Xubuntu versus Fedora Core / Cent OS as Desktop OS

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Thursday, March 8, 2007

I have been evaluating both Xubuntu and Fedora Core along with Cent OS (Open Source version / fork of Red Hat Linux Enterprise Edition). The key value and differences between these releases are:


Xubuntu is definitely faster to use in general due to its light-weight Xfce desktop interface. The speed is very welcome on slightly low end machines and with limited resources.

Xubuntu features a powerful package updater which can be easily used by anyone to keep their applications up to date. This is a big bonus for point and click types. You can set it to automatically update too. I used it to add some required applications like httpd, mysql server etc.

The applications for Xubuntu are well chosen with KOffice applications instead of OpenOffice which tend to be slower. While their office producvity suite is not complete like others featuring OpenOffice, they are faster. Moreover you can always install OpenOffice easily and freely using their package manager.

With the limited time I spent with Xubuntu I couldn’t figure how to add new menu items to their start menu. Also it doesn’t automatically add items on software installation like Windows, but that I am sure is a malaise with all Linux variants including Fedora Core and Cent OS.

Xubuntu did a nice job of properly recognizing all of my hardware.

While Xubuntu allows software RAID 1, it doesn’t allow RAID 1 of the boot partition. So if the disk containing your boot partition is corrupted then you are forced to boot from a floppy or CD. In other words you loose the benefit of automatic recovery from disk failure.

Fedora Core 6 & Cent OS

The single bext thing I love about Fedora Core & Cent OS (and obviously RHEL) is that it supports RAID 1 on boot partitions too. It doesn’t support LVM on boot partition though. However I can live with that. I create a RAID-1 on two disks with 100 MB active partitions each (first partition physicallY) and mount it as /boot. Then I create a swap, again on RAID-1. The remaining is configured into a RAID-1 with LVM on top creating a humongous volume which can be increased simply by adding more disks.

FC4 nicely recognized my hardware except my new network card. It features OpenOffice as default which is slightly less performant, but more featured, than KOffice suite.

Manual partitioning with DiskDruid is a pleasure to use period.

Fedora Core is quite stable and usable as an Linux variant. You can use yum to easily update your software from commandline. They too have a GUI tool which I haven’t used yet.

Fedora Core / Cent OS is much more configurable than Xubuntu while installation. While Xubuntu has taken a different track and simplified installation procedures.

Overall both of them are very good choice for a desktop operating system and good alternatives to Windows OS. My personal preference at this time is XubuntuFedora Core 6. We have adopted Fedora Core 6 across the company; in servers and desktops. We are 100% Linux, baby :)


March 18, 2007: 3:16 pm

Koffice is for KDE. Xubuntu doesn’t use it.

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