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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Sat, 15 Mar 2014

Interesting report: Phoronix's Michael Larabel on running Xubuntu with new Asus hardware after giving up on OS X

I saw a very interesting article in Phoronix, in which Michael Larabel writes about issues he is having with Xubuntu and a new Asus laptop after giving up on running Linux in a virtualized environment from within OS X on a Macbook Pro.

Later: I forgot to mention that I have tried the Xubuntu 14.04 Beta. It doesn't look radically different from previous Xubuntu releases. At first. There is a big change in the way the distribution deals with its application menu:

The Xubuntu developers didn't just add the increasingly popular Whisker Menu (which I use and like), they removed the traditional Xfce menu. I have both menus on my system. It's a trivial thing to add the "original" menu back to your panel, and I do think that the Whisker Menu can replace it, but it could be a bit unsettling to someone who is expecting a more vanilla Xfce experience.

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Sat, 17 Nov 2012

Xubuntu 12.10 with Xfce 4.10

Already I like what I see in Xubuntu 12.10.

  • The new Xfce 4.10 desktop environment with a network-friendly Thunar file manager

  • Nice defaults and design (which you usually get in a distribution's "native" desktop environment but not so often without it)

What I don't like:

  • The Alps touchpad in the Lenovo G555 is jumpy

Onto the next ...

Sat, 05 May 2012

Xubuntu 12.04 with Xfce 4.8 - one giant leap and a mighty attractive desktop (revised)

So I'm in the live environment for Xubuntu 12.04, which aside from the ugly wallpaper (including every alternative wallpaper on the ISO image) is a great-looking and -working Xfce 4.8 desktop.

My main mission in running the live distro from a USB flash drive: Checking networked-filesystem support in the Thunar file manager.

So far I'm using FTP in Thunar to write this post. And I didn't need the Gigolo helper program to open the FTP site and create and save the file.

That's a win.

After a few false starts, I also got Thunar working for sftp connections.

Another win.

What I "forgot" to do originally when trying to start an sftp:// connection in Thunar was to specify the port number when I opened it up. Here's how I did it:

  • In Thunar, go to "Go" in the menu, then select "Open Location."
  • In the Open Location dialog, enter this:


In my case, that port number is 2222, so it would be something like this (I'm using a "fake" URL for demonstration purposes; use your real URL and real port number to make this work -- I can verify that it does work -- and you don't need Gigolo!):


  • Once you enter the sftp address with port number following the colon, you'll be prompted to OK the SSL certificate of the server.
  • If you trust that certificate, OK it. Then Thunar will open a window to your server via secure FTP, and you can use the file manager to treat that server like a native filesystem, sorting the files in Thunar and editing them with the application of your choice. I used Leafpad, as it is the default text editor in Xfce (and in Xubuntu).

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