The prettiest of the *buntu’s is coming

Ubuntu’s brownish/orangy theme has been the target of much criticism. What is often forgotten is that one of its derivatives has been looking very good for quite a while now: Xubuntu. A complete visual overhaul for the upcoming version 9.04 is all set to continue this trend.

Pasi Lallinaho, picking up the baton from Jozsef Mak, leverages Xfce’s extensive theming capabilities to provide a coherent look and feel with wonderful new themes.

Update: This article previously contained a paragraph about a new GTK theme, but unfortunately, that didn’t make it in in time, meaning the visual overhaul is now “just” a new wallpaper, login window theme and icon theme, so scrap the part about extensive theming capabilities πŸ˜‰

The theme for the login screen pictures a misty forest set next to a lake, in Xubuntu’s characteristic colour scheme.

Then there is the gorgeous new wallpaper, bearing a watermark of the Xubuntu logo on a canvas of the same defining shades of blue.

To complement it all, the GNOME-Colors icon theme is included. GNOME-Colors is a very complete theme, including a wide range of good-looking icons that very well match the rest of Xubuntu’s artwork.

Of course, a release this pretty deserves some buzz – if not for the great looks, then at least for the host of new features, such as the new version of Xfce – and you can help! If you own a website or blog, you can include a countdown banner with the following HTML code:

<a href="" title="Learn more about Xubuntu..."><img src="" alt="Countdown to Xubuntu ( 9.04, by Pasi Lallinaho"></a>

Alternatively, if you are a member of a forum or other online community, you can include it in your signature, forum posts or other places you’d like to promote Xubuntu, with the following BBCode:


Of course, the countdown banner, too, was created by Pasi in the style of the new Xubuntu desktop.

Countdown to Xubuntu ( 9.04, by Pasi Lallinaho

42 Responses to “The prettiest of the *buntu’s is coming”

  1. 1 jonathan 6 April 2009 at 9:52 pm

    very nice.

  2. 2 Timoteo 6 April 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Very nice

    Its an awesome art o.o
    I loved

  3. 3 churchyard 6 April 2009 at 10:41 pm

    I have to say, this is the prettiest xubuntu wallpaper i’ve ever seen. I’ve asked Pasi for sources and I’ve remade it to a Debian one. Using on EEE, with icons from xubuntu 9.04 (gnome brave):

  4. 4 Andrew 6 April 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Woot! I love xubuntu! And you’re right, I’m using the new 9.04 beta right now and its beautiful πŸ™‚ love the blue!

  5. 5 minime 6 April 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Awesome!! I love both the log in screen and the desktop. Great job!

  6. 6 ArkanoidFreak 6 April 2009 at 11:50 pm

    This is very nice, yes, but have you tried Crunchbang Linux? Another Ubuntu derivative, using Openbox. The cleanest interface I’ve seen so far.

    • 7 Vincent 7 April 2009 at 3:39 pm

      I’ve been reaching Philip’s Crunchbang blog since before Crunchbang Linux existed, and am amazed at how popular it got πŸ™‚ . I haven’t tried it though, but I don’t really like OpenBox. And, IIRC, the theme used in Crunchbang is Ubuntu Studio’s GTK theme, which I did try and didn’t find as pleasant.

  7. 8 peter 7 April 2009 at 2:27 am

    can these new themes be installed on Xubuntu 8.04 LTS?

    i live in hope.

    • 9 Vincent 7 April 2009 at 3:42 pm

      Sure πŸ™‚

      Shall I mail them to you? I don’t want to overload Pasi’s server by linking to the themes (not that I think it would with the amount of traffic I get, but I don’t think he meant it to be a public download location).

  8. 10 Andrew Pennebaker 7 April 2009 at 3:16 am

    Awesome! But does Jaunty let us move files on the desktop without holding Shift?

    • 11 Vincent 7 April 2009 at 3:44 pm

      I believe it does, indeed – at least, if you mean you want to “rubberband”-select them. Not sure if that also includes moving, but if not, then certainly in the next major release of Xfce (4.8), but that’s at least a year away…

  9. 12 Chris 7 April 2009 at 3:41 am

    Looks good, but why is there a power off icon for “Quit”? πŸ™‚

  10. 16 Ed 7 April 2009 at 8:55 am

    Could you tell me how you got the dark panels on your screenshot of Xubuntu 9.04. I have it installed, but my panels are the very light gray panels. The colour by default.

  11. 18 Gautham 7 April 2009 at 10:41 am

    Xfce was never ugly, or atleast, that’s what I noticed right from Xfce 4.4. Its just a question of theming it right.

