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Debian Changes Default Desktop From GNOME To XFCE

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the cool-kids-still-use-windowmaker dept.

Debian 328

An anonymous reader writes "The default desktop within Debian 7.0 'Wheezy' has changed from GNOME to Xfce. GNOME, KDE, and LXDE will continue to be available, but the decision was made to default to Xfce. The reported reasoning comes down to size constraints in fitting GNOME on a single CD."

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The what? (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40918851)

There's a "default desktop" in Debian? I thought everyone just installed the netinst and used apt-get to install whatever desktop they wanted.

Re:The what? (1)

ilikenwf (1139495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40918887)

Maybe the "default" desktop is just the one that's used for the GUI on the LiveCD/DVD? It still doesn't install anything short of the base system and dependencies without the user who is installing selecting the packages, last I checked...

Re:The what? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919959)

Aren't most distros these days going towards trying to fit on a DVD (dual layer?), rather than on the old CD's?

Can Debian not fit it all on a dual layer DVD?

Re:The what? (4, Informative)

dskoll (99328) | more than 2 years ago | (#40918913)

I think it's the one you get if you choose "Desktop Environment" in the newbie software selection dialog.

Re:The what? (4, Informative)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919713)

Correct. However you have the choice of which desktop WILL be installed as an earlier option selected from the CD boot menu. The installer requires an active internet connection to install other desktop options, the default option is what CAN be installed from the CD WITHOUT an active internet connection.

Re:The what? (0)

suso (153703) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919831)

How do you get to the "newbie software selection dialog"?

Re:The what? (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919955)

How do you get to the "newbie software selection dialog"?

That's probably tasksel. It pops up at some point during an "expert" install. Probably it's there in the normal install too; haven't tried that because the "expert" one is so straightforward.

I always tell tasksel to do nothing, and instead pull in the stuff I need later, using aptitude.

Re:The what? (2)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919983)

Don't choose "Expert Install" at boot time. Here [asp.net] is a walkthrough. When you get to this [asp.net] screen, selecting "Desktop Environment" will install the default desktop. Currently Gnome on the "stable" set of CDs, probably now XFCE on the "testing" CDs.

Re:The what? (2)

suso (153703) | more than 2 years ago | (#40920059)

I was actually trying to joke, but it failed miserably.

Re:The what? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40918917)

The netinst allows you to install a GUI (one of the options it gives). By default, it installs GNOME, although you can change that to xfce, lxde or kde with an option at boot.

Re:The what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40918927)

I thought Debian users only used tty1-6. I did with my last Debian install because the graphics card wasn't detected and XFree86 not installed. I thought it was a bug, but then it dawned on me: it's a feature to get me back to the source. Thank you, Debian.

Re:The what? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919003)

apt-get? LUXURY! Us Slackware users use tar -zxf && ./configure && make install!

Re:The what? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919255)

Command length != penis length

Re:The what? (2)

John Holmes (2619159) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919509)

+1

Re:The what? (4, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919569)

Tell that to the SUSE people! They get both caught in their zyppers.

Re:The what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40920009)

Command length != penis length

In fact, it's inversely proportional! That's why the only Unix command *I* use is 'w'!

Re:The what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919605)

tar -zxf && ./configure && make install? LUXURY! Us Android users use fastboot flash system system.img

Re:The what? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919799)

Well you certainly can, I rather like installpkg myself.

Re:The what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40920063)

...that should be WE Slackware users.... /nazi

Re:The what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919143)

There's a "default desktop" in Debian? I thought everyone just installed the netinst and used apt-get to install whatever desktop they wanted.

Yeah, it's a hidden option they put in just to rile up the hardcore Debian neckbeards who derisively turn up their noses at all Ubuntu users for not following The Debian Way(tm) and who can't seem to understand why nobody wants to deal with the Debain community in the process of using Debian.

Re:The what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919169)

Not sure if you're trolling or just amazingly ignorant. Debian has a default installation image (which isn't netinstall) and the default desktop environment on that medium is GNOME 2. In short, if you go to the Debian website, click download, boot off the media and take all the defaults you will end up with a GNOME 2 desktop install. They are changing that behaviour to use Xfce instead, a surprising sane move for the Debian team.

