Linked by Neven Bijelic on Wed 24th Nov 2004 08:45 UTC
Xfce No doubt, all of you have heard of Xfce and those who haven't will hear about it soon anyway. I remember trying out Xfce for the first time back on SuSE 9.0. I am not sure if it came with the distrobution or if I downloaded it. At the time 9.0 came out I remember thinking to myself "nice, good potential, could be eyecandy, fast..." but I still logged into KDE upon booting. Sure I tried Gnome but somehow for a windows-commer KDE was more user friendly at the time. Update: More screenshots of XFce.
Order by: Score:
The 6th WM i'm going to try today =)
by Victor Hooi on Wed 24th Nov 2004 08:53 UTC

Hi,

Woot! Can't wait to try this - I've been playing around with a few WMs lately using vnc on localhost (sorta like xnest, which I don't know how to use), kinda fun.

I always did have a soft spot for CDE =), and this is kinda CDE with a bit of polish (ok, fiine, maybe a lot hehehe).

bye,
victor

for the desktop icons, use gmc
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Nov 2004 08:54 UTC

I'm like a lot of people, I need it (in fact I can't live without having my mess on my desktop) so I wonder if it's possible to run xfce with gmc (the old gnome 1.x file and desktop manager) I used to use it with enlightnement and windows maker so I presume it may be possible...
gmc is fast (but has not been updated for 2 years), drawing desktop is really fast and maybe it needs to be more compliant....

you know what ? once I get 2mn I'll try that : xfce+gmc+enlighetnment....
(plus gmc is for me better than nautilus in handling archives and vfs)


it's a shame the gmc code bas has been dropped in mc source tree in favor of.. nothing.



Huh? I thought that 4.2 was out...
by Victor Hooi on Wed 24th Nov 2004 08:56 UTC

Wait a sec...

Sorry, my bad, I thought that the article title was implying that XFCE 4.2 was out - the title "XFce 4.2 - the Future is Now!" is somewhat ambiguous.

Sod it, i'll just grab it from cvs

bye,
Victor

good font rendering!
by Andi on Wed 24th Nov 2004 09:03 UTC

tho' fonts look excellent: lil smooth and crisp enough...

I WANT that quality in os-x, too... gnarl..

Oh, yes, XFce
by Emil 'opi' Oppeln Bronikowski on Wed 24th Nov 2004 09:11 UTC

I've moved all my Linux boxes to XFce. I absolutly love it. Second position takes Ion, with his outstanding ability to bring my productivit to higher level.

Nice Screenshots
by John Blink on Wed 24th Nov 2004 09:14 UTC

You arranged that to look wonderful.

Mmmm Cobind.
http://www.cobind.com/desktop.html

re: for the desktop icons, use gmc
by directhex on Wed 24th Nov 2004 09:15 UTC

you can do this quite easily - xfce's desktop manager is an app called xfdesktop, just use whatever the hell you feel like instead.

Re: good font rendering!
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Nov 2004 09:26 UTC

Repeat after me, font rendering is not done by XFCE.

XFCE
by Duffman on Wed 24th Nov 2004 09:32 UTC

is the best windows manager for Linux/BSD because it doesn't copy windows as KDE and GNOME and have his own look and feel.
Also, it comes with a lots of good plugin, is very fast and is .... french ;-)

Arf
by Duffman on Wed 24th Nov 2004 09:34 UTC

I didn't see the new screenshots before I post, it seems XFCE is doing as KDE and GNOME, copy the look and feel of windows... to bad

My shot
by Richard S on Wed 24th Nov 2004 09:39 UTC

Here's my XFCE 4.2 (4.1.91) desktop. I have Nautilus running for the desktop Icons ;)

http://www.nhl.nl/~stell303/Screenshot.png

great but
by ra1n on Wed 24th Nov 2004 09:41 UTC

it's filemanager could be better, it's too cluttered and it's nearly unusable IMHO, it's a very weak point for a great DE like XFCE

Re: good font rendering!
by LiNuCe on Wed 24th Nov 2004 09:43 UTC

> Repeat after me, font rendering is not done by XFCE.

Right, but XFCE provides a configuration dialog to set up (among other things) X font rendering in a quite easy way (try "xfce-setting-show ui").

Re: great but
by LiNuCe on Wed 24th Nov 2004 09:56 UTC

> it's filemanager could be better, it's too cluttered and it's nearly unusable IMHO, it's a very weak point for a great DE like XFCE

Don't worry, you are not the only one to think that ... XFFM sucks. The first thing I do when I install XFCE is to remove XFFM and to replace it with ROX Filer (which allows desktop icons for those who are interested in this feature) which is probably the fastest, lighest, FDO compliant file manager. ROX Filer is even popular to some XFCE developers who use it in their screenshot ;)

v All for small lightweight windowing...
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Nov 2004 10:03 UTC
RE:Art
by Neven on Wed 24th Nov 2004 10:25 UTC

Well not really, check the Xfce website for default screenshots..
I'm using a windows like setup without the taskbar on top simply because i don't want to autohide anything, and every pixel of free workspace is more then important to me.

p.s. I'm soo glad my article didn't start the KDE v.s Gnome flame stuff ;)

What is the difference between GNOME and XFCE
by John Blink on Wed 24th Nov 2004 10:27 UTC

Is it that XFCE has a small set of libraries and GTK+, whereas GNOME has a whole lot of libraries?

If you run XFCE with Nautilus are you running GNOME, or is it seperate?

RE:ra1n
by karl on Wed 24th Nov 2004 10:28 UTC

I agree. XFFM has the worst UI of any recent graphical application I have seen. And it is a shame-because the rest of XFCE is really great. XFFM is quite powerful-but it is a lesson in counter-intuitiveness. Someone unfamiliar with Linux has *zero* chance to grok how to effectively use it because it flies in the face of all progress made in usability over the years.


In my experience XFCE excels in that it, as a DE, vanishes in usage, being a gateway to ones own applications. In this sense it is quite similiar to fluxbox-it is lightweight and fast-and unlike fluxbox in that it looks great. I have always used it in combination with ROX. Both of these projects- XFCE and FOX -are also fully endorsing and contributing to the new emerging standards from freedsektop.org. And this in and of itself makes a profound difference. It is precisely this focus on freedesktop.org standards implementation which enables XFCE and ROX, XFCE and Nautilus, GNOME and ROX to integrate with each other so smoothely.