    About Xubuntu, has it become lighter in version 9.04 yet ? Because otherwise I don’t get the point in having Xubuntu at all. I mean, it has half the gnome stuff in it. The least the xubuntu team could do was replace Totem with Gnome-MPlayer (no it has no gnome deps), add the gecko-mediaplayer for firefox media playback, and remove some packages so that the dependency on the bloated gnome library can be reduced.

    I hope to see Xubuntu as fast and speedy on old 256MB RAM machines as a custom built ArchLinux or Debian Testing with Xfce 4.6.

    • 19 Vincent 7 April 2009 at 3:57 pm

      High performance is only one of the goals of the Xubuntu Team, and every release, old computers are six months older again, so you can’t keep supporting them indefinitely. Currently 256 MB RAM is supported but not recommended.

      I wouldn’t count on that to ever happen, too, because Xubuntu is based on Ubuntu and as a result won’t be able to achieve the performance that, say, Arch and Debian can achieve. Though yesterday somebody did first install ubuntu-minimal and then installed the xfce4 package, and reported that that was very fast.

      Also, GNOME-MPlayer cannot be included for legal reasons (it includes, among others, MP3 codecs) – same for gecko-mediaplayer. And if you were to suggest VLC – same problem, and it’s based on Qt nowadays.

  12. 20 tootyrox 7 April 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Ubuntu, what a damn waste.

    I spent a lot of effort, learnt grub so I could multi-boot a complex environment but since HERON, HERON FFS, my Logitech laser mouse will just freeze up.

    For over 18 months now this issue has not been fixed, despite numerous bug requests and is essentially been put into the just one more peripheral that doesn’t work under Linux box.

    It’s a LOGITECH mouse FFS!! Can’t be many of those out there, right?!?!?!?

    Best suggestion I got was “go buy another mouse that works”.

    And yet Linux foolios continue to criticize MS and Windows! These days, EVERYONE is as bad as each other with vulnerabilities, bugs and lack of support.

    • 21 Andrew Pennebaker 7 April 2009 at 8:31 pm

      This isn’t the place to discuss it, but have you tried:

      * Unplugging other USB devices which might conflict
      * Trying another USB mouse or other device
      * Updating Ubuntu
      * Update BIOS

      Sometimes devices don’t work well together.

      Sometimes a mouse just sucks.

      Sometimes an older kernel has issues.

      Sometimes it’s a hardware problem.

      Good luck!

  13. 23 holt 7 April 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Looks really nice! πŸ™‚

    Xubuntu will not fly on 64 Mb for sure. People will happy, if its speed will closer to Ubuntu Mimimal + Xfce than the speed of Ubuntu.

    Can’t wait for the final, just burned the beta πŸ™‚

  14. 24 Andrew Pennebaker 8 April 2009 at 12:06 am

    One more thing… Will XFCE/Nautilus and the Desktop in Jaunty show the local hard drives?

    Currently, I have to mount my Mac and Windows partitions by opening a program such as Mousepad and using the finder window in Open… to get to them.

    • 25 Vincent 8 April 2009 at 9:57 am

      If you’re using Xfce with xfdesktop (i.e. the default configuration) then I believe you can enable that from the settings manager (under Desktop, something like “show icons for local hard drives”). If you’re using Nautilus to manage the desktop, I’d expect it to be able to display them as well. However, if it doesn’t, you might want to try using xfdesktop for managing your desktop. I assume you’re running Nautilus because you want to use it for browsing your files – in that case, you can run Nautilus with nautilus --no-desktop to prevent it from taking over your desktop.

  15. 26 Ace 8 April 2009 at 5:27 am

    The screen shots look amazing.

    The Listen media player included in xubuntu is not that good in my opinion.It is slow to start up and uses a lot of memory.I wish they used the Rhythmbox player which is much more snappier and good looking than Listen.

    • 27 Vincent 8 April 2009 at 10:02 am

      I believe Rhythmbox isn’t an option because it pulls in half of GNOME, which means that it takes up a lot more space on the CD and is slower (you might not notice this if you’re already running other GNOME applications that have already loaded those libraries). I agree that Listen really is far from ideal, but it’s quite hard to find a good media player that has an agreeable interface, uses GTK without pulling in half GNOME, or uses Mono, or uses Python (which is less bad because we’re shipping Python anyway).