A lot of people don't use the net install option either because their network is slow or simply because they want to do multiple installs and don't want to download a huge pile of packages every time.

Re:The what? (0)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919565)

In short, if you go to the Debian website, click download, boot off the media and take all the defaults you will end up with a GNOME 2 desktop install.

But who actually does that?

A lot of people don't use the net install option either because their network is slow or simply because they want to do multiple installs and don't want to download a huge pile of packages every time.

If your network is slow, it's going to be slower to download a CD image that has packages you won't use on it than it is to just download the packages you need. If you want to do multiple installs, it's easy to set up a local cache with apt-cacher.

Re:The what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919791)

If your network is slow, it's going to be slower to download a CD image that has packages you won't use on it than it is to just download the packages you need. If you want to do multiple installs, it's easy to set up a local cache with apt-cacher.

Really? Are you this dense? Maybe they had the CDs and DVDs shipped to them. Maybe they downloaded them off another internet connection, and the moved it to a place where the internet is slower. Maybe they don't want to carry a fucking apt server with them everywhere they do remote installs.

There are plenty of very good reasons to not use netinstall.

Re:The what? (4, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919793)

If your network is slow, it's going to be slower to download a CD image that has packages you won't use on it than it is to just download the packages you need.

But downloading the ISO is a background task. Start the download and check on it every hour or so.
The netinstall may not download as much, but if you opt to install anything more than a base system then it'll download it right then and there. It'll take less time, overall, but your system will do nothing else while you wait.

Re:The what? (-1, Flamebait)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919317)

There's a "default desktop" in Debian? I thought everyone just installed the netinst and used apt-get to install whatever desktop they wanted.

And this is why there will never be a "Year of the Linux Desktop".

Re:The what? (1)

dskoll (99328) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919517)

Eh? Debian's offering of a choice is holding back the Year of the Linux Desktop?

Re:The what? (0)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919885)

Yes. Offering choice equals making things more complex. No mainstream user understands the question "which desktop environment do you want to use?" as nobody knows what options are available, what the pros and cons of those options are and what a desktop environment is in the first place. It's a major hassle to have to make such a choice for most people.

Then again, Debian isn't for those people in the first place of course.

Re:The what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919817)

There will never be a Year of the Linux desktop as long as morons who have no idea what they are talking about like you keep FUDing. It's not like a single distro out there offering an alternate mean of install is going to kill the Linux market.

Re:The what? (1)

juanfgs (922455) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919531)

yes if you run in non-expert mode

Re:The what? - Read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919633)

It's the one included on the CD.

It's really not much of an issue if you netinst, which I'd recommend anyway, the install CD's are outdated quite shortly after you burn them.

Excellent news (5, Informative)

killmenow (184444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40918909)

I am okay with this. I've used XFCE on most linux server boxes for years anyway (if any graphical environment at all). Way more lightweight than Gnome or KDE and works great.

Re:Excellent news (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919735)

And if you add Cario-Dock on top it REALLY looks nice!

Trend setter! (0)

locofungus (179280) | more than 2 years ago | (#40918919)

I moved to XFCE (from KDE) with the last round of dist-upgrade.

I run fanless low power machines at home (because I like peace and quiet although it has also cut down noticeably on my electricity bill) and KDE was far too slow and unresponsive.

Tim.

Re:Trend setter! (4, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919507)

fvwm 1.4 for me. 1.4r? something like that.

I started with twm while at DEC (which worked great with DECwindows). after years of good luck with twm, I finally 'upgraded' to fvwm.

hard to get too much lighter weight than that. runs on ancient slow hardware and never takes up much resources. the only thing you need running is X! no other 'daemons' or sound this or graphics that or object otherthing. just plain fvwm and the term window you prefer.

after years of using workstations, I can't seem to justify 'desktops'. term windows launch apps that are text or graphic based. all works fine. and its the same UI I can count on, year after year.

I know, GOML. I know. but I still can't see any reason to leave fvwm for a 'desktop'. I don't think I'm missing anything.

(and of course I do 'xsetroot -solid black' in my .xinitrc. you mean, you don't??)

Re:Trend setter! (0)

billcarson (2438218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40920077)

I know this off-topic, but I didn't know there are fanless pc's that aren't meant for low-power servers or embedded devices?

