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#1 2011-10-10 11:51:18

RevenNL
Member
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2011-10-06
Posts: 5

Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Hello everyone,

I'm not sure if this is the right place to drop my question, but I'm just going to do it anyway. Over the past week I've been looking into various desktop environments in order to 'replace' gnome. After I've looked over various XFCE screenshots, I fell in love and decided that's what I'll be going for.

After I got that settled, I've been looking for a distribution to use. The following distributions have passed the revenue:

Xubuntu - Seems like a simple choice for an old Ubuntu user, however I'm afraid it's too bloated and not enough supported by the userbase of (X)ubuntu. (Canonical)
Linux Mint XFCE - It looks simple enough, however I'm not sure about the stability and again the bloated feeling.
Debian with XFCE - Very appealing to me, but I'm afraid that it will be a huge hassle in install more closed-source applications and customization. (Due to the Debian Open-Source mentality)
Arch Linux - I've seen a lot of wonderful screenshots combining the power of Arch with XFCE 4.8. It seems really beautiful, however I've been looking through the setup procedure of Arch and I'm afraid that I won't be able to full complete it without errors on my own. If I could install Arch properly, then it would've bene an instant choice.
OpenSuSe + Fedora: They both support XFCE, but I don't believe they have a real supporting userbase for it, so I scratched those off my list quite quickly.

If anyone has some advice for me on picking and using the right XFCE disto for me then it would be wonderful!

Thanks in advance,
RevenNL

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#2 2011-10-10 12:15:10

angstrom
Member
Registered: 2011-08-13
Posts: 265

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Already discuss : see this topic

Otherwise, my point of view :
- Ubuntu (Xubuntu) : too much newbie usign it. Their forum is spammed by newbie questions
- Debian-like : I'm not against them, it's just I used to rpm system ...
- Arch (currently using it) : bleeding edge, rolling distro, good community on their forum and also I think they have the best wiki. Problem : needs some basic knowledge on linux, requires some time to install/tweak, and too much bleeding edge ... it can mess up when you upgrade python, gcc, gtk, etc ... and other software don't follow up.
- Fedora : bleeding edge but some release feel buggy. And also the release cycle 6 months is too fast for me.
- OpenSuse (currently using) : good compromise between update (8 months release cycle) and stability. The distro upgrade command works great (tried it twice : from 11.2 to 11.4). And their "1 Click install" system rock ! No need to go searching for repositories.

Last edited by angstrom (2011-10-10 12:23:09)


Xfce is NOT Xubuntu. Bugs in Xubuntu don't mean that Xfce is buggy ...

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#3 2011-10-10 17:40:33

lklaus
Member
Registered: 2011-09-07
Posts: 3

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Just to chime in on the fedora topic. Actually, the release cycle is 1 year. Version n is supported until n+2 comes out...
But still, fedora is relatively bleeding edge. Then, I'm using it on my home "production" system and am happy with it..

Klaus

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#4 2011-10-17 00:32:33

demosthenese
Member
From: Liverpool, UK
Registered: 2009-05-04
Posts: 62

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

RevenNL wrote:

Debian with XFCE - Very appealing to me, but I'm afraid that it will be a huge hassle in install more closed-source applications and customization. (Due to the Debian Open-Source mentality)

Just enable the contrib and non-free repos, and the unofficial debian-multimedia, if you need to. One of Debian's plus factors is the huge number of packages available.

At the end of the day it's your choice, though. Good hunting.

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#5 2011-10-21 18:28:18

Havoc
Member
Registered: 2011-02-20
Posts: 34

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Gentoo? Must be one of the easiest with the manual provided. Only problem, you have to keep it up to date because after a few months an update can turn into a serious job.

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#6 2011-10-22 16:26:54

fuchs24
Member
Registered: 2011-10-22
Posts: 1

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Try Linux Mint XFCE LMDE. Linux Mint plus Debian. A nice combination.

http://www.linuxmint.com/download_lmde.php

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#7 2011-10-22 21:02:24

Sideburns
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From: Camarillo, CA
Registered: 2011-03-30
Posts: 296
Website

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

If you like an rpm distro and don't like the bleeding edge feel of Fedora (I do, but I'm a geek.) consider CentOS.


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#8 2011-11-10 13:33:54

bmaguire
Member
Registered: 2011-10-23
Posts: 1

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

FWIW I have never had any problem finding answers to questions about Xubuntu.  I think the user community is there.  That said, if I had to vote it would definitely be for Fedora.

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#9 2011-11-10 18:07:37

Mellowbob
Member
Registered: 2011-10-16
Posts: 69

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

I'm in the "looking for a good distro" camp as well. I've been using Ubuntu for a number of years and can say that after the last "upgrade" to 11.10 this is that last time! I'll it for others to comment on how awful all the gnome stuff is in the lastest. Pity.

And, I'm very happy now with XFCE4. There are a few minor issues ... and some eye candy requests ... but no major complaints.

