[sf-lug] Ubuntu release

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sat Apr 26 14:31:58 PDT 2008

Alex departed from the ongoing thread into private mail.  I've
accordingly moved discussion back on-list.[1]

Quoting Alex Kleider (a_kleider at yahoo.com):

> You mention Xubuntu: that is the one aimed at machines with less
> muscle, is it not? Someone at the JavaCat monday told me that the
> regular release is actually smaller than the 'x' version. Could this be
> true?  I sort of assumed that xubuntu simply had less gui
> functionality and thus was slimmer.

"Ubuntu" is the shared base[2] plus metapackage "ubuntu-desktop" (GNOME).
"Kubuntu" is the shared base plus metapackage "kubuntu-desktop" (KDE)
"Xubuntu" is the shared base plus metapackage "xubuntu-desktop" (Xfce4).

Xfce4 is a lightweight desktop environment for X11 that bundles the
xfwm4 window manager and a graphical file manager named Thunar.  As
usual, if you want to compare window managers and "desktop
environments", your first stop should be http://xwinman.org/ .  Please
have a look there, for more information.

I find Xfwm4 a fairly reasonable window manager, and that the "desktop
environment" aspects of the thing don't get in my way too badly (i.e.,
not starting an excessive number of RAM-and-CPU-wasting processes that I
didn't request and don't care about).  Otherwise, I'd have disabled all
of that junk and gone directly to my _true_ favourite, Window Maker.

You can and should read about Window Maker on http://xwinman.org/ , too,
of course.

Yes, I've heard people assert that the GNOME metapackage provided by
Ubuntu discs wastes less RAM than the Xfce4 metapackage provided by
Xubuntu discs does, but I don't believe it.  Also, I've seen what kind
of mess GNOME makes of one's process table, the rubbish all over the
screen, and the pathetically bad design inherent in things like GConf,
and would prefer to have no part of them.

> What do you mean "all 4?" Is there more than one version of xubuntu?

My phrase "all four Xubuntu 8.04 images" comprises:

i386 alternate image
i386 desktop image
x86_64 alternate image
x86_64 desktop image

The Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/whatever officials continue to deprecate the
"alternate" image (ncurses-based installer disc, using the d-i installer
that they borrowed from Debian) and push their buggy, inflexible,
RAM-hogging "desktop" (installable live CD) image, but I personally
think that's bollocks, too.

[1] I've noticed that several people on this mailing list tend to move
to private mail at the drop of a hat, and am apparently going to have to 
redirect to the mailing list manually except where it's clear there's a
sudden need for privacy.  My participation on mailing lists is intended
to participate in the community and benefit that community, not to
engage in innumerable private side-discussions with individuals.
(Naturally, if someone needs privacy or wishes to ask me to do
professional consulting services, please say so.)

[2] My phrase "shared base" refers to the core distro that's common to
all *buntu variants.  Each release disk is, to a close approximation,
the result of bundling that shared base with the cited metapackage,
wrapping an installer around them, and putting them in a 1-disk ISO.
You can install any of the metapackages onto any of the other bundles
using the obvious apt-get or aptitude command.

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