I've been uxing Xubuntu (5, Interesting)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 2 years ago | (#40918941)

...and enjoying it. XFCE works pretty well and is easy to use. This actually makes Debian more attractive to me.

However... there are definitely some issues that bespeak a need for more polish. E.g. this one [launchpad.net] , or this one [launchpad.net] . Hopefully a bit more focused attention will lead to quicker fixes.

Re:I've been uxing Xubuntu (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919377)

> Hopefully a bit more focused attention will lead to quicker fixes.

Exactly. Nothing focuses attention like becoming the default desktop environment. Fedora probably won't abandon the GNOMEs anytime soon but can anyone see GNOME3 being the default for RHEL7? Ubuntu has went their own zany way with Unity but if the alternate (XFCE, KDE, Mint, etc) spins/forks aren't already accounting for more installs than the base Ubuntu it is only a matter of time because a broken desktop isn't going to fly. And no matter how many users leave neither the Unity or Gnome Shell devs will admit they are leading in a direction few care to follow.

The difference is we get a choice, we don't have to accept what they create. Pity the poor fools on Windows, they are about to get Metro whether they want it or not and they aren't going to have many options. Heard the latest? The prereleases have been hacked to default to a normal desktop but the RTM has 'fixed' those hacks so they won't work. They aren't going to allow em to escape. Of course corporate types will be able to stay on Win7 for years; end users won't be able to buy a new PC without 8 after the new year.

And when OS X gets the iOS makeover they won't have any choice either; but of course they will all suddenly decide it is insanely great and exactly what they wanted all along.

Re:I've been uxing Xubuntu (0)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919495)

end users won't be able to buy a new PC without 8 after the new year.

If past actions of MS are anything to go by savvy end users will still be able to buy PCs with win7 installed (though likely with a win8 license sticker) for a while. People whose only knowlege of computer purchasing is worst buy not to much.

Re:I've been uxing Xubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919383)

Just FYi, I have neither of those problems in my current Debian Squeeze install with XFCE. Could be a Xubuntu problem or the newer version of XFCE, though...

Re:I've been uxing Xubuntu (4, Informative)

number6x (626555) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919687)

Your first bug is a Xubuntu bug dealing with their implementation. It is not an XFCE bug. Ubuntu or the Xubuntu volunteer team need to fix this.

The second is an XFCE, or more specifically a Thunar (the xfce file manager) bug. Judging by the thread, it looks like it has already been fixed in Thunar. I do not know if Xubuntu has updated to used the fixed version yet.

XFCE definitely has an active development team. The biggest complaint is that there are not enough features or bling. Of course, part of the XFCE philosophy is to have fewer features and bling, but still be fully configurable so potential new users should keep that in mind.

XFCE is not shooting for the bleeding edge.

Re:I've been uxing Xubuntu (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919893)

I use XFCE on openSUSE and it is what I expect it to do. It works with multiple monitors (not Xinerama) with NVidia drivers.
Trying to do that in KDE or GNOME might be possible, but I never found out how.

I would prefer WindowMaker, but there the multiple monitors does (did?) not work and asking for a solution I got on the merry-go-round between NVIdea, X and Windowmaker. Each pointing to the other.

The thing I miss is the ease of changing the individual windows in Windowmaker. Especially placing them on desktops, for which I now must use Devilspie.

But all in all a great product Especially like the 4.10.0 one where the panel is improved in that you can have two rows.

I do not run solely XFCE programs. I just run any program I like, be it XFCE, LXDE, KDE or GNOME or anything else. Yes, especially KDE will bring in a LOT of extra files to be able to run something, but with the speed of PCs and the price of programs, that is not a real issue.

I do not have the above issues, so it could be that they are *Ubuntu related.

No spinning things or gliding stuff, just as I like it. I would personally set some defaults differently, but that is a matter of personal choice.

Desktop Task (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40918949)

This changes the desktop associated with the 'Desktop' task that is the default using tasksel to XFCE. You're still able to choose any desktop you like using aptitude after the install. I haven't used the tasks in tasksel in ages, so this is most interesting to users new to Debian. I'd imagine there will also be DE-targeted ISOs for Gnome/KDE/LXDE available also.

I'm delighted.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40918951)

Whatever the reason is for the change, I will say "Thank god, thank you thank you thank you Debian developers".

