Short Xubuntu Review

This is what my netbook looks like right now.  I’m running Xubuntu, along with Chromium, Wakoopa, Dropbox, and Gwibber.  I decided to go with Xubuntu because I wasn’t having a lot of luck with Ubuntu and it’s Unity interface on here.

How about a screenshot?


Screenshot.  I’ve got my An American in Paris wallpaper. If you haven’t been following my Tumblr, I like Gene Kelly.  I really like Gene Kelly.


I don’t really have any problems with this distro.  XFCE plays really well with GTK applications, and KDE applications.  That’s one of the things I love about it.

The biggest annoyance I’ve found is that some programs don’t pay attention to the browser I’ve set as my “preferred” browser (which is Chromium).  CloudSN will open gmail links in Firefox or straight up Chrome sometimes, and I can’t find a way to force it to be my main browser.

I’m also using Pidgin (though not signed in right now).  I’ve gotten used to Empathy, and I actually prefer it, but Pidgin works pretty well.  I just have to make sure I enable the tray icon.

Onto the tray!  I’ve gotten used to the indicator applets, and I’m thinking about installing a panel widget that’ll emulate the indicator applets.  They’re just so clean and easy to work with.  I see why Canonical decided to go wtih them.

I’ve got four workspaces, and I can easily split what I’m doing between them.  I usually have a browser up on desktop number one, Gwibber up on number two, chat (xchat and/or Pidgin) up on number three, and whatever else up on number four.  I don’t have Compiz installed, so I don’t have the neat composting going on like I do on my laptop, but ctl-alt-arrow works just fine for switching workspaces.  So does clicking on the needed workspace in my panel.

Overall, this is a great release.  I really like XFCE 4.8 (enabled via a PPA); it’s matured quite a bit from when I tried it awhile ago.

I would heartily recommend this distro for a netbook, or even a laptop or desktop.  It’s lighter than Ubuntu and Kubuntu, though not as light as something like Lubuntu or Crunchbang.,  Xubuntu has a great selection of applications (including Gimp!) that will give a user (almost) everything they need to sit down and use their computer right away after it’s installed.  And since it’s based on Ubuntu, users have access to the massive Ubuntu repository, and access to the powerful PPA system.

I’ll be testing out the Beta of Ubuntu soon enough, and it might make an appearance on my netbook.  I prefer Xubuntu, because I get the full width of my screen dedicated to what I’m doing, not being taken over by a launcher-bar.  That’s handy, but I hate horizontal scrolling with a passion.  I hear it’ll be hidden in Natty; I surely hope.