I was reading the only Xubuntu themed blog I have ever come across, Living With Xubuntu, and there was a link to a reddit thread about why people are switching from Ubuntu to Debain. The general theme from the thread was one that I’ve heard many times before: Ubuntu is bloated and Debian or Arch or Gentoo is lighter and better and you Ubuntu morons will see the light one day and switch to a real man’s distribution. And not once have I seen anyone mention that Ubuntu can be as light, if not lighter, than every distribution suggested. The trick is not to install the 700 mb GNOME Ubuntu turd that is their main edition, or even Xubuntu (which is a great distro/spin, but is a tad on the bloated side), but install the frickin UBUNTU MINIMAL CD . There’s a reason they call it the minimal cd, it’s only 12.7 mb. You want to avoid bloat, install a 13 mb system.
You want a lightweight functional Xfce system? Install the ubuntu minimall cd and then run “sudo apt-get install xfce4”. That’s it. You get an absolute bare bones Xfce desktop and all the goodness that comes with Ubuntu. Like drivers, tons of packages and a huge support system of forums and blogs. And if you want a GNOME free login manager to round it out, just run “sudo apt-get install lxdm”. And as a free bonus, you get LXDE as well! For all of 9 additional mbs! Not bloated! You get two bloat free desktops, on a system that actually frickin works out of the box.
Stay GNOME free by adding NetworkManager, Chromium, Pidgin, Parole, Aqualung, Mousepad, etc. It’s pretty easy to check and see if you’re “bloating” up your system: after you run “sudo apt-get install whatever” look at the list of dependent packages and the total size of the install. If there are a ton of packages that start with “gnome” or “libgnome” try to find another application. And there you go, a lightweight Ubuntu running a full featured Gtk desktop. This may become more common if the Xubuntu team blimps up their spin at the same rate the Unity team did with the main edition.