The Linux Moderate

One Man Standing Up for Computers That Get Work Done

A Quick Look at Xubuntu Xtreme

with 4 comments

I seldom receive comments from the nobility, but Darth Chaos left me a kind message here to point out that he had put together an improved version of Xubuntu, which he calls Xubuntu Xtreme. It has some of the same goals as PC/OS and Linux Mint XFCE: namely, to start with all the advantages of the Ubuntu base (like those huge software repositories) and add preconfigured support for multimedia and other useful things that almost every user ends up installing anyway.

Unlike PC/OS and Linux Mint, Xubuntu Xtreme doesn’t make any attempt to call itself a new distribution. It’s just Xubuntu with stuff added. You can read more about what’s added here, but to summarize, you get multimedia codecs, Java, Flash, DVD playback, some extra themes, and a few extra programs already installed.

Since I’m a Xubuntu fan, I tried it out in the 8.04 version (he’s also released a 7.10-based version at the same time). For some reason, when I ran it from live CD, the XFCE panels never started, which left me a bit crippled. The usual seven-step Ubuntu installation went fine, however, and the installed system booted into a desktop that looks identical to stock Xubuntu–unadventurously tasteful and quite usable.

Standard-looking Xubuntu desktop. Just after the first boot, Xubuntu Xtreme has two updates it wants to make.
Standard-looking Xubuntu desktop. Just after the first boot, Xubuntu Xtreme has two updates it wants to make.

Multimedia files played as advertised. Flash and Java worked. DVD playback worked, but not quite perfectly. Inserting a commercial DVD brought up Totem Movie Player, which couldn’t play it. VLC, however, which is one of the extras you get with Xubuntu Xtreme, played the DVD just fine; it should be your default DVD player.

Xubuntu Xtreme also includes the NTFS Configuration Tool, which is supposed to fix a problem in Xubuntu 8.04: apparently it can’t access the Windows partition correctly if you’ve installed it as a dual-boot. Since I don’t have Windows on my test machine, I haven’t run into the problem and couldn’t test the solution.

All in all, I can’t find much not to like about Xubuntu Xtreme. It’s pretty much the way my Xubuntu installation would look after an hour’s worth of fiddling in Synaptic Package Manager to get the extras most people want. If I hadn’t already installed Xubuntu half a dozen times on different computers, it might take me a day or more to get it to the point of being as well configured as Xubuntu Xtreme.

In fact, the only disadvantage to Xubuntu Xtreme is that it’s not as easy to get as I’d like it to be. This is not the author’s fault: after all, when you have a 700-MB file to share, where do you put it? But if you’re thinking about installing Xubuntu, it may be worth putting up with a bit of inconvenience from Megaupload to get Xubuntu Xtreme. It’ll probably save you a lot of work in the long run.

Anyway, now that I have Xubuntu on this machine again, I’m going to play with it. In the next few days, I’ll show you how to twist and mangle Xubuntu so thoroughly that you won’t even recognize it. We’ll have

  • a different window manager
  • a homemade theme for the window manager
  • a different file manager
  • a different login screen
  • a different mix of applications

and a lot of other stuff that will make it fun to play with. And it will all run on computer hardware you could probably put together for $50 if you scrounged about in flea markets and thrift stores. Who knows? Maybe we’ll manage to bridge the technology gap between first world and third world.

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Written by cbaile19

August 1, 2008 at 10:31 am

Posted in Reviews, Xubuntu

4 Responses

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  1. […] A Quick Look at Xubuntu Xtreme Unlike PC/OS and Linux Mint, Xubuntu Xtreme doesn’t make any attempt to call itself a new distribution. It’s just Xubuntu with stuff added. You can read more about what’s added here, but to summarize, you get multimedia codecs, Java, Flash, DVD playback, some extra themes, and a few extra programs already installed. […]

  2. Thanks for the kind review!

    I should point out that in order to get VirtualBox working, one needs to go into the terminal and execute “sudo dpkg-reconfigure virtualbox” and then go to Applications -> System -> Users and Groups, click on the Unlock button, enter the user password, then click on Manage Groups, click on vboxusers, click on Properties, add which users you want to add to vboxusers, close out, then reboot. VirtualBox will be working upon reboot.

    Also, when you install the latest batch of updates, Xubuntu will revert back to its default Xubuntu GDM theme instead of the Ubuntu GDM theme. Unfortunately, your GDM theme will always be the Xubuntu one. I cannot change GDM themes on mine. That’s a flaw which I wish I could have worked out, but other than that, I’m pleased with the end results.

    Darth Chaos

    August 10, 2008 at 1:15 am

  3. A new version of Xubuntu Xtreme is now available. It includes all updates as of Oct. 22, 2008, and I have also tried to fix the bug where DVDs and CDs don’t play in Totem upon insertion. Not sure if the bug fix will carry over to installations of XXCE Linux, but bug fix instructions are available in my announcement of XXCE.

    http://darthchaosofrspw.wordpress.com/2008/10/23/xxce-linux-8041-now-available/

    darthchaosofrspw

    October 23, 2008 at 12:18 pm

  4. I want to make some systemwide customizations to the panel without having to log in to other user accounts. In other words, I want the following changes to be the default configuration for any new users I may add in the future. This would also be used as the default confiuration for XXCE 2.1 (Hardy), 3.1 (Intrepid), and 4.1 (Jaunty).

    Here’s what I want.

    * Just one panel on the bottom, set to a pixel size of 24, fixed position, full width, and situated on the bottom left.

    * I want to have the Application applet without the Applications text beside the icon.

    * I want to remove the Help launcher beside the Firefox launcher and add a Thunderbird launcher, Pidgin launcher, and set the Trash applet and Show Desktop applet to the right of the Pidgin launcher.

    * I want to put the Task List applet beside the Show Desktop applet.

    * I want the Separator or Spacing applet to the right of the Task List applet and set to “expand”.

    * I want the xfce4-mixer applet to the right of the Separator or Spacing applet.

    * I want the System Tray applet to the right of the xfce4-mixer applet.

    * I want the Clock applet to the right of the System Tray applet set to 12 hour mode and displaying AM/PM.

    * I want the Panel Actions applet to the right of the Clock applet with action type set to Quit.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated and may be sent to darthchaosofrspw@gmail.com

    darthchaosofrspw

    June 16, 2009 at 3:53 pm


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