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Xfce vs Xubuntu-Desktop: Which GUI to Choose for Your Ubuntu Server?

Ubuntu 13

When setting up your Ubuntu server, one of the critical decisions you need to make is choosing the right GUI. In this article, we will compare two popular options, Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop, to help you make an informed choice.

Quick Answer

Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop are both great options for a GUI on your Ubuntu server. If you prioritize lightweightness and customization, choose Xfce. If you want a more feature-rich and integrated experience, go with Xubuntu-Desktop.

Introduction to Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop

Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop are both desktop environments that can be installed on your Ubuntu server. They provide a graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easier to interact with the server, especially for users who are not comfortable with command-line interfaces.

Xfce

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It is designed to be fast and light on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user-friendly. Xfce embodies the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and re-usability, which means you can customize it to your liking by adding or removing components as needed.

Xubuntu-Desktop

Xubuntu-Desktop is a more comprehensive package that includes the Xfce desktop environment along with a set of additional packages recommended by the Xubuntu team. These additional packages provide a more complete and integrated Xfce experience, but they also consume more system resources.

Installation

You can install either Xfce or Xubuntu-Desktop on your Ubuntu server using the apt-get install command. Here’s how:

Installing Xfce

To install Xfce, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install xfce4

This command installs the Xfce desktop environment along with a few minor dependencies.

Installing Xubuntu-Desktop

To install Xubuntu-Desktop, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends xubuntu-desktop

This command installs the Xubuntu-Desktop metapackage, which includes the Xfce desktop environment along with additional recommended packages.

The --no-install-recommends option tells apt-get to skip installing the recommended packages. If you want to install all the recommended packages, you can omit this option.

Comparison

When deciding between Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop, you should consider the following factors:

System Resources

If your server has limited system resources, or if you want to minimize the impact on system performance, Xfce is the better choice. It is lighter and consumes fewer system resources than Xubuntu-Desktop.

Features

If you want a more feature-rich and integrated desktop environment, Xubuntu-Desktop is the way to go. It includes additional packages that provide a more complete Xfce experience.

Customizability

Both Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop are highly customizable, but Xfce gives you more control over which components to install. You can start with a minimal installation and then add the components you need.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop are excellent choices for a desktop environment on your Ubuntu server. The decision between them depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you prefer a lightweight and customizable desktop environment, go with Xfce. If you want a more feature-rich and integrated experience, choose Xubuntu-Desktop.

Remember, you can always switch between them or even use both on the same server. The beauty of Linux is its flexibility and the freedom it gives you to tailor your system to your needs.

Can I install Xfce or Xubuntu-Desktop on any version of Ubuntu?

Yes, both Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop can be installed on any version of Ubuntu.

Can I install Xfce or Xubuntu-Desktop on other Linux distributions?

Yes, Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop can be installed on other Linux distributions, but the installation process may vary. It is recommended to refer to the official documentation of your specific distribution for instructions.

Can I switch between Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop after installation?

Yes, you can switch between Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop after installation. You can do this by logging out of your current desktop environment and selecting the desired one from the login screen.

Can I use both Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop on the same server?

Yes, you can use both Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop on the same server. You can switch between them when logging in or create different user accounts for each environment.

Are there any known compatibility issues with Xfce or Xubuntu-Desktop?

Xfce and Xubuntu-Desktop are generally compatible with most hardware configurations. However, it is always recommended to check the official documentation and community forums for any known compatibility issues specific to your hardware.

Can I uninstall Xfce or Xubuntu-Desktop if I no longer need them?

Yes, you can uninstall Xfce or Xubuntu-Desktop if you no longer need them. You can use the apt-get remove command followed by the package name to uninstall them. Be cautious when removing packages, as it may affect other dependencies.

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