Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Xubuntu is an official Ubuntu project and is released along side Ubuntu and Kubuntu. It first appeared as part of the 6.06 release fest which happened mid 2006 and has given older PC's a new lease on life by providing a leaner window manager. After recently reviewing Kubuntu 8.10 Alpha 6 (and not liking what I found) I was hoping that Xubuntu 8.10 Alpha 6 wasn't going to disappoint.
Booting up for the first time was quick and easy – it does seem 'snappier' than the exact same machine running Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Mandriva (though these three were not slow by any means). A pop-up informed me that I had 79 updates to download and I can expect more and more updates to come through as development at this stage (there's still a beta and a release candidate to go) is far from over. One very Ubuntu thing is the restricted drivers icon on the top right of the screen, informing me that there's a restricted driver available - in my case, a propriety Nvidia driver to provide 3D acceleration. Unfortunately, this disappeared after a reboot (I was reqested to reboot after the 79 updates) though there's a 'Hardware Drivers' link under System in the start menu.