When I use GNOME or KDE I want that which makes GNOME or KDE what it is to be available in all of the applications I am using(kioslaves/gnome-vfs, file open/save dialogues, printer config). With XFCE I have a very minimalist DE which recedes into the background allowing me to focus exclusively on the applications in use.

If and when freedesktop.org ends up hosting a userland filesystem(fish, kioslaves, lufs, shfs, gnome-vfs -intregrated together as one cohesive ufs-accessible form the command line as well as from within all applications) we will be one step close to the holy grail of a completely transparent DE. We already have freedesktop.org mime standards. Application startup notification is here. Standards for Tray icons is also here.

Work still needs to be done on application data interchange-I should be able to drag any document from any application to any other application and have the target application respond in an intelligable fashion(and this means from any toolkit and to any toolkit). And finally Xprint needs to be modernized -people are already working towards integrating gnomeprint and Xprint- if the KDE folks also follow this path we could end up with a single printer configuring/managing tool available in all applications regardless of toolkit.

XFCE has one major advantage over KDE and GNOME-it can be so good at doing what it does because it doesn't try to do very much at all. XFCE does not provide any kind vfs system, printing system or multimedia framework. And the things which XFCE does not provide should not be provided by any DE-they should belong to the system as backends-then the DE'S can differentiate themselves by providing front-ends to these systems.

Alternative file manager.
by dpi on Wed 24th Nov 2004 10:29 UTC

> it's filemanager could be better, it's too cluttered and it's nearly unusable IMHO, it's a very weak point for a great DE like XFCE

ROX Filer is one alternative. XFE is another one. It somewhat resembles Windows Explorer or Windows Commander. According to my experience, users felt comfortable with it (and with XFce4). Homepage: http://roland65.free.fr/xfe/ -- for those who liked Norton Commander, you might like Midnight Commander.

@ Richard: I like that 6th desktop icon's program ;)

looks nice
by fms on Wed 24th Nov 2004 10:31 UTC

xfce is progressing nicely and looks sweeter, version by version. i agree with the filemanager who could be improved. but overall a nice, stable and fast desktop. ;)

the article really made we want to have the newest version at once and ditching my old xfce.

The future is... well, later
by Artem on Wed 24th Nov 2004 10:36 UTC

Namely, when they rewrite the panel to support drag-n-drop launcher placement and reordering and improve its overall logic. Maybe, 4.4?

What's the value added ?
by olive on Wed 24th Nov 2004 10:40 UTC

Hi,

I am fond of being a tester of various applications,
but could someone tell me what is the real value added by this new environment ? Is KDE / Gnome not enough ?

Will I found on XFCE all the functionalities I have on other environments ?

Are its performances really better ? Have it bugs ? What is its future ?

olive

hummm
by HappyTux on Wed 24th Nov 2004 10:43 UTC

i just can't decide between fluxbox and xfce

Installers
by Your name on Wed 24th Nov 2004 10:54 UTC

>> I think that it would be a good thing if more
>> developers would follow this pattern and hopefully
>> make installers because it would be very helpfull for
>> the newcomers

Not only for newcomers..

Speaking of installers, what ever happened to the much promising Autopackage project? :/

Try this!
by Slimer on Wed 24th Nov 2004 11:11 UTC


http://www.sam-linux.org

A free mini-live-cd with Xfce as the main desktop. Also many screenshots there.

How about Evidence?
by Victor Hooi on Wed 24th Nov 2004 11:11 UTC

Hi,

On the topic of lightweight filemanagers, how about trying Evidence (based on EFM, the Enlightenment File Manager, which used to be the filemanager in Enlightment 0.17 alpha).

http://evidence.sourceforge.net/

Has anybody here had any experiences with it?

(I'm going to compile it as soon as I finish compiling the EFL - already finished compiling E16 and VLC/ffmpeg/libmad/a52 etc. today, nearly done with beagle *grin*, as soon as I figure out how to use Beagle with NTFS partitions).

bye,
victor

Autopackage
by TraxTech on Wed 24th Nov 2004 11:13 UTC

"Autopackaged installers" have a dependency on autopackage : that's not user friendly and confusing, so to me, autopackage failed to its goals.

RE: What's the value added ?
by bogomipz on Wed 24th Nov 2004 11:16 UTC

Is KDE / Gnome not enough?

The thing is that KDE/Gnome are too much. The value added by XFCE is that it tries to do less.

RE: What's the value added ?
by Richard James on Wed 24th Nov 2004 11:17 UTC

The value add is that it is lighter, i.e. it takes up less disk space, memory and runs faster than KDE/GNOME. KDE/GNOME is ok if you have a more modern machine but for older computers XFCE is faster and more responsive. Unfortunatley I do not know where the boundary lies between what machine type CPU/MEMORY can be used for GNOME/KDE and what machine type for XFCE, but for me I have over 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM etc so I use KDE.

Re: hummmmm
by debster on Wed 24th Nov 2004 11:24 UTC

i just can't decide between fluxbox and xfce

Definetly fluxbox! XFce is cool - but IMO it cannot match the speed and simplicity of fluxbox :-)

Re: Autopackage (by TraxTech)
by Artem on Wed 24th Nov 2004 12:15 UTC

Quote: "Autopackaged installers" have a dependency on autopackage : that's not user friendly and confusing, so to me, autopackage failed to its goals.

You are trolling, dude. Autopackage code can be put in the package itself (self-contained package) or AUTOMATICALLY fetched from the web.

Do your homework.

Fluxbox versus XFce4
by dpi on Wed 24th Nov 2004 12:22 UTC

XFce4 is a DE (with a WM); Fluxbox is a WM.

My personal experience with casual computer users on low-end PCs showed they could not handle WindowMaker or Fluxbox because it was too complex and non-intuitive to them. For example, starting a program appeared hard to them while in XFce4 we did a few modifications in the menu and it was all okay (but we replaced the file manager though such ain't used that much). So as far as user-friendly and low-end go, i'd definetely recommend XFce4 while geeks tend to attracted sometimes by the power of Fluxbox/*box/WindowMaker/E16/FVWM/etc.

