Last week I reviewed Kubuntu 10.10 and Ubuntu 10.10 over on Desktop Linux Reviews. This week I wanted to look at Xubuntu 10.10. I decided to do a quick look rather than a full-blown DLR review because less has changed in Xubuntu than in the other two distro releases.
If you aren’t familiar with Xubuntu, it’s essentially a combination of Ubuntu and the Xfce desktop environment. Xubuntu is designed to provide a lighter-weight desktop experience than GNOME (Ubuntu’s default desktop). Xfce is set up to conserve system resources while still providing a great range of desktop functionality. Xubuntu is a good to Ubuntu alternative for older hardware or underpowered hardware.
Here’s a sample of what’s new in this release:
Xubuntu now uses Parole, the Xfce4 Media Player, to provide an improved audio/video experience.
Xfburn has replaced Brasero for a more resource consious CD/DVD burning tool.
Xfce4-taskmanager has replaced Gnome-Task-Manager, providing similar function with fewer resources required.
Gnumeric has been updated to version 1.10.8, and Abiword is now version 2.8.6. A brand new theme from the Shimmer team has been introduced. Known as Bluebird, it is lighter in color than the themes in previous versions while retaining the full elementary icon set andthe darker panels.
Here’s what you’ll need to run this update:
You need 192 MB RAM to run the Live CD or 192 MB RAM to install. The Alternate Install CD only requires you to have 64 MB RAM at install time.
To install Xubuntu, you need 2.0 GB of free space on your hard disk.
Once installed, Xubuntu can run with starting from 192 (or even just 128) MB RAM, but it is strongly recommended to have at least 256 MB RAM.
The install is extremely easy and fast. See the image gallery on the next page for screenshots that will walk you through the entire install process.
Suffice to say that if you’ve installed any of the Ubuntu variants, you won’t have a problem installing Xubuntu 10.10. You can watch a slideshow about Xubuntu 10.10′s features while the install completes.
There are two ways you can add or remove software to your Xubuntu 10.10 system: the Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic. I recommend that you use the Ubuntu Software Center. It’s easier and more attractive than Synaptic. So there’s really no reason to bother with Synaptic unless you simply prefer it.
There’s an enormous amount of software available in the Software Center; everything that you can get in Ubuntu you can also get in Xubuntu.
Here’s a sample of what you’ll find on your desktop after you install Xubuntu 10.10:
The default selection of software is definitely not overwhelming in terms of the sheer number of applications but, as I noted above, there’s plenty of other software available if you want it.
I would definitely not mind seeing some cloud-based applications included in Xubuntu in future releases (ala Peppermint OS One).
Using Xubuntu 10.10
Xubuntu 10.10 is very fast and uses less resources than Ubuntu. It’s very well suited to older or less powerful hardware.
I had no problems using Xubuntu 10.10. My system was very stable; I didn’t notice any application crashes or system burps. Xubuntu 10.10 is also very fast; applications opened and close very quickly. There was no noticeable system lag or sluggishness.
The new theme Bluebird is attractive without being garish; it fits in well with Xubuntu’s minimalist mission.
Xubuntu 10.10 was a pleasure to use, for the most part. It’s a worthy upgrade if you are already using Xubuntu 10.04. If you aren’t and you are just curious, give it a shot. It’s a Live CD distro, so you can load it up and run it right off the CD (no install needed).
Xubuntu 10.10 is well worth a download and works well as lighter alternative to Ubuntu 10.10.
What’s your take on this distro? Tell me in the comments. For full distro reviews, visit Desktop Linux Reviews.