Xubuntu Review: It Packs a Punch! (With Screenshots)

5:17 AM

Xubuntu 11.04 is a fast, stable operating system for older systems or systems that could use the performance boost. It is beautifully well put together and easy to use.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

As you can see in the screenshot above, the layout consists of a pretty aquamarine background with a dock, application menu, task bar, and system tray.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

Just like in Ubuntu, Firefox is the default browser. I think the Xubuntu team should have taken it a bit further and installed a lightweight browser like Midori instead, but Firefox itself isn't a bad choice. Just seems kind of odd for a lightweight distribution to carry it.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

The settings menu is also pretty much the same as it is in Ubuntu.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

I'm pleased to see the update manager is the same as it is in Ubuntu as well. The only difference is rather than automatically start it relies on you to manually start it. Smart saving of system resources.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Gimp comes by default with Xubuntu. In case you didn't know, Gimp is a photo manipulation program that is almost on par with Adobe Photoshop.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

Xubuntu also comes with Gmusicbrowser, which allows you to browse and play your music. I haven't tried it out much yet but it seems like it is a pretty decent, basic music player.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!`

 

Additionally Gmusic browser can mimic other players so as to form a more comfortable user interface. This is its mimicry of Rythmbox.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

This is Gmusicbrowser mimicking Exhaile.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 

This is Gmusicbrowser's take on ITunes.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

Parole is a lightweight, basic media player that is installed by default in Xubuntu.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

It made me happy to see that Xubuntu still has Ubuntu's Software Center. It's the only thing I miss about switching to Fedora.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

Xubuntu also packs Abiword and Gnumeric, lightweight solutions to OpenOffice.

 

Conclusion

 

Xubuntu is a full featured desktop environment, yet it is lightweight enough to run on older machines or machines with low system specifications. True to its Ubuntu roots it is extemely easy to use as well. I think I may keep it around a while on this machine which Ubuntu was too resource hungry to run on very fast (it only has 1 GB of RAM).

 

Xubuntu packs a few surprises, as well. One of its biggest surprises is how its music player, Gmusicbrowser, can mimick all the popular music players. Another big surprise is that it packs Gimp, the most popular image manipulation program on Linux, straight out of the box. I was also suprised how closely XFCE has been designed to look like Gnome 2.x. Anyone that misses Gnome 2.x should give this distribution a shot. I would also recommend this to anyone accustomed to Mac OS X, as the user interfaces are very similar.

 

xjonquilx | Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

 



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6 comments

  1. [...] Xubuntu Review: It Packs a Punch! (With Screenshots) Xubuntu 11.04 is a fast, stable operating system for older systems or systems that could use the performance boost. It is beautifully well put together and easy to use. [...]

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gnumeric and Abiword are not proper replacement for Open(Libre)Office. There are some other tools in Open/Libre which are not in GNOME Office: Base, Draw, and more important presentation tool.
    More here:
    http://www.go2linux.org/linux/2011/02/where-3-times-3-8-899

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree on this. Since the machine I was running had 1 GB of RAM, I went ahead and installed LibreOffice on it. However, if I was on an older or low spec machine, I would use Abiword and Gnumeric.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've been using GNU/Linux exclusively for over four years now. I like to distro-hop every couple of months. But I /always/ come back to Xubuntu. ^__^

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've just installed Xubuntu 11.10 on a vintage HP Pavilion desktop with 500MHz processor and 512MB RAM. On first impression, it seems slower than PCLinuxOS lxde 2011.9 which is installed on the same machine. But Xubuntu is very well-organised and xfce looks simple but elegant. I will do some tweaking and maybe keep it on the hard disk. Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Another one you might want to give a shot is Lubuntu. The system requirements are lower than Xubuntu and it is just as well organized.

    ReplyDelete