    • 28 Ro 8 July 2009 at 1:20 am

      For a lightweight choice I used decibel. Now I simply manage it using vlc πŸ˜‰

    • 29 Vincent 8 July 2009 at 11:17 am

      If I recall correctly, Decibel has also been considered. It’s not a bad option but I think it was rejected due to being written in Python which might negatively affect its performance. Hmm, then again, Listen is as well. Perhaps I’ll bring that up on the mailinglist again.

      VLC is definitely not an option to be the default for Xubuntu since it includes codecs for playing most any media format – some of which need a license in some countries which Xubuntu cannot afford.

  16. 30 Chris 9 April 2009 at 12:18 am

    Excellent πŸ™‚ Good to see the right icon in use there (hopefully it’s also correct when you are in Xfce and log out..)

    The theme really does look great I have to say. One thing that annoied me about Xubuntu in the past was that I didn’t find it all that much faster than Ubuntu, because it still loads all the GNOME stuff like volume manager, power manager and all that guff (might have even used Nautilus at one stage, can’t remember). Now that Xfce has decent support built in for this sort of thing, will Xubuntu continue to use the slower GNOME apps, or use its own internal?


    • 31 Vincent 9 April 2009 at 10:03 am

      Not sure what you mean by “when you are in Xfce and log out”, but at least there isn’t twice the same icon anywhere anymore πŸ™‚

      Xubuntu still loads a few apps that use some libraries with GNOME in their name, and also carries some extra weight from being based on Ubuntu (e.g. Add/Remove… is written in Python which isn’t really beneficial for its performance). However, it does use Xfce’s volume manager and file manager, and I believe power manager as well – if not, then it didn’t make it in time but will be in Xubuntu 9.10.

  17. 32 Chris 10 April 2009 at 4:32 am

    OK, sounds good. I meant that the screenshot is of GDM, which shows the wrong icon, just mentioning that hopefully once you’re logged in, that the log out icon has also been fixed.

    I look forward to testing it out!


    • 33 Vincent 19 April 2009 at 1:52 pm

      The GDM has been fixed, but I’m not sure whether the logout icon when you’re logged in (when GDM is not visible) is wrong in the first place (don’t go by the screenshot of my desktop, by the way, as that was just meant to show the wallpaper which I just used on my 8.10 desktop).

  18. 34 Rasto 15 April 2009 at 9:13 am

    Is it possible yet to use the SLED menu in Xubuntu?

    • 35 Vincent 19 April 2009 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Rasto, this has already been possible for a while. You can install the menu (“Application Browser” in Add/Remove…, package name gnome-main-menu). To add it to the panel, you need to install the Xfce panel plugin “xfapplet”. You can then add that to the panel and use that to add the GNOME Panel applet Application Browser to your Xfce panel.

  19. 36 MOYcano 22 April 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Hmn… nice, but why your countdown is one day behind the oficial? (in the Xubuntu homepage). I guess is ’cause the GMT (-6 for MΓ©xico) so I already see it as available and start the downloading =)


    PS: Proudly announcing I use Xubuntu by choice (with my new PhenomII, I can be easily fighting again OpenSUSE and his resources hogs).

  20. 38 Mohan 25 May 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Xubuntu 9.04 looks really nice. It looks like the latest Linux Mint is taking cue from Xubuntu 9.04. πŸ™‚

  21. 39 Ro 8 July 2009 at 1:22 am

    Thank you, guys. That’s just a great piece of software and I am looking forward to comming things! LXDE currently simply can’t meet that project… but it’s nice to have some competition though.

  22. 40 Wesley 5 August 2009 at 10:10 am

    Doesn’t look bad at all πŸ™‚ !

  23. 41 Drake Remore 21 March 2010 at 1:00 am

    I really enjoy xubuntu. I’ve been using linux for over 10 years, from Redhat, SUSE, Nortel, Mandrake, Debian, Slackware, and of course the family of *buntus. Anyway, I have a great configuration with xubuntu.

    I installed Prism, created desktop launchers to all my favorite sites, (youtube, gmail, gdocs, gcalendar, gsites, my wireless router, facebook, picasa, chrome, etc). Hell, I pretty much have created a Google Chrome OS fake. But, since I’m a huge google fan, I like it.

    Do I NEED Xubuntu? Probably not. It offers all the same that xubuntu does, and more, but that’s my beef with ubuntu nowadays. It’s trying to have it all for those users who want it all. I want sleek and slim and fast. With 2GB Ram on my laptop and a 64bit processor, I don’t ‘really’ need it but I like the look and feel and the login is super quick. Username, password, X! It’s sleek and new. Gnome has much more than I ever used.

  1. 1 Top Posts « Trackback on 8 April 2009 at 1:39 am

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