The list of changes is smaller than I expected after finally experimenting with Xubuntu 11.10 Oneric Ocelot. In fact very little has changed, but things are running better than ever. Some of the default applications have been replaced, but nothing major.
More About Xubuntu
That being said, I certainly have high hopes for 12.04. This lightweight distribution is one that I always look forward to testing. Xubuntu is fast, stable, free, and just a little bit different.
Download Xubuntu 11.10 today to get maximum efficiency out of your limited hardware.
Here is what our members are saying about Xubuntu 11.10:
Xubuntu is probably my top *buntu distro so far. The reason is quite simple: Xfce offers an excellent balance of compatibility, speed, and power. It allows me to set it and leave it, and think about getting work done without having to worry about scrolling through 25 menus to set things exactly how I want them. It doesn’t really have the power of KDE or the prettiness of Unity, but it’s a nice, solid, simple distribution that can be easily built on.
Comment By chipbuster
Installation was flawless as usual, you can install from the Live CD, or after loading the Live desktop. Xubuntu is also easy and safe to install from USB devices.
To begin your installation you can double-click on the install Xubuntu 11.10 icon on the Live desktop. Next you will be asked to select your language. The following screen will provide a brief checklist for installation, and you can choose to download updates or third-party software while installing.
You can then choose your partitions and press install now. You will then be asked for your location, keyboard layout, and additional user information while the installation proceeds. Advanced partitioning options are also available for more experienced users.
After rebooting your system you will arrive at the login screen which now uses LightDM as the default login manager. It may be new but the configuration could look a bit more modern.
About The Xfce Desktop
The desktop remains clean and consists of two customized panels. There are also a few icons on the desktop for important locations and removable devices. The interface is optimized for speed and functionality, not aesthetics.
More About Xfce
Xubuntu 11.10 still takes an elegant approach at simplicity. Xfwm and the Xfdesktop together provide for a highly customizable interface.
Alas, Xubuntu 11.10 has finally received a default menu inside the panel. This works as a simple applet that can be activated on other panels as well. I was rather shocked to see that there is no way available to customize your menu items and remove unwanted items, but I may have missed it.
More Desktop Menus
Users can still reach the standard menus they are familiar with by right or middle-clicking on the desktop. Right-clicking will open your desktop menu with an applications sub-menu near the bottom.
The Workspaces Menu
Middle-clicking will still open your workspace switcher menu. Open windows will also be displayed in the middle-click menu.
The Xfce4-panel is clearly very flexible, but personally I don’t like the way the settings are arranged. Panels in Xubuntu 11.10 can be customized in many ways. Not much has really changed in this release aside from the addition of the menu in the top panel.
By default the desktop has two panels, both customized completely differently. The top panel has a menu, open window buttons, and a system notification area. The bottom panel contains several launchers, and more can be added at any time.
The Thunar file manager is still used in Xubuntu 11.10 and the changes are not overly significant. The introduction of the 1.2.3 release fixed a few bugs and gave some minor improvements. Thunar will now start faster because network items are now loaded later.
Other than that its the same old fast and efficient Thunar file manager. Thunar also has fantastic support for removable devices and network attached storage devices. Use Thunar to browse files and folders on your system, or to launch applications.
You will find the new and improved Ubuntu software center as the default source of new software when using Xubuntu 11.10. Thousands of new software packages can be found and installed for free. The Ubuntu software center is now even more user-friendly.
Synaptic Works Too
Users also have the choice of using the Synaptic package manager to handle software and system updates. Both tools will also allow you to manage software sources and repositories using simple graphical user interfaces.
Xubunu 11.10 uses the extremely convenient Xfce 4 settings manager which can be found inside your main menu. The settings manager window contains shortcuts to all of your important settings windows.
About The Settings Manager
Using the settings manager you can get access to your desktop settings, hardware settings, and much more. You can find a variety of options to help you customize the look and functionality of your desktop.
There are also several options that you can use to customize your windows, how they look, and how they work.
Xubuntu 11.10 uses Xfwm 4 to handle window decorations and the xfce4-settings tool to manage these options, this works in much the same way as KDE and other popular desktop environments.
To access your theme settings look for your system settings button inside your main menu, from there you can open the appearance settings or the window manager settings. There is a vast selection of themes to try, most are quite plain, some are simply ridiculous, though they may serve purposes for persons with accessibility issues.
More Customization Options
Themes, icons, and fonts can all be changed, but customization options are limited.
Xubuntu 11.10 uses Xfdesktop to handle the background, icons, and specific parts of the desktop. The selection of wallpapers is quite limited, all are Xubuntu and Xfce related, and we have seen most of them before.
Of course you can use solid colors, horizontal gradients, vertical gradients, or transparencies. To add new wallpapers you will have to download them first, then select add an image to the list inside the desktop backgrounds window.
You can then hunt down your new wallpaper and it will appear in the list. Wallpapers can also be removed or sorted into separate lists.
After using Xubuntu 11.10 on one of my systems for a few weeks I was extremely satisfied. I have tested and reviewed Xubuntu several times in the past, but so far this is in my opinion the most successful release. There were no stability issues to speak of, and the speed is still up to the usual Xfce4 standards.
I was so satisfied with this release in fact I would recommend it for new Linux users, and certainly anyone that wants to make the most out of limited system resources. I remembered hearing about my mothers security issues with Windows, and her recent complaints about the speed of her system, she is now another happy Xubuntu user.