"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Switching to Xubuntu

In spite of my first impressions after some weeks of real use my desktop computer seems to be slowed down by the latest Ubuntu upgrade. The system is still functional but, while using some application, like Firefox, it starts loosing in fluidity. I so decided to try changing the desktop manager installing XFCE in place of Gnome.
Installing XFCE on Ubuntu is just a one-command matter:
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

after a lot of downloading and installing I simply had to disconnect from the gnome session and login again, in a XFCE session, to see the new window manager working. Here is how the desktop looked like just after installation:
And here is how my desktop looks like after some playing with settings and activating composition in “Windows Manager Tweaks” settings.
First impressions
First XFCE seems to run on my computer considerably smoother and faster than Gnome, at least comparing versions installed with 9.10 releases. Not a vital requirement but I like to remark that XFCE can be as good-looking as Gnome, you can judge it from the screen-shots. On the other hand XFCE is still more “spartan” than Gnome in some points. One for all Thunar, XFCE native file manager, lacks of a full Samba shares support like Nautilus (Gnome file manager) has. There are a couple of workarounds suggested in Thunar FAQ, I'll try them as soon as possible. In the meanwhile I opted for a solution, curiously, not mentioned in Thunar site: I continue using Nautilus which works fine even under Xubuntu desktop.