Mint 13 XFCE

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Mint 13 XFCE

Yes
86
74%
No
19
16%
May be
11
9%
 
Total votes: 116

asymmetros
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by asymmetros »

In my opinion, lack of developers is the main problems of Xfce project. Speaking in general, it is really nice having so many options available (different desktops, window managers, distributions) but freedom must comes with co-operation. Better co-operation is what is needed, not new desktops (mate). :mrgreen:

I wish for a menu editor to be included in Xfce. Other than that, i am quit happy using it. My Xfce setup starts at about 115 Mb's and it is very responsive in general. I do not use gnome system monitor or task manager -htop is just fine. Thunar with custom actions is my favourite and i find Xfce 's customization tools, easy to use and well organized. It outscores gnome here.
Some people prefer (just) openbox, other people fluxbox: a few -if any- gui tools, no impressive desktop effects, not a dedicated panel (for openbox) or a file manager! KDE is probably the full-blown desktop, plenty of bells and whistles, tons of customization options offered to the user -everything is there. You cannot compare it with Openbox, they are just different. It's all about preference -up to a point of course.
Mint's Debian+xfce really does feel "unpolished".

For my opinion, the reason for this is that it mimics gnome, Xfce-ness of the whole desktop is a bit hidden.
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by KBD47 »

For me, Debian Mint + Xfce is just right. KDE is heavy on every OS for me except Debian (Mepis), and font rendering is often bad for me on KDE. If Gnome is ever useful for me again it will be with Cinnamon. I like LXDE but it just is not as functional as Xfce. Xfce is both light and functional. As for developers--what project in Linux ever has enough developers? Right now Xfce works, we don't have to wait and hope, or look back and wish, it's here and it works well, at least for me.
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harvi
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by harvi »

Mint 13 XFCE will be great option for me.
On my older notebook:
KDE - is heavy, CPU and fans running at 100%
GNOME - is better but still notebook is hotter
XFCE - good choise of functiaonality, is lighter and maybe i miss some gnome features
LXDE - its not as funcional as XFCE and I dont like it :D

I can still install xubuntu-session from synaptic, but then I have to remove all the crap that I wouldnt use anymore.
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sunewbie
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by sunewbie »

harvi wrote:Mint 13 XFCE will be great option for me.
On my older notebook:

XFCE - good choise of functiaonality, is lighter and maybe i miss some gnome features
I can still install xubuntu-session from synaptic, but then I have to remove all the crap that I wouldnt use anymore.
I was talking about XFCE with some gnome apps :)
So LM 13 XFCE will (err... should be) based on Ubuntu and not Xubuntu

I wish to have a full fledge XFCE system for modern desktop.

Regarding the removal of all that gnome crap, which you do not use, I have found a link Getting Back to a Pure XFCE on Ubuntu

but this is applicable for gnome 2 :)

P.S.: I googled for 'remove gnome and get pure XFCE'
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by kijin »

Purity is overrated.

My XFCE box has Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, and a whole bunch of other apps that are normally not included in XFCE distributions. I also enabled compatibility options with GNOME services, so that I can use the GNOME keyring to manage my private keys when I log into other boxes in xfce-terminal. I even have Compiz working with XFCE. Lightweight? No. Useful? Hell yeah! There is no reason for a Linux "distribution" to stick with the default apps that a DE offers. If that were the rule, every GNOME distro would be shipping Epiphany by default, which is not happening. It's all free software, so there's nothing wrong with mixing the best apps from various sources to suit your idea of how a machine should behave.

The only downside with mixing apps that I can think of is that it's more difficult to create a theme that looks consistent across all the apps. Xubuntu's default theme, greybird, consists of both a GTK+2 theme and a GTK+3 theme in order to accommodate GNOME apps. That's a lot of duplicated effort.

