I have been trying out the xubuntu-desktop package today, and I’m actually pretty impressed with it.

To install it in Ubuntu Intrepid the command is:
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

As I have got quite an old laptop I thought I’d give Xubuntu a go as it’s supposedly a good choice for running on “legacy” hardware such as my Sony Vaio FS-215Z laptop.

Yesterday I was looking at some HD videos on Vimeo http://vimeo.com/hd and while 1280×720 resolution is very impressive for video it takes its toll on system resources and would often max out my processor under Gnome. A normal DVD movie seems to be only 1024×576 in comparison.

Xubuntu uses xfce rather than gnome as it desktop manager and it’s a much “leaner” system as a result.
Sites like vimeo and youtube use flash video (flv) files and these get cached in the /tmp directory, and once the file has downloaded it can then be copied from /tmp to avoid being deleted and placed elsewhere.

My favourite player at the moment seems to be mplayer and it will now play these HD flash video files with cpu at only about 60% rather than 80-100% and the result is that there are much fewer dropped frames!

The only “annoyance” I have encountered so far has been that “tapping” on my touchpad cannot easily be disabled which was very frustrating! A temp workaround seems to be to set a startup command of gnome-mouse-properties which loads the gnome mouse manager which has the ability to disable tapping.


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