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Xubuntu – XFCE + Ubuntu October 11, 2005

Posted by Carthik in news, ubuntu.

Recently the development of a new flavor of Ubuntu powered by the XFCE desktop environment, instead of gnome/metacity was announced.

For those of you who want to try out the new Xubuntu, read the wiki page on Xubuntu, and install the xubuntu-desktop package, only in breezy. If you are using Hoary now you will have to wait till Breezy is released and you upgrade. After installing xubuntu-desktop, you can use XFCE by selecting it when you login using the graphical login, from under “sessions”.

If you are interested in contributing to, or following, the development of Xubuntu, join the Xubuntu mailing list.

Again, Xubuntu is just like Kubuntu, plain old Ubuntu, with a different desktop environment. The objective behind making Kubuntu and Xubuntu available to make it a smoother process for those who want to use alternative desktop environs.


1. Abdul_Mueid - October 11, 2005

Well, I have installed Xubuntu on my Up-To-Date Breezy. Quite impressive, hogs much less resources than Gnome or KDE. I think it can even run on 64mb RAM.

2. Matthias - October 11, 2005

I used to run Ubuntu with XFCE on my old Pentium I – worked like a charm, though a little slow sometimes when I had a more than two applications running. XFCE is a great replacement desktop if you are short on ressources. But it – and especially its file manager – lacks lots of “convenience” features.

3. ubuntonista - October 11, 2005

True, I have a PIII 800 Mhz machine with 256 MB, and XFCE4.2 sets the standard for performance!

4. Cory - October 11, 2005

If you have breezy installed how do you upgrade to Xubuntu? I have a fast machine, but I prefer Xfce to Gnome.

5. Jon - October 11, 2005

Come on, no screenshots? You can’t make a distro annoucement without eyecandy.

6. ubuntonista - October 11, 2005


After installing xubuntu-desktop, you can use XFCE by selecting it when you login using the graphical login, from under “sessions?.

from the article itself 😉

Spare me the repetitive screenshots 🙂

7. Cory - October 11, 2005

Just saw that. Thanks… I’ll try it when I get home. Cool stuff though… XFCE rocks.

8. Scott Fitchet - October 14, 2005

xubuntu …… can’t wait to install this one …..

(no one in the press is going to be able to pronounce this)

9. Harold J. Johnson - October 23, 2005

Hi all,

I just installed Ubuntu Server on my old (Old World, as they call it now) Mac Powerbook G3. After logging in I’ve run a ‘sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop’ command, but xubuntu isn’t found. What do I need to do to install xubuntu? Do I simply need to add a repository? The Ubuntu wiki isn’t offering this information, nor can I find it on the ubuntu-devel list.

10. ubuntonista - October 23, 2005


Tha package (xubuntu-desktop) belongs to the Universe component of the repository. So edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file to add the Universe component, then do a sudo apt-get update and then install the package. Reading the sources.list will show you how to enable the universe.

11. trondo - October 25, 2005

I just brought my old computer back to life (AMD 533 MHz K-2 processor with 192 MB RAM) after installing ubuntu. It was left useless a while ago as its capaciy did not allow to run an OS beyond Win98. With xubuntu I can start using the computer again. The only sorrow is that the old AMD processors apparently do not go well together with kernel 2.6 (thus constantly generating “over-current change” messages, and writing them to the log files).

12. Roger - December 13, 2005

Finally Ubuntu becomes interesting 🙂 KDE still ist my favorite desktop environement but it is so damn slow and ressources hungry even on a P4 with 1GB RAM. KDE is very close followed by Xfce (then icewm and a long long time nothing and at the end of the list gnome just followed by Windowmaker) – but Xfce’s filemanager really is crap. I use rox and xfe but would really appreciate an internal filemanager u indeed can *use*. Maybe the Xubuntu fellows can do something. But according to Ubuntu’s philosophy I guess I don’t have to speculate on an idesk or rox integration for that means icons on the desktop 😉

13. Will - December 19, 2005

Try Thunar file manager. It is really good.

14. murat - January 4, 2006

I don’t have an internet connection at home so I want to download packages at university and install them at home. So which packages should I download for a complete xfce desktop and not to encounter any dependence problem.

15. ubuntonista - January 4, 2006


Use apt-zip as I described previously. All you will need to fetch is the xubuntu-desktop meta package which depends on the required packages for the XFCE desktop.