The fact you tried both and aren't able to chose basically means that you understood both and got used to both and in such case the 'user-friendly for casual users' doesn't count because you're most likely more of a so-called 'power user'.

Neat...
by tobbe on Wed 24th Nov 2004 12:25 UTC

... Never tried XFce but i will definitely have a go at it later today ;)

@ Victor Hooi
by dpi on Wed 24th Nov 2004 12:26 UTC

With all respect, Evidence and Enlightenment in general is more like 'elegance' and 'visually appealing'. I'm not really sure if its fast, simple and user-friendly and i'm interested in experiences -especially from non-techies- but unfortunately E17 is still beta and to compile all that stuff.. *phew*.. certainly interesting though.

RE: Fluxbox versus XFce4
by Mike on Wed 24th Nov 2004 12:58 UTC

Until XFce gets a decent file manager, I'll stick with flux. If flux had a "start menu" button, noobies wouldn't be freaked out by having to right click on the desktop. As far as I can tell, that's as hard as starting a program in Fluxbox gets. I prefer XFce to Gnome though.

Ideal for newbies
by Andrew on Wed 24th Nov 2004 13:03 UTC

Full-featured desktop environments like MS windows or Gnome are far too complicated for new users who just want to do a few things. XFCE4 is unbeatable for setting up a simple desktop for someone who doesn't ever want to become a computer expert.

Just a Small Query
by Ankit Malik on Wed 24th Nov 2004 13:24 UTC

Is it distribution or distrobution or we have a freedom of choice here?

I am a bit confused!

re: Ankrit Malik
by LifesizeKenDoll on Wed 24th Nov 2004 13:37 UTC

> Is it distribution or distrobution or we have a freedom of choice here?

It's distribution - the shortened form is distro

fluxbox/xfce
by ragman on Wed 24th Nov 2004 13:48 UTC

> I just can't decide between fluxbox and xfce

I have to agree with the above poster, Fluxbox is simpler.
I must admit I have used Fluxbox for a longer period of time than I have used Xfce, but there's a reason for that. Xfce has loads of potential, and I will definitely give it a go again, but as of right now Fluxbox fulfils all my needs for a DE, and with even less bloat than Xfce. I don't know why they even bother with their filemanager.

Re: good font rendering!
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Nov 2004 14:14 UTC

> Right, but XFCE provides a configuration dialog to set up (among other things) X font rendering in a quite easy way (try "xfce-setting-show ui").

And you want to tell me that GNOME or KDE don't provide dialogs for it? Then you're wrong.

XFCE as it should be
by bin on Wed 24th Nov 2004 14:14 UTC

If you like XFCE - or may be in danger of liking it, go here

http://www.xfld.org/Xfld/en/index.html

It's really jolly good :-)

RE:karl
by ra1n on Wed 24th Nov 2004 14:19 UTC

I agree with you there is a need of integration of common things, like printing system and multimedia frameworks, freedesktop.org is going in that way with some projects, and I think that is the good direction.
I also agree that ROX filer is a good companion for xfce :-D

XFCE4.2 rocks -- you must try it!
by mark bokil on Wed 24th Nov 2004 14:20 UTC

I have been using XFCE4 since it came out and I love it. The speed is awesome. I had previously been a KDE user but when I upgraded to Fedora Core 3 linux it seemed to be getting slower. XFCE4 requires a little customization and tweeking but once you do that it is amazing. I would never go back to KDE now. Some suggested changes: change default browser to Firefox, make Nautilus file manager, add spice to your icons by installing SVG support and using the latest KDE SVG crystal icons. Man it makes your system look sharp.

XFCE
by TaterSalad on Wed 24th Nov 2004 14:46 UTC

I like XFCE a lot. If you want to talk about light weight, I ran it on my 233mhz laptop with 96megs of ram. It actually worked pretty well.

"Being gtkish, I started to think about could i give up on KDE apps, could I delete all Gnome apps, could I rely development on gtk+/gtk2 applications only?
The answer was yes, I know alot of people can't, but I managed."


I've been doing this for quite a while on my old laptop stated above. Mostly it boils down to the apps I use are GTK based anyway, so a combo of openbox + fbpanel + gaim + xchat + firefox + thunderbird gets the job done. I'd love to try a qt based system, but not KDE as its too heavy. So if anyone knows of qt based light weight desktop manager I'd be happy to give it a try.

XFCE
by mike on Wed 24th Nov 2004 15:09 UTC

XFCE4 is great. Out of all the lightweight desktop environments it is the most functional. Runs like a charm on my PII.

old computers is not the case
by mrroman on Wed 24th Nov 2004 15:47 UTC

i think DE should run so fast that you can't feel it. that is xfce with rox.

about vfs. i think we have vfs in kernel. why not make module to integrate all filesystems, so all could be used by ordinary user without high priviliges.

an amazing desktop!
by Patrick on Wed 24th Nov 2004 15:51 UTC

Been using XFce-cvs as my main desktop for along time, it's got the power of Gnome w/ the speed of Pekwm or Fluxbox...

XFce+Rox
http://img125.exs.cx/img125/9821/xfce-cvsrox-xfmedia-aterm.png

RE: Fluxbox versus XFce4
by emagius on Wed 24th Nov 2004 15:56 UTC

IceWM offers the advantages of both Fluxbox (speed and small size) and XFce (start button/menu, taskbar, shortcut keys for full-screen/etc., familiar layout). It also integrates well with ROX-filer. Sure, IceWM doesn't have all the GUI-based configuration tools of XFce, but there are 3rd-party utilities for all that.

Apropos LeafPad
by sLiCeR on Wed 24th Nov 2004 16:12 UTC

I have made a gentoo ebuild for LeafPad, it was not in portage yet and i like it very much, grap it here:

http://slicer.homeip.net/FILES/leafpad-0.7.7.ebuild


place this file into: /usr/portage/app-editors/leafpad/

cd there and run:

$ emerge -f leafpad
$ ebuild leafpad-0.7.7.ebuild digest
$ emerge leafpad

be shutre to have ~x86 unmasked inside /etc/make.conf and look for its icon inside the standard pixmaps/ directory...

have fun

I just don't know about this...
by Eddy on Wed 24th Nov 2004 16:45 UTC

Honestly, I don't get these things much. Is KDE big and slow? On older machines, somewhat. (I don't have much Gnome experience.) It has gotten much snappier with recent versions. But on older machines, I'd say it's hard to beat good old FVWM. So really, what's the point of XFce? I read somebody saying that it's good for "new users". Give me a break! If as a sysadmin you want to be tweaking things just to push XFce on new users, then I say you have too much time on your hands. For new users, pick Gnome or KDE and be done with it.

