A while back I wrote a series of blog posts about trying new Linux distributions. I finally settled on one that I actually picked up at OSCON 2008. The OpenSUSE guys were handing out CDs and since I had just formatted my laptop for the trip, I decided to fire it up in a VMWare Virtual Machine. The installation is a breeze, and it comes with a minimal amount of packages (which is something I like). It also gives you the choice of desktop managers, and before today I had been choosing KDE (because honestly I liked the Windows look/feel).
Last night however I was trying to do some development work in a VM running OpenSUSE 11.0 and KDE that I had dedicated 1 GB of RAM to and it was visibly lagging and impeding my work. So last night I started a fresh install of OpenSUSE 11.1 and decided to give Xfce a try. My friend Chris Weldon spoke highly of it, so I thought why not.
Well, I’m happy to report today that my choice was a good one. Xfce runs noticeably faster that KDE 3.5 or 4.0 and the transition from another desktop manager is easy. Eclipse (always the hog) runs faster because the desktop manager is not taking up as much memory as it was previously. And almost everything else I’ve been doing (from terminal windows to configuration settings) has been running quicker as well. Now they shocker – I only gave this VM 768 MB of ram instead of the full gig given to the last VM.
If you’re not comfortable with your current desktop manager and you think Xfce might be for you, I suggest giving it a try.