16. Peter B. - January 15, 2006

Ooh! I have Breezy + XFCE4 running on my 733MHz + 128MB RAM machine, it runs way faster than Gnome. I still can’t get my Intel i810 resolution fixed, though :(.

In my opinion, xubuntu should replace ubuntu =p.


17. SlackerHobo - January 18, 2006

I got it by adding a new repository and adding main and universe to it then using apt-get install xfce4

It found all the associated files as well
(note it did not work before I added Main)

18. theCreator - January 28, 2006

It would be great if you release Xubuntu in its own package.

19. Sobac Retok - January 28, 2006

Just nuked my Kanotix install (the non-persistant wlan settings annoy me. Yes I know I can fix it, but Xubuntu means I don’t NEED to) for Xubuntu. Runs delightfully on my old ThinkPad A31 with only 512MB ram! Xubuntu “just works”, and being Debian I can duplicate my old Kanotix package list and never look back. Ubuntu is a great way to get Linux on a laptop, and Xubuntu is a great way to improve resource utilization.

20. jose erlino m. lontok - February 9, 2006

i installed xfce via the ubuntu addonzip on my hoary installation.. xfce is really lite and fast 🙂

21. Vincent - February 26, 2006

About all those complaints about the file-manager: Benedikt is busy on Thunar, it’s not yet released but already it great, I use it.


About pronounciation, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xubuntu : ˈzubuntu’

22. jason - March 15, 2006

Thunar really completes the package. xfce4 is perfect for a Crusoe…

23. Guido - March 16, 2006

I installed Ubuntu and Xubuntu on my old iMac G3 233 Mhz with 512MB ram, and Xubuntu runs much much more faster than Gnome!
I’m a Linux newbie and I have a problem I’m not able to solve:
Under a Gnome session, the system recognizes my keyboard layout (the old traditional italian standard: qzerty), but when i switch to Xfce session the system dos not recognise anymore my keyboard.

Before manually tryng redefining the keyboard layout, is tehere a way to make Xfce using the same keyboard config file as Gnome?
I started having problems after I installed also KDE, which settings were overriding and puzzling even the Gnome ones, so uninstalled it, but I think it left somewhere some “bad” config files.

Anyway I really wait for Xubuntu being an independent installer!
by the way I installed it also on a PC Pentium3 700 Mhz 128MB ram, and it runs really fast!
Thanks, ciao!

24. damian - March 19, 2006

hey dont know if it was said got bbored towards the end stopped reading..
open xfce
logout and remembver to save session
login again u have xfce with a desktop and proper file manager. You can then even do what i done and uninstall everything except nautilus and what it needs. You wont even miss gnome.

25. Ewan Grantham - April 19, 2006

Decided to convert the family to Linux, and while I’m using Kubuntu on my machine, the family machine is more than a little slow with KDE. Specifically it’s a PIII 800 MhZ with 256 megs of RAM. Anyway, I did an apt-get of the xubuntu-desktop package, and can now select XFCE as a session type.

However, when I log in to XFCE all I see is the Background image. No taskbar or panel. Right or Left clicking does not bring up a menu. Any idea what might be missing?

26. Vincenzo - April 20, 2006

Guido: I’m having troubles in doing the same. When I start xfce4, my screen remains blank. I tried dpkg-reconfigure, but with some parameters the screen is simply switched off. Could you post the configuration? Thanks.

27. ebex - April 29, 2006

I am having the same issue as Ewan and Vincenzo.

Running ubuntu dapper and installed xubuntu-desktop but XFCE won’t load anything except the backround….

Has anyone figured this out yet?

28. CraigMac - May 18, 2006

Hi all, for people who are having trouble with nothing on the desktop you need to press Alt+F2 (Run Command) and then type xfdesktop

You will get your panels and the right-click menu which will give you all the functionality of the Applications button from anywhere on the desktop.

Logout, saving your session, and log in again. Everything should work fine.

29. justinf - June 2, 2006

i’m very impressed with xubuntu 6.06. i’ve just booted into it from CD.

the addition of Thunar as the file manager is a smart move.
menu structure is logical and clean. the default theme is pleasing on the eyes. a great effort overall.