So no, XFce is not for new users. It is for power users who want speed and simplicity. Er, sorry guys, there's FVWM for that already (or pick your other favorite lightweight WM). So what is XFce for again? As I see it, it is an experiment in making the DE completely independent from the applications it runs, thus something that pushes for standards. I'm all for that, but please don't give me the "it's easier/nicer/better" reason. That's not what XFce is good at.

And if standards are the goal, then why not work directly with Gnome and KDE teams to make it happen, instead of staying in the middle? Sounds like some effort is being wasted to me...

xfce is pretty good
by i_code_too_much on Wed 24th Nov 2004 16:56 UTC

I tried one of the 4.2 beta versions recently. I'm impressed because it's pretty full featured and yet still light and pretty quick. I have a PII 850 MHz laptop with 384 M ram and a PII 266 MHz laptop with 192 M ram that I still get a kick out of using for web browsing and streaming music. xfce worked pretty well on the PII and feels really snappy on the PIII.
My main desktop is kde 3.3.1 on the PIII but I had to turn to gnome 2.8 on the laptop because kde was unusable mainly because of extremely slow startup times.

I have a few wishes for xfce:

1. Adopt rox as the file manager or improve the current one so that drag and drop is available and so that icons can be dragged to the desktop and back.

2. A terminal with tabs that is not based on vte. There is a terminal currently based on vte, but starting it up is extremely slow as is starting a new session in a new tab. Gnome-terminal has the same problem and so I would think that vte is the problem.

3. startup notification should work from whereever an application is clicked with the purpose of executing it. In the beta this was not working everywhere. It was not working from the drawers or from the menu for example.

good luck to them...

@Eddy
by No Name on Wed 24th Nov 2004 16:59 UTC

"Is KDE big and slow? On older machines, somewhat."

Did you ever try KDE or Gnome on something like a 300/400MHz box with 128M ram? And still use some resource hungry apps like firefox and/or thunderbird or something similar?

You sound like someone talking out of his ass to me..

what a poorly written article
by ash on Wed 24th Nov 2004 17:01 UTC

Has no flow at all.

Worst of all the article ASSUMES the reader knows what XFce IS...

KDE/Gnome
by Jerry on Wed 24th Nov 2004 17:32 UTC

"Is KDE / Gnome not enough?"

KDE and Gnome are bloated pigs and wasteful of resources and have been getting worse in this regard for years.

KDE 2 runs faster on my old 400 MHz PIII than KDE 3.3 runs on my 3.6 GHz P4. By a wide margin. XFce is faster than any variant of KDE or Gnome I've ever tried.

I think too many people are impressed by eye candy and fancy animations to care much about speed. While most people are marveling at the flashy animation after clicking on a UI element, I'm thinking "get on with it already!!". I just hope that XFce doesn't go the KDE/Gnome route and start trying to make it everything to everyone and bloat it all to hell in the process.

Xfce and fluxbox...
by guni on Wed 24th Nov 2004 17:34 UTC

XFCE is a good DE/window manager. I definately like it and itīs really easy and fast (in comparison to those big DEīs) to use. Many smart things. I recommend everyone to try it.

dpi you mention its easier to use XFCE then fluxbox, because of the icons. Iīm sure there are more advantages, but you can just set up some icons on the desktop in fluxbox to let the non tech people start programs too. Just look at http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/ for example, they got icons on desktop.

I use fluxbox, coz itīs very snappy on about every pc, easy to use (the tabs ,.. ), and beautiful . Freedom of choice is so nice in GNU!

thanks
by Evert on Wed 24th Nov 2004 17:39 UTC

thanks for this article. it made my trying it out on slack and with my Dell latitude laptop, 1 GB RAM, 1.6 GHz, it loads much faster than KDE or Gnome. Like instantly. I really like it, but I have to learn how to tweak it.

Not to be rude
by Anonymous on Wed 24th Nov 2004 17:44 UTC

But Gnome/KDE/Windows/XFCE and most of the others look the same or the same but handicapped.

OSX and BeOS is the ONLY 2 actually being different, having a very different way to think of your desktop. Hell I'd even say Litestep is more "different" and have more "personality" than any of the setups shown on any screenshots with Any *nix window manager.

Howabout really trying to be creative like for instance
Relation between screensize and how your eye prefers to read would imply it's a MUCH wiser choice to put menu items on the right/left side of the window rather than above, yes this would also account for menus.

ALL uses Minimize/Maximise/Close, geee that's creative. Howabout having Tiling built in or something or maybe Resize to fit content on screen, SOMETHING different. Yet the so called differentiation is nothing but minor issues.

I'd even question why windows has to be squared/rectangular. IS this truly necessary? Would it improve to have them rounded for instance?

I'm not necessarily saying any of my above issues are good, I'm just saying that comparing differences between window managers is not comparing apples with pears, it's comparing the apple red delicious with golden delicious... same same but different, NOT different.

@No name
by Eddy on Wed 24th Nov 2004 17:46 UTC

If you say "I talk out of my ass" then you surely deserve little respect. I wrote my master thesis running XEmacs under FVWM on a 486 with so little RAM I can't even remember the amount. When I compiled the kernel on that machine I could go for a long coffee break. I can assure you XEmacs took a *long* time to load, so you don't even need to start talking "Firefox" and other modern applications. So before you say "I talk out of my ass" I suggest you take a good look at the mirror and think twice before writing insulting comments.

I know what old machines can do. And if you reread my post (that is, assuming you can comprehend what you read), you will notice that for older machines I suggested FVWM. Not KDE. Not Gnome. Not XFce.

Please add something to the discussion besides showing up your "attitude".

