I dug around a little more on the Xubuntu mailing list, looking for propaganda — oops, I mean facts that might support my quest to convince just about every other Ubuntu advocate on the planet to stop suggesting Xubuntu for older hardware.
The issue has been discussed quite a bit recently, with Jani Monoses making a concession to the size of Xubuntu, and its weight gain problem. From the original post in a megathread entitled “Gnome dependencies“. …
These will not help in making Xubuntu lighter. That characterization has only been true when compared to GNOME or KDE though, with python running in the base system (hplip daemon for HP printers ), firefox in the mix and the liveCD no longer installing iwth 128M it is not really a light distro anymore.
(Emphasis is mine.) And as a reply, there’s this from today.
On really old computer you don’t install Xfce, it’s too close in memory usage to KDE and Gnome … as the plain desktop takes the memory you would like to reserve for applications.
I could go on, I guess. The point I’d like to make is that the resounding majority of people — perhaps Xubuntu users, perhaps not — willing to vote on the issue in an unscientific poll prefer a Gnome-less Xubuntu. That might fly in the face of what the developers are predicting — a shift toward more Gnome, with speed and leanness sacrificed for “usability.”
To be honest, I’m at a point now where it’s neither here nor there to me. I installed a full Xubuntu environment about a month ago when I was still living offline, and it looked good, ran well, didn’t break anything and had about a third of the software I personally prefer, already installed. I guess I should be content.
But that was on a 1Ghz machine with 512Mb of memory, and it was performing at a level I would call “barely acceptable.” If I had been using anything slower, I would’ve looked for another distro. And if I was that enthused — or possessed, I should say — by the idea of an exceptionally lightweight Ubuntu variant, I’d spend more time actually working on one of my own, and less time pecking around on a lame-o Linux blog. Right?