People should stop thinking of XFCE as a lightweight desktop environment. There hasn't been much difference in speed and memory consumption between GNOME 2 and XFCE in recent years. Apart from the lack of shiny transparent themes, XFCE is "lightweight" only in its selection of default apps and services, which tend to be more simplistic than their GNOME and KDE counterparts -- but as I said, this is not mandatory. XFCE is highly configurable, which means that whether or not it behaves like a lightweight DE depends on how you set it up. Most of the time, it occupies a sort of middle ground between really lightweight DEs such as LXDE and feature-packed/"bloated" DEs such as KDE. (Perhaps this is one reason for XFCE's chronic lack of development resources: geeks gravivate toward extremes, so they tend not to have much enthusiasm for things that are moderate and mundane but entirely reasonable.)
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by KBD47 »

Right now I'm using Xfce session on Mint 12 and it is both faster and running a few degrees cooler than Gnome Shell. I like it so much that I'm probably going to use it on Mint 13 LTS for my desktop computer.
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by cwwgateway »

I think that Mint 13 XFCE should come to be. I really like the debian version of mint XFCE, but I know that it's not friendly to some newer users and due to the fact that it has some bugs (which is inherent when following debian testing even with the update packs) and it doesn't support some hardware. At least some of the people who would like to have a friendlier and less breakage-prone (and therefore ubuntu based) system are the ones who would use an LTS. It is especially important because this LTS will be supported for 5 years instead of the normal 3 and because of the whole gnome shell ordeal. Even with cinnamon and MATE, some people will like a stabler, faster, and friendly (MATE and cinnamon both are friendly, but so is XFCE) desktop.

Just to throw this in here (although it is not strictly related to the topic), my feeling is that all mint editions besides gnome (or cinnamon as it will probably become) and possibly MATE (maybe even LXDE if people need a current, fast ubuntu based version) should be based on debian. As debian releases are rolling and therefore you don't need to release a completely new version every six months, this would be less work for the Linux Mint team. And this would in turn cause a larger focus on update packs, bringing LMDE up to speed with debian testing. Also it would allow the team to have more time to work on cinnamon because (as I said before) they don't have to release a completely new version for each edition. However, every LTS release, they should release every edition under Ubuntu base (while keeping LMDE going but maybe not releasing ISO updates for an extended period if they don't have the time).

Finally, I have been noticing increasingly in the last few Ubuntu releases (11.04 and 11.10) they have been almost experimenting with new things for the LTS release. I think 12.10 or 13.04 or maybe even 13.10 will introduce Wayland, which will most likely be fairly experimental. Maybe, everybody should start thinking about this as the releases between LTS's are more testing releases for the LTS, and therefore maybe Linux Mint should call LTS is something around the lines of mint stable. The LTS should in turn be kept up to date, sort of like (although I don't like to point to this, as I don't like Windows) how Windows does. Windows releases a version every 2 to 6 or 7 years, but the version that they release is kept up to date. While this might cause breakages (Windows breaks all the time :wink: ), it is probably more stable than some of the non-LTS releases. I don't want to call the normal (non-LTS) releases testing or experimental, but for the new user or work user I think that the LTS releases are the best choice. Although a number of people might say that we're more towards the geek side (at least some of us) and we like new things, I am suggesting that we point new users and users who need very stable systems to the LTS. The non-LTS releases still exist. It's not like I'm suggesting making a debian stable with no backports the main release :wink: . Actually that might be a good idea :D . My concern about this plan, however, is that this along with the debian releases and non-LTS releases and developing cinnamon, this might be much too much work for the Linux Mint team. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by KBD47 »

I have some concerns with Debian once you leave Debian Stable. Sid and Testing in Debian only have one object--to get a good Stable release. Again, there should be a Debian Stable Mint release if something Debian is ever to be useful to newbies.
I tried to set LMDE to Wheezy sources with the idea of eventually getting a Debian Stable version of Mint. In no time I was in dependency hell after 800 updates. Software disappeared and some quit working. The only reason my LMDX install is working so great is that there has been hardly any updates to Latest.
My advice if you want a Mint 13 Xfce is to make it yourself, install Xfce onto Mint 13. With a bit of tweaking you have a good looking functional desktop that is somewhat lightweight and very easy to configure.
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PS--I thought some folks here might appreciate my short blog post about my Mint 12 Xfce desktop:
http://kbd-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.com ... -xfce.html
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sunewbie
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by sunewbie »

tdockery97 wrote:I believe starting in this cycle you will see the LTS only come out every 4 years. Ubuntu based LTS is going to 5 years.
I re-read this post after some time.

