Xubuntu: the Linux distribution for maximum performance

Xubuntu is a user-friendly Linux operating system that was started as a collaboratively developed community project. Since Xubuntu uses the desktop environment Xfce, the Ubuntu derivative is lighter, highly customizable, and much more resource-efficient than other desktop environments.

What is Xubuntu?

In 2004, the open-source operating system Ubuntu was released, with a user base that today is estimated at over 25 million. It’s therefore now one of the most widely used Linux distributions in the world. With its multitude of pre-installed applications, however, Ubuntu also has a number of superfluous functions. The derivative Xubuntu, approved by Canonical Ltd. in 2006, relies on the resource-saving interface Xfce to offer users a fundamentally slimmer version of Ubuntu. The “X” in “Xubuntu” stands for Xfce.

Xubuntu was started as a collaboratively developed community project and is characterized by its simplicity, efficiency, and user-friendliness.

What are Xubuntu’s system requirements?

If you decide to install Xubuntu, you will need the following hardware as a minimum:

  • 8.6 GB hard disk space
  • an Intel or AMD 64-bit processor
  • 1 GB of RAM

However, the development team recommends a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and at least 20 GB of free hard drive space to ensure that several applications can run in parallel on the desktop. The specifications and hardware requirements vary according to individual user demands.

Like many other Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, or the Linux classic Debian, Xubuntu can be started as a simple live system. This means that Linux newcomers can test the environment without having to install it. This also makes the system slower than with a typical installation.


You can install Xubuntu either from the live system or directly from the boot menu of the Xubuntu installation medium.

What defines the derivative?

Special features of the Xfce desktop environment

The installation of Xfce and Xubuntu is relatively simple. Afterwards, menus, elements, or control panels can be set up according to individual user needs and completely changed graphically without losing performance power.


If you already have Ubuntu installed you can also install the Xfce desktop environment with all its basic components. In this way, you can use the tidy interface without consuming unnecessary capacity

    The operating concept Xubuntu is very classic and simple. The window manager developed for Xfce shows a standard start menu at the bottom left as well as the standard menu bar by default. The lean interface and common functions like a desktop switcher, file manager, or program launcher make it possible for users to quickly get to grips with Xfce.

Additional Xubuntu features worth mentioning

Xubuntu users manage content easily and clearly with the help of the file manager Thunar. As Xfce’s default file manager, Thunar has been programmed so that users don’t see any superfluous options. Starting the file manager is just as fast as navigating through files and folders.

Thunar is also a good example of the advantages of Xubuntu’s modular structure: The file manager can either be displayed with a slim toolbar or extended with further user-defined plugins. You can also adapt functions from other well-known file managers such as Nautilus (file manager from GNOME) or Dolphin (file manager from KDE).

Another feature of Xubuntu: Via basic Linux commands like “cp”, “mv”, and “rm” – i.e. the commands for copying, moving, renaming, or deleting – file management is simplified, allowing users to continue working as usual even if the operating system is changed.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Xubuntu?

The advantages of Xubuntu can be summarized like this:

  • Free: Xubuntu is a free operating system and can be used as a free Linux distribution.
  • Fast: The often emphasized, slim Xfce desktop environment is a big plus for Xubuntu. Xfce consumes fewer resources than desktop environments like Unity, Gnome, or KDE. This leads to a noticeable optimization of processor speed.
  • Efficient: Under Xubuntu, numerous programs such as the Light Display Manager (LightDM) are pre-installed. Unnecessary extras and functions are saved and the focus is placed on a good light distribution as well as useful computer functions.
  • Adaptable: Xubuntu can be customized and easily extended without much trouble with applications through Xfce.
  • Aesthetic: Xubuntu has a modern look and offers additional features. This proves that lean design doesn’t compromise ease of use.

However, Xubuntu also has some disadvantages:

  • Doesn’t support all Windows programs: Some Windows applications cannot be run on Xubuntu. However, with the help of Wine, a Windows emulator, or with virtualization software VirtualBox, you can run Windows applications under Xubuntu nevertheless.
  • Not gamer friendly: There are only a few games that can be played with Linux due to the lack of manufacturer support. Although Xubuntu wasn’t developed for games, you can play and stream via it. But the gamer community, which is growing steadily worldwide, finds fault with this aspect.
  • Not modern enough: The visual appearance of Xfce is very tidy, but it also has a traditional structure. For some, this is a negative side of the environment. However, if you’re working with an older computer you may find the ideal working environment in Xfce.
  • Pricy support: Although Linux distribution is free, support often comes at a rather steep price.

Who should use Xubuntu?

Xubuntu is geared towards people who want to fully concentrate on their work. That’s why the environment is so streamlined and ensures few distractions. Since Xubuntu is a resource-saving operating system, it’s also suitable for people who work with old computers and want to run them at the best possible speed. In general, Xubuntu is a suitable operating system for anyone who is enthusiastic about Xfce or who is interested in it.

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