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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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  • The what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:55AM (#40918851) Journal

    There's a "default desktop" in Debian? I thought everyone just installed the netinst and used apt-get to install whatever desktop they wanted.

  • I'm delighted.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:02PM (#40918951)

    Whatever the reason is for the change, I will say "Thank god, thank you thank you thank you Debian developers".

  • What is a CD? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:03PM (#40918955)

    And why is it important that a distribution fits on one?

  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:09PM (#40919033)

    GNOME 3

  • by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:14PM (#40919081) Homepage

    It's probably a sane choice to move debian away from gnome and towards xfce, but I wonder if the reason is very sound. They should have switched to DVD as the default ISO media many years ago, becuase people who are on such an old computer that it lacks a DVD will surely want to use the less than 200 MB netinstall ISO instead.

    I think that it's still important with an offline-installable system, but limiting yourself to CD when DVD has been the standard for ages is just weird and shows of stagnation and "get off my lawn".

  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:22PM (#40919203) Homepage

    If in the States

    Here's a weird little fact. Many people don't live in the USA.

    Many people also don't have unlimited access to the Internet, or unlimited money. For these reasons it makes sense to continue supporting the simplest, cheapest way of distributing software on physical media, and that is a CD-ROM.

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@nOSPAM.beau.org> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:36PM (#40919377)

    > Hopefully a bit more focused attention will lead to quicker fixes.

    Exactly. Nothing focuses attention like becoming the default desktop environment. Fedora probably won't abandon the GNOMEs anytime soon but can anyone see GNOME3 being the default for RHEL7? Ubuntu has went their own zany way with Unity but if the alternate (XFCE, KDE, Mint, etc) spins/forks aren't already accounting for more installs than the base Ubuntu it is only a matter of time because a broken desktop isn't going to fly. And no matter how many users leave neither the Unity or Gnome Shell devs will admit they are leading in a direction few care to follow.

    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.

    And when OS X gets the iOS makeover they won't have any choice either; but of course they will all suddenly decide it is insanely great and exactly what they wanted all along.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:39PM (#40919433) Homepage Journal

    It's 2012, folks.

    And in 2012, wireless ISPs still impose monthly caps not much more than the capacity of a 4.7 GB DVD. Or must everyone drive into town and find a library willing to let the user sit and download an entire DVD image to a flash drive? In 2012?

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@nOSPAM.beau.org> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:47PM (#40919549)

    And it won't have newbies either. That is what is so maddening. Who is going to suddenly start using Linux + GNOME3? Will any of us current users recomend it? Doubtful. Are they going to get preloaded onto tablets or something? Ha! The resource requirements for GNOME are far greater than Android so it would be a top of the line product, so who is going to put GNOME3 on a flagship product? Who? Nobody, that is who.

    I admin a public lab that is currently running Centos. It defaults to GNOME2 and it looks familiar enough that random people can walk in and begin using it. There is no way I'd put GNOME3 on these machines. The support nightmare would never end.

    I keep hearing the occasional GNOME Shell fan in these hate/rant threads chime in with "I hated it for a few weeks but now I love it." Can you imagine me telling people that? Can you? Really? Perhaps you GNOMEs should rethink discoverability and learning curves with an eye to actually making it easy for a new user. You guys go on and on about being focused on new users and ignore the reality that most 'new users' aren't totally new to computers anymore and expecting them to unlearn what they already do know is a loser.

  • Re:The what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @01:04PM (#40919793) Journal

    If your network is slow, it's going to be slower to download a CD image that has packages you won't use on it than it is to just download the packages you need.

    But downloading the ISO is a background task. Start the download and check on it every hour or so.
    The netinstall may not download as much, but if you opt to install anything more than a base system then it'll download it right then and there. It'll take less time, overall, but your system will do nothing else while you wait.

  • Re:Excellent news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nazsco (695026) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @01:35PM (#40920123) Journal

    Everyone know this has nothing to do with the gnome you've know "for years". This is obviously because of the brainfuck gnome3

    Everyone knows that and the size issue was just to be polite

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

    by Gordonjcp (186804) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @06:40PM (#40924001) Homepage

    See, that's the thing. "Set your own system up"? I don't give a toss about setting my own system up. I want to get on with things I actually enjoy. I do not enjoy watching pages and pages of text scroll past on a screen only to find the stuff I wrote yesterday no longer works because some bright spark decided that /usr/bin/python was from now on going to be provided by python-4-pre-alpha-svn-broken-on-fire because it's going to be stable in just about two years or so.

    I'm not interested in all that newb "zomg I compiled my own /usr/bin/ls and now it's 2% faster!!111!!!1!1" stuff. I don't care. I want my computer to be easy to use, because fixing a broken, hard-to-use computer is Not Fun.

    I am older than the median age of the slashdot readership. I have been using Linux since before most of the Arch devs were born. Linux *sucked* twenty years ago. Why are you nostalgic for those frankly tedious and frustrating days?

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