My problems with Xfce in Wheezy

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My problems with Xfce in Wheezy

Postby OtakuLogan » 2013-12-25 21:09

First of all sorry for my English, is horrible.

My intention are not open a new desktop environment flame war theme. Xfce is the new default desktop in Debian Jessie (is official yet?) and my opinion is 50-50 good news. Xfce is very good and supports old hardware. But some bugs are persistents, at least, in my installations. The five more boring are:

1. Squeeze's decompress fails with determinate files. There is not dependency problems: Xarchiver (version in Wheezy is from 2008), without extra installation files, decompress the same zip. Reported bug.

2. Xfce Power Manager and Xscreensaver are not compatibles (the performance downs with both activated), but install Xfce4 metapackage recommends (automatic install) Xscreensaver. I have a laptop and cannot use screensaver because I need power manager (well, screensaver is not essential, in laptop and in desktop). Reported bug.

3. Tumbler is buggy. I don't know if a Debian problem (libav) or Xfce, but most USBs with videos that I put in the computer are impossible to extract in safe mode. Yeah, I install ffmpegthumbnailer and tumbler-plugins-extra: better, but still very distance to no problems. And some times, Tumbler goes crazy and uses 2 ram GBs to video downloads. Reported bug (originally the bug is for other files but last report links to Ubuntu's patches to video problems).

4. Temperature sensors ever show hard drive error notification, although you don't use hard drive sensor. Notification shows the “dirty” solution to fix it. Gnome2 and Mate use very similar applet and they are not problem to show hard drive temperature. But, hard drive temperature is a problem? Well, better solution is delete from the applet and no shows notification (you can desactivate notifications, but desactive all the sensors' notifications). Reported bug.

5. Tearing with compositor. There are a lot of themes about this, and the solution is install Compton, exterior compositor (and is not in Wheezy). Xfce no offers official solution.

So, Xfce developers realize a fantastic work in general and this is a open source project, there are good people that working for the community and without rewards. I do not request solutions, have not moral authority for this. But this bugs are reported very long time, and Xfce does not offers solutions. The Debian Xfce team are the Xfce developers. The delay with the new version in complete GTK3 environment is not a problem for me (I am not in Debian stable for new versions), but this reported bugs without answers, and the feeling that nobodys work in its, in stable version? With Mate I have only one bug (some Java programs have problems before redimension their windows), and is a external repository. And Xfce 4.10 don't promise resolve this problems (maybe, in Debian, Tumbler).

What think Debian's users? This theme shows that Xfce is the favorite desktop in Wheezy, but I think that this problems are not only in my desktop...

PD: I read answers but probably don't reply, repeat: this is not a (new) desktop war.
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Re: My problems with Xfce in Wheezy

Postby robert3242 » 2013-12-26 14:50

I can address only this point: "2. Xfce Power Manager and Xscreensaver are not compatibles (the performance downs with both activated), but install Xfce4 metapackage recommends (automatic install) Xscreensaver. I have a laptop and cannot use screensaver because I need power manager (well, screensaver is not essential, in laptop and in desktop)" since I have not personally experienced the others cited. I should also make it clear the the issue I am having, apparently due to this bug, is the opposite of that cited by the OP.

I installed Xfce by means of selecting it as one of the alternate DE's available through the installer's menu of choices, and that way also installs both the Xfce Power Manager with xscreensaver. On my desktop system, I have no use for the Power Manager component, but I do use and like xscreensaver, and from my perspective, the issues are:

1. After booting the system, even though xscreensaver is listed as a running process, it does not function correctly unless and until I first (manually) run the xscreensaver-demo program.

2. Even after xscreensaver is running correctly (as shown by its having run one of the hacks after my selected time of 10 minutes of no activity), it's still hinky in at least one case. I use VLC to view videos and DVDs, and I've disabled VLC's ability to disable both the screensaver and to blank the monitor because I've never found those abilities to be reliable. Instead, when I watch videos or a DVD, I use a desktop shortcut to run the xscreensaver-demo program and disable the screensaver from there when I wish it to be (temporarily) disabled. That works fine. It is when I do the same thing in order to re-enable it, after having used VLC, and I run into a problem. That problem is that the selection box (in xscreensaver-demo) which allows the selection of "Disabled," "Random screensaver," "Single screensaver" no longer functions. I can click on it all I like, but I can never get to the point where I can make an actual selection. The workaround I've found is to run xscreensaver-demo from within Xfce Terminal. I can then make my selections and it works exactly as it's supposed to.

I've never run into this in any other DE I've used, and so thought there must be some peculiarity of Xfce 4.8 causing these issues, especially the second one cited. Therefore I posted on the Xfce forums in the Desktop section concerning the issue. While I received a number of polite responses, no one seemed able to tell me exactly what might be going on. The most "helpful" advice I received was to update to Xfce 4.10, which in the case of Debian, would mean either changing from Wheezy to Jessie or else building the Xfce DE myself, neither of which possible solutions appeals to me.

As I stated in the Xfce forum, for me these are not major issues, particularly since I've discovered perfectly usable workarounds, and I'll be sticking with Xfce for the foreseeable future in any case. It does strike me as odd, however, especially given how long Wheezy was "frozen" preparatory to being released, that either those who adopted Wheezy before release apparently never encountered these "bugs," if they are bugs, or else that the developers chose not to, or couldn't, address these minor issues before release.
Debian 7.7 (amd64)/Xfce 4.8
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Re: My problems with Xfce in Wheezy

Postby thanatos_incarnate » 2013-12-26 15:14

OtakuLogan wrote:1. Squeeze's decompress fails with determinate files. There is not dependency problems: Xarchiver (version in Wheezy is from 2008), without extra installation files, decompress the same zip. Reported bug.


Squeeze has issues, yes. One solution:

Code: Select all
apt-get remove --purge squeeze
apt-get install file-roller


OtakuLogan wrote:2. Xfce Power Manager and Xscreensaver are not compatibles (the performance downs with both activated), but install Xfce4 metapackage recommends (automatic install) Xscreensaver. I have a laptop and cannot use screensaver because I need power manager (well, screensaver is not essential, in laptop and in desktop). Reported bug.


Yeah, I wonder when they are going to get around doing their own screensaver.

OtakuLogan wrote:3. Tumbler is buggy. I don't know if a Debian problem (libav) or Xfce, but most USBs with videos that I put in the computer are impossible to extract in safe mode. Yeah, I install ffmpegthumbnailer and tumbler-plugins-extra: better, but still very distance to no problems. And some times, Tumbler goes crazy and uses 2 ram GBs to video downloads. Reported bug (originally the bug is for other files but last report links to Ubuntu's patches to video problems).


I can't confirm this for Stable. A Jessie bug?

OtakuLogan wrote:4. Temperature sensors ever show hard drive error notification, although you don't use hard drive sensor. Notification shows the “dirty” solution to fix it. Gnome2 and Mate use very similar applet and they are not problem to show hard drive temperature. But, hard drive temperature is a problem? Well, better solution is delete from the applet and no shows notification (you can desactivate notifications, but desactive all the sensors' notifications). Reported bug.


I can't see if this is also in Stable or only a bug in Jessie? Bugs can be solved.

OtakuLogan wrote:5. Tearing with compositor. There are a lot of themes about this, and the solution is install Compton, exterior compositor (and is not in Wheezy). Xfce no offers official solution.


The compositor in Xfce is very basic. It will take some time to work properly.

Here a fix that might work against screen tearing.

Here is a tool that lets you edit some other options more easily.
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