Debian Stable Xfce / nonfree - user req. for review of some bundled utilities / applications
Apologies if this is posted to the wrong mailing list, it seemed the best
place for the basic level of enquiry/request.
A while back I tested on a few laptops
and am interested to try the Xfce flavour of the next major Stable edition
which I gather is scheduled for release this year, with a view to
The following reflected some of my impressions of the above nonfree
For most of what follows, I imagine the answer could be just "well you
have the option to install suchlike, so why don't you just do that?" Which
is indeed the case, except there are in the mix a few items that might
reasonably be considered kind of anomalous, plus the risk of the
tyro/intermediate user hosing the system by installing otherwise than from
the Debian depository e.g. ScanTailor Advanced off github or elsewhere
1. for the above edition specifically, installation: I didn't see any
means of selecting another kernel; it failed to boot a P4 desktop with 2GB
RAM and a hard reboot was required as no exit option.
2. Debian Reference links in browser only to Italian and Spanish versions
- no English or other versions. Why?
3. desktop and specifically the icons looking more like clunky VGA -vs-
SVGA. The tested laptops had AMD radeon gpu and dmesg showed firmware
loaded etc but brief twiddling adjustments to desktop settings to reduce
icons/font sizes made no or little difference. (I can't define this better
than to have the SVGA look instead of the VGA look - is there a Xfce
compatible utility that serves that purpose and/or which can be bundled
with the release?)
4. "Start" / applications menu lists as terminals:
i) Thai x Terminal
iii) Xfce Terminal
v) Multilingual Terminal
vi) Terminal Emulator
Yet despite all that surplusage of terminals (why?!) some basic
system-like utilities seem to be missing (did I miss any?) e.g.
grsync GUI for sync to synchronise folders, make backups etc and.or maybe
part / gparted
snapper or timeshift
A utility to adjust desktop definition as above re: the SVG -vs- VGA look.
The netrunner, Puppy (various) distributions seem to have a small
sprinkling of useful utilities and common applications. But they don't
have the same Debian backing and reliability.
Some basic entertainment or productivity applications are visible, but
notable omissions might be e.g.
Audacity audio editor
doublecommander, muCommander, spacefm or similar as extra or alternative
to Thunar which like MS Windows Explorer lacks a lot of functionality
GIMP (for some reason included in Mate desktop version and not Xfce) -
LibreOffice Draw is not a substitute.
gpg for checking those binary etc sigs
keepassxc for accessing your MS Windows dbase of logins
mhwaveedit wav and mp3 editor using LAME
NoteCase outliner or maybe Osmo organizer
Transmission or other torrent client and ytdl
PDFsam for editing PDFs
Scan Tailor Advanced
https://github.com/4lex4/scantailor-advanced (the older version from
which it is branched seemed to have lost its maintainer the last time I
looked about a year ago, or maybe I didn't understand the email contact
VLC (there is Parole music player which is ok, Quod Libet music player
which doesn't have a progress bar - why include it?)
Anyway I hope some or all of this could be reviewed. And no, it's not
intended as trolling. Bit more of a cri de coeur.
btw thanks for producing a Stable distribution which in successive minor
editions at least has managed to boot three different types of laptops for
testing purposes and even deployed their external monitors without needing
to fiddle with settings. Which is quite a bit more than a significant
proportion of the distributions I tried off DistroWatch managed to do.