View Full Version : xfce4!

12th October 2005, 02:05 PM
Hardware information:

Motherboard: Asus P2B-DS
Processors: 2x 700MHz Intel Pentium III, cB0 stepping - 12% overclock (784MHz)
RAM: 512mb Kingmax PC150
Disk controller: Embedded Adaptec 7890UW
Hard drive: 73GB Seagate Cheetah U160 SCSI 10k rpm
Removable drives: 12x Plextor SCSI CDRW, 4x NEC SCSI CD-ROM
Video: 16mb Nvidia Riva TNT (Voodoo Banshee)
NIC: Who the hell knows? I think it's some 100Base-Tx generic NIC with a Realtek chipset. All I know it it works :)
Sound: Creative Labs SB32 ISA PnP

OS: Fedora Core 4

Anyway, this machine was my desktop PC several years ago and now performs duties as a web/mail/irc server.

Although this machine can still saturate my outbound Internet connection, it's been feeling a little pokey. From the command line the machine is still more than competent but running both Gnome or KDE has been a bit of an exercise in frustration as my dual processor Windows XP box will run circles around it - the XP box only has 384mb RAM but does have a pair of 1000MHz processors.

Anyway, I decided I didn't need all the bloat, I just needed to be able to run some Gnome applications - so I installed xfce4, switched to that window manager and the machine runs like it's on steroids now - considering the machine's getting a little long in the tooth xfce's really breathed new life into it.

How to do it -

1. Install all the xfce packages. Yum Extender or synaptic is pretty good for this.

2. From a terminal prompt, type 'switchdesk xfce'.

3. Start X and enjoy!

If you don't like what you found, 'switchdesk gnome' or 'switchdesk kde' will put things back the way they were.

Screenshots are available at http://www.xfce.org

My ratings:

Installation: 5 - no problems. yum resolved all dependencies
Ease of use: 4 - it's less feature-rich than either Gnome or KDE but it's also a hell of a lot faster :)
Features: 4 - will run most Gnome or KDE apps. Gnome or KDE need to be installed for this functionality, though. Many more features than fluxbox or icewm.
Quality of the program: 5 - solid, stable, fast.

Overall assessment: 4.5 - solid window manager, great features, fast.

2nd December 2005, 09:13 AM
Thanks for the information! :D

2nd December 2005, 09:36 AM
Easier way to install in yum command:

yum groupinstall XFCE

2nd December 2005, 06:26 PM
I think an important thing to keep in mind with XFCE, Gnome or KDE is that you don't have to use just XFCE if you run it. For example. I like the speed and lightweight approach of XFCE4 but I am not crazy about it's file manager or taskbar. So, there is an option in XFCE4 to enable gnome or kde services when it starts. I enabled gnome services. I changed the file manager to point to nautilus and killed the xfce4 taskbar and ran gnome's using 'gnome-panel'. I then exited the session and saved it so all these applications would start on login. I added the redhat menu button to the gnome panel and I now have essentially a hybrid desktop running XFCE4 using gnome applications to make it more user friendly. Combinations of different windowing environments and desktop applications is a very cool feature of linux -- it is like desktop hotrodding. Ever try and run windows with a different win32 API? You can't do it directly on Windows but you can do it on linux using wine.