Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Dec 2008 23:31 UTC, submitted by linuxlinks
Window Managers "Mainstream Linux distributions typically default to one of two desktop environments, KDE or GNOME. Both of these environments provide users with an intuitive and attractive desktop, as well as offering a large raft of multimedia software, games, administration programs, network tools, educational applications, utilities, artwork, web development tools and more. However, these two desktops focus more on providing users with a modern computing environment with all the bells and whistles featured in Windows Vista, rather than minimising the amount of system resources they need. For users and developers who want to run an attractive Linux desktop on older hardware, netbooks, or mobile internet devices, neither KDE or GNOME may be a viable option, as they run too slowly on low spec machines (such as less than 256MB RAM and a 1 GHz processor). This article seeks to identify the best lean desktops for Linux, for users that have old or even ancient hardware."
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Definitely an XFCE fan
by Dave_K on Tue 2nd Dec 2008 15:48 UTC
Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

Most really lightweight Linux desktops have major flaws and omissions that can make them a pain to use.

XFCE may not be as light as some, but in my experience it is less resource hungry than GNOME, and much faster than KDE 4.1 (Kubuntu 8.10 feels significantly slower than Vista on my system). At the same time it contains all the nice desktop features that I appreciate, including a file manager that I really like. When XFCE is so usable, I can't really see any reason to use GNOME instead.

There are some lightweight distributions using XFCE that are perfect for an obsolete PC. I saved an old 256Mb Athlon XP 2000+ laptop from the trash, and loaded with Puppy Linux NOP (Opera and XFCE replacing Seamonkey and JWM), it's a great little laptop for a friend who wanted to get online. I wouldn't want to run Windows or Ubuntu on the same system without at least double the RAM.

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