Snap Graphics...
by Dizzy on Wed 24th Nov 2004 17:51 UTC

Has anyone replaced X11 with the Snap Graphics drivers for Linux? I would be very interested in the results if anyone has. I think I will download the trial version to see what all of the fuss is about, and if Snap Graphics are as good as they to be, I think $19.95 for the full version would be a paltry sum to pay if the performance increase is as good as it appears to be.

http://www.scitechsoft.com/products/ent/snap_linux.html

The Athene Operating System uses Snap Graphics, and there was talk of using Snap Graphics in AmigaOS 4.x. I don't know if that ever happened though. It is reported that Snap Graphics is 17% faster than Microsoft Windows and at least 25% faster than X11.

http://www.rocklyte.com/athene/benchmarks.html

@eddy, Re: I just don't know about this...
by Peter on Wed 24th Nov 2004 18:07 UTC

>I'd say it's hard to beat good old FVWM. So really, what's
>the point of XFce? I read somebody saying that it's good for
>"new users".

FVWM is an excellent window manager, that is true. But it's a pain to configure and get setup the way you like it. Xfce's configuration, on the other hand, is entirely point-and-click. Now I'm one of those people that like tweaking things and editing config files by hand, but not when I have to spend many hours looking at the FVWM documentation and writing my own .fvwm2rc just to get it into a USABLE state. Xfce 4, on the other hand, has a good default setup and takes another maybe ~10-15 minutes or so to configure to my liking. Done.

@Patrick
by Worldly Guy on Wed 24th Nov 2004 18:21 UTC

I like the theme you have there. What is it? Anything special required to set it up? Is it easy to get Rox as the file manager?

Thanks.

xfce4
by tobaccofarm on Wed 24th Nov 2004 18:38 UTC

I like the xfce4 window manager.Just installed it on debian sid.It's fast ,doesn't produce that much error messages, if any and looks not bad at all.It's realy a nobrainer to configure it.

XFCE and file managers
by Jaramin on Wed 24th Nov 2004 19:09 UTC

While XFCE's file manager might lack some features of ROX, I really wouldn't want it to be replaced by it, as they share something I don't like: the "spatial" concept. If I'm going to get any work done, I need:

a) An address bar that states my current location in the filesytem and allows me to type in it.

b) A back button (not just an "up" button).

c) Bookmarks

These are my choices, but I'm convinced that everyone has it's peculiar set of buttons they'd like to see to suit thir needs. Picking a default set of buttons is fine. But having that default hard wired ain't too flexible.

Wouldn't it be better if you could customize the toolbar and add/remove the buttons you need, like in Firefox? Is it something hard to implement?

Key binding
by Acidream on Wed 24th Nov 2004 19:25 UTC

Until you can change the "move window" key or whatever it's called from the alt to the meta key, then XFce is useless for me. The main software I use on a daily basis, Alias Maya, requires the alt key for camera movement. I heard there are some key binders for XFce, but none that could change what's already set.

@Eddy
by LiNuCe on Wed 24th Nov 2004 19:28 UTC

> Is KDE big and slow? On older machines, somewhat. (I don't have much Gnome experience.) It has gotten much snappier with recent versions.

Snappier, probably, but far from XFCE. Give it a try and see by yourself. Maybe you will like XFCE, maybe not, but XFCE is surely faster and lighter.

> But on older machines, I'd say it's hard to beat good old FVWM. So really, what's the point of XFce?

XFCE is easier to configure and has probably 90% of configuration settings most users need. And there is no need to spend time in a huge man page just to configure it's behavior : XFCE is configurable only with the mouse in a few minutes. Sure, it does not have all FVWM configure options, but this is not XFCE goal.


> And if standards are the goal, then why not work directly with Gnome and KDE teams to make it happen, instead of staying in the middle? Sounds like some effort is being wasted to me...

You can go even further : why are there two desktop environments, KDE and GNOME, whose distinct developments is waste time for their developers ? Why not a unique desktop environment, let's say KNOME ... or GDE ? ;)

Re: SNAP Graphics
by enloop on Wed 24th Nov 2004 19:51 UTC

I bought and used the driver a year or so ago with Slackware and a Matrox G550 card. It worked as advertised and, subjectively, seemed to deliver a marginally improved display. If you need it to correct a problem, I'd say it is well worth buying. If, however. you are looking for an order of magnitude performance boost, you won't get it.

I dropped it and the Matrox card when I purchased an LCD flat panel monitor. Xfree86/Xorg can't drive the G550 in DVI mode. The SNAP folks told me, then, that their next release, due soon, would support the DVI for the G550. That was several months ago. I may be wrong, but I believe that new driver has not been released.

Nice for lightweight needs
by Brett D. Estrade on Wed 24th Nov 2004 19:53 UTC

I needed a nice, lightweight WM for a fairly old laptop. I started out using Blackbox, then Fluxhox, but was elated when I found out about Xfce. It also didn't take nearly as long to install fron ports (FreeBSD) that Gnome/KDE did. It definitely gets 2 thumbs up from me.

SNAP Graphics...
by Dizzy on Wed 24th Nov 2004 20:11 UTC

@enloop

Thanks for that information. It is greatly appreciated. ;)

XFCE vs KDE (speed issue)
by Artem on Wed 24th Nov 2004 20:21 UTC

I use KDE 3.2 on Celeron 266 with 128M and the speed is absolutely OK! The secret is:

1) Enable prelinking

2) Turn off ALL eyecandy. That means animation, screensavers, wallpapers and even K Menu picture.

3) Optionally, choose a lighter UI style. I didn't do that; I use MetaTheme and it works wonderfully for me, though the author did warn that it is a little heavy.

To me, speed loss compared to XFCE in this configuration is vastly outweighed by the functionality gain I enjoy.

Firefox is hardly usable here though. Both in XFCE and KDE.

Everything stated above is my personal opinion. Your mileage may vary.

RE: Key binding
by Lumbergh on Wed 24th Nov 2004 20:21 UTC

Until you can change the "move window" key or whatever it's called from the alt to the meta key, then XFce is useless for me. The main software I use on a daily basis, Alias Maya, requires the alt key for camera movement. I heard there are some key binders for XFce, but none that could change what's already set.

Tell me about it. I was just searching on how to do that, and couldn't find anything. I'm running colinux-debian (http://www.colinux.org) and alt-tab gets me back to my windows desktop because my XServer is Cygwin.

