If you belong to the group of people that cannot find much sense in Unity or Gnome3 – well, we are on the same bandwagon. This time I did not even try to give a chance to Unity – I went straight for XFCE.

If you are used to the “good old” Gnome2 way of doing things, I suggest you try out XFCE 4.10. I did not really think that any time soon I could go away from Gnome to something else – but as I was working more and more with XFCE that I had setup on multiple virtual machines accessible via FreeNX… I noticed it just works. After that I also gave it a go in VirtualBox. A few Google searches – and here it is – XFCE 4.10 on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

If you wish to upgrade from 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS and avoid the “Unity pain” (or Gnome3 pain) – and somehow Linux Mint isn’t really an option:

  • upgrade your distro from 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS (update manager)
  • I followed this link to install XFCE 4.10 from PPA: http://linuxg.net/how-to-install-xfce-4-10-on-ubuntu-13-04-12-10-12-04-and-linux-mint-15-14-13/
  • XFCE is very configurable – took me 30 minutes to be back to my good Gnome2-like configuration; make yourself a favor, start some music and get a nice cup of coffee
  • if you have two or more screens – use “arandr” to configure them (XFCE 4.12 has built-in monitor configuration tool – but it’s not a stable release)
  • need some better looks? Go to http://xfce-look.org/

My first impressions? It seems to be just working. A few features I found completely amazing, some will take time to get used to – but it’s definitely a smooth transition. And because of much less eye candy (although it looks OK in my opinion) my workstation just became much faster.

My two other work laptops are next in queue for XFCE 4.10.