What's the difference between XFCE and 'normal' templates?

In R4.2 we have specific XFCE templates available

  • fedora-38-xfce
  • debian-12-xfce
  • etc.

Is there a list of what is different from the plain old templates? The XFCE Templates page doesn’t say anything more than that the templates are more lightweight compared to GNOME desktop environment.

I know they use Thunar instead of Nautilus, and the text editor is different. What else?

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Full context: Default (pre-installed) template flavor - considering change from gnome to xfce

Edit: I got the summary wrong. In practice, the difference is often not going to be much, but the *-xfce templates are not the “plain old” templates. See details in the thread above.


Frome what I know, the *-xfce templates are more lightweight compared to the previous main-templates (in 4.1 and earlier). I now wondering, if the old main-templates (Debian12, Fedora39 etc.) will disappear one time, or if the qubes team those templates still try to keep up in future Qubes installation files…!?

I was also wondering what packages might have changed in case I wanted to use the same ones in minimal templates.

I notice that there are no XFCE variants of the minimal templates.

Assume because *-minimal’s already the lightweightest templates. Guess you can’t make them smaller.
Maybe you have to walk away from thinking - all have to be a *-xfce in the templatename. The current *-xfce names are only to separate them from the old template names… nothings more.´, nothings less.
It all seems to be about size…
They also had given them another suffix like *-lightweight…etc…

fedora-39/debian-12 → heavy (with much of packages)
fedora-39-xfce/debian-12-xfce → more lightweight bundle (but usable for most of the things in QubesOS)
fedora-39-minimal/debian-12-minimal → lightweightest templates (just for minimal use; less packages)

And some other thoughts:

The strategy of QubesOS is to keep all small in qubes and so they probably tried to keep “templates” smaller by removing the Gnome parts/packages out of a “main” templates and keeping up the xfce parts, which are lightweight to the previous Gnome material in a qube/template.

the old main templates probably had been called fedora-3X-gnome/debian-1X-gnome, hehe… :slight_smile: