Xubuntu 19.10 - December 7th 2019

The challenge this week is Xubuntu. Xubuntu is an official Ubuntu flavour and is using the latest Xfce 4.14.


Direct Download:

Torrent Download:

Release notes:

Documentation & Support:

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Installed AOK

Fully working and just goes to remind me why I like Peppermint OS so much.

Edit: I need to qualify that statement a little. Peppermint 6 using mainly LXDE components was a good distro. It is what first pulled me to Peppermint. Peppermint 7 when we started to implement xfce components is what made Peppermint Greater. Xubuntu simply goes from strength to strength and with every improvement of the xfce interface Peppermint benefits as well. Xubuntu is a fantastic Distro and is very customisable and rock solid in day to day use.

Regards Zeb…

Be Kind Whenever Possible… It is Always Possible - Dalai Lama

Linux User #565092
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OK, what I’m about to write I’ve thought about in terms of “if you can’t sat something nice, don’t say anything”, but I do feel quite strongly.

First, I’ve only run it from the live USB, I’m going to try and find an actual partition I feel I can sacrifice to install it on on one of my machines. The machine I booted the USB on was my Thinkpad X230, i5-3320M with 8GB RAM.

First off, it booted fine, connected to my wi-fi. I took 5 minutes to re-arrange the panel to how I like it, no bother, I always do that. I won’t complain about the (to me) boring default wallpaper - I don’t recall anything about it to suggest it was part of the Ubuntu family. Wallpapers are personal and easy to swap.

I will say (and what bothered me most) was the default icon set, and the fact that despite trying to change it, I couldn’t. They look awful to me, beyond boring. Opening up the file manager I didn’t see icons at all for the default directories, and the black folder icons for a new directory I created didn’t look good.

The bundled software I tried did work well as expected of a Ubuntu flavour.

I have since 18.04 liked Xubuntu, from 18.10 it has been my favourite (if bland in default theming) Ubuntu flavour and I had it installed on a partition on an HP laptop with an AMD dual core and 4GB RAM and it was a pleasure to use. After that (I don’t think I looked at 19.04) this is a bit of a disappointment and, if I was coming new to this distro I wouldn’t hang around, it would be a Zeb style “next!”. It should do better from a live USB if it wants people to stick around and give it a proper try on hardware.

I will try downloading the iso again in case something got screwed the 1st time, and I’ll find a partition to actually install it onto in case that plus doing the updates makes a difference and fixes the theming issues I have with the available icon sets. I’ll come back and update this when I’ve done that.

UPDATE: See follow-up below

It looks better with Nemo :wink:

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OK, I’ve now downloaded a new iso image and installed it on my ancient Thinkpad T60 (1024x768 screen, 3GB RAM, Core 2 processor), done all te updates. I’m feeling a little less harsh about Xubuntu as a distro for me.

As you can see I selected one of the alternative wallpapers…

…and here’s the neofetch of the machine.

The situation with themes and icons is a little better…


…I think this or the darker icon sets were the default, but when I tried for the Adwaita icons…


I actually quite like the old Humanity-Dark icons…

…but stuck with the elementary Xfce dark icons.

I ran my usual script to install my default set of apps, all worked and installed…

bluefish				build-essential			chromium
chromium-browser		cppcheck				featherpad
geany					geany-plugins			gnome-mahjongg
gnome-system-monitor	gparted			        gufw
guvcview				keepassx				keepassxc
kpat					kpatience				ksudoku
leafpad					less					mousepad
neofetch				openshot				orage
pluma					quiterss				rsync
shellcheck				simplescreenrecorder

HOWEVER, looking at the neofetch they did include 5 snaps, including Chromium, and using Synaptic it looks like that’s the only option. I am one of those grumpy old codgers that do not want snaps, and quite frankly it’s now a deal breaker for me, I will choose another distro if I can rather than one that forces snaps on me (so none of the Ubuntus for me I guess). Yes, it’s probably a silly stance, doomed in time to failure, but my machine, my choices. I feel the same about Flatpaks, and my one experience with an appimage was a failure, even though I know many others are happy.