Why all the xfce, kde, gnome bashing?
by er81 on Wed 24th Nov 2004 20:21 UTC

It's funny how with Linux we have so many choices when it comes to file managers, window managers... anything! And all we do is complain because we HAVE the choice. With Linux, FreeBSD, etc you can basically create your ideal environment. If you would like to add something, how about writing the code. We've got a ton of languages to choose from, C/C++, Perl, Java (I guess), Python, etc.

What I DO like the the efforts made to create some standards these environments CAN take advantage of, startup notification, system tray, etc.

As for xffm, I admit I wasn't too fond of it until one day I was browsing several directories and once. Problably coping files and such. I had some directory under $HOME open, and some filesystem mounted under the fstab folder. All I had to do was scroll up and down a bit. I might need some work, but it does NOT suck.

Think about the effort xfce4 developers have comitted to their project. Be thankfull ;)

@linuco:
by AdamW on Wed 24th Nov 2004 20:28 UTC

So does GNOME and KDE, of course.

BTW, for the guy who posted a screenshot...I've never found panels that don't cover the width of the screen to make sense. It just effectively wastes the corner, since nothing *else* useful is small enough to fit down there, and when you have a maximised window it looks ugly as heck, to my eyes. Hate to say it, but both my GNOME desktop and my XFce one are hacked up to look as much like Windows's start bar as possible - that's the one thing Windows gets right, IMO. Launchers on the left, taskbar in the middle, status tray and clock on the right. Gets everything done in one space and leaves the rest of the screen for applications. Either that or no panel at all is the most sensible setup I can think of.

Any WMaker fan ?
by ThanhVu Nguyen on Wed 24th Nov 2004 20:30 UTC

proably I am old school, XFCE has too much eye candy. I use plain old WindowMaker.

How do you..
by theARE on Wed 24th Nov 2004 20:37 UTC

How do you dock the taskbar in the panel lie you have in the screenshot. I cant find an option anywhere in the Xfce settings manager?

Anyone know?

@jerry:
by AdamW on Wed 24th Nov 2004 20:45 UTC

Well, I just went around clicking every UI element I could find here on my GNOME desktop.

Nope, not a flashy animation anywhere. What were you referring to again?

re not to be rude:
by AdamW on Wed 24th Nov 2004 20:48 UTC

Windows 3.1 had tiling built in, IIRC. It's hardly new. ;) .

Please name a single app which would make sense in a round window than a square one.

@theare:
by AdamW on Wed 24th Nov 2004 20:54 UTC

It's an xfce plugin - xfce-taskbar-plugin is the packagename under MDK, I guess it's called something similar elsewhere. Install it and you get an option to add a task list to the panel.

added value
by peter on Wed 24th Nov 2004 20:58 UTC

To me, the added value of xfce4 is that it is Stylish.
KDE looks to me like a box full of lego-blocks thrown on the floor, and Gnome is a bit too grey.

XFCE4 is also simple: desktop without icons, a symetrical menu bar and just one (yes!) control panel.

Most of this value however goes to waste by the XFFM file manager. You *can* use ROX (fast) or Nautilus (versatile) ofcourse, but that looks different and disrupts the balanced, stylish feel.

I would like to see the filemanager CLAW3 to be tailored and styled to fit XFCE4 and replace XFFM.

Cheers,

Peter

RE:@AdamW
by theARE on Wed 24th Nov 2004 21:13 UTC

Thanks I got it now. Cool. Makes Xfce usable for me. I've always liked Xfce but I just dont like the double taskbar aproach in any DE. It just takes up to mutch screen space in my oppinion.
Much better now.

@Jaramin
by GAlain on Wed 24th Nov 2004 21:18 UTC

a) An address bar that states my current location in the filesytem and allows me to type in it.
You should press the '/' key that opens the address in an input-box editable in an auto-completion way ala Konqueror. Also, use the backspace to go up one directory at one time.
Also try the Alt/Shift/Ctrl clicking...

b) A back button (not just an "up" button).
I do agree it is missing, but with the use of the '/' feature, I admit it is not really necessary... but really should be implemented at least as an optional button

c) Bookmarks
It is present under this green arrow pointing to an orange circle.

But having that default hard wired ain't too flexible.
Buttons are configurable using the Filer setup tool (right click the ROX-Filer icon and choose 'options' in the context-menu)

Wouldn't it be better if you could customize the toolbar and add/remove the buttons you need, like in Firefox? Is it something hard to implement?
THAT would be great... Surely it will come in the future.

ROX-Filer/OroboROX/0install just... ROX! ;-)

NB: I am talking here about the ROX-Filer v2.1.{3|4} available using zero-install ( http://zero-install.sf.net/ ) and the one in the Debian sources is damn old.

@AdanW
by Henrik Balsnes on Wed 24th Nov 2004 21:26 UTC

I am not running XFce even though I have it installed but mostly KDE. So the following screenshot is from KDE... anyway, it shows how my desktop is with a panel that does not cover the whole screen. I place XMMS on the side of it... and on my laptop that is widescreen I usually have both amaroK and kopete on the side of it up on the top of the screen. And about fullscreen... in that case It will cover the panel but if my mouse touches top side of desktop the panel will show. It is usable for me and now that I am used to it I probably wont have it another way (except as the tracker is in BeOS up in the corner).

http://medieteknik.bth.se/heba02/snapshot.png

@henrik:
by AdamW on Wed 24th Nov 2004 23:42 UTC

That looks workable, but it's getting perilously close to 'no panel at all' - what does your panel do that the launchers you have on your KDE menu don't? ;)

Oh, and where do you put notification stuff? Does it pop up on the right-hand end? Or do you just not use it?

btw, I control my music from Rhythmbox's panel icon. Even smaller than xmms ;)

WM/DE
by Anonymous on Thu 25th Nov 2004 00:44 UTC

Does anyone know what's the actual difference between a window manager (WM) and a desktop environment (DE)? What makes XFCE and ROX-desktop DE's while a pretty featureful window manager like Window Maker is just WM? I mean, Window Maker has a GUI config tool and wterm, and with dockapps and other extensions one can add many extra features to Window Maker, like its own sound server and WmShutdown to shutdown or reboot your computer. But still Window Maker is considered just a WM. Why is that?

