As you know, I’m often leery about the respins and forks and pimped up versions of popular distributions, as they rarely meet the high standards they set for themselves, and rarely exceed the original, too. So, I’d like to see what Voyager 12.04 can do. All in all, the latest Xubuntu Pangolin is fairly good, and with some innocent aforementioned pimping, it can be made really great. Finally, since Voyager is a French product, I will try to insert silly French-sounding references throughout the review, so bear with me. Now, suivez moi.
Le sessione live
You will notice the live session boot menu reads Xubuntu. Hm. So perhaps the tweaking is not as radical as it might appear. Never mind. Twenty seconds later, my test machine was showing a dark desktop, dominated by black and orange motifs. Quite impressive, I must say. Except that installation icon tucked in the top left corner.
Le brief tour of the aesthetics
All right, so the desktop is definitely interesting, and it comes with some unique elements that I do not remember encountering in other Xfce desktops. The first would be the all new color scheme. Then, there’s the bottom panel, which is set to hide only if there are active applications covering it. New applications show in the panel and can be docked/pinned.
Some of the icons use the two-tone text launchers, while others come with their own art work. It seems there are two powers at work. The icons are also shown in the top panel, so this might be interpreted as redundant. The system menu comes with what I believe is the Faenza set, which complements the black-orange set nicely, but I would have preferred a single collection.
In the right corner, there’s a lively system area with a handful of applets. You get the usual workspace switcher, time & date with a format that could be nicer, the generic connectivity set, then another icon that looks much like Wireless, but is in fact a radio. You also have the Synapse desktop search available, which will browse everything for you.
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