Science and technology

How I gave my outdated laptop computer new life with the Linux Xfce desktop

A number of weeks in the past, I wanted to provide a convention presentation that included a short demonstration of a small app I’d written for Linux. I wanted a Linux laptop computer to deliver to the convention, so I dug out an outdated laptop computer and put in Linux on it. I used the Fedora 36 Xfce spin, which labored nice.

The laptop computer I used was bought in 2012. The 1.70 GHz CPU, 4 GB reminiscence, and 128 GB drive could appear small in comparison with my present desktop machine, however Linux and the Xfce desktop gave this outdated machine new life.

Xfce desktop for Linux

The Xfce desktop is a light-weight desktop that gives a smooth, trendy look. The interface is acquainted, with a taskbar or “panel” throughout the highest to launch functions, change between digital desktops, or entry notifications within the system tray. The fast entry dock on the backside of the display enables you to launch ceaselessly used functions just like the terminal, file supervisor, and net browser.

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 40)

To begin a brand new software, click on the Applications button within the upper-left nook. This opens a menu of software launchers, with probably the most ceaselessly used functions just like the terminal and file supervisor on the high. Other functions are organized into teams, so you possibly can navigate to the one you need.

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 40)

Managing information

Xfce’s file supervisor known as Thunar, and it does an incredible job of organizing my information. I like that Thunar may also make connections to distant programs. At dwelling, I exploit a Raspberry Pi utilizing SSH as a personal file server. Thunar lets me open an SSH file switch window so I can copy information between my laptop computer and the Raspberry Pi.

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 40)

Another option to entry information and folders is through the short entry dock on the backside of the display. Click the folder icon to deliver up a menu of widespread actions resembling opening a folder in a terminal window, creating a brand new folder, or navigating into a selected folder.

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 40)

Other functions

I cherished exploring the opposite functions supplied in Xfce. The Mousepad textual content editor seems like a easy textual content editor, but it surely comprises helpful options for modifying extra than simply plain textual content. Mousepad acknowledges many file varieties that programmers and different energy customers might respect. Check out this partial listing of programming languages accessible within the Document menu.

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 40)

If you favor a special appear and feel, you possibly can alter the interface choices resembling font, shade scheme, and line numbers utilizing the View menu.

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 40)

The disk utility enables you to handle storage units. While I did not want to change my system disk, the disk instrument is an effective way to initialize or reformat a USB flash drive. I discovered the interface very simple to make use of.

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 40)

I used to be additionally impressed with the Geany built-in improvement setting. I used to be a bit stunned {that a} full IDE ran so properly on an older system. Geany advertises itself as a “powerful, stable and lightweight programmer’s text editor that provides tons of useful features without bogging down your workflow.” And that is precisely what Geany supplied.

I began a easy “hello world” program to check out Geany, and was happy to see that the IDE popped up syntax assist as I typed every perform title. The pop-up message is unobtrusive and supplies simply sufficient syntax data the place I want it. While the printf perform is straightforward for me to recollect, I all the time neglect the order of choices to different capabilities like fputs and realloc. This is the place I want the pop-up syntax assist.

(Jim Hall, CC BY-SA 40)

Explore the menus in Xfce to search out different functions to make your work simpler. You’ll discover apps to play music, entry the terminal, or browse the online.

While I put in Linux to make use of my laptop computer for a couple of demos at a convention, I discovered Linux and the Xfce desktop made this outdated laptop computer really feel fairly snappy. The system carried out so properly that when the convention was over, I made a decision to maintain the laptop computer round as a second machine.

I simply love working in Xfce and utilizing the apps. Despite the low overhead and minimal method, I do not really feel underpowered. I can do every part I have to do utilizing Xfce and the included apps. If you’ve got an older machine that wants new life, attempt putting in Linux to deliver new life to outdated {hardware}.

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