Should Xfce 4.8 be Debian's default desktop?

As we already know, Debian 7 must come with Xfce as the default Desktop Environment, and at this point, seeing the progress they are making Gnome y KDE I wonder if it would be a good idea.

My doubt stems from the fact that for Debian 7 it is possible that the version of Xfce that we have is the 4.8. We know that the boys of Debian they are committed to stability, and that has always been a plus, but in this case I have my misgivings about it.

Months ago Xfce was released under the version 4.10, and so far, this version has been the most stable and innovative that this Desktop Environment has had. I know added many improvements for the end user, however, Debian it still keeps it in Experimental, so it sure won't be added to Wheezy.

Should then include Xfce 4.8 as the default Desktop on a modern OS? Okay, this means stability and whatever you want, but let's face it. The ones we use Debian as Server we do not use graphical environment (as usual), and those of us who use it as a header OS, we would appreciate having a better experience with the desktop.

KDE y Gnome they are too heavy to be included on the installation CD. That is why it is used Xfce, but from my humble opinion, they will not use the ideal version for these times. Further, Xfce has served as a refuge for many users unhappy with Gnome Shellas it reminds a lot of the old Gnome 2.

So I ask should it be Xfce the default desktop of Debian? I think so, but not in version 4.8. What do you guys think?


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  1.   Adoniz (@ NinjaUrbano1) said

    In my opinion it should come with lxde by default but with thunar or spacefm as the file browser.

    1.    Leo said

      Doubt: What file manager does lxde use by default? (I thought it was spacefm) (I get nostalgia: '()

      1.    Stif said

        Use PacManFM.

        Stamina LXDE!

        1.    Leo said

          You're right, I read the comment so fast that I thought it said PacManFM.

  2.   Edgar J. Portillo said

    I like the idea of ​​it being XFCE, I was excited when I read that. And then that of version 4.8 can always be updated, right? It's just a little extra time, but it's worth it if that's what we want ...

    1.    Adoniz (@ NinjaUrbano1) said

      unless you change to the experimental branch, test, compile it or add the xfce repo in launchpad.net in the new debian 7 it will not be possible and what you want is that it comes by default.

      1.    Edgar J. Portillo said

        If so far catch, well I forgot the Debian branches 😀 (apologies)… If so elav is right, won't the Debian ones listen to the calls?…

  3.   Tony said

    The reason why Debian does not include new software even if it is very stable, such as Xfce 4.10, is to "distrust" everyone. It sounds weird, but it is like this, let me explain:

    When Debian Squeeze crashed, KDE 4.5 had recently been released, with the previous version, KDE 4.4, being on Debian Squeeze. From the KDE team it was said that KDE 4.5 was merely a version mostly of mass fixes of the previous version. However, despite requests from a lot of people, the Debian guys didn't include it and stick with KDE 4.4. Something similar is happening now with Xfce 4.10.

    This is because no matter how stable and robust the users and developers of an environment say it is, Debian mistrusts them in a certain way and until that environment does not pass through its quality filter, that is, first in experimental, then at Sid and then Testing, that software is not officially released.

    In the case of KDE they backfired, because KDE 4.4 was very green when Squeeze was released, and was not moderately usable until the first release, Debian 6.0.1. If they had shipped KDE 4.5 from scratch, it is very likely that Squeeze would have been released with a lot less bugs and this could have saved the Debian guys a lot of work.

    But hey, that's how Debian is, for good and for bad 🙂

    1.    elav said

      I rather think that the problem is that Xfce maintainers in Debian do not have enough time or do not feel like passing Xfce through the filter, because man, it is not that Xfce has hundreds of packages like KDE or much less. . but anyway..

  4.   MANUEL PEREZ said

    Well yes, I already have xfce in all my debian but the truth is that they should jump to version 4.10 which is already very stable

    1.    Giskard said

      I went in to say just that. 4.10 is going great. They took time to get it out and it was a very stable product. I don't understand why they should choose 4.8 over 4.10.

