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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Sat, 17 Nov 2012

It looks like more Debian users are turning to Xfce

Going by what I read, Linux and BSD users are abandoning GNOME and Unity for ... Xfce.

They hate GNOME 3/Shell, they don't like what Ubuntu's done with Unity, and they're not crazy about KDE, either.

Enter Xfce. Back in the GNOME 2 days, I found that on a fast machine you really didn't gain much in desktop speed by picking Xfce over GNOME. But on slow, old hardware, Xfce sure could make a difference.

That means on new computers it all boils down to what you like. If Xfce does the job for you, use it.

With GNOME and Unity throwing out the "old" desktop paradigm for a new one that ostensibly helps the tablets and touchscreens none of us are using work better, anybody who wants to keep working in the same way they've been doing for decades is probably looking at Xfce and LXDE as the way going forward.

Some don't want any change, but most want evolution instead of revolution, and they don't want nonexistant tablets to dicate how they use their mouse-and-keyboard computers.

I get that.

Even Windows users are in this. Windows 8 probably won't throw out so much baby with bathwater, but the changes in the Microsoft desktop would ordinarily send geekier users scurrying toward Linux. Unity and GNOME 3 might be too much of a shock.

Enter Xfce.

It has more than enough features. It's fast. It's not undergoing a cataclysmic transformation. It doesn't care about tablets, touchscreens, smartphones or TVs. It's not trying to sell you services or get you to buy shit. It works like a desktop you know. (Like GNOME 2.)

Personally I haven't soured on GNOME 3. I still like it. But I also like having something I know will be there when my hardware isn't so new. A workhorse desktop.

It's here.