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What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 4:47 pm
by mikhou
So I've been an LM user since Gloria and am currently running LM9 Isadora Main. I'd like to try to XFCE, but I'm wondering the best way to do that. Would it be best to burn the LM8 Helena XFCE Live CD and test it that way? Would it be best to install LM8 Helena XFCE via VBox? Or would it be just as easy to install the XFCE Meta Package over Gnome to try it out? I'm specifically interested in this last way. What are the effects of that on my system, and can I just uninstall that meta package if I'm not happy with it? I'm pretty sure that if I do that, it won't be exactly the same as LM XFCE, correct? What would give me the best "feel" for XFCE? FYI, I'm looking at this as a possible permanent desktop change so if I like it, I would be willing to make it my primary desktop and do a full install.

One other caveat, I am an American currently in the US, but I usually live and work in a third world country that has SLOW internet access. That's why I am interested in trying it now. Don't know when LM9 Isadora XFCE will be out, but I may not be able to wait that long because once I get overseas, I may not have enough bandwidth to pull down LM9 XFCE. Any idea when it might be out? I'll be here for another month or so.

mikhou

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:02 pm
by MysticGold04
Absolute best way would be to try it via the bootable CD method. Second best would be to use a bootable USB stick. This will not harm your current installation, and will allow you to "try" before you install. I currently have Mint 8 Main x64 edition installed, and will probably install Mint 9 x64 XFCE edition over it once its released. I really like XFCE over Gnome. Just seems faster and more responsive overall. If there was an x64 version of Mint 8 XFCE, I'd be running it now.

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:06 pm
by vrkalak
The new LinuxMint-9 Xfce CE should be released in the next few weeks.

If your Mint-8 Xfce is working ... I'd wait for Mint-9 Xfce to be released.

You can, of course, install the Xfce desktop over Gnome ... but, Xfce doesn't work at it's 'optimal' this way.
The LM-9 Xfce, like Xubuntu is lighter and faster than it's predecessor Mint-8/Xubuntu 9.10 was.

I am waiting for the release of Mint-9 Xfce CE ... sometime soon.

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:12 pm
by mikhou
vrkalak,

Actually now, I just have LM9 Main installed. I'm wanting to test XFCE to see how much I like it before calling it my primary operating system. You mentioned installing XFCE over Gnome. What changes would that make to my system?

mikhou

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:43 pm
by vrkalak
mikhou wrote:vrkalak,
Actually now, I just have LM9 Main installed. I'm wanting to test XFCE to see how much I like it before calling it my primary operating system. You mentioned installing XFCE over Gnome. What changes would that make to my system?
mikhou
It will not make any changes to your current Mint-9 install.
All your Apps, documents and settings will be the same ... accessible to both desktops.

Only difference would be when you boot into your Mint-9 ... at the Log-in screen, you will have a choice as to which desktop environment you want to use.
The Gnome desktop will still be there ... with no changes.

You can go into the Synaptic Package Manager in Mint-9 (Gnome) and search for Xfce ... install the Xfce Desktop Environment and it's dependencies. Then, reboot.
As for the Xfce 'dependencies ... the Xfce desktop being lighter-weight uses several lighter-weight Applications. In my opinion, most of these are better than the ones in Gnome.
The Xfce desktop and panel ... is more customizable than Gnome ever dreamed of.

But, then I am an Xfce junkie!! :lol:

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 6:00 pm
by MALsPa
I'm one of those who prefers to add Xfce to the existing system. If you start out with a GNOME system or a KDE system and add Xfce, your original desktop environment will still be there but you'll also have the option to log into Xfce.

Currently I do not have Xfce installed in Mint, but I have done so in the past, starting out with the main GNOME version. Right now I do have Xfce installed in Mepis, which had KDE to start out with.

What you will get is a menu entry when you log in where you can choose an Xfce session or a GNOME session.

