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danbuter 06-06-2008 06:09 PM

best xfce distro?
 
I know there are a number of distros that come as xfce. I was curious which of them tends to work well, with a decent repo? I know of Xubuntu, but heard there are "better" xfce-based distros. Then again, Xubuntu may be pretty good overall. Just want some opinions from those in the know before I install something. (And no, I'm not going to make 10 LiveCD's to test each distro, I'd prefer educated assessments from actual users).

slackhack 06-06-2008 06:10 PM

I'd have to say Arch.

elliott678 06-06-2008 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slackhack (Post 3177093)
I'd have to say Arch.

Yeah, I run Arch with Xfce installed. A lot less bloated overall than Xubuntu. It does take some knowledge to get running though, it definitely isn't an out of the box solution. Once you learn, it is a very nice system to use, easy to maintain and repair when something goes wrong.

It isn't really an Xfce based distro, it doesn't have anything by default, but nearly any environment you can imagine is easily installed from the package manager.

danbuter 06-06-2008 06:48 PM

I haven't been able to install Arch successfully, unfortunately. Kinda wishing someone local knew how to install it. Once it's installed, I'm pretty sure I'd be perfectly fine with it.

Shadowmeph 06-06-2008 07:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by danbuter (Post 3177113)
I haven't been able to install Arch successfully, unfortunately. Kinda wishing someone local knew how to install it. Once it's installed, I'm pretty sure I'd be perfectly fine with it.

I am almost a total Noob when it comes to Linux but I did get Arch linux installed with xcfe it took me two times but I did get it installed and running pretty smooth , if you are going to try Arch my suggestion is to read the Manual at least the first 30 pages twice then go for the install I had problems because I could only print out the first 20 pages so when I did a fresh install I had a hell of a time doing it fortunately I hat a Live Ubuntu CD that I could use to boot up so I could look things up on Wiki to figure out the rest y=that is why it took me two times to get it installed

ArkRoyal 06-06-2008 09:17 PM

I don't have any experience with arch but I do with Slackware and I would suggest Slackware. You have choice of many windowing managers, sometimes called desktops, and xfce is one of them.

I used to use Slackware all the time but a few years ago I switched to Kubuntu. Because of the move towards kde4, that in my opinion is a total s**t box, I went back to Slackware because it is so much easier to switch windowing managers.

Xfce does seem to be a usable windowing manager but I haven't given enlightenment a chance yet.

SO it's my vote to use Slackware. During the install, and after using xwmconfig, you can select xfce as you desktop and be up and running in no time.

Oliver_H 06-07-2008 01:39 PM

Strange nobody is mentioning the primus inter pares among the _real_ XFCE-distros: Zenwalk.

http://zenwalk.org/

Takla 06-07-2008 03:13 PM

I'd agree that Zenwalk is an excellent Xfce distro. I run Debian testing with Xfce and it's great. Both are easy to install and maintain. I have run Zenwalk in the past and it was fast and stable, though lacked a few things in the repositories. I didn't try the newest version yet (it was just released today). Debian is rock solid stable, fast and reliable and you can run any desktop environment you like (most are available from the official repos). I used to run Xubuntu and up to 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) it was fast, reasonably lightweight, very stable. It kind of lost its way since then by incorporating more and more Gnome stuff when there were perfectly good gtk applications available. The leadership of Xubuntu recently changed and the current crew are likely to try to return Xubuntu to being lightweight high performance rather than the Xfce-themed Gnome it almost is now. I'm not sure they'll succeed with Ubuntu development being so closely tied to Gnome but good luck to them. For the moment though I'd go with Zenwalk or Debian or maybe even Wolvix or Arch. Debian certainly has the largest repositories and most mature package management and proven stability, also very comprehensive documentation. I'd be surprised if another distro with such comprehensive set of applications is as well tested. My understanding is that the Xfce provided in Slackware is nowhere near complete though I haven't used it myself. I tried Arch briefly but couldn't find any real advantage, performance or otherwise, over Debian Testing, though I'll have another look soon as it evolves constantly.

Oliver_H 06-07-2008 03:40 PM

>though lacked a few things in the repositories

Yeah that's a point, but it's easy to manage with scripts like src2pkg, of course if you are not afraid of compiling from source. Never heard of Wolvix before, but thanks for the hint :)

nuxrl 06-07-2008 11:42 PM

Arch
 
not only xfce runs faster, but also all other programs. I used to run Gentoo, but don't have time to compile everything from source now. Sigh...

Electro 06-08-2008 06:13 AM

My prefer distribution of choice is Gentoo because I do not like using pre-compiled distributions. Xfce4 works the same in Gentoo like other distributions. Some distributions can not organize Xfce4 config scripts. In Gentoo, the Xfce4 menu list is updated with out logging out after installing a Gnome program, KDE program, or a binary program. I have no problems using Xfce4 in Gentoo for a few years now.

Gentoo developers and its community tries their best to state which program and versions of these programs are reliable and stable. I actually depend on the program database (Portage) to find out what program version is stable and reliable to be use in the real world instead of what the developer is stating on his or her site.

