An Introduction to the Xfce Desktop
Like LXDE, Xfce is based on the standard X-Windows subsystem and is also designed for fast-response and low-resource usage. This allows it to run comfortably on old hardware (-for example, machines with Pentium II processors).
For this reason, some of the big distributions - such as Ubuntu and Fedora - provide an Xfce alternative to their standard Gnome distributions, allowing you to standardize your favourite Linux across all your PCs.
[..] Ubuntu, Fedora and Mint [..] all supply an Xfce alternative [..] to their default Gnome distributions
One way of minimizing the resources used by Xfce is by avoiding the temptation of using sophisticated 3D graphics rendering and animations: in this way, it can deliver a perfectly functional desktop that is not overly showy, unlike some of it's rivals.
Central to the Xfce Desktop, is a number of core concepts, including (-but not limited to):
|Application Finder||Provides functionality for finding and launches application|
|Calendar||The standard Xfce calendar application is Orage|
|Desktop Manager||Provides functionality for the desktop background, icons and organizing windows|
|File Manager||Provides functionality for viewing, managing and editing files and directories. The standard File Manager is Thunar|
|Panel||Provides functionality for invoking functions, activating windows, menus|
|Session Manager||Provides functionality for logging in/out and power on/off|
|Setting Manager||Provides functionality for customizing the desktop|
|Terminal||The standard Xfce Command Line is Terminal|
|Web Browser||The standard Xfce Internet Browser is Midori|
|Window Manager||Provides functionality for windows/dialogues and workspaces|
|Xfce Libraries||Provides additional functionality|
Xfce normally comes bundled with a given Distro, so minimum requirements differ per implementation. As an example, here are the requirements for Xubuntu:
- Processor: 300MHz and above
- Memory: 256Mb (installation) and 192Mb (running)
- Disc Space: 4.4Gb (standard) or 2Gb (-alternate install)
The Fedora Xfce Spin has similar requirements:
- Processor: 300MHz Pentium II and above
- Memory: 256Mb (installation) and 192Mb (running) [500Mb recommended]
If you have old (-but not ancient) or low-specification hardware, then, provided you can meet the minimum requirements above, then Xfce is an excellent desktop choice!
As long as you download the respective Gnome or KDE libraries first - and you have the resources to run them - you can run Gnome or KDE-based software under Xfce.
Both Xfce and LXDE share a common ethos: which one you choose will depend mainly on personal taste - and which one(s) your chosen Distro supports.