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Debian GNOME GNU is Not Unix GUI Software Linux

Debian Changes Default Desktop From GNOME To XFCE 328

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the cool-kids-still-use-windowmaker dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The default desktop within Debian 7.0 'Wheezy' has changed from GNOME to Xfce. GNOME, KDE, and LXDE will continue to be available, but the decision was made to default to Xfce. The reported reasoning comes down to size constraints in fitting GNOME on a single CD."
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Debian Changes Default Desktop From GNOME To XFCE

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  • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <sorceror171@ g m a> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:02AM (#40918941) Homepage
    ...and enjoying it. XFCE works pretty well and is easy to use. This actually makes Debian more attractive to me.

    However... there are definitely some issues that bespeak a need for more polish. E.g. this one [], or this one []. Hopefully a bit more focused attention will lead to quicker fixes.

  • Bloody brilliant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:03AM (#40918959)

    Debian sounds a voice of reason within the community.

    I wondered how they would tackle the infamous UI "situation", and this was the outcome I hoped everyone involved would have the guts to go forth with.

    Rejoice for a surge of development activity for Xfce - a much more fruitful use of developer time than some other currently available UI sinks.

  • by nssy (1530925) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:13AM (#40919065)
    Torvalds said "I'm using Xfce. I think it's a step down from gnome2, but it's a huge step up from gnome3. Really"
  • Happy With XFCE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:42AM (#40919467) Homepage

    I used XFCE for a while years ago, after one of the bloatenings of Gnome. Switched back and had been pretty happy with Gnome until they started turning it into WebTV. Still struggled along with classic mode for a while, but they've been dumbing that as well. Switched back to XFCE and very pleased.

    If you want a thin client for the cloud, Gnome/Windows 8/Mountain Lion/ChromeOS are all fine. If you want a computer, XFCE/Debian may be the best option.

    I tend to think a divergence is inevitable. The masses don't want a computer and never did. They grudgingly used them because it was where all the good stuff was. Now that the oligarchs are offering convenience as an alternative to liberty, most people are lining up. The hardware manufacturers are falling right in line with UEFI, the network providers are pushing to cripple the nasty peer-to-peer design of the Internet, and everyone with an IQ below 120 (and a surprising percentage of those above) can easily be convinced they are happier this way. It's called progress.

    Ummm, which is why I like XFCE... OK, bit of a digression there. But maybe that suggests a motto: "XFCE: Don't shuffle blandly into the decline."

  • Re:Trend setter! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:44AM (#40919507)

    fvwm 1.4 for me. 1.4r? something like that.

    I started with twm while at DEC (which worked great with DECwindows). after years of good luck with twm, I finally 'upgraded' to fvwm.

    hard to get too much lighter weight than that. runs on ancient slow hardware and never takes up much resources. the only thing you need running is X! no other 'daemons' or sound this or graphics that or object otherthing. just plain fvwm and the term window you prefer.

    after years of using workstations, I can't seem to justify 'desktops'. term windows launch apps that are text or graphic based. all works fine. and its the same UI I can count on, year after year.

    I know, GOML. I know. but I still can't see any reason to leave fvwm for a 'desktop'. I don't think I'm missing anything.

    (and of course I do 'xsetroot -solid black' in my .xinitrc. you mean, you don't??)

  • Bodhi/Enlightenment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by water-and-sewer (612923) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:10PM (#40919863) Homepage

    I moved to Bodhi Linux with its Enlightenment desktop, and like it. That's the fun thing - everyone can find their own escape route from Gnome3 since Linux offers so many choices.

    Bodhi is very lightweight and was easy to configure (though it took me a day to figure out E17's vocabulary). I'm very happy, and it's a simple CD download, which is good - I don't have much bandwidth.

    DVD downloads are a hassle, in my opinion. When it comes time to download one I usually resort to purchasing from one of the companies that advertises on

    I highly recommend Bodhi though - it's very sharp and polished.

  • Re:What is a CD? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rrohbeck (944847) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:37PM (#40920149)

    1 MB = 1/1000 GB.
    1 MiB = 1/1024 GiB.
    My first semester CS prof told everybody *never* to call a "binary" MB (Mebibyte hadn't been coined back then) a "megabyte." He said, call it a "meg" or a "em bee" but "megabyte" is wrong.
    Oh and that was in '78.

  • Re:The what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jazzmans (622827) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:45PM (#40920237) Journal

    This is Excellent! I've been using XFCE4 for damn near 10 years now, having it be the 'default' means that things like vnc etc etc won't default to gnome (gnome sucks ass) without a customized config file. It also means I can let the 'default' desktop system get installed instead of manually installing the DE and WM I want instead of GDM and Gnome.

    Yay Debian!!!!!


  • Re:The what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aztracker1 (702135) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @02:28PM (#40921501) Homepage
    I've been using Linux Mint Debian Edition [] lately, since it's a simpler installer than Debian proper's. You can go with either XFCE (or MINT/Cinnamon). Tends to be a shorter path to a working desktop.
  • by Loopy (41728) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @03:25PM (#40922311) Journal

    The difference is we get a choice, we don't have to accept what they create. Pity the poor fools on Windows, they are about to get Metro whether they want it or not and they aren't going to have many options. Heard the latest? The prereleases have been hacked to default to a normal desktop but the RTM has 'fixed' those hacks so they won't work. They aren't going to allow em to escape. Of course corporate types will be able to stay on Win7 for years; end users won't be able to buy a new PC without 8 after the new year.

    Agreed regarding the Metro loophole business, though I'm sure this isn't the last we've heard on this.

    Sadly, though, I'd like to present you the Flamebait of the Day award for that last bit.
    Windows Vista release = Jan 2007
    Windows XP still available from Dell = October 2012
    My sources are telling me Windows 7 will follow much the same plans as XP did, with availability as a "downgrade" option for the next year at the very least.

    Furthermore, Microsoft STILL allows downgrades from some Win7 editions to WinXP! (see [])

  • Re:Bloody brilliant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Em Adespoton (792954) <> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @04:07PM (#40922863) Homepage Journal

    Debian sounds a voice of reason within the community.

    I wondered how they would tackle the infamous UI "situation", and this was the outcome I hoped everyone involved would have the guts to go forth with.

    Rejoice for a surge of development activity for Xfce - a much more fruitful use of developer time than some other currently available UI sinks.

    I fear for XFCE... "development activity" usually doesn't mean fine tuning the system to work better with fewer bugs -- it means new people wanting to add on their own "missed" features -- which would eventually bring XFCE right into the morass they've been avoiding all this time.

    Thankfully, I don't think the core devs will allow that to happen. But it's going to be a bit demoralizing for them for a while, as they get increased complaints from users, and the increased developers are all clamouring for commit access, wanting to scratch itches that should have nothing to do with XFCE in the first place.

"All my life I wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific." -- Jane Wagner