Regarding the LTS version, Canonical says:
A new LTS version is released every 2 years. In previous releases, a Long Term Support (LTS) version had 3 years support on Ubuntu (Desktop) and 5 years on Ubuntu Server. Starting with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, both versions will receive 5 years support.
It does not mention that new LTS version will be released after 4 years. So It implies that, still a new LTS version will be released after 2 years.

Releases and support are different things. Release schedule will remain the same, but LT Support will be increased from 3 years to 5 years, which is a welcome news for corporates.

Just to make a note that the only concern is, PPA maintainers should be able to maintain and keep apps up-to-date for 5 years (atleast 4 years).
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by ddalley »

KBD47 wrote:My advice if you want a Mint 13 Xfce is to make it yourself, install Xfce onto Mint 13. With a bit of tweaking you have a good looking functional desktop that is somewhat lightweight and very easy to configure.
KBD47
Depending on your needs, adding Xfce to the Main distro might be a good idea for another reason - better default software.

I have tried a few different Xfce distros, in the past few weeks alone, including Mint's, Fedora's 16 and Xubuntu. Fedora's default software selection is not for the average Joe and if a distro comes with AbiWord, it won't load .docx files, for example, so you have to end up spending time installing more capable software, such as LibreOffice. All of this adds to the user's workload, especially in a non-rolling, multi-computer environment.

The one thing that really, really ticks me off are distros that don't install enough of SAMBA to allow using a NAS box (and my printer is hooked up to mine, too) without spending hours upon hours trying to access one. I still haven't gotten Fedora's Xfce to work right and I don't think I ever will. All of these versions needed necessary fiddling with SAMBA config files; one version had nothing ready to go, and that's a no-no in this day and age of intercommunication between platforms. :(
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by Hypersphere »

I could not agree with you more--with some reservations (read on). During the past year, I have been experimenting with most of the major distros and desktop environments (DEs). Of all of them, I like Linux Mint 12 the best. Of the DEs, KDE seems too complex; Gnome 3 is unsuited to serious work; and Mint's shell, MATE, and Cinnamon are not yet mature products. LXDE, Fluxbox, Openbox and others also seemed to be lacking.

While waiting for LM13/Cinnamon to emerge and being uncertain if this DE will truly have all the features I am seeking, I have set up LM12/Xfce. The result is a DE that is beautiful and functional. However, my finished product is a strange hybrid that seems to have inherited some genes from Gnome 3 and KDE. Thus, it is not "pure" Xfce. It uses the Xfce panel and menu, but it allows Nautilus to be the file manager and controller of the desktop.

With all this in mind, although it would be nice to have an Xfce spin of Linux Mint (Ubuntu-based for those who do not want a rolling Debian version), it would be quite possible to build one's own Xfce desktop. I found that I wanted or needed bits and pieces from Gnome 3 and KDE in addition to Xfce; therefore, I would probably end up modifying any Xfce spin anyway.

Even so, if Mint decided to produce an Xfce spin, I am sure they would create a well-coordinated desktop that might be difficult to emulate, and such a product might serve as a better starting point than another version of Mint to which one would add his own Xfce installation. However, we must be careful what we wish for, "lest another spin would spread the Mint too thin!"
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by KBD47 »

Mint + Xfce = a growing minority :-)
I have done 2 Xfce4 installs to Mint. I already had LMDX, so I have three total Xfce installs on my computer. Earlier I mentioned that I have installed Xfce onto Mint 12, and that has worked out well. I also reinstalled LMDE Gnome, since I borked my first install by changing my repos to point to Testing--screwed up too many programs. Reinstalled LMDE Gnome pointing to Latest, and was disappointed to realize it was running quite warm, up to 60 C and I knew my LMDX install did not run that warm on the same computer. I said the heck with it and installed Xfce on top of Gnome Debian Mint. Now my computer is running cooler and faster. Yes, Xfce has become my desktop. I'll be interested to see how cool and fast Cinnamon runs on top of Mint Debian. But Xfce really is my go to Linux desktop now.
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by MikeF90000 »

I'm in the poll 'maybe' camp - I have some concerns.