Re:I'm delighted.... (1)

cyberspittle (519754) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919069)

I'm with you on this, brother.

What is a CD? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40918955)

And why is it important that a distribution fits on one?

Re:What is a CD? (5, Funny)

Michalson (638911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919451)

A CD or 'compact disc' was an ancient precursor to the DVDs that you can still find in some stores today. During their heyday CDs where mainly used to store a primitive type of mp3 called '16bit uncompressed PCM' but could also store regular data. A typical CD could hold between 650 and 700 'megabytes' worth of small files. A 'megabyte' was an older unit of storage; One megabyte was just 1/1000 of a gigabyte!

Re:What is a CD? (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919693)

> CDs where mainly used to store a primitive^Wsuperior type of mp3 called '16bit uncompressed PCM'

Fixed that for ya. Still haven't paid for an mp3 file and have no intention to. If they start selling FLAC I'm in, otherwise I'll stick to CD. With a CD I can make whatever format and/or bitrate I want without suffering a transcoding loss. No format currently sold online through downloads can say that. And if tech improves I can reencode without needing to repurchase everything. So no, I won't be buying the While Album again. Ever.

Re:What is a CD? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919717)

640 MB ought to be enough for anybody!

Re:What is a CD? (0)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919769)

There are 800mb blank CD's available and theywork with most CD drives and ALL DVD drives.

Re:What is a CD? (1)

bandi13 (579298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919905)

Technically one megabyte is even smaller than you claim. 1 megabyte = 1/1024 gigabyte.

Re:What is a CD? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40920017)

One megabyte was just 1/1024 of a gigabyte!

FTFY

Bloody brilliant (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40918959)

Debian sounds a voice of reason within the community.

I wondered how they would tackle the infamous UI "situation", and this was the outcome I hoped everyone involved would have the guts to go forth with.

Rejoice for a surge of development activity for Xfce - a much more fruitful use of developer time than some other currently available UI sinks.

Who is to blame? (1)

cachimaster (127194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40918985)

The article seems to imply Gnome 3 is to blame but surely the rest of Debian also increased in size.

I have one datapoint, I just installed gnome 3 in Openbsd 5.1 (It can be done and works surprisingly nice) and Obsd+X.org+Gnome3 fists completely inside a CD with a couple hundred MB to spare.

Re:Who is to blame? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919045)

But finding a CD that will let you fist it is a non-trivial issue

Re:Who is to blame? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919107)

The default desktop enviroment is like the face of Debian. Have a nice useful DE and users will thank you and use your distribution. Annoy them from the 1st second by giving them Gnome 3 and it all goes down the drain.
So kudos to Debian for having made the right choice and being "diplomatic" about it. ^_^

And the real reason... (5, Insightful)

kthreadd (1558445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919033)

GNOME 3

Re:And the real reason... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919409)

GNOME 3

Citation needed

Re:And the real reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919609)

GNOME 3

Citation needed

Read between the lines.

Re:And the real reason... (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919823)

why do you need to point out, its the real reason? The article says, gnome 3 is the reason.

Re:And the real reason... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919861)

The "reported reasoning" is idiotic. Won't fit on a fucking CD is a ridiculous argument... how about "no desktop at all, because it won't fit on a 3.5inch floppy".

I expect it's just posturing from the linux distro most like a student union club... debian.

Not that I like GNOME 3 mind you... and I don't object one bit to giving them a kick for not giving a shit about users.

Why bother fitting any desktop/Wm on a single CD (2)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919047)

Most folks grabbing debian are getting just the installer file (live-cd) and burning that to disk. If in the States, just go to your local library, college or university and grab the remainder of the disk images and put them onto a flash drive. The installer includes the ability to mount ISO images, so you have little to no problem unless the system is so old that it doesn't have USB ports. In that case, its too old to run the latest debian.

First Post

Re:Why bother fitting any desktop/Wm on a single C (4, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919203)

If in the States

Here's a weird little fact. Many people don't live in the USA.

Many people also don't have unlimited access to the Internet, or unlimited money. For these reasons it makes sense to continue supporting the simplest, cheapest way of distributing software on physical media, and that is a CD-ROM.

Re:Why bother fitting any desktop/Wm on a single C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919533)

I just get the credit card sized iso aka 50MB.

