hawkyhawk14
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XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:59 pm

Disclaimer: I have not tried the Pi over HDMI so I cannot verify the speeds of the GUI over HDMI but I presume its similar to VGA output.
Hello everyone!

I have just installed XFCE onto my Raspberry Pi AND WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT MAKES

If anyone is interested in trying this then this is how to do it! (Simply put...if you get stuck message me!)

The following instruction are for DEBIAN only!
You can do the following in GUI mode or from Terminal..(Or even SSH I believe)

Step 1:
  • Open up terminal and type 'sudo apt-get update'
Step 2:
  • Type 'sudo apt-get install xfce4' and if prompted type y and let it do its thing
Step 3:
  • Type sudo apt-get install slim and if prompted type y and let it install.
    A blue screen will appear (although not of death!) and select SLIM from the list (Should be a choice of GDM or slim)
Step 4:
  • Type 'sudo shutdown -r now' and wait....
    When the Pi has restarted you should be prompted with a blue fancy login screen, press f1 until the session text at the bottom says startxfce4 or similar, then login as your usual login (pi and raspberry)
Note:
  • First boot of XFCE is the slowest but just do another reboot after the first boot and it should get quicker!
Enjoy everyone!

JeremyF
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:32 pm

Is XFCE actually faster than LXDE?
{sig} Setup: Original version Raspberry Pi (B, rev1, 256MB), Dell 2001FP monitor (1600x1200), 8GB Class 4 SD Card with Raspbian and XBMC, DD-WRT wireless bridge

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Montala
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:49 pm

I have just had a look at the xfce.org website, and I do rather like the appearance of it.

It will indeed be interesting to hear what others think about it, as it is so frustrating not having my own Pi yet, on which I could quickly check out this sort of thing.

Mind you, when I have finished installing that QEMU emulator, that should help a bit.

hawkyhawk14
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:00 pm

JeremyF wrote:Is XFCE actually faster than LXDE?
From what I have seen yes. Im using it,and apart from being more appealing, the menus seem to work quicker and application loading times are reduced slightly!

(Going to be testing with lightdm instead of slim and see if it will boot a bit quicker)

EDIT: Can't find a lightdm repos for arm yet :( Might have to compile myself

stainy
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:46 pm

Nice!! I`m going to try this!

I have XFCE on my Pandora :)

hawkyhawk14
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:49 pm

stainy wrote:Nice!! I`m going to try this!

I have XFCE on my Pandora :)
Hi, I am currently making an image of my SD so I will post a link to it so those who arn't too linux savvy can have a try with xfce and a nice GUI based linux setup (as opposed to manually starting x and the HIDEOUS lxde!)

lewmur
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:04 pm

xI've got it running but there seems to be only one screen resolution setting. 1184x624. An odd resolution and with that setting it doesn't fill my monitor's screen.

theHetman
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:22 pm

lewmur wrote:xI've got it running but there seems to be only one screen resolution setting. 1184x624. An odd resolution and with that setting it doesn't fill my monitor's screen.
and you monitor is 1280x768?

try creating /boot/config.txt (if it doesn't exist already) and add the line:

disable_overscan=1

lewmur
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:44 pm

theHetman wrote:
lewmur wrote:xI've got it running but there seems to be only one screen resolution setting. 1184x624. An odd resolution and with that setting it doesn't fill my monitor's screen.
and you monitor is 1280x768?

try creating /boot/config.txt (if it doesn't exist already) and add the line:

disable_overscan=1
The monitor is a 40" TV with resolution to 1920x1080. Tried adding that line but it didn't help. Still have a two inch boder top and bottom.

