You can read this article in Serbo-Croatian language too.
There are not so many successful commercial companies on the Linux market. Of course, RedHat is the flagbearer in that area, with their over-1-billion dollars revenue for the last year. Who is on the second place? I think most people would name Canonical.
Canonical’s flagship is Ubuntu. The recent version of Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin was released on the 26th of April 2012.
But Ubuntu 12.04 is not the only operating system from Canonical. The company also officially supports three other Ubuntu-based OSes: Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu. These systems have different desktop environments: KDE, Xfce and LXDE respectively. There are also the less widespread variants Edubuntu and Myth-buntu, but they are targeted to specific markets, rather than to the general public.
I have reviewed Ubuntu 12.04 already, and my opinion is that the Precise Pangolin edition is better than Oneiric Ocelot. But it is still far from perfection.
Xubuntu 12.04 LTS (long-term support) was released on the very same day as Ubuntu 12.04.
If you are interested, this distribution is also available for order on CD through Buy Linux CDs site and through my eBay page. I had some orders for this OS, so I used one of the ordered CDs to run my own Live test of Xubuntu 12.04.
The disk image size for Xubuntu 12.04 is slightly less than Ubuntu's. It is only 680 Mb. I downloaded it through torrent, and there were no issues with this process.
So, the CD with Xubuntu 12.04 is ready and inserted into the drive of my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from CD. Let's go!
BootingXubuntu 12.04 uses the same booting mechanism as Ubuntu 12.04. This is new in the Precise Pangolin release, because previous versions gave you a list of options before the boot started: Try Xubuntu, Install, Check disk, and so on. This time around, there is no pre-boot menu. The system boots itself up to a screen where you have a selection of system language and a choice between Try Xubuntu and Install Xubuntu. This screen is very similar to the one you can see in Ubuntu, with a difference in colour scheme only.
While booting, Xubuntu automatically recognised and configured my wireless card Intel 3945 ABG, and scanned for available networks. As a result, I've seen a pop-up message saying that there were some networks around. The message disappeared, and left a grey rectangle after itself. Also, a similar grey space was around the Try/Install selection window. I suppose this is something to do with the default configuration options of the graphics card. This is strange, because I have never had problems with this card before.
Enough said about the boot screen. My choice was for Try Xubuntu, obviously. A few seconds more, and I've landed onto the default Xubuntu screen.
|Default desktop in Xubuntu 12.04|
with Task Manager
If you are interested in dots and numbers, then I am happy to tell you that Xubuntu 12.04 uses Xfce 4.8 on top of Linux kernel 3.2.0-23.
Edit: Very important difference of Xubuntu from K- and Ubuntu! This version of OS does not require pae-enabled processor. Please see Ubuntu review with my comments about this.
DesktopThe desktop in Xubuntu 12.04 is very similar to the one I've seen in Xubuntu 11.10. It has default wallpaper in blue and grey colours. Although the image itself is different, the style is the same. There is a choice of 5-6 different wallpapers in the distribution, most of them are default wallpapers from previous versions of Xubuntu.
There is a panel at the top of the screen in Xubuntu 12.04 with the usual very familiar elements on it. The left top corner is taken by a menu button with an Xfce logo (mouse head) on it. Next to the menu button, you can find a task bar. It is followed by the notification area with power, messages, network, and volume icons. Next to the right are clocks and calendar. The switch between two virtual desktops sits next to the clocks. By the way, each desktop has its own set of applications on the taskbar. And finally, you see the button with your user name (xubuntu in Live session), which calls up the session management options: reboot, shutdown, lock screen and so on.
As you can see, there is nothing unexpected on the top panel in Xubuntu 12.04.
There is another panel at the bottom of the screen. It has icons for quick access to the browser, mail client, home folder, terminal and so on. This panel auto-hides and only appears when you move the mouse to the area. Although the behaviour of the panel is more or less predictable, I nevertheless decided to remove that panel in my Live session. It is my dislike for all auto-hiding panels which made the decision. Then, I unlocked the top panel (Panel 1) and dragged it to the bottom of the screen.
These simple steps gave me a screen very similar to the one I have in my current installation of Xubuntu 11.10.
Xfce Desktop compositing is enabled in the Xubuntu 12.04 by default. It means that you can see simple eye candy features here, like shadows behind the windows and opacity for different elements.
