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24 March 32010 / Robin Wellner

Xubuntu Lucid is disappointing

Unlike on my old laptop, Xubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) — yesterday’s build, to be exact — handled my normal laptop just fine. Instead of the ASCII art I experienced yesterday, it even showed the beautiful new Light logo.

Then the desktop appeared, and it shocked me. Or rather: it failed to shock me.

Still the same theme (albeit a very pretty one), where Ubuntu has a fancy all-new theme. Even the desktop background was the same. Icons? No improvements — except for the Xfce menu logo.

Lucid apps
Perhaps improved default applications would make Xubuntu Lucid the Ultimate Dream OS? Meh. It includes Firefox 3.6, of course, and Thunderbird 3.0. Some programs were removed, some where added. Not very spectacular.
Firefox 3.6 in action
This is the new Firefox, note that, for monetary reasons, Yahoo!(!) is the new default search engineI’m still not sure what I think of that, although I’m not going to use Yahoo! over Google anyway. Also note the not quite up-to-date documentation.

Terminally awful
It was annoying to see the background of Terminal black again, instead of 1E1E1E. Then I remembered that the way I normally have Terminal set-up is not the default, and begrudgingly accepted the situation.
So annoying.
As you can see, I also tried to install LÖVE from a .deb I had lying around (the default repo still only has 0.5.0), but for some reason the wireless didn’t work and I was too lazy to go downstairs and put a wire in my laptop. So no internet. No internet, no dependencies. No dependencies, no LÖVE. No LÖVE, no way to check whether the whole Power-Of-Two problem was fixed.

One final image of Thunderbird
Thunderbird: reclaiming my inbox since 2003
You got to love those tabs. I might even start to use Thunderbird again.

In summary
Disappointing. Especially after the great improvements in Karmic Koala. Lucid Lynx is a rather conservative new version of Xubuntu, perhaps understandable since it is a LTS release, but on the other hand that didn’t stop Ubuntu. And still will I probably upgrade to Lucid once it is released for real. Xubuntu is a mature, comfortable system and 10.04 builds upon the Karmic Xubuntu that I love.
So Xubuntu is still very neat. Final score: 29/11π.



Leave a Comment
  1. David Sugar / Apr 5 2010 14:28

    There is a functional ui aspect they borrow from Ubuntu which actually has rather negative consequences in Xubuntu.

    In Albetros, the new theme for Xubuntu, the background of the title bar of the menu and the background of a typical application’s “file edit …” menu are indistinguishable, both being black.

    This means the portion in theory managed with the window manager, and the part managed from the app are not separable visually. Yet, you cannot click on a part of the application menu and “drag” the window in Xubuntu. Oddly (to me), the new Ubuntu themes do the very same thing, deliberately trying to hide the difference between window manager and application, and do allow dragging if one clicks on the menu area that seems as if part of the window manager.

    In fact, I personally believe this idea of merging the window manager part visually and behaviorally with the application is actually a bad idea that will have consequences down the road, more so than moving buttons. In Xubuntu Albatross, however, they only do the visual part, and not the behavioral part, so it makes no sense whatsoever and I think will only serve to confuse people in time.

    That being said, I really love xfce 4.6 overall, and on mother Debian, with the new xfce4 notify popups, it is visually very appealing there as well.

  2. name / Apr 14 2010 12:43

    Definitely disappointing.
    A lot of options seem to be gone.
    I’m not able to change the default gdm login theme.

    Xubuntu does have more of the apps that I want, but at what cost?

    • Robin Wellner / Apr 14 2010 17:10

      Perhaps Lubuntu would be an improvement? I don’t know, I never tried it.

  3. bmoriya / Apr 23 2010 21:53

    I noticed today that my ubuntu karmic install uses less RAM than my xubuntu karmic install. This is unacceptable. I’m going to post how to build a fluxbuntu from scratch on my blog for anybody interested (the real fluxbuntu distro is terribly outdated). I’m currently using 165MB of RAM doing the same things that eat up 450MB of RAM on xubuntu.

    • Robin Wellner / Apr 24 2010 0:21

      Xubuntu itself never claims to be any lighter than Ubuntu. Lubuntu, however, does. You could try that. I know I will. But your idea is interesting too. Where is your blog located?