JeremyF
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:52 pm

lewmur wrote:
theHetman wrote:
lewmur wrote:xI've got it running but there seems to be only one screen resolution setting. 1184x624. An odd resolution and with that setting it doesn't fill my monitor's screen.
and you monitor is 1280x768?

try creating /boot/config.txt (if it doesn't exist already) and add the line:

disable_overscan=1
The monitor is a 40" TV with resolution to 1920x1080. Tried adding that line but it didn't help. Still have a two inch boder top and bottom.
hdmi_mode=16 maybe?
{sig} Setup: Original version Raspberry Pi (B, rev1, 256MB), Dell 2001FP monitor (1600x1200), 8GB Class 4 SD Card with Raspbian and XBMC, DD-WRT wireless bridge

lewmur
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:45 am

[quote="JeremyF"
and you monitor is 1280x768?

try creating /boot/config.txt (if it doesn't exist already) and add the line:

disable_overscan=1[/quote]The monitor is a 40" TV with resolution to 1920x1080. Tried adding that line but it didn't help. Still have a two inch boder top and bottom.[/quote]
hdmi_mode=16 maybe?[/quote]
That works better but it's actually a higher res than my old eyes would prefer. Where can I find a list of the hdmi_mode settings?

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Robert_M
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:45 am

lewmur wrote:... Where can I find a list of the hdmi_mode settings?
Here ya go:

http://elinux.org/RPi_config.txt#Video_ ... figuration
I sometimes ride my Pi to the Forum.

Pygar
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:50 pm

This is beginning to sound better and better... once the screen resolution problem is ironed out, this sounds like the way to go. I just wish there were a version that did not fool around with logins at all- not a lot of point in high security in my case; I live alone. In any case, high security on a computer that anyone can slip in a shirt pocket and walk away with, seems a bit overdoing it. Straight to desktop on being powered up, highest level of access, that sounds like the way to do it, for me at least!
"Mean kitty, bad kitty
Vicious ball of fur!
Fighty kitty, bitey kitty!
Grrr! Grrr! Grrr!"

obarthelemy
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:09 am

You're hitting head on why most people say Windows is unsafe ^^

hawkyhawk14
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:01 pm

Pygar wrote:This is beginning to sound better and better... once the screen resolution problem is ironed out, this sounds like the way to go. I just wish there were a version that did not fool around with logins at all- not a lot of point in high security in my case; I live alone. In any case, high security on a computer that anyone can slip in a shirt pocket and walk away with, seems a bit overdoing it. Straight to desktop on being powered up, highest level of access, that sounds like the way to do it, for me at least!
Mine can be set to do this. Just a quick change of my configuration file and it will auto start, log me in and load XFCE and be ready to use and boots in about 1:20 seconds

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Montala
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:28 pm

hawkyhawk14 wrote:
Pygar wrote:This is beginning to sound better and better... once the screen resolution problem is ironed out, this sounds like the way to go. I just wish there were a version that did not fool around with logins at all- not a lot of point in high security in my case; I live alone. In any case, high security on a computer that anyone can slip in a shirt pocket and walk away with, seems a bit overdoing it. Straight to desktop on being powered up, highest level of access, that sounds like the way to do it, for me at least!
Mine can be set to do this. Just a quick change of my configuration file and it will auto start, log me in and load XFCE and be ready to use and boots in about 1:20 seconds
That sounds interesting... I am sure a lot of members would be interested in seeing a copy of your config file! :)

Pygar
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:48 am

obarthelemy wrote:You're hitting head on why most people say Windows is unsafe ^^
If anyone breaks into my house, it won't be to sit down and reprogram my Pi- they'll just walk off with it.
"Mean kitty, bad kitty
Vicious ball of fur!
Fighty kitty, bitey kitty!
Grrr! Grrr! Grrr!"

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Westmead Hawk
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:26 pm

Thanks very much for posting this, I much prefer XFCE. Can you assist with the answers to a couple of questions?

1. I may be the odd one out, but I prefer to choose whether or not to log in to a GUI at start-up so I am planning to remove SLiM and type "startx" when I want the GUI just like before. On that basis, is it advisable (and safe) to uninstall LXDE completely so that XFCE becomes my default GUI? Is it as simple as typing sudo apt-get remove lxde?

