Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

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Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby PawnTakesKing on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:29 pm

Well, I've been using LMDE for almost a month now, and I absolutely love it. However, today I read that Clem released the RC of Mint Xfce and that it's now based on Debian Testing. Being that I'm running LMDE on a netbook, would I get better performance out of the Xfce edition? My netbook has an Intel Atom N450 (1.66 GHz) and 2 GB of RAM.

Also, am I more limited with Xfce as far as the apps I can install, or can I continue to run Rhythmbox, Shotwell, Libreoffice, etc? I still definitely need VLC and Transmission also.

Finally, how painstaking would it be to switch? Is there a package I can download that will replace LMDE with Xfce, or do I need to wipe my hard drive and start from scratch?
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Re: Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby Aging Technogeek on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:45 pm

This decision is completely up to you. I will say that Xfce does use less ram in most circumstances (maybe 10-15 % less, maybe a little more, depending on your system).

Xfce comes with the same repositories as the Gnome version of LMDE and any repo or PPA you can install on LMDE will work in Xfce.

To switch, download the LMDE Xfce .iso file from the Linux Mint home page, burn it to a DVD, and install it either beside LMDE in a dual boot, or over LMDE to replace one with the other.
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Re: Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby aljoriz on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:45 pm

its a personal choice to install mint debian xfce. xfce is indeed faster, as far as the apps are concerned Clem made a point on his blog that xfce has a mainstream software selection meaning xfce debian almost has the same software with LMDE gnome i.e. Libreoffice, thunrar, brasero, rhythm box; what this means is that you can install the same software on LMDE xfce.

If you would choose to install xfce debian, I suggest you do fresh install (partition) besides it does not take more than 15min for it; just backup your files.
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Re: Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby jeffreyC on Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:30 pm

You could install the Xfce packages on the LMDE you have now and choose which session you want at the login screen.
It will not break your system or take up too much disk space, as much of it is the same.
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Re: Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby monkeytennis on Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:14 pm

How do you install xfce and choose? Is it just sudo apt-get install XFCE? And then at log in pic which you want? Are there any major differences in the two?
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Re: Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby Aging Technogeek on Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:22 pm

monkeytennis,

In LMDE, open Package Manager and enter "xfce4" in the quick search box. Scroll up or down until you find the package xfce4 (nothing else). Click the package and click "Mark for installation". A window will open with a list of files to be installed. Click "Mark". Back in the main Package Manager window, click "Apply". A Summary window will open asking if you want to apply the following changes. Click "Apply" and the Xfce desktop will be installed beside the Gnome desktop.

When you start the computer, at the bottom of the log in screen, there will be a selector asking which desktop you want to use. Make your selection, and finish logging in.
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Re: Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby jeffreyC on Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:50 pm

Here are the package list and a list of just the packages used in the Xfce version put them in your Home directory
In Synaptic go to File >Read Markings... and open changes2 (or the LMDX if you want to be sure nothing is missed :D )
This will mark all the needed packages for install and may replace one or so.
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Re: Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby Imagus on Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:15 am

Aging Technogeek wrote:monkeytennis,

In LMDE, open Package Manager and enter "xfce4" in the quick search box. Scroll up or down until you find the package xfce4 (nothing else). Click the package and click "Mark for installation". A window will open with a list of files to be installed. Click "Mark". Back in the main Package Manager window, click "Apply". A Summary window will open asking if you want to apply the following changes. Click "Apply" and the Xfce desktop will be installed beside the Gnome desktop.


I tried this and it works really well, thank you for the tip. Can I do this with LXDE too?

However, I already managed to break things right after installing. In xfce, I accidentally chose a resolution that's too high for my monitor, so now everytime I open an xfce session, my monitor goes blank and I don't see a thing. I tried removing and then reinstalling xfce from within a Gnome session, but that didn't work. Anyone knows how I can fix this? I suppose I'll have to go into command line mode (CTRL-ALT-F1?) but I don't have a clue what to type there.

Thanks for any help.
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Re: Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby rekik on Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:24 am

Hi imagus,

I think you should create a new post to expose your problem with your xfce session and give more details about how it occurred : have you set this wrong resolution via menu>parameters>display or via proprietary driver interface or another way ?
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Re: Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby CiaW on Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:34 am

I'm currently on my laptop running Debian squeeze, xfce, and this may or may not be helpful. :mrgreen:
If you ctrl-alt-F1 to a terminal, the first thing you could check is xrandr (try xrandr --help for available options). That has to do with screen resolution. It will have an asterisk next to the one that's currently being used. The --help should help figure how to be able to change it if needed.

Alternatively, make sure you have nano installed (I think it is by default?), and go to /etc/X11 and poke around. I don't see an xorg.conf file, but I do see a directory called app-defaults that has a bunch of files. One of them is called Editres but I couldn't make much sense of what might want to be changed. Maybe something will jump out at you worthy of revision. When you get to that folder you could ls -l and see which file has a time stamp close to when you made your changes and start there. Or perhaps someone else will have something more concrete to offer.
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Re: Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby Imagus on Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:40 pm

@rekik: yes, it's probably best to start a new topic about this, I'll do that tomorrow. I do have proprietary drivers installed in Gnome, so I guess this means they are automatically available in an xfce session as well. I used the normal display settings dialog and accidentally chose a 1600xsomething resolution, which apparently is too high for my monitor.

@ClaW: I tried the xrandr command with several parameters, but I keep getting a "Cannot open display" error, no matter what I try.

I think I'll stick with Gnome for the rest of the evening and take a look at it again tomorrow.

Thank you.
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Re: Should I switch to Mint Xfce now that it's Debian based?

Postby sjonesy on Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:41 pm

I tried this and it works really well, thank you for the tip. Can I do this with LXDE too?


That would be cooool....
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