what makes xfce lightweight?

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Thane of Fife
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what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby Thane of Fife » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:02 am

As from this thread, I had to switch from Cinnamon to Xfce because of freezing issues.

I'm curious - what is it that makes Xfce lightweight? It seems as rich and feature packed as cinnamon does - and in fact, I like it better!

It doesn't seem lightweight at all, very robust.

So what is it that makes this lightweight and what are the differences? Thank you.

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all41
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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby all41 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:20 am

My perception is:
XFCE has a reputation for using less resources than other desktops. However there is nothing light weight regarding the capabilities of this desktop
and it has has earned respect among many accelerated users. Do not equate this de to only 'limited hardware' as many profess.
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jimallyn
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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby jimallyn » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:59 am

I know Cinnamon requires 3D graphics acceleration; XFCE doesn't. XFCE needs much less RAM to run than Cinnamon does. On my main desktop computer, I use Cinnamon, but I have a couple of older laptops and XFCE works great on them. I am considering moving my desktop to XFCE when I upgrade to 18.x.
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all41
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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby all41 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:11 am

XFCE needs much less RAM to run than Cinnamon does.

Rather superficial difference in ram requirements among Mint DE--let me find the thread detailing this for Rosa and I will post back those results.
As I remember not more than a hundred megabytes or so though
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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby lmintnewb2 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:14 am

More depends, more being loaded into ram, more processes being fired up to support whatever features one of those big-boy DE's provide. Thus higher mem usage, higher cpu overhead. More disk i/o etc.

Less avail free ram/cpu, obviously means heavier workload on the pc. Thus more sluggish. By way of example, have openbox as my default xsession, total number of processes is 123 and 144mbs-ram, also have a really stripped down xfce on the system, total processes running in it when checking output of the top cmd is 141 and 186mbs-ram.

Basically the more bling, bling higher the system overhead and the more muscle a system needs to deal with the load. Having said that, every gnu/linux gui can be tweaked.

The stats gnome and kde pull ootb can be dramatically reduced by disabling resource hogging services, unused features and/or removing packages and keeping things more minimal. That also applies to xfce or just about anything else. Many people have many features/services they don't need-use wasting system resources thus bogging them down to whatever extent and of course the impact is most noticeable on lower spec hardware.

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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby jimallyn » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:22 am

all41 wrote:Rather superficial difference in ram requirements among Mint DE

I ran some tests on a laptop I was preparing for a friend. Cinnamon used 730 MB of RAM with no applications running; 1.1 GB or RAM with Firefox running. MATE used 514 MB of RAM with no applications running; 895 MB of RAM with Firefox running. XFCE used 303 MB of RAM with no applications running; 680 MB of RAM with Firefox running. All of these figures are from running "Live" and not installed on the hard drive. I didn't test KDE.
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all41
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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby all41 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:26 pm

https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=191870&hilit=+lighter#p994189
Older than I remembered. This is the 17.1 main edition desktops each in a freshly installed state.
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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby Citizen229 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:56 pm

for extra snappiness. https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=233694&p=1242605&hilit=xfce#p1242605

from the link:
Re: XFCE: Has anyone ever stripped it down further.


Postby richyrich » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:58 pm
Here's a few . . :)
Turn off Compositing in the Window Manager Tweaks program.
Disable autostart programs that are not needed in the Application Autostart tab of the Session & Startup program.
Disable Gnome & KDE services in the Advanced tab of the Session & Startup program.
Change from MDM(html) to GDM login screens using the Login Window program.

I did the first 2 only I got mine to 144 megs at boot.
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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby lmintnewb2 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:38 am

Thanks for sharing those stats Jimallyn.

Thought since they were toram, might be heavier then an actual install, fired up lmde2 64bit cinnamon from a multiboot usb and nope free -m output was 349mbs. Which is within a hair of what it was ootb bare metal on this laptop.

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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby Petermint » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:49 pm

I tried Xfce a few times and ran into problems. LM maint appears to be Cinnamon > MATE > Xfce. When Xfce catches up to 18.3 cinnamon, I might test Xfce again.

18.3 Cinnamon is supposed to be faster than 18.2 Cinnamon. I see some speed improvements but not memory reduction. Perhaps more memory usage. After use for a while, it uses 2.1 GB out of 3.8. In 18.2 with the a previous Firefox, it was under 2 GB almost all the time.

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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby Hoser Rob » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:57 am

I don't really think Xfce is lightweight anymore, at least since 4.12 which I believe was introduced in Mint 17.1. Not an improvement either. It's more bloated. slower, not any more powerful AFAIK, and still just as buggy as ever.

Yes, it's light compared to Cinnamon, but that's ridiculously huge. I replaced Xfce on my laptop with 18.2 KDE (I used to use KDE and 5 is great). By doing the usual KDE speed tweaks I can get it to run in about 325Mb, which is not much more than Xfce, which is a toy by comparison.

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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby aes2011 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:33 am

Hoser Rob wrote:... By doing the usual KDE speed tweaks I can get it to run in about 325Mb, ...

Is there some place you've described these tweaks? Thanks!

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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby Petermint » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:52 pm

How do LXDE and MATE compare? LXDE works well in Raspbian.

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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby mr_raider » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:19 pm

A lot of the "resource usage" people talk about is directly related to how much stuff is installed out of the box. Yes XFCE is lighter, especially in it's default config. But if you replace xfwm with compiz, pile on dekstop effects, add docks and applets everywhere, and install a bunch of startup service you can make it pretty heavy.

COnsider that Mint KDE, Kubuntu and KDE Neon have very different memory footprints, even though all three use KDE.

I would select a DE based mostly on which one suits your workflow, and then adjust the features as needed. If you turn of desktop effects in Cinammon, it will run fairly well.
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Re: what makes xfce lightweight?

Postby Pepi » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:44 pm

I know numbers don't lie but I've tried all the different desktops and I just don't see a lot of difference in speed. I run Cinnamon without the graphic stuff and it runs great. I just run 6 gig of RAM on both my PC's.


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