Basic terminal and the coreutils. Rest is apt-get

Happy (1)

cyberspittle (519754) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919057)

I always liked XFCE. Wasn't this the default on Sarge?

Re:Happy (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40920075)

No.

Gnome 3 doesn't have too many power users (5, Interesting)

nssy (1530925) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919065)

Torvalds said "I'm using Xfce. I think it's a step down from gnome2, but it's a huge step up from gnome3. Really"

Re:Gnome 3 doesn't have too many power users (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919549)

And it won't have newbies either. That is what is so maddening. Who is going to suddenly start using Linux + GNOME3? Will any of us current users recomend it? Doubtful. Are they going to get preloaded onto tablets or something? Ha! The resource requirements for GNOME are far greater than Android so it would be a top of the line product, so who is going to put GNOME3 on a flagship product? Who? Nobody, that is who.

I admin a public lab that is currently running Centos. It defaults to GNOME2 and it looks familiar enough that random people can walk in and begin using it. There is no way I'd put GNOME3 on these machines. The support nightmare would never end.

I keep hearing the occasional GNOME Shell fan in these hate/rant threads chime in with "I hated it for a few weeks but now I love it." Can you imagine me telling people that? Can you? Really? Perhaps you GNOMEs should rethink discoverability and learning curves with an eye to actually making it easy for a new user. You guys go on and on about being focused on new users and ignore the reality that most 'new users' aren't totally new to computers anymore and expecting them to unlearn what they already do know is a loser.

Re:Gnome 3 doesn't have too many power users (1)

cruff (171569) | more than 2 years ago | (#40920057)

Who is going to suddenly start using Linux + GNOME3?

The users of the recently announced GNOME OS?

Re:Gnome 3 doesn't have too many power users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919867)

I completely agree with this. Fortunately for me, I run Debian stable (squeeze) which uses Gnome 2. I recently tried Debian testing on a 4-year-old netbook but the default GUI (Gnome shell) was essentially unusable. I'm glad the Debian crew have addressed this rather serious bug in testing.

Of course, I'm sure there are plenty of users out there that have the hardware to drive something like Gnome shell and appreciate the look and feel and simplicity and I'm glad GUI developers are taking an interest in making something for this demographic. There are already so many solid, fast, highly functional GUIs available and the people that like them are typically able to install their own.

Perhaps a good choice, but for the wrong reason (3, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919081)

It's probably a sane choice to move debian away from gnome and towards xfce, but I wonder if the reason is very sound. They should have switched to DVD as the default ISO media many years ago, becuase people who are on such an old computer that it lacks a DVD will surely want to use the less than 200 MB netinstall ISO instead.

I think that it's still important with an offline-installable system, but limiting yourself to CD when DVD has been the standard for ages is just weird and shows of stagnation and "get off my lawn".

Monthly caps imposed by wireless ISPs (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919245)

people who are on such an old computer that it lacks a DVD

It's not that your computer lacks a DVD drive as much as lacking wired broadband Internet access to the home. Downloading a disc image that fills a single-layer DVD will use up most of the 5 GB per month data allowance typical of a home satellite or cellular Internet plan, as will downloading 5 GB of packages using the net installer.

Re:Monthly caps imposed by wireless ISPs (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919575)

But installing over the net won't use more data than downloading the CD ISO. It will use much less because it will only download what's needed, and it will download any updated packages so you don't have to upgrade right after installation.

Re:Perhaps a good choice, but for the wrong reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919347)

I have to agree with you. Also, I am more likely to have a blank DVD available than I am to have a blank CD. I almost never buy blank CDs now.

Re:Perhaps a good choice, but for the wrong reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40920011)

I know people who have CDs for music and DVDs for movies but most simply store their media on a drive. I haven't had an optical drive in one of my computers for several years and it seems they are slowly becoming hobbyists peripherals.

So tell me again, why should we move from one obsolete standard for another? Why would it not be more sane to simply stick with the existing 700 MB requirement for stand-alone installation images and let them slowly fade into obscurity as more people start to use netinst images.

Re:Perhaps a good choice, but for the wrong reason (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919809)

It's not the stated reason that matters. It would be too hard politically to pass such a change without a massive debate that would drain a giant amount of time from everyone involved. And here, we have a sane choice done over some easily fixable detail (recompressing everything as .xz, already in progress, would allow Gnome3 to fit).

