Gnome vs Xfce
Xfce is described as "[…]a lightweight desktop environment for various *NIX systems. Designed for productivity, it loads and executes applications fast, while conserving system resources." Xfce also strongly supports the unix-thought of highly transparent software.
Gnome focuses on usability and support.
- Due to Xfce's low resource usage, it also runs on computers with slow graphic cards or with generic graphic card drivers (mesa) only.
- On Xfce, having no Hardware-Acceleration in use, windows move much faster when dragged around than on Gnome.
- Xfce equally supports KDE-, Qt-, GTK- and Xfce-Applications. Xfce even supports Gnome Applets (xfapplet-plugin)
- Gnome Desktop's office software is connected. E.g., you can see fixed dates in the Gnome Calendar (Clock) you typed into Gnome's office solution named Evolution before.
Tricks & Tipps
- Use Xfce's window manager xfwm4 instead of Gnome's Metacity for faster window movement on Gnome with no hardware acceleration.
- Xubuntu distributes a Xfce-Environment similar to Ubuntu (Gnome), so no further setups are needed.