Has this WM/DE sepatation got something to do with session management? Or maybe it's something in the way that XFCE and ROX (and KDE and Gnome) control the behaviour of the root window (or "desktop")? I've seen in several documents the note that it's important to separate WM's from DE's but they never seem to offer the criteria for this distinction. Please enlighten me.

@anonymous:
by AdamW on Thu 25th Nov 2004 05:37 UTC

Well, strictly speaking, WM with all the add-ons you describe would be a DE. I normally think of it as a DE, albeit a light one. IMO the distinction is pretty simple - a window manager manages windows. It controls their rendering, their interaction with each other, their priority, their borders and the user's interaction with them. Anything that does anything else is a DE. Got a panel? It's a DE. Got its own file dialog? DE. Got a file manager? DE. Don't see how the distinction is workable any other way.

RE: XFCE and file managers
by bogomipz on Thu 25th Nov 2004 08:29 UTC

While XFCE's file manager might lack some features of ROX, I really wouldn't want it to be replaced by it, as they share something I don't like: the "spatial" concept.

Hm, that's funny since on my setup, ROX is *not* spatial.

If I'm going to get any work done, I need:

a) An address bar that states my current location in the filesytem and allows me to type in it.


While ROX doesn't have a web browser-like address bar, it does let you do what you want. First turn on full path in the title bar so you can see the address all the time. Now, whenever you want to edit the path, try hitting slash ('/'). It even supports tab-completions and let you remove a whole component of the path by pressing backspace once. Plus it updates the file view "live".

b) A back button (not just an "up" button).

This is the only one of your complaints I really see as valid, not that I ever missed this feature myself. (Hint: if you know you want to go back to the current directory later, just spawn a new window and let the old one stay with the path unchanged. If, once in a while, you need to go back and didn't prepare for it, just use the resent locations feature in the menu.)

c) Bookmarks

ROX has bookmarks.

These are my choices, but I'm convinced that everyone has it's peculiar set of buttons they'd like to see to suit thir needs. Picking a default set of buttons is fine. But having that default hard wired ain't too flexible.

Wouldn't it be better if you could customize the toolbar and add/remove the buttons you need, like in Firefox? Is it something hard to implement?


ROX lets you choose what buttons to display, by default they are all enabled. You could argue that the buttons it provides are a bit limited, though. Personally, I feel they are adequate and that more features would mean more bloat. Of course, if the majority of the users want a feature and someone implements it, the main developers should let the patch into the main tree.

@Eddy
by No Name on Thu 25th Nov 2004 09:21 UTC

"If you say "I talk out of my ass"

Did I? If you indeed did write a master thesis, then you surely can read. Please go back and read what I wrote. BTW, your supposed earlier accomplishments are no excuse for bashing something you yourself admitted that you don't understand.

"I can assure you XEmacs took a *long* time to load, so you don't even need to start talking "Firefox" and other modern applications."

And this has any bearing to your initial post in what way? As somone else pointed out somewhere above, your suggestion to use fvwm does *not* cut it for anyone not a programmer or not preparied to spend an rediculus amount of time to make it look decent. To clearly spell out what I'm telling you; If you don't have the resources to handle Gnome/KDE then fvwm is an option - for *very* few people, compared to the number that happily could use xfce. And when I incidentally used firefox as an example, instead of your beloved XEMACS (which is a POS btw ;) ) I was merely using it as an example of an application a lot of people *will* use, as opposed to XEMACS, and that *will* exhaust your resources completely if you run a heavy DE on a system that is not-quite-state-of-the-art.

So your initial post essentialy says "Get a box that can handle KDE or Gnome with ease, or use Fvwm". That IS talking out of your ass, since neither of that is an option to a lot of people, master thesis or not.

"So before you say "I talk out of my ass" I suggest you take a good look at the mirror and think twice before writing insulting comments."

Insults go where they are deserved.

"I know what old machines can do."

That's not the problem, the problem is that you fail to realize that not everyone fit the requirements of either A) Own a system that handle a heavy DE in a sane way or B) Have enough time, patience and skill to make fvwm workable and not a pain to the eyes.

"Please add something to the discussion besides showing up your "attitude"."

I could say the same, as all I have written above hardly is any kind of rocket-sience, and yet you failed to grasp it, but instead you tried to use your master-thesis as an argument... jeez.

RE:Key binding
by Peder on Thu 25th Nov 2004 09:46 UTC

To change key bindings you right-click the desktop and navigate to windowmanager settings. On the Keyboard tab you can pretty easily change the settings to your liking.

(Describing from memory and with swedish settings so the actual names may vary)

- Peder

@ Anonymous
by dpi on Thu 25th Nov 2004 12:51 UTC

OSX and BeOS is the ONLY 2 actually being different, having a very different way to think of your desktop. Hell I'd even say Litestep is more "different" and have more "personality" than any of the setups shown on any screenshots with Any *nix window manager.

LiteStep is based on AfterStep, wiseguy.

that sort of installer
by milky on Thu 25th Nov 2004 18:14 UTC

While it is a nice idea to create such a graphical installer, it would make more sense to make a generic one, which would allow newbies to "install" any autoconf/configure-script based tarball. That would be cool.

In the case of XFCE however it only proves, that they still haven't learned to package their stuff correctly. While I recently got broadband access, many people still haven't and it's a pain to download 20MB tarballs for every release, just because project maintainers lay out the directory structure so (versioned file names) you can't get a diff/patch file for upgrading. There is no point in releasing such patches for most projects, but XFCE (despite being less bloated once compiled) long left the league of lightweight downloads.

RE:Art
by Raj Nair on Thu 25th Nov 2004 21:17 UTC

Neven,

How can I have same kind of setup (having taskbar bottom) you shown in the screenshot. There are no option shown in my XFCE installation to do so.