    • Culip / Apr 26 2010 9:22

      Disagree. Are you comparing them with the identical computer? I use Karmic too. I switched from Ubuntu to Xubuntu and saved about 50MB of RAM. It works a bit faster than Ubuntu and is very stable.

      I think you should delete/disable some software and services because it make the X/Ubuntu system fast and stable.

      I hate fluxbox and LXDE because they look horrible. Besides, LXDE doesn’t support the emacs keybinding whereas Xfce does.

      I use Panasonic Let’sNote W4: Pem M @ 1.3, 1G of RAM, 5400rpm HD.

      • bmoriya / Apr 30 2010 21:45


        I’ve been using linux for 7 years and 3 years in Arch, I’ve built multiple Linux from scratch, Gentoo, Slackware, etc.. I have a degree in Computer Engineering. I know how to test. I had the services stripped to bare minimum.

        Not that anybody asked for your opinion, but you can make fluxbox look like anything you want it to. LXDE uses Openbox for it’s window manager meaning you can script whatever keybindings you want, in emacs or vi style so wrong! wrong! wrong!

        Robin Wellner:

        I’ve decided it wasn’t worth posting a minimal install when the 10.04 upgrade installed a bunch of extra crap and ate up about 552 MB of RAM at idle with fluxbox! It was a completely different animal after the upgrade. My minimal ubuntu 9.10 install bloated up by about 1GB and was like a fresh full install of ubuntu. All my time tweaking it went down the drain.

        I’ve gone back to Arch, I’m happy again. */Ubuntu is good for newbies, who are happy with default distros, I will leave it to them. Forget I said anything. I was never here.

        • Culip / May 3 2010 13:11

          > LXDE uses Openbox for it’s window manager meaning you can script whatever keybindings you want, in emacs or vi style so wrong!

          In fact I put a question about emacs keybinding on the LXDE forum because I couldn’t find this setting which is found on GNOME, KDE and Xubuntu.

          Your message is important because it proved that I was wrong, and I’m happy that I was wrong. I’ll try out the latest LXDE as well as GNOME.

  4. Jack Vermicelli / Apr 25 2010 23:47

    The themes and apps sections of your review, which seem to be the meat and potatoes of it, seem to be very superficial things to review. With both the themes and apps easily and freely changeable, they both seem like non-issues.

    Any theme will do; you can always replace it. No pre-installed browser, office suite, media players, etc. at all would be fine: there’s apt-get, and you can install whatever you want (unless a slow internet connection is a problem, I might even prefer it that way, installing only what I want from the get-go).

    • Robin Wellner / Apr 26 2010 8:12

      Sure, but what would be important to review then?

  5. Culip / Apr 26 2010 9:33

    Nice review, but I still have several essential questions:

    1 Please tell us a little more about your old laptop. CPU? RAM?

    2 Performance (booting up time, RAM usage)

    3 Stability (have you experienced any crash so far?)

    This release must be minor improvement because Xfce hasn’t changed at all. If Lucid works faster and more stable than Karmic does, we should upgrade our system, I guess.

    • Robin Wellner / Apr 26 2010 10:01

      1) CPU: 1400MHz, RAM: 512MB, i.e. underpowered piece of shit.
      2) I have only tested it from LiveCD (because one of the ways my computer is crappy is that it has a very small hard drive), which skews any observation about boot time. It was also hard to make a fair judgment of RAM usage, as many of the programs I usually use are not on the LiveCD by default.
      3) No crashes yet. Having said that, I still work with Karmic and that crashes all the time. I have no idea whether Lucid will be an improvement.

      When Lucid is released (which is in three days), I will make a more thorough review of (most likely) both Xubuntu and Lubuntu.

      • Culip / Apr 28 2010 4:45

        Thanks. Wow, your computer seems not very powerful. . .

        > I still work with Karmic and that crashes all the time.

        Now I’m using Google Chrome instead of Opera or Firefox and my Xubuntu Karmic system becomes fairly stable. Also Emacs GTk sometimes freezes the entire system, and so I use it on a terminal emulator.

        I really hope that Lucid LTS is very stable. . . stability is really important.

        And I’m looking forward to seeing your review! 😉


  1. No Xubuntu 10.04 for you « gvxDev
  2. Impeding Arrival of Lucid Lynx « gvxDev

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