Yes, Gentoo compiles programs but not the system files. You do not compile everything by hand because there are utilities that are recommended to use to install programs which helps a lot through the compiling and installation process. Including and excluding features is easy to do with the USE variable or USE flags for each individual program in portage.use under /etc/portage. Default USE flags are OK for most setups.

I think when I installed Xfce4 in Gentoo, I did the following as root.

emerge -av xfce4-base

This should collect everything that it needs to install Xfce4 and getting it to show in either GDM and/or KDM. If it can not install, probably it is the ABI framework that affecting the process and the main element, portage, needs updating.

I suggest stick with a distribution that you are most comfortable on using. If you are annoyed with your present distribution, you may have to play around with several distributions until you found one that you can settle on.

IMHO, all distributions perform the same. It just matters if your computer hardware is optimized to the best it can. Software can only do so much.

Takla, OpenSSL got a high risk vulnerability in security thanks to Debian developers. Debian developers were dumb enough to depend on a program to fix some OpenSSL code. I think you should also state "sometimes proven stupidity."

Takla 06-08-2008 08:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro (Post 3178200)
IMHO, all distributions perform the same. It just matters if your computer hardware is optimized to the best it can. Software can only do so much.

Takla, OpenSSL got a high risk vulnerability in security thanks to Debian developers. Debian developers were dumb enough to depend on a program to fix some OpenSSL code. I think you should also state "sometimes proven stupidity."

I haven't used gentoo so can't comment on that, but I'd question the assertion that all distributions do (or can) perform equally. Looking at a distros like opensuse and Debian (both of which I've used a lot) they are a very long way from vanilla. Both make a lot of customisations to the kernel, the libraries and the applications and have their own distinctive tools and there is a very noticable effect on performance, or responsiveness if you'd prefer. I'd assume that with versions of each distro based on similar versions of kernel, libraries etc if you performed a task such as encoding a wav to ogg, or rotating images in a graphics editor, compressing files to archive or other tasks that rely on raw processing power or RAM management there's going to be very little difference, if any. Where there are clear differences (obvious to the user) is in how responsive the distro feels, how quickly applications open and shut down, how efficient is the package manager, how stable is the graphical environment under load and so on. With powerful modern PCs these differences are not always apparent but you only have to use something like a PIII or Celeron and they are quite obvious.

As for the OpenSSL vulnerability it's not particularly relevant to my remark about stability, it's specifically a security issue (I was already aware of it and am also aware that it is not an issue for anyone who now starts with a new install of Debian). It certainly was/is a massive issue, while it has only caused me mild inconvenience it causes extremely serious problems (and expense) for others. I had a good look at the whole scenario and while the Debian developer made a real stinker of a mistake it's clear he asked the OpenSSL devs for their opinion before doing it and they raised no objection (there was a misunderstanding as to his intent, some poor communication and a resulting compounded error). There isn't really an upside to it, but at least once the issue was identified it was handled openly and honestly and perhaps it will cause some re-assessment of certain processess both by Debian and OpenSSl. As for security in general let's remember that every Linux distro was vulnerable to the recent vmsplice vulnerability (and many others historically), no distro is immune from catastrophic error nor ever has been. While good security is not the prime reason I use Linux it is one of the main ones. If security was the only consideration we should all be using openBSD, the fact that we're not suggests that other factors are important, such as hardware support, experience/familiarity, convenience, 3rd party software support, integration with other platforms and so on. I'm not aware of any distro that has never done something really impressively stupid or has never had a gaping security hole (self inflicted or inherited).

Anyway I still think for an Xfce distro Zenwalk and Debian are excellent candidates.

czarr 06-09-2008 11:44 AM

How is this different from a 'which distro is best' thread. Everyone thinks that their flavor is best because you can put xfce on any distro you want. Take which ever distro your most comfortable with and install xfce onto it. Xfce itself is going to be pretty much the same across the board the difference will be the underlying system.

farslayer 06-10-2008 11:09 AM

You are absolutely right !!! which is why I'm going to toss in the Debian XFCE install disk here :)

ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/debian-cd/4...-xfce-CD-1.iso Etch
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/we...-xfce-CD-1.iso Lenny

resetreset 07-02-2008 06:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by danbuter (Post 3177092)
I know there are a number of distros that come as xfce. I was curious which of them tends to work well, with a decent repo? I know of Xubuntu, but heard there are "better" xfce-based distros. Then again, Xubuntu may be pretty good overall. Just want some opinions from those in the know before I install something. (And no, I'm not going to make 10 LiveCD's to test each distro, I'd prefer educated assessments from actual users).


Well, since we don't know what you consider a "decent" repository, what answer do you expect from us? I still don't understand the concept of a repository *for* a distro - surely everything is available ultimately as source, which you can compile?
I'm sure they all work, but maybe it's simply impossible for one kernel and X to detect all possible h/w in existence.

ANyway, I'm answering this because dynebolic (www.dynebolic.org) uses xfce, i've used it and i like it a lot (but NOT xfce though, i used to love it m,ore when it used to use afterstep). There are some programs within it which DON'T work, and I think you can install it to a HD.


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