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Saturday, October 14, 2006


KDE or Gnome? I Prefer Xfce, Thanks

I don't want to contribute to the old and useless discussion about what desktop environment (DE) is better, Gnome or KDE. However, I noticed in that discussion often is ignored a third contestant: Xfce. There are other options besides those three, but they are mostly window managers, no desktop environments. So, I think it does not make sense to compare different things.

Since a couple of weeks ago I read this detailed comparison between Gnome and KDE (writte n more than a year ago but recently dugg) where, once again, Xfce was relegated to a final note, I decided to write this post about the DE I use. It's not the first article and it may not be the best either. Hopefully this article won't be the last about Xfce. This is just my two cents based in my experience, as usual.

The real situation

Let's be honest, KDE has a lot in common with Gnome. As the author of the mentioned comparison said, both desktops offer similar functionality. Most discussions you can find in forums and mailing list are based in features and bugs of early releases of both projects.

For example, I still find comments in forums about the ugly look of GTK and Gnome. That people seem to ignore that Gnome is themeable. If you look at Gnome-look you'll find many themes from KDE-look.

Have you seen Linux XP? It uses Gnome and is supposed to be Windows-like. Now I want to know why some people say that Gnome is Ugly or KDE is more Windows-like (Although I must admit that the upcoming version of KDE seems to raise eye candyness to new levels).

So, KDE and Gnome are very similar and Xfce is similar to them too.

Why use Xfce?

The difference between the three DEs is their philosophy, the way they view things. Gnome focuses in usability and simplicity, so its philosophy is "it just works". KDE, in turn, seems to be focused in flexibility and visual design. Finally, Xfce focuses in speed, "everything goes faster" they say. And that's what I like.

Some of the features Xfce have are:
You can get information about more features in the Xfce site.

Final words

Xfce is far from perfect, of course. The new version is still in release candidate stage, so it may have some problems. Besides that, release cycles are long compared to other DE. Obviously Xfce has less developers that KDE or Gnome (if you are looking for a project to contribute to, it's your chance).

Another noteworthy desktop is Mezzo, the default DE in SymphonyOS. I've not tried yet, but the concept is interesting.

Finally, the selection of a DE is subjective. Choose the desktop that makes you feel happier. However, if you want a DE that doesn't need all your system resources or you like your computer for running applications and not just the desktop you should give Xfce a try.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:
i use ( ) and gets ( ) when trying to use "add printer"
Anonymous Anonymous said:
to the post above:

i use HP PSC 1510
Blogger nongeek said:
Really weird. I have no time right now to analize it further but:
* have you tried with the older version?
* Do you have cups installed and running?
* Are you using Xubuntu or another distro?
Anonymous Renwick said:
I have been a long time xfce user since it's beta days but only on a normal Debian install and it worked great for me there, but I was unaware of Xubuntu, how interesting.

Have you tried it?
Does it work well?
Blogger nongeek said:
Yes, I'm a proud Xubuntu user. It's essentially Ubuntu with Xfce instead of Gnome. A new version was released yesterday, download the desktop (live) cd image and try it by yourself, I bet you will like it (provided you like Ubuntu-like distros).
Anonymous Renwick said:
I have tried ubuntu before and liked it very much but at heart I'm a debian user. But no doubt that I will like it when I give it a go soon.
Blogger R2K said:
That was a bit geeky.
Blogger Me said:
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