with the same user name.


MX-16 (based on Debian Stable) with Xfce 4.12.

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#10 2015-03-17 20:56:40

PMI
Member
Registered: 2015-03-15
Posts: 5

Re: XFCE 4.12 test drive...

Path of least resistance - well, not so much (chuckle)...

I decided i would do my 4.12 test drive on my existing installation of linux Mint, as a separate session (that meant I could use my fairly current system).  The install ran w/o errors, but I noticed some issues right away.

It looked like I had installed 4.10.1 instead of 4.12
(ok, that seemed no worse than installing linux Mint XFCE and then upgrading... NOT!)

Second, the settings for my monitor resolution in xorg.conf seemed to be ignored, and I could not see an obvious way around that.

Finally, I was not able to use the terminal.  The window opened, a prompt appeared, but I was not able to type anything.  It was as if the terminal window was frozen after the initial prompt.  Clicking on the window had no effect.

... so, I am guessing a clean and complete install will be the best, roll

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