What would I loose switching from Cinnamon to XFCE?

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What would I loose switching from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Postby Lnx_User1 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:41 pm

Considering switching to XFCE as I am running an older system (single-core P4) away from currently installed Cinnamon. What will I be loosing in the process? I'm trying to see if XFCE is better for me.
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Re: What would I loose switching from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Postby caerolle on Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:38 pm

Hi Lnx!

I am sure people with far more experience and smarts than me will come along and give you a lot of detailed info, but I have a bit of relevant experience, and thought I'd chime in, hope you don't mind! :)

I spent a lot of time trying different distros and desktop environments (actually, still messing about with some), including Mint MATE and Cinnamon, and I finally settled on Xfce. I love it's clean, simple, design, and all the option for configuring it. I even found some icons to download, was great. However, I returned to MATE in the end. The reason was the extra capabilities in the file manager (Caja/Nautilus) versus the one in Xfce (Thunar). In the MATE file manager, you can open tabs instead of having multiple directory windows open to move files, and there are a few other options that Thunar doesn't offer. I haven't checked out the file manager in Cinnamon, but I think it is Nautilus (is moving to a modified Nautilus, like MATE has), so you would have the same capabilities. So, that's something you would gain in Cinnamon. Whether that is something you'd use is another question.

One thing I found I lost in Cinnamon relative to Xfce or MATE was configuration options, especially easy ones. I honestly was never really able to figure out how to make Cinnamon look the way I wanted. Maybe it's too new to have the themes there, or maybe I just am too dense, but it was really easy in Xfce and MATE, not so much on Cinnamon. One other thing you might loose is the fancy compositiing, if you use that in Xfce. Cinnamon does seem to have that, but again I was never able to get the effects I easily found in Xfce (I didn't use them, but were fun to turn on occasionally!).

The final thing is that Xfce supposedly is a lighter system, and takes fewer resources, both disk space and memory. I don't know about disk space, but when I had all the things running in Xfce that I do in MATE, it didn't seem to take that much less. The thing is, other than the window manager, and perhaps the DE, the Mint version of Xfce is fairly GNOME-y, it seems to me. The apps loaded are much heavier than those in a classic Xfce environment, and use a lot of GNOME programs. So, unless you have a really small hard drive, and not much memory, and a really slow processor, I'm not sure if you will see any performance differences. Hopefully someone who knows more will address this, as I am curious too!

Good luck with your decision!

caerolle :)
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Re: What would I loose switching from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Postby jjaythomas on Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:58 pm

Have you tried Cinnamon in the live mode?

I believe you need a video card cappable of excelaration and 3D. You can add driver after if needed but using the CLI (terminal) where the default ones don't work (easier upgrading to better driver if default one works).
I know some install XFCE (don't need 3d drivers) and install needed driver then 'Cinnamon' from repositories. :wink:

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Re: What would I loose switching from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Postby Lnx_User1 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:00 pm

Well I have an Nvidia 8600 GT so graphic acceleration shouldn't be an issue. Just curious if there is a significant difference CPU-wise. Also I've Cinnamon has crashed a few times, but that may be something deeper beyond the desktop, I dunno. I herd you can swap between MAte and Cinnamon so I may try that out. I do like a zippy fast OS but then again I'm sure anything is faster than Win XP :P
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Re: What would I loose switching from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Postby nunol on Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:05 am

XFCE or even LXDE is probably a better match for that CPU if you like a zippy fast OS.

LMDE is faster than Mint 13 so make sure you try that, UP5 is near.
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Re: What would I loose switching from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Postby veggen on Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:18 am

Nvidia 8600 GT works swimmingly under Linux, VDPAU and everything.
And it's the best to try different DEs/distros in live mode for a few hours and you'll know exactly what you can live with or without.
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Re: What would I loose switching from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Postby Flemur on Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:54 am

I tried Mint 13 versions: Cinnamon, Mate and Xfce and ended up with Xfce - tho I actually run fluxbox most of the time. It's noticeably faster and uses about 3/4ths the memory of Xfce at login. Beside being the fastest, fluxbox is the easiest to customize - if you're not into "eye candy" - but takes a while to setup correctly (I just copy my old ".fluxbox" directory after a new install and everything's ready to go).
Mint 17/Xfce/fluxbox/jackd no pulseaudio
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Re: What would I loose switching from Cinnamon to XFCE?

Postby BBistheKing on Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:55 am

my 2 cents = I have tried all the versions and prefer XFCE for older pc's (I have a P4 too that I use in the shed/study). it is lighter on ram, efficient to use and you can always add stuff later, a sort of customized mint if you will.
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