  5.   medina07 said

    Umm! I have always seen this stability as a double-edged knife in Debian, since (and as you point out in the case of Xfce), there are updated applications that enjoy greater stability than the versions included in each Debian release which from a certain point of view, it would put this distribution behind other big ones that have stable and updated software (although that is not the point). For example ... I am not an advanced user and I would like the distribution I use to have a balance between stability and the current ... well, as you point out, for a server it is worth it, but for an ordinary user as is my case and with certain benefits decent in my team I would like to have that aforementioned balance.

  6.   Josh said

    Even the new version of Slackware comes with xfce 4.10. So is Debian more stable than Slackware?
    Thanks for the information.

  7.   ubuntero said

    XFCE rulez should be here to stay 😉 \ m /

  8.   jorgemanjarrezlerma said

    That such.

    XFCE is in its default installation or default is incredibly UGLY. Of course, it is also so customizable that it can be beautiful (like the story of the ugly duckling). I have tested both version 4.8 and 4.10 and the truth is that although there are improvements in performance, when it comes to putting it in front of a common user this does not have a great impact. For example, I have put it on my little daughter (the 2 versions) and although she is very curious and moves her as much as she can when I ask her if she has noticed any difference, she answers that it is minimal. I have also done the exercise with my wife and some friends and the result is practically the same.

    I think rather that debian has decided to play with a more stable and reliable version given the number of platforms it supports and this implies a lot of work. In addition, it should also be mentioned that the XFCE development team has the dilemma regarding porting to GTK 3.

    As I already mentioned, debian decided to play it safe for many factors and given their release policies it shouldn't surprise anyone.

    1.    elav said

      Well, although it apparently has no visual changes (which it does), not everything is appearance, but performance and bug fixes from previous versions.

      In addition, Xfce includes things to make your life easier that do not exist in 4.8, such as an option to configure the Touchpad.

  9.   Duck said

    100% agree, I have not tested XFCE 4.10, but if it is as stable and fast as they say, it should come by default.
    I have on my PC, an SSD disk with Debian Wheezy + KDE and it runs very well.
    I also have an HDD, with Debian Wheezy + XFCE, and it runs just as well as KDE, which makes it very usable for people who don't have a big machine.
    P.S. I installed the cd image that comes with XFCE by default.

  10.   xfce said

    The problem for not putting xfce 4.10 in testing, is that in stable we have 4.6, and the transition from 4.6 to 4.10 (skipping 4.8) gives many problems. Therefore, to avoid rolls, they want to make a simple transition to stable (4.6 -> 4.8) and leave 4.8 -> 4.10 for the next. They say it here:
    http://lionel.lefolgoc.net/blog/article89/status-of-xfce-in-debian-ubuntu

    1.    elav said

      I get it. But it is that I do not see the problem. It may be that someone upgrades from stable to stable and this may be a problem, but in general, what many people do is install from scratch (I mean end users, not work environments like servers and the like). As much as packages or libraries have changed, I really don't think a transition from Xfce 4.6 a Xfce 4.10 be so complicated. They did some of that with KDE, which is much bigger, and everything works 100% with this Desktop Environment.

      In addition, it would be to go to 4.8, and then, to go to 4.10 and by the time that happens Xfce 4.12 will be there ... I don't know, it seems to me that it is much more work to correct the transition from version 4.6 to 4.8 and then go back to correct the transition from 4.8 to 4.10 .. But I am not the one to judge the effort of the developers.

  11.   Daniel Bertua said

    It wouldn't bother me if there is also an even lighter version than with XFCE and LXDE.
    Lately I had to test Debian on a Celeron 667 with 256 Mb, and both with LXDE and XFCE they were unusable, but with ICEWM it worked fine and it didn't look ugly at all, although it had to be tuned a lot.
    There are Debian-based Distributions that use ICEWM and ROX and are nice and usable, specifically I mean GALPON MININO and ANTIX.
    A Debian CD with LXDE or XFCE, but the option of putting ICEWM configured as these other environments or as comfortable as possible, would be very welcome.