Now, to find a good distro to use. I've been reading a lot of good things about Mint lately. I'm thinking of waiting till the end of the month with their new version is to be released. Would be intersting in hearing of other's feeling about mint. I'd switch to fedora ... but it is rpm and I'm pretty used to deb these days. But, if this makes life more predictable I might consider that as well.

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#10 2011-11-10 18:13:15

Sideburns
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From: Camarillo, CA
Registered: 2011-03-30
Posts: 296
Website

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Predictable?  Fedora?  With a new version out every six to nine months?  You don't use Fedora because it's predictable, you use it because it's a geeky, bleeding-edge testbed for new technologies.  Mind you, I've been using it myself for years, and love it, but it's not for somebody who's looking for a predictable distro!


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#11 2011-11-10 21:00:38

xfcelav
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From: /var/www/xfcelav
Registered: 2008-04-10
Posts: 94
Website

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

I would recommend LMDE Xfce or Debian.


url: blog.desdelinux.net
twt: @elavdeveloper

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#12 2011-12-01 13:53:19

ilena
Member
Registered: 2011-12-01
Posts: 4

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Its worth looking at the selection of software that comes on the distro CD.  Sometimes its the one distro with a selection of desktops.  Otherwise its a proper spin and for xfce would have a special selection of lightweight apps that should fit well with the xfce feel.  For example abiword and gnumeric instead of the full Libre office suit.

I would not write off Fedora too easily.  Although bleeding edge its very professionally produced and solid - it is after all the "test" distro for the ultra stable commercial Redhat.  This shows for example with the built-in security;  selinux is used and runs in enforcing mode by default. 

Fedora has made the transition to systemd, giving lightning fast boot times.

I use the recent Fedora 16/XFCE spin and it "feels" lightweight and fast (but then I have just come from Gnome .... ). 
And it doesn't feel as if xfce is tacked on as an afterthought.

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#13 2011-12-01 18:30:08

Sideburns
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From: Camarillo, CA
Registered: 2011-03-30
Posts: 296
Website

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Yes.  "Lightning fast boot times."  I have F16 on my laptop and have managed to get the boot time down to under a minute.


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#14 2011-12-03 05:00:26

Ion Silverbolt
Member
Registered: 2010-01-14
Posts: 28

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

I have used Xfce on just about every distro. I use it mainly on Gentoo, but as far as an easy to set up distro goes, I think OpenSuse 12.1 is the best Xfce desktop out there currently. Looks good, easy to install, and fast.

Xubuntu IMO is one of the worst Xfce experiences out there. It's way bloated, glitchy, and unpolished.

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#15 2011-12-05 08:36:43

ilena
Member
Registered: 2011-12-01
Posts: 4

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Agreed.  xubuntu looks like a heavy weight gnome distro with just the destop changed.

Like Fedora, OpenSuze has commercially supported sister distro.  Its well engineered. 
But there are live CD's for Gnome and KDE only.
I believe suze 12.1 uses systemd as well as fedora.

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#16 2011-12-13 00:30:02

blueoyster
Member
Registered: 2011-12-13
Posts: 1

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Well, if you are just dying to terminal so you can load codecs and other stuff, then you don't want Mint.
Mind you that most people LOVE the distro they are using, no matter how many times they have to fix/update.
They are married to it. 

And for some reason, linux people LOVE to tweek to death a distro.  Me, I want something that I can just get up and running,
and is nice to use.

Pick the distro with the least amount of work.  Like they say, you can always TWEAK it, it is constipates you.
You want to go Xfce because all the old ladies on <<<windows>>> playing farmville and frontierville have long load times,
which is cut in half by going Xfce.  I am from Gnome 2, and I have used Gnome 3 and Unity, which are fine.  But once you feel the speed
of Xfce, it is hard to go back.

So I install linux for old ladies who just use a browser, and some mrdd types, who again, just want a browser.  It loads
the browser and they are off an running.

I use Mint because I don't have to mess with it.
I use Mint Debian so I don't have to reinstall one day,
like I had to do in the past.

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#17 2011-12-13 18:25:22

stqn
Member
Registered: 2010-10-11
Posts: 168

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

I've had problems with the update process of Linux Mint Xfce (Debian Edition), apparently it ships (or shipped) with a non functionnal updater that was nonetheless launched by default, maybe that's why it broke here, I don't know, couldn't find any information about my problem on the web. Anyway I wouldn't recommend Mint, but I don't know yet which distro to choose for my netbook... Maybe I'll end up installing Arch like on my desktop (but I would have liked something a bit more stable.)

