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Xubuntu 8.10 + Xfce 4.6: Screenshots

Long overshadowed by its GNOME and KDE-based brethren, Xubuntu is a handy Ubuntu solution for older PCs or for users that want a lighter desktop footprint.

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1 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

If you've ever installed another Ubuntu distribution, you will not be surprised by the screen that greets you after booting off of the install CD.

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2 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Similiarly, once you enter the install GUI, it's business as per the Ubuntu usual.

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3 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

The installer confirms that it is actually Ubuntu 8.10 under the hood, and despite what it may look like, selecting guided partition creation will create an ext3 mounted at / and a swap partition.

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4 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

A final warning of the damage that we are about to inflict on our hard drive, and confirmation of the two separate partitions mentioned previously.

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5 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

If you need to run some errands, this is the time to do it while the installer does its thing.

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6 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Upon finishing the install and rebooting the system, we are presented with the ubuntu splash screen, complete with what can only be a spare progress meter behind the actual progress meter. Is this a sign of bugs to come?

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7 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Your typical GDM log-in screen, decked out in Xubuntu garb.

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8 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

And here it is: the Xfce desktop. Looks pretty similar to GNOME at this stage.

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Thanks to freedesktop.org standards, the majority of the menu is immediately familiar.

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Finally we get to see some of the lighter, custom applications within Xfce. This is Thunar, an equivalent of Nautilus.

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11 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

The Xfce Settings Manager looks and behaves pretty much like GNOME's control panel.

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12 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

By default, double clicking on the title bar of an application makes it roll up or shade into the title bar. On the title bar itself, the icon third from the right is not a minimise icon as one might expect, but a shade icon.

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13 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

To add the minimise icon onto the title bar, you will need to adjust the button layout in the "Window Manager" control panel.

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14 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Who needs a big clunky OpenOffice.org install taking up all your resources when AbiWord will fit the lightweight bill perfectly? It's nice to see AbiWord get a prime-time guernsey within a Linux distribution.

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15 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

What does Xubuntu and Kansas school syllabi have in common? There shall be no Evolution in either! Xubuntu makes use of Thunderbird for mail and its own calendaring application Orage.

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16 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Orage: in all its glory

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Xfce even includes Mousepad as its own default text editor to replace gedit.

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18 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Xfce4 Dictionary allows you spell check and/or search online for definitions for all the words that are giving you trouble.

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19 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Editing or adding new menu entries is a piece of cake.

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Firefox remains the browser of choice for Xubuntu. However, once Epiphany is stable when powered by Webkit, it will be interesting to see if a default browser change occurs.

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21 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

The terminal program for Xfce is unsurprisingly called "Terminal".

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22 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

After experiencing all that Xubuntu 8.10 had to offer, it was time to update to the newly released Xfce 4.6. Rather than play with apt sources, Xfce has a great GUI installer that will compile the new release for you.

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23 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Unfortunately when it comes time to compile on Ubuntu-based distros, it means you must spend the time installing many, many *-dev packages. On the plus side, at least the installer told exactly which packages it needed and why.

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24 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

When we did the compilation, our installer failed to update GDM. A minute of command line work fixed this, but this job is not entirely newbie-compliant.

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25 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

We were given fair warning that it would take some time — a nice touch.

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As a long-time Gentoo user I thought all my dreams had come true, a compiling GUI that gave the time remaining. At this point the installer had won my heart over.

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27 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

This is our brand new Xfce 4.6 desktop.

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28 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

It's not without bugs, however; the duplicate entries within the Settings panel could be because we still have Xfce 4.4 installed. If you know exactly why, please comment in the talkback.

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29 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

The new Application Finder is much like those similar applications found in GNOME and KDE.

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The menu is now able to be accessed by right-clicking on the desktop.

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31 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

Thunar now has contextual menu items thanks to its plug-in structure. In this instance we are able to set a picture as the wallpaper.

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32 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

A new window management option in Xfce 4.6 has the ability to "fill" a window. This means that the window takes up all available space without overlapping other windows, the result of which is shown on the next image.

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33 of 33 Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au

The Mousepad window has been "filled" and does not overlap the Thunar window beside it.

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