  12.   tarantonium said

    More than worrying about choosing the default desktop, for me they should sit down with an artist and improve the image of the distribution. Why does Linux look so ugly on most distributions? The default themes are horrible, nothing careful, nothing integrated, the rendering of sources cannot be worse, we must also look for something aesthetic if we want Linux to become popular.

    Examples of good work we have: SolusOS, elementaryOS, Ubuntu, etc ...

  13.   José Miguel said

    This topic goes a long way ...

    For starters, the "excuse" for not fitting on a CD is the most absurd thing I know of. The CD has long been practically obsolete. Those reasons have never convinced me.

    On the other hand, we all know that Debian Stable is very strict in its packages, it has always been this way and it has its reasons.

    Finally, I will tell you that it does not matter to me which desktop comes by default, I will continue using KDE, a desktop that I have been using since 2002 and I do not see any reason to change it.

    Greetings.

    1.    Carlos-Xfce said

      It is written "excuse", with an X.

      1.    José Miguel said

        Well, it can be written both ways. The issue is somewhat "confusing" because according to the dictionary of the RAE:

        In excuse 1. says: 2. f. Reason or pretext invoked to avoid an obligation or excuse an omission.

        In excuse 2. says: 1. f. excuse. 6. f. Hide action and effect (‖ hide).

        Change the meaning slightly. It is possible that in my case the most correct is an excuse.

        Greetings.

      2.    José Miguel said

        It is possible that in my case the most correct thing is an excuse, but it can be written both ways, the meaning changes slightly.

        The issue is somewhat "confusing", because according to the dictionary of the RAE:

        In excuse 1. says: 2. f. Reason or pretext invoked to avoid an obligation or excuse an omission.

        In excuse 2. says: 1. f. excuse. 6. f. Hide action and effect (‖ hide).

        Greetings.

  14.   tammuz said

    debian is too traditional to be used today on personal desktops, places where innovation is very fast and everything from the root is unstable, and the updates that are arriving help to resist until a new version is published, debian is for servers and businesses, for home .deb-based distros

    1.    elav said

      I use and have used Debian on the desktop for a long, long time. It is true that it has nothing innovative like Unity, but it does have KDE, Gnome-Shell (Cinnamon coming soon), Xfce, LXDE, and all the WM you can think of to use. Therefore, I do believe that Debian can be used on a day-to-day basis.

    2.    Anonymous said

      The xfce 4.8 thing is debatable and I think they should have put 4.10, but you are forgetting that there are different user profiles.

      I stopped using distros with the latest packages quite harassed, and I tried Squeeze at home. Now I have libreoffice 3.6, I just changed iceweasel 15 to 10 (which is long support) and also a couple more programs that are in the backports. The rest of the system suits me very well and I will be very honest in saying that I do not want to change distro again except to upgrade to Wheezy in 2013. Debian is not focused on being easy, but it is not complicated either and now I have a distro that I it gives almost everything I'm looking for, as well as its derived distros give it to you.

  15.   Nonamed said

    if you want a modern operating system, forget debian

    to me personally, if I like xfce as default desktop

    and if I want news, I'm in testing, 4.10 will arrive, time to time

    debian was never a distro for the impatient

  16.   ferchmetal said

    The way Debian works with its repositories to keep them stable is quite serious, I think that if they should include XFCE 4.10 since it is very, very stable, this desktop is very good, but the organization and rules of Debian is really a Dilemma regarding their decisions are both good and bad so to speak at the same time, but that is why Debian is made by a great mother distribution without many problems as sometimes presented by Ubuntu itself, which is constantly evolving. as the great linus torvalds said Ubuntu made Debian easy to use.

  17.   Ping85 said

    Debian is a system for both servers and homes, let's start from that, with the plus of being one of the most stable distributions. Now, if they have XFCE 4.8 as their default WM, they should have gone almost immediately to 4.10 for the better features that it offers compared to 4.8, in that sometimes, I do not understand the people who manage the repositories, and if they are going to delay in making that change, they better distribute Debian on DVD with KDE 4.9.

