Pasi Lallinaho pasi at
Sun Jan 26 23:10:49 UTC 2014

Hey Robin,

thanks for your interest and welcome! I've added comments inline.

On 27/01/14 00:17, Robin wrote:
> Hello,
> "Elfy" sent me here from Ubuntu Discourse when I expressed some
> interest in helping with this awesome distro in some small way.
> I have no technical expertise to lend, in fact I'm a bit technophobic.

That's fine! Putting out an operating system (and keep on doing it every
6 months) requires much more than just technical people.

> Yet I have become a Xubuntu "fan" since Lucid (10.04), when Xubuntu
> was "the lightweight Ubuntu for older computers."  I have a
> 12-year-old Dell Dimension with an old Celeron processor (that
> supports pae) and 512 of RAM.  It originally ran Windows XP.
> Other than "bragging about Xubuntu," I don't have much to contribute. 
> Like most users probably, there are a few things that I always change
> right after an installation to speed things up on this old relic, like
> turning off startup items I don't use and reducing swappiness, that
> sort of thing.

Ultimately, it always comes to deciding and shipping sane defaults; we
can never please everybody. Whether you needed to tweak the system for
performance or just wanted to change the appearance is a different thing.

If you are interested in sharing your experiences on getting Xubuntu run
smoother on lower end computers, we do accept guest writer posts for the
blog on our website. Be in touch with me [1] or Elizabeth Krumbach [2]
if this sounds like something you'd like to do.

> I realize that Xubuntu is no longer "the lightweight Ubuntu for older
> computers" (according to your Strategy Document) since Lubuntu has
> come along, but I would plead with this team to bear a couple of
> things in mind  at least for the 13.04 release:
> We're about to be joined by a lot of new users - right at the very
> same time that Windows XP reaches EOL.  Many many MANY of those folks
> will be looking at the Ubuntu family for a replacement, and the
> majority of them may have "older" hardware.  Perhaps not as scrawny as
> mine, but modest nonetheless.  While I realize that Xfce lends itself
> to efficiency, I've found that more recent versions of Xubuntu are
> slower and more resource intensive than 12.04 which I'm using now.

The 14.04 release will be 2 years newer than 12.04 (and much newer than
XP), but the computers stay the same. Newer operating systems will be
slower, and will get slower as we go.

> While I can add RAM easily enough, a lot of the folks who will be
> joining us soon would rather just buy a new computer. So my plea is,
> please - at least just for 14.04, keep Xubuntu "lean and mean" for all
> the novice users who are sure to be joining us soon!

While being lightweight isn't our primary focus any more, we aren't
exactly dumping in loads of new stuff. To be exact, many new things the
Xubuntu team has introduced in the last years have probably been making
Xubuntu lighter by being able to remove some depends.

The main performance burden comes from the Ubuntu core itself; a lot of
that is something we barely can help. Even when we can, we have to try
to balance between being as close to Ubuntu as possible (to avoid
maintaining burden, and because we *are* an official Ubuntu flavor) and
being true to our own ideals and strategy document (which many times
leaves us with more maintaining burden or one-off tasks to be done).

I do hope Xubuntu 14.04 will be a release that people who are coming
from Windows XP, have a lower end machine and want to try out Linux can
enjoy and use smoothly enough in daily use. For those who can't, I
really don't think Lubuntu is a bad option, or that we're losing
anything if people decide to use Lubuntu (or any other lightweight Linux
OS) instead.

> I have written about desktop Linux from a "casual" user's perspective
> on my humble little weblog for about 2 years, and while I have strayed
> to other distros, I always "run home" to Xubuntu when the others
> (SalixOS, PCLinuxOS, Mint, even Bodhi) let me down. Lately I've
> decided to stay put and become much more familar with just one, rather
> than bounce around confusing myself.

It's nice to hear you have found that Xubuntu is the best system for you
and that you have decided to learn more about it.

> Other than writing about it and once in a while answering a newbie
> question on the forums and installing Xubuntu for a friend or two, I'm
> not sure what else I have to offer, but I'd love to help in some way
> if I can.

As I said, releasing an operating system requires a variety of different
skills; see the Get Involved [3] section for a listing of different
areas where you can help, and get in touch with us if you need any
further information (the documentation isn't complete, so you probably

> Very cordially and respectfully,
> Robin
> "Robin" - on Ubuntu Discourse
> "robin7" - on Ubuntu Forums
> "adoptedsidekick" - on

Our team is pretty active on IRC, so you can find many of us online at
#xubuntu-devel on the Freenode IRC network. In addition to being able to
get to know people, you can always learn much about the way we do things
and communicate.

Furthermore, we run meetings regularly on Thursdays at 19UTC on the same
channel; if you sould join us, that would be great! Welcome again!

Pasi Lallinaho
Xubuntu Project Lead

[1] knome in IRC
[2] pleia2 in IRC, lyz (a)

Pasi Lallinaho (knome)                      »
Leader of Shimmer Project and Xubuntu       »
Graphic artist, webdesigner, Ubuntu member  »

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