30. nullmaster - June 4, 2006

I like Xubuntu, but I have had the hardest time configuring VNC. Ive read there are some Gonome dependencies that VNC needs. Anybody been able to install a reliable solid terminal server that can be access from a windows machine? Thanks for the help

31. SGT - June 5, 2006

Tried RedHat (FC) and SUSE, both with various releases, and didn’t feel completely comfortable wiping out the MS boxes until I found Ubuntu. Tried RH just because of its publicity. SUSE was pretty good, but still missing quite a bit. Since Ubuntu I’ve been in love. Was waiting for XUbuntu 6.06 to be released before trying and am now very enthusiastic about trying ANY Ubuntu product.

Clean speed, reliability and stability, coupled with kick-a** support… I find that anymore all that I do is preach the word. My Asus M6N laptop works brilliantly, and thanks to the excellent documentation, I find myself feeling more comfortable compiling packages from source… something that I’ve always been weary of in other Linux distros. Kudos, to the entire Ubuntu movement, for a product that “just works”!

32. Insightfill - July 14, 2006

Hey, Nullmaster! Found the hint at the xubuntu wiki on a partly related topic. Look here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Xubuntu/ScreencastHowto

Trick seems to be to to load vnc4server instead of the regular vnccommon, and then tweak the xstartup file to load xfce4

33. Harold J. Johnson - August 10, 2006

Here’s an update: I’ve got Xubuntu running on my PowerBook G3 (“Wallstreet 2”) again. It’s wasn’t too difficult to get her going, and I had no problems with my WiFi card. Seems this version of Xubuntu (Dapper) has wireless setup all configured! Sweet deal…What a beautiful desktop Xubuntu has…

Let me know if you have a similar setup to mine and have any questions about installing Xubuntu on your system!

34. CoolestFileManagerIsThunar - August 30, 2006

Thunar Rocks XFCE’s socks! Seriously though, it sure is nice to see a fast file browser with no quirks.

35. Xubuntu convert - October 23, 2006

Xubuntu is phenomenal, I tell ya.I got it running on a 386, yes, 128MB RAM.It’s fast enought to make me wonder why I paid $3000 on a P4.The money could have been best spent elsewhere.
I’ll be notifying friends not to chuck out their old pcs.

36. Vasek - October 25, 2006

How do I run XFce? I have installed XUbuntu, but when I run the computer, only a text console occurs. Thank you.

37. Mallikarjun - December 9, 2006

help me how to install xubuntu from current ubunru. i tried “sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop” it is giving this error
“E: Unable to fetch some archives, maybe run apt-get update or try with –fix-missing?”
i tried ” apt-get update ” also but same result

38. fredinvancouver - December 24, 2006

I’m new and like the looks of Ubuntu but what a dog to load new apps! I’m not a Linux person and can only say that if you want converts someone better organize an apps loader that works with .rpm and .bin’s for example. It all started with LimeWire and then Smart and then Java and I finally give up and YES boot Windows xp!

39. gordon - December 30, 2006

to #37 mallikarjum

i’m new, but doing “sudo aptitude install xubuntu-desktop” works for me!

40. Rommi - February 6, 2007

I have a repository with XFCE 4.4.0 backports for ubuntu edgy. Check my blog page for details:

41. Lars Gunnar - February 17, 2007

Just did: “sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop”.
Currently downloading. I’ll try XFCE on my ordinary laptop (Centrino+1GB), too see if it is possible to just. I have a P3 733MHz 256MB stored away. I have not tried to install Ubuntu on it yet, cause I belive it cant hadle it, but if Xubuntu seems ok, ill just run that on it. I really do hope XFCE is a winner, cause if it is, Gnome/KDE is going bye bye 🙂

42. Joel - April 4, 2007

I have xubuntu 6.10 loaded on my old Toshiba Satellite. All I get is the command prompt screen. I login then I tried the sudo-apt get install xubuntu-desktop and the aptitude variation of that, then I put in the CD it tries to install but then at the 85% install part I get the error “[1626.949601] Buffer I/O error on device hdc, logical block 279952”
is the cd or hard drive bad? any ideas?

43. nanang - October 28, 2008

xubuntu804 all need for speed
p4 2.4gighz
512 ram ddr
very very very fast
ubuntu804 sorry, its slower than xubuntu804

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46. seks izle - September 29, 2010

Well, I have installed Xubuntu on my Up-To-Date Breezy. Quite impressive, hogs much less resources than Gnome or KDE. I think it can even run on 64mb RAM.

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