  18.   kik1n said

    KDE.
    The answer to everything 😀

  19.   ReichSk said

    And what is the problem ?, I imagine that for the user it will be as easy as updating to 4.10 and now, or am I wrong ?, Greetings 🙂

  20.   milky28 said

    I think that was the reason I let Debian cross over to Archlinux to finally have an updated system. I think Debian should put 4.8 since it is more than tested compared to 4.10, for them you have to respect their philosophy and accept it, for something there are many distro each with its purpose and purpose and you have to give Cesar what is Cesar's and in stability Debian has never let me down.

  21.   Leo said

    I used Debian for a long time, and it is still one of my favorite distros.
    But for me (personal opinion and very little objective and informed) they give so much importance to the Stable branch that Testing leaves much to be desired. It is not stable at all, and the worst is very outdated for what it is. And I don't think it's the fault of the branch "freezing", I noticed that from the first time I installed it.
    It is only a small criticism of one of the most important distributions (because it deserves all the letters) that humanity will know (although for the moment I prefer the "chameleon"

  22.   Alf said

    I believe that more than what users could say, the decisions are based on their philosophy, as already mentioned above.

    I do not know the use of debian in companies, whether here in Mexico or abroad, both in America and across the pond, but considering the use for companies, I doubt they will heed the comments / requests.

    But anything can happen.

    regards

  23.   RudaMale said

    Debian users smell like mothballs 😛

  24.   Elynx said

    Although the Debian guys take more care for stability because I see that it would be a good idea to include it, overall, version 4.8 is very new and also useful as 4.10.

    Regards!

  25.   jorgemanjarrezlerma said

    That such.

    Debian is personally for me one of the distros (along with Slackware and Arch) of the most reliable that can be.

    The developers and board of directors of the foundation follow a policy that many criticize and is to be too conservative when publishing versions and it is understandable given the amount of architectures it supports. Like José Miguel, the issue of the CD is more of an excuse than a fundamental reason and I consider that they decided on 4.8 because it is more tested and refined than 4.10.

    1.    Carlos-Xfce said

      And like José Miguel, you make the mistake of writing "excuse" with that one.

  26.   Ankh said

    It is not enough to say that X software version is more stable than another, it must be demonstrated and this requires a testing period that Xfce 4.10 does not yet have. Debian policy is above the personal decisions of the developers, and that is fine.
    For a package to enter debian wheezy it must have, at the time of release, 0 open bugs, which does not mean that others will not be opened in the future. Today we are already in the testing branch freezing period, so with some exceptions, no new versions will enter.

  27.   Rolo said

    FIRST debian wheezy comes with gnome 3 as CD1 confirmed by Stefano Zacchiroli

    * Pro true no one from the blog took charge of rectifying the false news that they should come with xfce by default

    SECOND if they want xfce, they download the cd1 with xfce and that's it

    Debian is not ubuntu nor mint guys

    1.    Anonymous said

      Personally I think it's good that it comes with at least Gnome 3.4 and not 3.6, so that we keep Nautilus still unmanned.

  28.   DanielC said

    When I heard the news that it changed to xfce by default I did not like it, but knowing that it was because it "did not fit on a CD" to offer the distro with gnome gave me a justification ... stupid, not to call it worse, since with xfce it also exceeds the capacity of a CD.

    Now, in the case of the aspect, with any DE you can achieve something comfortable, that justification is also discarded.

    If what you are looking for is to have a greater coupling capacity with a DE and the software (and libraries) to work with, without a doubt everything must be reduced to GNOME or KDE, I do not find a REAL justification to change to xfce except the reduction of resources ... .Although it is also relative because today the consumption of an xfce compared to something heavier like KDE and GNOME is no more than 150 MB, the strong consumption comes with the software when applied, and that is very similar in any DE.

  29.   peter-chan said

    Well, I use 4.8 and I have not found any fault yet, I suppose that at the end of the day each one of us puts the desktop that we want if they take it out with xfce 4.8 it can always go up to 4.10 in 1 min, if they choose xfce 4.8 is because something has 4.10 that does not fit at all according to its purpose: STABILITY