GNOME 3 has become something of a polarising moment for the popular Linux desktop. In chasing visions of tablets, touchscreens and the mythical "everyday user", the GNOME 3 Shell has left many Linux power users scratching their heads, wondering why the GNOME developers decided to fix a desktop that wasn't broken. The problem for …
I use XFCE on my netbook and my build machine. On my netbook because I don't want too many plugins and wotnot supping the atoms meagre cpu cycles, and on my build machine because I want all four cores to myself, damnit!
The only thing I know that Nautilus can do that Thunar can't so far is tabbed windows and movie file previews, although I don't run the latest Thunar - just whatever Debian and Fedora give me - but personally I find neither are good reasons to bother with the heavyweight file manager.
Re: "the heavyweight file manager"
That's the console, surely?
all this banter about GUI
CLI FTW. Headless server with SSH for control. have a nice day.
you can't get any lighter than command line.
/coat mines the one with the embedded web server in the pocket.
*cough* wmii/xmonad/ratpoison/i3/dwm/awesome *cough*
not wanting to start a flame war, but thought somebody should mention this family of _other_ alternatives. (I for one have never looked back.) Also, tiling WMs are a perfect fit for netbooks or anything with limited screen real estate.
My two cents
I run a Ubuntu 10.04LTS server at home (upgrading to 12.04 next year... that'll be fun!) and my primary desktop is running 11.10.
Whilst I couldn't more heartily agree with the sentiments of all the other Linux users who hate Gnome 3 (and Unity) and are jumping ship to join XFCE, I can't help but wonder just how many of these users are actively contributing to the development of any applications. For me to switch to Xfce would not only take Xfce being my preference (which, admittedly, it is), but also for Xfce to be the preference of the majority of application developers on my chosen platform (GNU/Linux).
Does anyone have statistics on how many application developers are writing for Xfce now instead of Gnome? Is Thunar going to get a few Nautilus developers, for example, or is the Linux userbase no longer intrinsically linked to the Linux developerbase?
I'll ride the storm of Gnome 3 until I hear that developers are switching and not "just" users.
At the risk of turning this post into a rant...
Gnome 3 is just one symptom of a much larger problem - the industry as a whole is looking towards tablets and smartphones as being the future of computing. The desktop is becoming an obsolete timepiece from a bygone era, and this is making a lot of people understandably upset. I'm one of them! I certainly hope that the desktop is not going to be replaced by the tablet, and I can't see any reason why it should be - until developers are writing on tablets, for tablets, it's not a replacement for the desktop. It's merely an extension of it. Windows is doing it with Windows 8, Linux is doing it with Gnome 3 and Unity and Mac is doing it on their iOS line... oh wait, Mac aren't doing it to their desktop operating system... they've realised there are two different markets that need to be catered for in two different ways. Shock horror, someone in the industry is still making sensible decisions. For once, it isn't Linux.
I'll take just a window manager thankyouverymuch. olvwm by preference.
Shtop - this desktop is not ready!
I've just upgraded my laptop to Natty first, which had a perfectly workable Gnome 2 fallback (for me anyway) and I've just upgraded it to 11.10, and now I wish I had waited.
Not because for me Gnome 3 or Unity intrinsically suck - they're just neither of them finished - there is still a lot of stuff to put back in -screensavers, customisation, etc - but at least there's the tweak tool. My big disappointment with Gnome 3 in 11.10 was that the font rendering varies from bad hinting and anti-aliasing to being quite broken, which I'm sure will be fixed with an update soon enough. In the past I've waited at least a month before updating, I should have waited more this time, that's all.
Meanwhile, the Gnome 2-ish "Classic" fallback in 11.10 is not as pretty, but is good enough for me. And Unity has improved over 11.04. Seems to take a long time to start up, I'll give LXDE and/or XFCE a go, and wait before upgrading my desktop to 11.10.
I'm finding this whole Unity/Gnome3 thing quite interesting to follow.
For all the problems, it's still worth far more than every penny I spent on it.
Be grateful for what you can still get for free, I say.
Mine's a Grolsch
People STILL use Linux? That's just nuts.
there. fixed it for you. No dinner for you tonight ;-)
So why bother with Ubuntu?
The general consensus is that existing users don't like GNOME Shell, and generally *hate* Unity. So why bother with Ubuntu at all? If you're going to go with Xfce (and it seems that most of us existing Linux users are going that way, because we want our desktops to look and act like desktops, not like overgrown broken smartphones) then you might as well just stick with a stock Debian install.
"apt-get install xubuntu-desktop" is a great way to make your computer usable again after Ubuntu updates force Unity at you, but it's pretty clear that Ubuntu has jumped the shark with this one.
Thank you, people
I'm sure no one is reading this thread anymore, but just in case;
Having read all the comments, I switched my laptop from Unity/Gnome 3 to Xubuntu/Xfce. (sudo apt-get xubuntu-desktop) I am really happy I did. I can't say i *hated* Unity/Gnome 3, just that they "got in the way" and left me scratching my ancient head about ways to do simple tasks.
Xfce hasn't been completely trouble free, but at least most things look and work the way I want them to, and Google has sorted out the rest. (and I still have all the Ubuntu/Gnome apps I installed)
Last time I tried Xfce it had less flesh on it than a catwalk model, but I was pleasntly shocked at how much it has come on. This is what Canonical should be offering as the default rather than Unity.
Thank you again all the splendid people that know what they are talking about.
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