Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 2
Xubuntu will go straight into a live session unless you press a key when you get a black screen with a couple of icons at the bottom. Then you can choose to check the disk, set language and keyboard, and run the installer or a live session.
But it didn’t get to a live session for me: the graphical interface just sat there flashing. After a lot of testing and searching, I discovered that I needed to press F6 and add ‘xforcevesa’ to the boot instructions. The release notes (yes, I should have read them) mention problems with various video chips but they suggest far more complicated solutions, involving using the alternative CD and creating an xorg.conf file!
Once that was sorted, the live session ran successfully. Unfortunately, the installer didn’t: it crashed with the bug that was present in 12.04 and which the bug tracker reported as solved.
The software provided was Firefox, Pidgin, Thunderbird, Xchat, Parole, Gmusicbrowser, and Abiword. Apart from the music player, they ran from the CLI without leaving any warnings. Flash is not installed in Firefox, but HTML5 video works. I then decided to check the media player, which meant that I had to install the codecs; normally they are downloaded by Ubiquity. I couldn’t get the software centre to do it, so I was left with the command line. Eventually I got everything installed, but Parole reported ‘gstreamer backend error’. I could have tried running a complete update, but by then I was sick of the whole thing.
Although most people would not have the problems with video drivers and Ubiquity, they’re symptomatic of the general lack of quality in Ubuntu and its respins. If you want Xfce, you have the choice of Mint, SalineOS, Salix, or Vector; any of them would be more reliable.