2. I quite like that little CPU meter that appears in the bottom right corner of the screen under LXDE even if most of the time it is just a green square. Is it an applet that I can add to the same place under XFCE or is it integral to LXDE?

Apologies for my newbie questions: I've spend hours compiling source code for Quake and the iPlayer grabber program and my confidence is growing. However, I'd quite like to avoid breaking my installation and having to do the compiling all over again.

Cheers

Joe Schmoe
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:42 pm

I agree with your point #1. Only Windows Weenies assume they need a GUI all the time, every time. On demand is what sensible people want.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

dtud2
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:28 pm

Does this option apply only when connecting to a screen?
My Pi is headless for the vast majority of the time so I mostly use SSH/Putty and start up VNC when I want a desktop GUI.
I followed the steps to install XFCE & Slim & they appear to have completed successfully however when I start VNC on the Pi & connect from my desktop with the viewer I am still presented with LXDE, hence my original question of direct connect to screen only.

I hadn't realised that Slim performed the auto X function, I will also be removing it, a startx is my preferred method for a GUI.
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chrisw2
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Westmead Hawk wrote:...
2. I quite like that little CPU meter that appears in the bottom right corner of the screen under LXDE even if most of the time it is just a green square. Is it an applet that I can add to the same place under XFCE or is it integral to LXDE?
...
Yes there is. Right-click in the panel, chose "Add new items" and select "System Load Monitor" then click "Add". To configure the plugin to look as you want then right-click on it and choose "Properties"

If you don't find "System Load Monitor" in the list then: apt-get install xfce4-systemload-plugin then try again. There is a wide range of plugins available.

I don't have a Pi yet but I do use xfce as my desktop of choice on all other machines and intend using it on the Pi (probably with xdm rather than slim)

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Westmead Hawk
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:00 pm

>>>apt-get install xfce4-systemload-plugin
Great, thanks very much for that. I think I'm beginning to see which features belong to the GUI and which are independent.

I've looked into LXDE removal on the Ubuntu forums and I thinks it's a complex exercise to get rid of every bit of it. Perhaps I'll leave it in place and just figure out how to default to XFCE.

Cheers

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Westmead Hawk
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:54 pm

All sorted now. I eventually removed LXDE in its entirety with a clumsy mixture of apt-get "purge" and "autoremove" commands. I'm sure it's simple when you know what you're doing.

Starting XFCE is a simple case of typing "startxfce4" at the prompt after login.

I chose a panel plugin called CPUGraph ("sudo apt-get install xfce4-cpugraph-plugin") which gives you a graphical picture of CPU use in the panel like the default in LXDE.

I'm very pleased with XFCE, good shout OP!

Reider
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:41 am

What suits me about XFCE;

Auto startx to GUI, with F1 to choose option
Choice of XFCE, LXDE or OpenBox GUI
Layout of GUI and a few added options but originals there
Ease of changing desktop look and GUI (see what irritates me, below)
Terminal can easily be used in the GUI from an icon
SSH and VNC still work AOK, except as below
In some ways I like SLIM login, but the choice of GUI order should be possible from a config file

What irritates me about XFCE;
The kiddie style original desktop and GUI (thankfully easily changed)
In some ways I like SLIM login, but the choice of GUI order should be possible from a config file
When using VNC it shows the LXDE Desktop/GUI not the XFCE one (sure this can be changed)

Finally a note about the speed. I watched the start of LXDE enough times, even after a fresh install and check second, third, fourth bootup to know it's no quicker. If anything it appears slower but then I realized it has to first boot, then open SLIM for the log in , then open the Desktop/GUI. I think possibly it ends up much the same speed if anything IMHO. Thank you for posting and yes it's a keeper for me.

Steve

stecklars
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Re: XFCE on the Pi - Making your Pi GUI run faster!

Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:23 pm

How can I start the pi up with a console after installing slim instead of starting slim automatically?

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