Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7
I tested Xubuntu’s 32-bit version. The installation disk’s menu can be obtained by pressing enter, and the choices are a live session, installation, or a disk check. You can also set the language and keyboard. If it boots to a flashing screen and locks up, reboot, press F6, and add xforcevesa to the boot command.
The desktop comes with a panel at the top and a dock at the bottom, although the latter only showed when I was running the panel configuration tool! The range of themes available was limited compared with other Xfce distros.
The software included Firefox (with flash), Thunderbird, Pidgin, Gimp, Gmusicbrowser and Parole (with codecs), Abiword (with a dictionary), and Gnumeric. There were a few complaints about display when I ran them from the CLI, but no real bugs. If Parole reports a backend error, open a terminal and enter ‘parole --xv false’ and that cures it. Most configuration tasks could be easily achieved, but there were the usual Debian/Ubuntu strugles for anything more advanced, like enabling usb speakers or changing the input method. For adding software, only the Software Centre was provided, but Synaptic can obviously be installed. I did a system update successfully, unlike my recent struggle with Debian Testing. Just for fun, I installed OpenOffice from Apache’s deb package, with no problems.
Xubuntu has been of variable quality over the years, but this version is good. It invites comparison with Linux Lite, Mint, OS4, and Snow: there’s not a lot of difference, although Mint has the edge when it comes to configuration tools.