Along with almost every desktop environment under the sun, find it here
April brings not just showers but traditionally a new release of Ubuntu, this time 15.04. With Ubuntu 15.04 will come Xubuntu and with that an update to Linus Torvalds’ briefly favoured Linux desktop (Xfce), version 4.12. Some of what's new in Xfce 4.12 has already been a part of Xubuntu for some time, but Ubuntu 15.04 will …
This is good news. I'd say Xfce is the best desktop around for most non-expert users simply because it's functional and stable and doesn't require dealing with a bunch of quirks. I generally use that on Linux machines when I set them up for others. For myself I prefer fluxbox or KDE on FreeBSD. KDE has lots of features and configuration possibilities which I've grown to love, but you have to fight a lot. Xfce performs without a fight.
Actually, I'd put it the other way around Gnome (simple) or KDE (looks most like Windows) are probably best for the non-IT specialist. Look for a guide on how to configure something in Ubuntu and there are lots of convenient Gnome-tools to do it. On Xfce, this is less the case. I use Xfce myself because I do like the minimalist approach that just keeps out of my way and don't need cosseting with warm-friendly shortcuts. So I consider Xfce the DE of choice for the GNU/Linux advanced user.
+1 on xfce for advanced users.
I love how basic and minimal it is. I've managed to get it to run on OpenBSD while installed on a first-gen BeagleBone. Threw an office suite and SeaMonkey on top. Runs quite well as an emergency / travel system for dealing with issues at work, especially since it can run off a couple AA batteries and attach itself to a hotel room TV or a modified portable DVD player screen.
+2 on xfce being best suited to the more confident penguinista.
I've found that the sort of MS exiles who need pointing seem to feel particularly comfortable with LXDE so I tend to point them towards Lubuntu, with consistently favourable results.
(The ones who don't "need pointing" tend to automatically gravitate towards KDE)
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Actually revisited it lately. (been trying to get a grip on 'buttons' for years off and on)
Hardly changed a bit. I like it's configurability, but the arcane configuration file certainly hampers adoption, could do with a rewrite (then of course it wouldn't be fvwm).
Fvwm-Nightshade seems a promising project.
Fvwm2 is perfect for as the default for base OpenBSD X install. Runs great on a memory stick and the code base is so lean, ancient and audited its perfect for banking. For that use case I don't need extra configuration or even any menu item other than xterm (xterm the only app launcher you need). But yeah I take your point for a daily driver. Still IMHO even today with all the fancy compositor eyecandy the simplicity and beauty of Motif stands out (style of OpenBSD fvwm2) even if it is now decades old.
XFCE served me well enough for a few years but the weirdisms got to me in the end. Proxy settings, panel settings and a few others. Moved to Ubuntu Mate, it's like I've come home. Martin Wimpress has almost single handedly created a distro-spin that is perfect.. Not only that, he listens and actively takes advice from the community, making it even better. XFCE could have been there...
I also prefer MATE to XFCE having tried them both two years ago when I got rid of Windows 7 in favour of Linux Mint. As I recall, XFC didn't quite cut it for my tastes and seemed a bit more clunky and less easy to use than MATE. However, I will try it in the near future because two years is a long time in software development. If I can't get the latest version from the Mint repos, I'll install Ubuntu to try it; it costs nothing but some personal time and it's a wet Easter weekend.
Have not tried 4.12 yet but all the talk about major updates and huge leaps makes me nervous. If I do not want something from a desktop environment, it is huge leaps. In any direction. And XFce fulfilled this perfectly, with each version being essentially the same, just a bit better.
I thought maybe a re-make of 'Lure of the Temptress'
Not that a long waited Xfce update is not very welcome indeed. I'd throw it on my Arch machine, but I already have Gnome and KDE5 on there and I find myself on i3 most of the time.
What I like about Xfce is that it's still modular, I pull in bits to augment my current Window Manager (xfce-mcs-manager, etc.), it's increasingly difficult with gnome, although I'm hoping Frameworks modular nature will make KDE a better candidate than it has been in KDE4.
Too late now for me to consider XFCE again since I moved to Cinnamon 2.4. The tweaked version included with latest Mint was everything I ever asked (not too little, not too much). The end of what seems like a long trial & search period (Gnome2, Unity, Gnome3, KDE, Mate, Cinnamon, Openbox, XFCE, KDE, more KDE etc).
The LXDE Lubuntu desktop runs extremely well on low RAM hardware such as my old netbook. I tend to prefer Xubuntu on better provisioned desktops. Haven't looked at Gnome or KDE for a few years since their developers seemed to lose the plot, though that may have changed since. The great thing about having choice in this environment is that all the Gnome/KDE whatever oriented applications seem to install and run fine on all the desktop manager options, so changing desktop managers doesn't require you to change your applications.
> Xfce's biggest problem seems to be that no one sticks with it.
As both me, all in my household, and some clients have run XFCE under Xubuntu and OpenSUSE for at least the last 5 years, that must make me a nobody. Where is the "Help, help I'm being repressed!" icon?
XFCE - just enough desktop, along with useful little wrinkles, like the "Open a terminal here" option.
I'm using KDE+Debian right now (took a break from opensuse for technical reasons...).
I have 6400 x 2160 desktop and it does the right thing.
KDEConnect on Android means you can read messages (and phone calls) from the phone in notifications - So you can ignore until you go to look at mail, for example. I can't wait until they had reply capability!!
Using Redshift (I cannot speak highly enough about this tool getting you to take a break in the evening!!), it makes for a very pleasant working environment.
I might almost say WindowsXP with multiple desktops....but that would be cruel ;-)
Just wish Thunar had split screen that was dropped from Nautilus. I hate multiple panes and/or tabs. Might as well use Gmoan. Yuck.
I use Nemo, the Minted Nautilus fork, but it is a pain in the tentacles to try and get rid of Thunar and make Nemo the default file manager, despite making it the default in settings. So much for 'choice'.
C'est la vie....
Viewport splitting is one reason why I stayed with Konqueror when KDE decided to go with the Joey Deacon of file-managers, Dolphin. With Dolphin you can split exactly once, down the middle; with Konq you can split horizontally or vertically, resize the halves, split them further... turtles all the way down, in theory. Start with a square-ish viewport and you can render a golden spiral quite nicely ;)
Unfortunately I must be pretty much alone, as Konq hasn't had a maintainer for months and isn't likely to appear in KDE5. Probably time to learn to love Dolphin (unlikely) or jump ship to LXQt, which has been impressing on my Raspberry Pis.
But I'll never love another FM like I have loved Konqueror, the only one deserving to be called "a file-manager on steroids".
Also, your Konqi icon's the wrong colour.
I went to XFCE in 2008 since I hate Nautilus and thus avoid Gnome and while I used KDE3 for years KDE4 was too weird to use daily.
I've never looked back and any complaints I have with XFCE disappear after a session with our default corporate window manager, FVWM2!
I've liked XFCE because it was simple, quick, easily grasped and Thunar worked the way I expected a file manager to work.
"not just an alternative to GNOME and Unity, but one that's every bit as sophisticated and refined". Please don't! I use an older version of Xfce because it leaves a few cycles and kilobytes for doing something useful, even on older hardware. And I don't want MORE docking behaviour when I move a window out of the way. I know where the "maximize" button is, thank you very much!
So which one am I supposed to use now?