So, my final thought on Xubuntu, it’s probably a good (maybe great) distro for some people who don’t have my hang-ups about snaps. My (limited) testing of the software all just worked nicely. Even on my ancient machine with a 5400 rpm spinning rust drive and limited RAM and old school 4x3 ratio display was certainly usable.

I still think they need to do a bit more on the out of the box (or off the USB) appearance, should certainly have a hint of Ubuntu family look about it. The default is bland and boring, they don’t need to go for bling, just not nondescript.

It’s not for me, but for a lot of people it will do very nicely. I might even offer it as part of a list of distro I recommend look at to move their older laptop or Windows 7 desktop over to.


Funny that we discuss this on my stream and then I come here and see this. I couldn’t agree more. Thunar works fine but is a bit bare-bones by comparison.

I wasn’t sure if I was the only one not all that pleased with the idea of snaps replacing regular packages, particularly on the latest releases. I’m not sure I’m at the deal breaker stage but I can see this becoming the norm for many more packages and I’m not sure that’s going to work for me.

Funny enough, I’ve had great luck with flatpak and it’s actually made LTS and LTS-based distros much more usable for me. Again, it’s a choice to use them so not the same situation.

Hey everybody, Sean from the Xubuntu and Xfce projects here. Thanks for taking the time to review Xubuntu 19.10 last week!

I appreciate all the feedback and positive atmosphere. I’m even pleasantly surprised that Greybird received some praise this time around. :slight_smile: Here’s what I took from the show, and some responses.

  • Difficulties with monitor sleeping. This has always been a pain point for Linux in general, but we have started making some strides in this area recently. The new Xfce Screensaver includes a new setting, “Inhibit screensaver for fullscreen applications”, which should help tremendously for watching videos.
  • ZFS mount points on the desktop. We enabled the new experimental ZFS late in the 19.10 release cycle and didn’t have much time to test or better support it. Going forward, we’re looking at possibly hiding these by default if possible.
  • More panel presets. This is largely due to how the panel profiles application started in Xubuntu, and later became an upstream Xfce project. We have some patches pending to bring in the openSUSE defaults, and hopefully others in the future.
  • Super Key Menu. This has been requested a number of times in the past, and we’ve been limited in our ability to bind Super to the menu without breaking the other Super bindings. I’m going to revisit this during the 20.04 cycle.
  • Uninstalling Web Browser Breaks Xfce. This one is related to GNOME Software, and should have been resolved. I’m going to take a look to keep Xubuntu installs intact.
  • Theming. Greybird is loved by some and very much the opposite for others. While releases of Xubuntu have included Adwaita-Dark, we do have a surprise coming. The release of Greybird-Dark is just around the corner.
  • Chromium Snap Package. This one is less Xubuntu-specific, but mentioned above. The Ubuntu developers have opted to start shipping Chromium as a snap package for the very reason Snaps and Flatpaks have started gaining popularity. They can build it once and deploy it to every Ubuntu release, instead of having to juggle patches and dependencies present in each release to provide a new build. Less work means fewer mistakes and faster delivery to users.

Thanks again for everybody checking out Xubuntu. Have fun today chatting with the elementary folks!


Thank You Sean for taking the time to respond to our feedback - it is much appreciated, especially when we know how busy you are with the project itself.

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Great to see you here Sean! Really appreciate your responses and the work everyone on Xubuntu is doing.


Thank you for taking the time to watch and list all of this out Sean. I really appreciate everything you do!

Thanks for all the work you do Sean. Xubuntu is like all the Ubuntu flavors, dependable, reliable and always a great choice.

For folks reading this who aren’t aware, Rocco interviewed Sean for an episode of Linux Spotlight - https://bigdaddylinux.com/video/episode-15-sean-davis/

Sean has recently updated his website.

Lots of great Xfce, Xubuntu, and related content.

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