If you log into your GNOME session, you'll get the normal stuff except there will be a few Xfce apps added to the menu. If that bothers you, then you can edit your GNOME menu so that the Xfce apps don't show up.

I don't know how easy it would be to uninstall Xfce because quite frankly whenever I have added Xfce to a GNOME-based or KDE-based distro, I have never had any reason to uninstall it.

It does seem that most people here lean towards using the Mint Xfce CE version instead of installing Xfce on their own. Different strokes for different folks. I prefer to install it on my own. It isn't too difficult, but one thing I would advise is to keep notes of each step, of everything that you do, because those notes might really come in handy if you ever install Xfce a second time. I would say the same thing about installing any desktop environment or window manager. But installing Xfce on your own isn't as difficult as installing Openbox or Fluxbox for the first time.

In any case, the installation part is fairly easy. You can install the metapackage. I've also gone into Synaptic and searched on "Xfce" and then went through and picked everything that I thought I'd need. Folks probably wouldn't recommend that method, but it worked for me.

Also, some others might want to speak about this, but Xfce 4.4.2, which I am using, installed with a very nice Help document that is located right there in the main menu. To me, that made Xfce one of the easiest environments to finish setting up once it was installed. A friend of mine is using a later version of Xfce (in Debian Squeeze) and says that the Help document is not present. But he was able to find lots of help online anyway, so it didn't matter, I guess.

I hope some of this rambling is helpful.

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 6:02 pm
by MALsPa
vrkalak wrote:I am an Xfce junkie!!
It's funny, I'm fine with just about any desktop environment or window manager that I've tried, and I've used a good number of them on a regular basis, but for the past several months I've found myself using Xfce most of the time. Maybe I'm becoming a junkie, too!

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:09 pm
by mikhou
So...if I install the XFCE meta package through Synaptic, and I decide later that I don't want to use XFCE, what would happen if I uninstall the XFCE meta package through Synaptic? Will I end up with an LM9 Main installation?

mikhou

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:20 pm
by MALsPa
mikhou wrote:So...if I install the XFCE meta package through Synaptic, and I decide later that I don't want to use XFCE, what would happen if I uninstall the XFCE meta package through Synaptic? Will I end up with an LM9 Main installation?

mikhou
Like I said, I've never wanted to uninstall it. Hopefully someone can answer that for you.

Now that I think of it, I've installed KDE and Xfce and Fluxbox and Openbox and E16 and a few others, but never removed any of them. I just kept them and learned to use them and ended up liking them.

If you're thinking along the lines that you might want to get rid of Xfce after you install it, perhaps the Mint Xfce CE on a live CD would be better for you, or trying Mint Xfce CE or another Xfce distro on a different set of partitions, or in a VM.

Sorry, I'm no help with that question.

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:29 am
by blito
i`m trying out xfce right now - now entirely sure what to expect of it but i`m trying it out solely because i dont like the main menu in the mint version of gnome!
I installed xfce through the synaptic package manager.
to make it work i used ctrl+alt+F1 to get out of gnome, then at the terminal prompt -

su
init 4
stop gdm
start xfce4

and up it comes :)

i guess to remove it i will use the syanptic manager again.... but so far i quite like it :)

(edited for wonky spelling by BLiT0 06/07/10)

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:11 am
by MALsPa
Well, I guess that's the same as simply logging out of the GNOME session and logging back into an Xfce session.

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:55 pm
by farnaby
Hm... if you don't like the mintMenu (something I can't understand because I love the mintMenu), then why don't you just remove it from GNOME?
Just right-click on the menu, then choose "remove from panel". Then click on an empty space in the panel, choose "add to panel" and select the standard GNOME menu.

Re: What's the best way to try XFCE?

Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:44 pm
by kanishka
Other than Mint XFCE, I love Sidux XFCE and Crunchbang XFCE (the latest Beta aka Statler). I'm trying them both and they are very very good. They have different implementations of the desktop environment but both of them are nice. Maybe they could be an inspiration for your personal XFCE desktop...