back to article Stripped to the core and full of Xfce: Xubuntu Linux loses it

The Xubuntu project recent unveiled a stripped-down build of its Xfce-based Ubuntu: Xubuntu core. Core offers a very basic version of the Xfce desktop, along with the basic look and feel of Xubuntu, but any extras like an office suite, media player, Xfce add-ons or even a web browser will have to be installed separately. The " …

  1. Gordon 10

    And thus we have

    The boon and the bane of the Linux world. There is a distro for everyone, even if the resources spent doing it could have been far better spent on listening to some end users, doing some documentation or removing the latest stupidity from the UX morons who gave us Unity/Yosemite/IOS 7/Win 8.

    Not a dig at either Linux or Xubutu itself - just seemed an appropriate time for a random observation.

    Sometimes it seems like the only distro that actually does what end users want is Mint, and even they are fragmenting all over the place with their Mates and their Cinnamons.

    1. Michael Thibault

      Re: And thus we have

      >an appropriate time for a random observation

      Applicable any time in the last 10-15 years, actually.

    2. mrtom84

      Re: And thus we have

      I genuinely think I am the only person on earth who actually likes Unity.

      1. Antonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: And thus we have

        "I genuinely think I am the only person on earth who actually likes Unity."

        Not so. Although it certainly seems that way. Presumably the trolls, gremlins and honestly disgruntled simply make far more noise.

        In general I like the UI too. Though I do wish they'd stop treating us all like morons and allow a bit more versility/configurability. If they really are worried about the helpdesk costs of mouth breathers borking their own UIs then why not provide an "expert" flag which toggles between "dumb" and functional modes, simply causing Unity to hide all the useful stuff from the fucktards and ignore any "expert" settings they may have (mis)set? Could be an admin-only admind flag.. part of the user profile?

        Please canonical! We're not all fucktards... Shirley you can find a *simple* and *manageable* way to cater to the rest of us too?!

      2. CaptainBanjax

        Re: And thus we have

        If you were alone there would be no Unity.

  2. Primus Secundus Tertius

    And after apt-get

    Get yourself a GUI installer.

    The process is one of primary bootstrap, secondary bootstrp, ...

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: And after apt-get

      This I don't understand. Package management is one of the things I find easier done from CLI.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And after apt-get


        Yes, and MUCH faster too, but only if you know what you're looking for.

  3. batfastad


    Xubuntu is good. Been the primary OS on my laptop for a couple of years now. Was a Mint+XFCE before that but switched to Xubuntu for a reason I can't now remember.

    XFCE does exactly what I want from a desktop environment: Stays out of the way, fast without unnecessary bouncy icons and other Fisher Price effects, allows for loads of customisation, and lets me use the actual desktop instead of having a glorious empty unusable space as seems to be the fashion

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What happened to the Xubuntu I could run in 170Mbytes a few years back?

    Tour lasse, tout casse, tout passe. But in the case of software, tout devient surpoids.

    1. akeane

      Re: 417Mbytes?

      Bring back Monkey Linux!!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 417Mbytes?

      It's 300MB on my computer, same as Mate version (and that's why I'm using Mate now). On the same computer, Ubuntu (Unity) takes 400-450MB

    3. Rabbit80

      Re: 417Mbytes?

      For that matter, what happened to being able to run a basic desktop with just 512Kb RAM? (Yes, I know you could run one on the Commodore 64 with just 64Kb, but was it actually usable?)

      Anything before then was before my time

      1. petur

        Re: 417Mbytes?

        I even remember running Win2K on a 486DX2 with 24MB memory, and it was even usable.

        IMHO the bloat is creeping everywhere

      2. Bleu

        Re: 417Mbytes?

        GEOS on the C64/128 was eminently usable, particularly in comparison with the similar efforts on the 128-, 256-, or 512~K Macintoshes (much less usable and much less fun).

        Generally, though, desktop environment? We had the reset button, we didn't need no steenking desktop environment (most of the time)!

  5. DvorakUser

    I'd be happy with...

    a resurrected version of Fluxbuntu - an unofficial port of Ubuntu with Fluxbox (and a deliciously eye-catching splashscreen while it loaded). Ran it for a little bit on an old Thinkpad R51 that I had and it was nice and quick. Thought of trying to get something like it up and running on my current rig, starting with the Ubuntu Mini ISO.