- The XFCE dev team and new foundation seem to hurting for support of all kinds. AFAIK the next dev release (4.12? 5.0?) will be a maintenance release emphasizing the conversion from GTK2 to GTK3 toolkits. This is a major effort that could take a long time and burn out their team.

- AFAIK GNOME 2 /GTK2 is in maintenance mode (bug and security fixes only) and therefore is 'dying' code that most app devs won't want to use longer term. I would prefer that the LM devs just get MATE 'stable enough' and devote more effort to Cinnamon (unique LM look) and upstream XFCE improvements (classic GNOME 2 like look).

- My post on the LMDE forum didn't come up with that many XFCE deficiencies re GNOME 2 - I say the LM team should help fill in the 'missing' functionality holes in XFCE. Aside from UI 'look and feel' prefs, both dev teams obviously have common core competencies (GTK/GNOME).

Deciding when to release an LM 13 XFCE release is difficult - do you wait for the GTK3 based version (Xubuntu 13.?) or maintain old GNOME 2 based code (Xubuntu 12.04 or Debian Wheezy)?

Given Canonicals current UI wackiness and possible neglect of the other DEs, perhaps switching LM 14 XFCE to Debian stable with XFCE-GTK3 will be a better long term solution. Just a thought.
Last edited by MikeF90000 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by sunewbie »

@rjrich thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

@MikeF90000. Valid points for consideration. Thanks for sharing :)
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by sanda »

My post on the LMDE forum didn't come up with that many XFCE deficiencies re GNOME 2
Make your own determination. Peek behind the curtain ~~ browse to /usr/share/applications and drag .desktop files (batches of 30 at a time?) into a tabbed text editor. Note that Xfce doesn't stand on its own; it utilizes many gnome applets (network-manager, system-monitor, etc.) and it even utilizes external "orage" gtk app to expose date/time settings.

Xfce devs suggest use of Catfish for desktop search.
Its home is "www.twotoasts.de" -- same as "Midori" browser, which is also recommended by xfce (is claimed on their wiki as part of the xfce project). Did one of the xfce devs code Catfish? Idunno. Regardless, xfce project is 8yrs old. It has lacked focus -- building out a web browser doesn't fit the scope of "core desktop environment" development, eh. Catfish can use strigi backend (same as KDE nepomuk) or beagle (same as gnome-search, gnome-do, etc) but AFAIK catfish cannot use xapian backend.

http://community.linuxmint.com/
33,600 registered users
"LMDE" == 891 users
"Xfce edition" == 256 users

Neither xfce team nor the mint "Xfce edition dev team" have provided us with a decent desktop search tool.
If mint develops such, it wouldn't be just for "us 256" users, and I doubt they would bother to containerize it for anything other than cinnamon.
Well, I threw Catfish under the bus, and am using the xapian (or beagle) -based Recoll search.

Similar to the other thread where I grumbled about wrestling with (and trying to workaround) Xfce's "xdg-compliant" menu,
I'm convinced that we need to fend for ourselves. "Sending suggestions upstream" seems too much like pizzing into the wind.
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by sunewbie »

sanda wrote: http://community.linuxmint.com/
33,600 registered users
"LMDE" == 891 users
"Xfce edition" == 256 users

Neither xfce team nor the mint "Xfce edition dev team" have provided us with a decent desktop search tool.
If mint develops such, it wouldn't be just for "us 256" users, and I doubt they would bother to containerize it for anything other than cinnamon.
Well, I threw Catfish under the bus, and am using the xapian (or beagle) -based Recoll search.
Nothing is perfect. You will find people complaining for all DEs. Some saying KDE is a bloatware, LXDE is just a WM, etc, etc.

No default search tool, does not mean XFCE is un-usable. You won't become a sinner if you install any gnome2 / gnome 3 / KDE components ;) You can happily install beagle. As someone has said, purity overrated +1 on it.

