I love Xfce

Friday, February 4, 2011

XUBUNTU 11.04 - REVIEW AND FIRST LOOK.

I was desperately trying to get my hands on xfce 4.8, but didn't quite have the time to compile it myself. Surely there were a few " unofficial " PPA's over there, but i decided to wait till the new natty alpha 2. Today i have it and so a detailed review of the latest XFCE baby follows.

Part 1. THE INSTALLATION.

Nothing New here. Xubuntu still uses the Old ubuntu ( remember 8.04) sort of startup menu. The plymouth theme is the same and so is the GDM . The installer slideshow is typical xubuntu, with slightly redesigned disk partitioning dialogue. It is pretty self explanatory, and will  not confuse newbies.. If you have ever installed Maverick or Lucid, you will feel right at home.

Part 2. THE DESKTOP

Now this is where things get Really Interesting. There are lots of changes.Xubuntu now uses xfce 4.8 under the hood, and one look at the bottom panel and you know, how hard the team has worked for this release. It looks absolutely Gorgeous with almost a dock like feel. The transparency support is visible, as well as the autohide feature which is good for small screen. The top panel has also got a overhaul . It has now got only the main menu ( No places menu) and the Window buttons are now on top. You can see from the screenshot that he panel is now very customisable. Another great thing is the " Network Browsing" feature added to thunar which makes life easier.Xfce has a new Notification Daemon which is nice.  And oh i almost forgot, the new greybird theme is a treat.

Part 3. THE APPLICATIONS

There are no surprises, as almost all the previously available default apps have been retained.
Mozilla Firefox has been bumped to 4.0 Beta 10. Thunderbird, Exaile, Pidgin, Abiword, Gnumeric, GIMP and Xfburn are some of the Applications installed , so you wont miss anything. I dare say the default list of applications is more impressive than that of its much bigger brother ubuntu. And yeah no UNITY ( hell yeah Man!!).


Part 4. THE EXPERIENCE.

Visual Delights aside, I did ran into some problems. Thunar was mighty slow to start and i always got some confusing error message the first time ti did. Then there was this " Orage Globaltime" app which i don't know how and why it's used. Things were slow and sluggish, even more so than gnome- which is not what i expect of xfce. The wallpaper still says 10.10 ( whic might be a known bug). The artwork available is sufficient and but not fantastic. Overall this is very much " ALPHA".


Part 5. FINAL WORDS

I am extremely happy with the way xubuntu is progressing. It looks great and comes with a good list of default applications. However wait till the beta before you make the shift for good.

Download Xubuntu 11.04 alpha 2:

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