  6. Proud Father
    Thumb Up

    Lubuntu... what I use for light weight Linux installs.

    Minimal set of apps and still has a GUI software center.

    1. Alister

      Re: Lubuntu...

      Minimal set of apps and still has a GUI software center.

      I don't get why you need a GUI for software installs? Seriously, I don't get the point of them?

      If' there's a piece of software I want, I find it in a repo and then apt-get, or yum install depending which machine I'm on.

      If it's not in a repo then download the source.

      1. PCS

        Re: Lubuntu...


        And there you have it. One of the many reasons why Linux will never be popular with normal people.

      2. BeerTokens

        Re: Lubuntu...

        Why use the gui install instead of cli?

        For me at least it saves on Google time.

        Want to do lots of different unit conversions & don't know the name of a decent one available in your repos then launch the software centre and search for converter, read some reviews and install. Now try that using apt get. Time to finding out how many pints in a hectolitre increased meaning less time drinking said pints.

        1. Vic

          Re: Lubuntu...

          Want to do lots of different unit conversions & don't know the name of a decent one available in your repos

          I usually use one called "units". The name is quite memorable...

          Time to finding out how many pints in a hectolitre increased meaning less time drinking said pints.

          [vic@perridge ~]$ units

          2526 units, 72 prefixes, 56 nonlinear units

          You have: 1 hectolitre

          You want: pints

          * 211.33764

          / 0.0047317647

          So 1 hectolitre is just over 211 pints. Which is a bit much for one evening, but I'll get into training...


          1. Nathanial Wapcaplet

            Re: Lubuntu...

            nonsense, I simply don't know why you didn't do it as a one-liner in CSH :) kids today, tut-tut.

            now, where's my punchcards gone? these tape ego-maniacs will soon be paying the price of early adoption - you mark my words.....

      3. Proud Father

        Re: Lubuntu...


        "I don't get why you need a GUI for software installs? Seriously, I don't get the point of them?"

        Because I want to. It's all about choice.

      4. theOtherJT Silver badge

        Re: Lubuntu...

        I don't get why you need a GUI for software installs? Seriously, I don't get the point of them?

        Because they're discoverable. This is basically the entire point of a GUI, and one that strangely people who should know better seem to have forgotten.*

        Think back to the Bad Old Days when there was no GUI. You're sat in front of a computer which has just turned on and gone "Boop" and now there's a cursor there... what to do? Well, you could try just typing random things in and hoping for the best, but that's pretty risky. Possibly you could spend a few hours trawling through the paper manual, assuming there was a paper manual.** Either way, this is pretty horrible.

        With a gui you have a way of not only telling the system what you want, but you have a way for the system to tell YOU what IT has and what IT wants. This is immeasurably useful.

        Now, obviously you want a good CLI too, if you're a power user or any kind of systems administrator (which I presume you personally are) because it's important to be able to make tasks repeatable and for that you need a scripting language of some kind. Bash, Powershell - I don't care which, just so long as it's there. Most people however are NOT power users or systems administrators and they not only don't _want_ a CLI, but they really shouldn't need one. If they do whoever designed the system has failed.

        * See "Windows 8 and the magic disappearing tooltips" or "Ribbon interfaces for confusion and profit" to see just some ways of really cocking this up.

        **You can't look it up on the internet, because it's 1984 and the internet doesn't exist yet.

  7. CherylWillBounceBack

    Get with the times

    Seriously, we're in 2015 people. It's all about the bling. It's all about the bells and whistles. You minimalists are trying to strip the computing experience back to the dark ages.

    That's why I run Windows 8.1. A proper, modern operating system with a world class user experience. With the benefit of being designed by the world's finest engineering teams in Redmond - you know that it's secure, safe and a pleasure to look at.

    Why run a Lada when you can have a Bugatti Veyron for a few quid? Freetards know no logic.

    1. ntevanza

      Re: Get with the times

      Is Windows also a technologically conservative and commercially suicidal vanity project that helps get you kicked off the board?

      Because you can fix a Lada yourself? See below. Holtorf observes that what he did would be impossible in a modern car.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get with the times

      "With the benefit of being designed by the world's finest engineering teams in Redmond"

      There, FTFY.

    3. jonathan1

      Re: Get with the times

      You're trolling right?

      The only thing in the dark ages are fan wars over the different OSs. All have their charms or quirks.