Regards


---------
Well not really, check the Xfce website for default screenshots..
I'm using a windows like setup without the taskbar on top simply because i don't want to autohide anything, and every pixel of free workspace is more then important to me.

p.s. I'm soo glad my article didn't start the KDE v.s Gnome flame stuff ;)

@ AdamW
by Anonymous on Thu 25th Nov 2004 21:53 UTC

BTW, for the guy who posted a screenshot...I've never found panels that don't cover the width of the screen to make sense. It just effectively wastes the corner, since nothing *else* useful is small enough to fit down there, and when you have a maximised window it looks ugly as heck, to my eyes. Hate to say it, but both my GNOME desktop and my XFce one are hacked up to look as much like Windows's start bar as possible - that's the one thing Windows gets right, IMO. Launchers on the left, taskbar in the middle, status tray and clock on the right. Gets everything done in one space and leaves the rest of the screen for applications. Either that or no panel at all is the most sensible setup I can think of.

panel in xfce is on a different layer, so apps maximise under the panel, that in xfce4.2 has got transparency (with xorg composite extension enabled) or full auto-hide. no waste of space.

BTW...
by Anonymous on Thu 25th Nov 2004 21:59 UTC

BTW... I'm using exclusively linux since august 2003 and simply I can't leave xfce4. I tried kde, gnome (still installed, 'cause I use some gnome-apps), fluxbox, enlightenment and many others, but in a few days or at most two weeks I come back to xfce4. it is MY desktop, now there's a right-button menu with all applications and I can't find a single defect.

File manager for xfce
by An-tonio on Fri 26th Nov 2004 15:39 UTC


After tried a lot of file mannger for X only one is the best...

xterm -e mc

plus lufs you have the world in your hand.

It work great with gnome, kde, xfce, wmaker, twm... simply... the best ;) .

@anonymous (interbusiness)
by AdamW on Fri 26th Nov 2004 16:43 UTC

Yes, that's one thing I hate about the XFce panel, because the thing about maximising an application under the panel is *you can't fricking see it*. D'oh. No, peering *through* my panel attempting to see the browser status bar doesn't count.

RE: Taskbar
by Neven on Fri 26th Nov 2004 23:14 UTC

>Neven,
>How can I have same kind of setup (having taskbar bottom)
>you shown in the screenshot. There are no option shown
> in my XFCE installation to do so.
>Regards

To get that look edit your xinitrc file and # the taskbar line, or if u don't change DE often, you can simply once Xfce loads kill the xfce4-taskbar process

and also you must use the taskbar panel plugin which u can get @ this url:
http://download.berlios.de/xfce-goodies/xfce4-taskbar-plugin-0.2.2....


Was a WindowMaker user...
by Gord on Sat 27th Nov 2004 14:09 UTC

I was a diehard WindowMaker user for the last 6 years. Just recently I
switched to XFCE. There are a couple of thoughts (grips)...

1. The MenuBar, is ugly! And short of turning on the autohide option,
You have to live with it. It would be nice to be able to customize it so
that it would fit in with whatever desktop theme you like. As it is now, it stands out like a sore thumb.

2. This is more a pet peeve but... In WindowMaker, If you click anywhere on the screen desktop, your menu pop's up there. It's one of the features that keep me away from Gnome and KDE. Now I'm so use to doing this, that I'm forever bringing up the "Desktop" Menu.
If there was someway to convert that fugly menubar into the popup "Desktop Menu". That would be sweet...

Other than these I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with the snappy responce (not that WindowMaker was slow). The best thing about XFCE, is it's very very light on system. Slow cpu's and small ram machines take note! This is the windowmanager you want. Hands down.

Thanks for listening.
Gord

XFld
by Flavio on Mon 29th Nov 2004 11:17 UTC

I not tried this release of XFce, but I tried the xfld (XFce live demo) distro and I VERY, VERY liked it!!!
As somenone said before: "XFce as it must be".

For a Windowsī like panel, i.e. including a taskbar on it, I just right click any item on the panel, click on ADD ITEM, and selected taskbar.
To change the itemīs position on the panel, you have to go to the itemīs properties. Would be great can do this with Drag Nī Drop!

BUT...
I donīt liked the ROX file manager. My vote is for Xfe (formerly XWinCommander).

About Xfe
by Flavio on Mon 29th Nov 2004 11:32 UTC

For those donīt know Xfe ( http://roland65.free.fr/xfe/ ), itīs a Windows Explorer like file manager, very light, fast, intuitive, look well, made on FOX ( http://www.fox-toolkit.org )and runs (as every FOX application) over X. No need for KDE or Gnome.
From its home page:

Why another file manager?
-------------------------
Yes, it's a good question. Why another file manager when the excellent Konqueror or Nautilus exist on Linux systems? The answer is quite simple : these file managers are very good, features rich and look wonderful, but they are like a brontosaurus when you are a console addict and only want to copy some files or delete it. Another problem is that they require either the whole Gnome or KDE desktops to be installed on your system!
On the contrary, Xfe is small, very rapid and only requires the FOX library to be fully functional. It can be launched from the command line in a fraction of second, and can efficiently complete the set of command line tools.
I use it in my everyday work and since I find it useful, perhaps others may find it so!

Features
--------
Four different file manager styles (one panel, two panels, tree list and one panel, tree list and two panels)

Integrated text viewer (X File View, xfv)
Integrated RPM viewer / installer / uninstaller (X File Query, xfq)
Status line
File associations
Auto save registry
Right mouse click pop-up menu in tree list and file list
Change file(s) attributes
Mount/Unmount devices (for Linux only)
Toolbar
Bookmarks (up to 20)

Color schemes (GNOME, KDE, Windows...)
Drag and Drop ( ctrl -> copy, shift -> move, alt -> symlink )
Create / Extract archives (tar, zip, gzip, bzip2, compress formats are supported)
Tool tips for long file names
Progress bars or dialogs for lengthy file operations
Image preview as thumbnails
Ability to enqueue multimedia files (open command)

XFCE is excellent
by Ram Sambamurthy on Tue 30th Nov 2004 19:28 UTC

We set up the LTSP for a school. As someone made a comment in this discussion, XFce is great for users who have just a few things to do with their comps. The students at the school just did nothing more than surf the net, send email, write some documents (we installed AbiWord--fast and light!), and print.

We found the students picked up in no time bec XFce is clutter free and easy to figure out.

Originally, we installed KDE on the terminals which had machines as old as 90Mhz Pentium with 16MB RAM. KDE had a tough time. We switched to XFce and it flew. Can you beat that?

I have great respect for XFce. I love it. Of course except for XFFM which sucks!!! Oliver Fourdain, do something!