All I am interested is a better working 'Stable' DE for LTS version, offering some basic functionality like creating launchers, putting icons on desktops, etc, etc ... and DE not optimized for tablet / smart phone / touch screen devices. Simple good old traditional desktop Further customization is optional for end users. We are used to using what DEV gives. Mint is targeted for end users :)

Regarding small user base, last XFCE spin was Mint 9. People have tendency to upgrade to latest release. and Again LMDX is gaining popularity. Upadate pack 4, will soon be released. There are many users including ones using Ubuntu, who have installed XFCE along with Gnome 3 / UNITY. Those figures are not counted :)

@ddalley I hope Mint devs will provide network ready XFCE (if they at all make XFCE edition, fingers crossed)
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by KBD47 »

sunewbie my thoughts were running along those same lines, Xfce may not be perfect, it can be picked apart, but it is working well for many of us. Right now, not talking a year from now, but as of right now, you have basically 3 fully functional desktops, meaning not completely buggy, generally not missing features, and having the ability to configure them: KDE, Xfce, and Gnome 2. Now Gnome 2 is dead. MATE is coming up to replace it, but hasn't fully done so yet. KDE is nice but heavy on older hardware or hardware with lower specs, this leaves Xfce as the logical choice for many Right Now. In the future Xfce may get borked by developers (I doubt this), and Cinnamon may be the go to desktop (I think it will for many), heck, maybe even LXDE becomes more useful and full featured (I am not quite convinced), but dealing with the now--Xfce works for many of us.
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by sunewbie »

Like you, I too like XFCE, which is a logical choice, as on today, and so started this thread ;) :D and learned a lot as minters squeezed their intellects.

Along with LM 12 + cinnamon, I also have Xubuntu installed, with apps of Ubuntu editions. It took time to uninstall / install apps, but it works for me.

It is good, non-bloated, simple, configurable, traditional, no-nonsense DE ('D' in DE means Desktop and not 'Tablet / touch screen' ;) )

So Gnome 3 with Gnome Shell should be called TE and probably KDE is on path to transit or focus on TE than DE. UNITY means union of Tablet and Desktop (my on interpretation), a kind of hybrid common for both.

Razor-QT is new and so is Wayland. I like E17, but it is still in beta (may they are following gmail, which was in beta for 5 years). Remember When Gmail upgraded itself from beta to stable after xx years ;), it offered old logo with beta tag. Same must be with E17, the devs are so accustomed and emotionally attached to bet tag that they do not want to drop it.

So only LXDE and XFCE are stable DE.

I hope Clem notices this thread and atleast reads it and hopefully, thinks on it .. and starts to work on Mint 13 XFCE in future (getting greedy :mrgreen: )

EDIT: Why I want De and not TE:

I have 20'' LCD monitor 2 feet away from m. If it even had a touch capability then the 'touch experience', which these environments are trying to give us, becomes 'ouch experience'. You keep stretching your hand for some time and see if it pains or not Image

Perhaps, if you too much interact with your monitor, you may either Image or something like this could happen Image Things are moving 3D these days ;)

If yes, then like bug #1 in launchpad, someone should file a bug so that 'ouch experience' is de-bugged and TE becomes DE once more ;) :) :mrgreen:
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by Bill Lariviere »

Right now i'm still using Mint 10. When i'm gonna upgrade in spring i'm hesitating between the main Mint 13 with Cinnamon or LMDE with XFCE. If an Ubuntu-based XFCE distro would exist, that would be my choice for sure!
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Re: Mint 13 XFCE

Post by MikeF90000 »

sunewbie wrote: ... snip ...
It is good, non-bloated, simple, configurable, traditional, no-nonsense DE ('D' in DE means Desktop and not 'Tablet / touch screen' ;) )

Besides the mobile device addicts, another 'audience' that Gnome-shell and Unity seem to be targeting are the people who prefer using keyboard shortcuts to the mouse. IMO there is major groupthink in the IT press/blogosphere that reinforces this as the 'new, modern, cool interface'. A kind of 'back to the MS/DOS / dumb terminal app' UI of 20 years ago.

My experience in the corp IT world says that this approach may backfire - power non-IT desktop users learn to be 'document' (object) centric and organize these objects (or their shortcuts) into task or project folders. Launching an app and using File->Open all the time is a mark of an inexperienced newbie. Desktop 'search' seems like a solution in search of a problem; if you are organized, you don't need it very often.

Long live the mouse!
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