If you want to have more eye candies, than Compiz is probably your way to get them. I tried to install Compiz in my Live run, as recommended by Emery in comments to my Xubuntu 11.10 review. As a result, Compiz got rid of... all window title bars, including the control elements! Nice! I could not resolve that issue, so had to use keyboard Alt-F4 in the rest part of my review.
Network connectionI have mentioned already that the message about available wireless network appeared on the Try/Install selection screen. This means it was not a big problem for me to connect to my home network. A few strokes on the keyboard, and I am on-line.
ApplicationsI quickly went through the list of applications in the menu of Xubuntu 12.04, and found very few differences from Xubuntu 11.10. That's why I invite you to read the corresponding section of my previous review, if you are interested in the list of available tools.
The few differences, which I'd like to mention:
- Firefox is version 11 in Xubuntu 12.04 compared to version 7 in the LiveCD of Xubuntu 11.10.
- Remote Desktop tool has been removed from the default distribution.
- PulseAudio Volume Control replaced the Mixer tool in Multimedia section.
Otherwise, you have a good set of easy-to-use lightweight applications. Honestly, not all of them are my own preferred ones. That’s why I would probably need to add and remove some applications, if I was going to install Xubuntu 12.04 for myself. If you want to install more software, then you have a choice between Ubuntu Software Centre and Synaptic.
Network driveXubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin includes Gigolo by default. Gigolo is a very nice tool for connection to remote network drives in Linux operating systems.
I easily found that "Windows share" is one of the options in the drop-down list of Gigolo interfaces. I selected this option, specified the name of my external network drive, and pressed "Refresh" button. As a result, I got a list of available partitions on that drive. All the rest was simple as 1-2-3. A few clicks, and I was able to browse my remote drive. Job’s done!
Russian fonts in the file and folder names were shown fine in the Thunar file manager.
MultimediaXubuntu 12.04, like Ubuntu 12.04, which I reviewed before, does not include codecs for MP3 files and videos. You can download them separately during the installation, but the Live run comes without codecs.
That is why I could not play MP3 files in my Live session. GStreamer, the default music player, gave me an error about the missing plugin.
Edit: There is a simple solution. Thanks to my readers!
The easiest way to solve the issue of missing plugins, as always, is the installation of a player which has all them included. The most popular of such players is VLC.
I installed VLC using the Ubuntu Software Centre. It easily solved the plugin issue. I was able to listen to music from the files on my external network drive.
|Xubuntu 12.04 with VLC|
without window title bars after Compiz installation
Unfortunately, Flash is not included in the default Xubuntu 12.04 distribution.
Keyboard layoutsThe process of configuring keyboard layouts in Xubuntu 12.04 is the same as in almost all other Xfce-based distributions.
First, I added the layout indicator to the panel. It appeared as the US flag, showing that the default layout was English US. A right-click on that indicator allowed me to set up Properties, where I could add English UK and Russian, and remove English US layout. I set up the hotkey as Ctrl-Shift, and this was exactly my favourite configuration.
ConclusionXubuntu 12.04 is a great system, from my point of view.
As you can see, there are not many user-facing differences in this version compared to Xubuntu 11.10. From my point of view, this is good. Xubuntu 11.10 was (and still is) a very nice all-round distribution. You don’t need to experiment in a system which is going to be supported for three years. That’s why a decision to keep changes minimal appeals to me.
Yes, there were some issues in my Live review of Xubuntu 12.04. The major of them was the Compiz bug. But I believe, it is easily solvable in the installed system.
Apart fron a long initial boot time, the system worked quickly enough for me, even when disk operations were involved. Subjectively, similar disk operations in Xubuntu ran quicker than in Ubuntu.
Will I install Xubuntu 12.04 on my hard drive? I am not sure yet. The reason is that I already have Xubuntu 11.10 installed there. I will first try to update my system. If it breaks something, then I will look at the re-installation option.
As for you, I highly recommend you to try Xubuntu 12.04. I hope you'll enjoy it.
If you want to try Xubuntu or any other Linux distribution yourself, but cannot create a CD with it, then maybe Buy Linux CDs web site can help you. You can order CDs with almost any Linux distributions there, delivered you your mailbox.
You can read this article in Serbo-Croatian language. Thanks to Jovana Milutinovich for the translation.