      Right tool for the job and all that.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get with the times

      >Why run a Lada when you can have a Bugatti Veyron for a few quid? Freetards know no logic.

      I think it's your logic that's flawed. Windows 8.1 is no Veyron. It's more like a base-model Audi A4 with every bling option ticked. Looks as much like an S4 as possible, has a posh-ish badge on, but underneath the bling it's slow and incredibly overpriced.

      These core distros are more like a Lotus Elise or an Ariel Atom - pretty basic, but fast and will get the job done well. And people who like cars won't think you're a twat.

      1. David Roberts

        Re: Get with the times

        Ah, Lotus.

        Lots of Trouble Usually Serious.

    5. Michael Thibault

      Re: Get with the times

      Upvoted. Ah, tone deafness.

    6. Antonymous Coward

      Re: Get with the times

      Forgot the "joke alert" icon or the requisite "/sarc" sig?

      I'm genuinely baffled... the middle paragraph particularly seemed to be written with tongue firmly in cheek... but tone is so easily lost in type... WTF?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get with the times


        No joke alert or /sarc tag required, as I understand it, since this is a British site and they're well known for their dry humour and subtle sarcasm. As such, I thought it was well done.

  8. Khaptain Silver badge

    The world is not *BUNTU

    If you want small then head over to DSL (Damned Small Linux)... 50Mb......

    There are others like PuppyLinux etc . Everything depends on what you "need" compared to what you "want"..

    Have to agree with the 1st post though, that the bane of Linux is the "multi-multitude" of offerings, sometimes too much is too much.. Me, I am sticking with Mint + XFCE...

    Anything with *BUNTU in it's name is starting to make me cringe....

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: The world is not *BUNTU

      Or TinyCore - sub 10MB if you take the CLI option, about 15MB last time I checked for the GUI.

      I tend to run debian minimal + XFCE and build up from there, but then I actively like aptitude as a package manger...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now CPM was a nice and lightweight system...

    1. wayward4now

      "Now CPM was a nice and lightweight system..."

      You betcha, and it basically filled my needs. GeoWorks was another. It ran fast on an i386.

    2. David Roberts


      How about Concurrent CPM?

      Multi-tasking and multiple screen support when DOS was still learning to crawl.

      MSDOS set PC computing back abot 5 years IIRC.

  10. teebie

    Despite being a loyal xubuntu user I am still unable to discern...

    how the hell I am supposed to pronounce the name of the thing

    1. Pete4000uk

      Re: Despite being a loyal xubuntu user I am still unable to discern...

      I guess 'zoo buntu'

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Hardrada

    My reason for branching out into BSD years ago was the post-Ubuntu insistance of every Linux distro on installing, Gimp, and Firefox. Sometimes I didn't want them, and the package managers would always leave a bunch of crud in /etc and elsewhere that I had to clean out manually after removal.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      So, do a minimum debian install (no desktop) then just apt-get what you want.

      1. Hardrada

        I've done that a lot, and it's been very reliaible. I actually like the old dselect package seletion tool for adding end-user apps to a minimal install.

        FreeBSD just fit my needs/tastes* especially well at the time (although there was a nasty period around of bugginess around the 5.0 release, and it's never been as solid for me since).

        *The software selection in the base system was a lot like Slackware, but it had dependency checking out-of-the-box. It had more up-to-date packages than Debian stable, but wasn't as bleeding edge as some of the popular Linux distros at the time. That just happened to be what I was looking for.

  12. achillesneil

    I've recently been using Spectrwm running on top on OpenBSD on a netbook that I use when I am out and about. Very usuable once you got the hang of it, and it doesn't suck up lots of battery power because there are no pointless things I don't need running in the background...

    1. Hardrada


      Combined with Xombrero (or even Links2), mupdf, FFMPEG, a keyboard friendly e-mail client and an editor, it can replace most of what I install on a home desktop/laptop. (You have to be OK with doing word processing in HTML, but it works for me.)

      OpenBSD's package management system is also the most reliable of any opensource OS I've used, especially in the sense that updates and removals are usually clean.

      A stock install runs fine off a usb stick on more than one machine, although you might need to do an X config on boot, and you need an /etc/hostname.[whatever] for each type of NIC. For most people it should just contain "dhcp". You can find the right driver with dmesg. (Typical method is "echo dhcp > /etc/hostname.xl0" or similar.)

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

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