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#18 2011-12-14 12:17:56

wkr
Member
Registered: 2011-01-01
Posts: 88

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Xubuntu is fast, full featured and very stable (and if someone don't like some gnome services such as policykit authentication or doesn't need one of them, he can disable them, it's just a one minute process smile )

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#19 2012-01-04 07:01:02

aga
Member
Registered: 2011-12-30
Posts: 17

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Nov-Dec 2011
xubuntu didn't impress me (to each his own, eh?)

linuxmint "debian+xfce" suited me pretty well as a starting point.
Yes, issues with the updater (and changing horses/repos mid-stream) ware a PITA.
I changed to using debian testing repos... and am having a tough time feeling much "love" toward Mint. Users of the "debian+xcfe edition" aren't well-represented in the forums & the whack-azzed docs have incorrectly steered me to "do XYZ..." multiple times (the released docs were never changed & reflect stuff only available in the "main", ubuntu-ized, Mint distro).

dreamlinux4.6b as well as the recently released dreamlinux5
^---- VERY nicely done (and is setup to use debian testing repos)
(the choice of preinstalled, presetup, software on the LiveCD includes mysqld and apache)
(and IIRC MidnightCommander)

PCllinuxOS Phoenix
^---- very nicely done (but I'm not keen on the more recent 'phinx' build)
This distro doesn't play the "sudo game". LiveCd includes both guest and root user accounts.

=================

Really, though, IMO none of the current "Live" debian-based xfce distros cut the mustard.
How the hell can anyone rely on JUST thunar (er, thunar+catfish) for file management?
Unless I've overlooked something, user has no ability to "find files *.php modified within the past 2 days..."

Last edited by aga (2012-01-04 07:01:38)

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#20 2012-01-04 07:20:56

Sideburns
Member
From: Camarillo, CA
Registered: 2011-03-30
Posts: 296
Website

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

From the main menu, go to Applications, Accessories, Search for Files.  It has quite a few optional filters you can use if needed.


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#21 2012-01-05 02:48:06

Ion Silverbolt
Member
Registered: 2010-01-14
Posts: 28

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

If you don't need 64-bit, I would give Vector Linux Standard a try. It comes with a pretty nice Xfce setup, although it loads cairo dock. That's easy enough to remove though if you don't like it. It also thankfully uses wicd instead of network manager, which is a buggy piece of crap at times. Vector also comes with the needed codecs by default.

There is a fair amount of packages to pick from the package manager in VL, which is easy enough to use. You can also add Slackware repositories if you're feeling bold as it's based on Slackware.

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#22 2012-01-19 15:49:24

netonardin
Member
Registered: 2012-01-17
Posts: 13

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

My favourites are: arch, sabayon and lmde

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#23 2012-01-21 07:06:48

lifeinthegrey
Member
From: Seattle
Registered: 2012-01-17
Posts: 52

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

I personally recommend straight Debian Testing. You can actually choose it as an alternative desktop to be installed with the installer for squeeze, and if you just modify your apt sources from squeeze to testing and update you'll be good to go. And a lot of people will say LMDE is the same thing, but ... I was an LMDE user since it first debuted, and its not the same thing. MUCH more lightweight, and LMDE hasn't updated for nearly 5 months now.

If you decide to go this way, PM me, I'm happy to help however I can.


oh, you want eXtremely Fast Computing? thats Easy ...

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#24 2012-01-27 06:30:23

kbd47
Member
Registered: 2011-10-10
Posts: 16

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

I would recommend Linux Mint Debian Xfce, or Linux Mint 12 with Xfce4 installed. I was amazed at how much faster and cooler Mint 12 ran on Xfce desktop compared to Gnome Shell.
KBD47

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#25 2012-02-09 13:02:22

gigaday
Member
Registered: 2012-02-07
Posts: 3

Re: Picking a distro to use with XFCE

Well, I didn't pick it specially to use XFCE but I am using the standard Ubuntu because that's what I've used for a few years and since the Unity/Gnome 3 (for me) debacle I have switched to XFCE 'cos I couldn't tolerate the lockups I was getting with Gnome 3 Shell extentions.

I've now settled into XFCE after about a week of tweaks but there were a few things that I liked so much with Gnome that I have kept them as all the Gnome libraries were installed anyway, for instance:-
- I am still using Nautilus because it gives me folders and files in the right pane and once it's launched I get my Gnome desktop with the thumbnails on the images and videos.  I did have a problem with my USB memory sticks not automounting but I have fixed this with a launcher button to to run pmount.
- after much switching back and forth with sound and video players I settled for Gnome MPlayer some time ago and I'm reluctant to go back to searching again when this does everything I want.
- I am still using gedit and Gnome Terminal because I can and I can't see any reason why I shouldn't.

All this at what cost?  Well, I have to have all the libraries for Gnome and XFCE installed, but as I still have room on my 80GB drive and will soon be buying a laptop with at least 500GB, do I care?  I have put nautilus and firefox in my session start up as I always want both them and that way I get the Gnome desktop right away and the wife doesn't see the nautilus because firefox fires up too and that's all she uses.

But in the interest of knowledge if anyone has any ideas on whether there are better ways for me to do things I am open to learning.

Tony

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