Parrot XFCE layout development

Parrot XFCE is our prebuild iso edition that aims low spec hardware. After our very first build, we’ve found some problems and we would like to hear your feedback to improve it.

I. Problems

  1. Can’t type password after screen is locked. It should be fixed in next build.
  2. Not so lightweight: It still uses so much RAM.

II. After some test, we’ve found something about RAM:

  1. The higher resolution displays, the more memory that OS uses
  2. Some pre-installed plugins (not very necessary) uses much RAM.
  3. More objects (panels, plugins) uses more RAM.

III. We have some solutions

  1. Remove weather plugins and notification plugins (this saves 60 - 100mb RAM)
  2. Create new layout which has less object on desktop (1 panel only, move launchers to favorite apps in whisker menu).

So we create this topic to collect ideas and feedback from users. We want to know:

  1. What should be fixed in next version?
  2. Which plugin should be added / removed (include should we keep weather plugin or notification plugin)
  3. The layout we should use for XFCE edition.
  4. Which software / service should be added / removed to make system be more lightweight?

For now we are having 2 style

  1. “Traditional Parrot’s style” which has 2 panels. It takes more space on screen but it is very friendly and useful. With this style, users can use mouse to start applications from launchers quickly (or from places plugin / applications plugin).
  2. Only 1 panel at bottom (Like parrot-kde’s style). All launchers move to favorite apps. This style moves everything to whisker menu and users will use keyboard to use whisker menu.
  3. Any other style that we didn’t think about?
    Screenshot of new style

P/s: This Parrot was installed inside Vbox 6.1.14, 3031MB RAM, resolution 1440x900. Any different setting can make memory usage be different.

If you want to have it be truly lightweight, use something like Openbox and get rid of the desktop environment entirely. You just need a window-manager, not a desktop environment.

Woo! Long time Parrot user, huge fan of XFCE, so… I will weigh in on a few topics here.

I.2. XFCE is kinda heavyweight, and that comes with the territory, as @robbyoconnor mentioned there is a workaround in stripping the desktop out of it and going with window managers alone, though this feels like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

III.1. This sounds good. I don’t use Parrot to tell me the weather, and even then, it likely isn’t remotely accurate. In fact, this would only serve as a canary to show where the plugin thinks that I am when using it. So… kill it with fire. For notifications, I like having it. There are many applications that are using it, and it usually provides functionality for the RAM usage.

Honestly, the defaults get overridden if I (personally) find something that I don’t like, and your proposed changes look closer to what I use anyway, so… go for it.

If we are looking to honestly address the memory footprint I would recommend something like Fluxbox as a third option on top of KDE/XFCE. But, this would increase the number of WM that are asked about.

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Hai, everyone loves parrot os because of its cool Graphical interface and smooth performance so please try to make it lightweight as possible

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We have I3 for this. In next versions we’ll try an iso with supported DE and VM and let user select which to install at installation time.

Well it is not just for expert users only but normal users too. So flexible and friendly is 1 important goal.

Well notifications will show even you don’t have that notification plugin. I believe this plugin just “hook” system notifications, push new notifications to the stack. I have to think about it. I don’t really use it so much. I should try testing with it for runtime memory.

That is what we are doing :smiley: From some comments on youtube (with benchmark results), XFCE is going to be more heavyweight. It is core of the DE and GTK is the reason. We are doing our best for this optimize.

It would be nice if anybody help us tracking startup services / processes that has no usage and uses to much ram

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Nice job devs

Keep going to improve it i love xfce

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After a meeting of team, we decided to use Mate style: 2 panels. We’ll add some customizations and remove something to reduce ram use. But the new version will not as different as screenshot above.

But it doesn’t mean we forgot or ignore any other suggestions of users. We have a plan (it has been a plan for year) that make a layout changer like Zorin OS did. So by clicking on menu, users can change the style to 2 panels, 1 panels or even dock style.

We also agreed that we should remove some launchers in panels. Some useful launchers will be added to favorite list in whisker menu.

We also provide some small customization for XFCE Terminal so the whole system could be more friendly.

If anybody has any idea: we are still listening for ideas. So just feel free to suggest us here and we can change asap.

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Changelog for XFCE (old edition will be the same after upgrading). This changelog will be on fresh installation only.

- descrease panel size to 29

- Top panel:

+ Remove launchers: encryptpad, vscode, remmina

+ Remove weather plugin, power manager plugin

+ Add power manager display at system tray

- Bottom panel: add encryptpad, mousepad, anonsurf-gtk, vscodium, remmina, htop to favrites

- Window manager: Remove "shape" icon

- Startup:

+ Enable gnome-keyring to startup (testing)

+ Enable: Launch Gnome servies on startup and Launch KDE services on startup

- Terminal:

+ Change cursor to underline

+ Text color to 00ff00 (green)

+ Disable "display menubar" (users can still show by right click or use f10)

+ Display background to none

+ Disable middle mouse close tab

+ Disable unsafe paste warn

- Hotkey:

+ add alt + print for capture actived window's screenshot

+ add Shift + Print for select region screenshot


what about WHISKERMENU?
can customizing it cause less ram usage?

No we can’t.
And it doens’t use much ram. The problem is core DE.

Something that new layout style can do :rofl:



Love the look…

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