Great kudos to Joey Hess. And if you have doubts he's right, consider what Linus said a year ago. Or, take a look at recent Slashdot, Phoronix [phoronix.com] , or even gnome.org [gnome.org] articles.

Re:Perhaps a good choice, but for the wrong reason (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#40920069)

And here, we have a sane choice done over some easily fixable detail (recompressing everything as .xz, already in progress, would allow Gnome3 to fit).

But such a general solution applies just as well to KDE or XFCE. GNOME takes up less space? XFCE took up less space to begin with, and now it's even smaller. Although honestly I have no idea what else they could possibly want to toss into the default install that would make a smaller DE enticing.

Of all the priorities... (1)

ZPWeeks (990417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919095)

Why is a CD's capacity the deciding factor for a component with such broad repercussions throughout the OS? It's 2012, folks. How many new installations are really made or broken on what works from a 700MB CD when a 4.7GB DVD is an incredibly common substitute?

I'm not ridiculing this decision, despite my surprised tone. I'm actually interested in learning more about the reasoning behind it, if anyone has some more background.

Re:Of all the priorities... (5, Informative)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919183)

Why is a CD's capacity the deciding factor for a component with such broad repercussions throughout the OS? It's 2012, folks. How many new installations are really made or broken on what works from a 700MB CD when a 4.7GB DVD is an incredibly common substitute?

I'm not ridiculing this decision, despite my surprised tone. I'm actually interested in learning more about the reasoning behind it, if anyone has some more background.

Believe it or not, not all of us have ultra-high speed Internet connections. Or a desire to install the world at one go, for that matter.

Re:Of all the priorities... (0)

pipatron (966506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919551)

Those of you are meant to use the netinstall iso.

Re:Of all the priorities... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919667)

Hi! I think you missed you that part about "ultra-high speed internet connection." These people would like to install from a single CD. Not download over the internet. Thank you, and have a nice day.

Re:Of all the priorities... (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#40920039)

Believe it or not, not all of us have ultra-high speed Internet connections.

And if you do, why would you download a DVD? I do the installation with the bare basics. http://houghi.org/ssh/install.php [houghi.org]
Basically I download init and linux kernel and install from that (over ssh with GUI if I so desire) and download only those things I actually use.

Or turn the network CD into a USB bootable image if there is no previous Linux installed as described on http://en.opensuse.org/Live_USB_stick#Bootable_USB_from_DVD_or_Net-install [opensuse.org]
Or I make my own on http://susestudio.com/ [susestudio.com] if I need to install more with specific settings.

Doing a network install might even be interesting for those who are limited with their data as you only download what you actually install and not all the rest that you never install.

When 4.7 GB is your entire cap (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919433)

It's 2012, folks.

And in 2012, wireless ISPs still impose monthly caps not much more than the capacity of a 4.7 GB DVD. Or must everyone drive into town and find a library willing to let the user sit and download an entire DVD image to a flash drive? In 2012?

Re:When 4.7 GB is your entire cap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919669)

Then you download the netinstaller and get everything a la carte. 700MB is an arbitrary limit for you as well.

Re:When 4.7 GB is your entire cap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40920067)

Debian is a desktop OS. What does a wireless ISP have to do with any of this?

Re:Of all the priorities... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919445)

There are almost certainly people out there (users of cellular internet come to mind) who would find downloading a DVD image difficult but who would also find it difficult or impossible to get internet access during install. Keeping the first CD usable to get a reasonable install from which you can have at least a chance of sorting out your networking seems like a good idea in that context.

Also i've found that when optical drives start to fail the first thing they start having trouble reading is recordable DVDs.

Re:Of all the priorities... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919743)

There are almost NO repercussions on the selection of default desktop environment.

It doesn't in any way restrict your ability to install the alternates (which is trivially easy on debian)

IMO best solution is to have the simplest slimmest default install, and have options to select what you want.

If you want a desktop, get a basic desktop, if you want a more feature laden desktop, go ahead install KDE or gnome. Personally I switch between KDE and Gnome regularly, both are installed and up to date.

"The reported reasoning comes down to..." (2)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919109)

Oh, don't worry about that; any excuse will do!

Re:"The reported reasoning comes down to..." (1)

jampola (1994582) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919865)

We're on the same page I see! :)

"This ensures that the desktop will fit on CD#1, which gnome currently does not." -- Works for me!

Vale GNOME (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919195)

You were good for a while.

Nice knowing you.

old schuul (1)

callmetheraven (711291) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919313)

FVWM baby!

Re:old schuul (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919553)

FVWM has been my WM for almost a decade, but I'm willing to give these new DE's a try.

Happy With XFCE (5, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919467)

I used XFCE for a while years ago, after one of the bloatenings of Gnome. Switched back and had been pretty happy with Gnome until they started turning it into WebTV. Still struggled along with classic mode for a while, but they've been dumbing that as well. Switched back to XFCE and very pleased.

If you want a thin client for the cloud, Gnome/Windows 8/Mountain Lion/ChromeOS are all fine. If you want a computer, XFCE/Debian may be the best option.

I tend to think a divergence is inevitable. The masses don't want a computer and never did. They grudgingly used them because it was where all the good stuff was. Now that the oligarchs are offering convenience as an alternative to liberty, most people are lining up. The hardware manufacturers are falling right in line with UEFI, the network providers are pushing to cripple the nasty peer-to-peer design of the Internet, and everyone with an IQ below 120 (and a surprising percentage of those above) can easily be convinced they are happier this way. It's called progress.

Ummm, which is why I like XFCE... OK, bit of a digression there. But maybe that suggests a motto: "XFCE: Don't shuffle blandly into the decline."

Gnome must go... or innovate, not copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919539)

Good. the sooner Gnome is forgotten about the better, it went from buggy 2d 1990s desktop with hidden fetures and built-in windows registry editor, to an overblown, over sized, infantile looking, bloated schizophrenic fisher-price users-are-dumb interface, whilst still hiding features from *poor dumb users*.. plenty of other DE's and WM's out there which er, dont insult your inteligence. Forget Gnome anyway, it was ok back in the 90s for a year or two, before we knew better, but Gnome stayed there, and as Gnome sooooooo desperately wanted to to be the Mac's Aqua interface (which is just as schizophrenic, regardless of Apples UI guidelines) - Apple's UI goes all touch-paddy, and dumbing down, Gnome wakes up, still back in the 90s, and rushes so fast to catch up to the 'new' UI trends it over-compensates and fails miserably... what a mess. Gnome, you've had your time.. go fade now into obscurity .. and take pulseaudio with you..

opposite direction (1)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919657)

After release of GNOME 3 I moved into opposite direction (I was using xfce for many years).

Anyway it's a good thing, because I dislike GNOME/KDE integration of single applications, for instance I use k3b which is only usable dvd burner and it comes from KDE. If xfce will be default then maybe some people realize applications should work everywhere not fit GNOME desktop.

Maybe Debian realizes... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919677)

Gnome is going it's own way and that might not fit with what Debian wants to do.

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/08/08/1323228/gnome-developers-lay-out-plans-for-gnome-os

Bodhi/Enlightenment (4, Interesting)

water-and-sewer (612923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919863)

I moved to Bodhi Linux with its Enlightenment desktop, and like it. That's the fun thing - everyone can find their own escape route from Gnome3 since Linux offers so many choices.

Bodhi is very lightweight and was easy to configure (though it took me a day to figure out E17's vocabulary). I'm very happy, and it's a simple CD download, which is good - I don't have much bandwidth.

DVD downloads are a hassle, in my opinion. When it comes time to download one I usually resort to purchasing from one of the companies that advertises on distrowatch.org.

I highly recommend Bodhi though - it's very sharp and polished.

CDs? Pigs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40919919)

I installed one of the BSDs from a couple dozen *floppies* back in the 90s. No desktop or applications. Just a very basic system. I don't recall if it even had the compiler; but it worked. CDs. Sheesh.

CD-ROM limitations? (0)

AmazingRuss (555076) | more than 2 years ago | (#40919951)

If only there were a widely adopted optical media format that held ten times what a CD-ROM does, or a method for booting from USB drives...

Classic (1)

stevenh2 (1853442) | more than 2 years ago | (#40920061)

I personally use the classic twm with it's organized menus and speed
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