Reinstalling Linux

Generally, after using a Windows machine for close to a year, it gets bogged down and slow and benefits greatly from a reinstall. After about 2 months of using Linux, and installing three different desktop managers on top of one another, I’ve found the same with my Linux install.

I attribute most of the problems that I’ve been having to the relationship between XFCE and KDE. After installing KDE and playing with it for one evening, I hightailed it back to XFCE, and found that many of  the options that I set in KDE leeched their way back into XFCE.

For instance, all of the window decoration that I set in KDE, the default web browser and file manager all persist in XFCE. Thanks to the light weight way that XFCE handles settings (read: it doesn’t save them, and doesn’t listen to ones that you do set, so don’t expect it to), most of KDE has leeched into my XFCE install.

This, along with a few other minor problems that I’ve been having lately, as well as a curiosity about what the install process would be like now that I know what I’m doing, have lead me to attempting a fresh install. Ideally, I’ll be back up and running within an hour.

Cheers, and wish me luck.


  1. I have a PC at home with Fedora 9 on it that was set up with Fedora 5 and then upgraded to Fedora 7 and to 9. It runs for years without getting significantly slower.

    Further I have an Ubuntu 9.10 notebook upgraded from 9.04 running since about August – and it got faster instead of slower.

  2. Martin, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
    I believe that we’ve experienced some different situations – I did not mean to imply that using a Linux distribution, or that upgrading a Linux distribution can cause it to slow down. My implication was instead that migrating between a number of different desktop managers that have been installed on the same system can cause problems.
    My specific problems stemmed primarily from what seems to be a rather ill defined relationship between XFCE and KDE. After installing KDE and doing some visual tweaking, I booted back into XFCE, and found that many of my decorations and default applications settings from XDE had persisted.
    Further, failed attempts at compiling and installing a couple of unofficial applications from non-Debian repositories had left a number of extraneous packages and some unresolved dependencies on my system.
    Only at this point, when I had personally made a mess out of the system (mostly due to my inexperience, and desire to tinker with things that I probably didn’t entirely understand) did I feel as though my machine needed to be reinstalled.
    On the other hand, the Microsoft Windows Vista machine that I run at home currently needs to be reinstalled in a bad way – it takes almost 5 whole minutes to boot to a usable desktop, and I would call myself an expert Windows user. It simply seems to gain clutter over time.
    And so, I think that we in effect may come to the same conclusion – Debian Linux, when used correctly, and by somebody who knows what they are doing (and doesn’t have administrator privileges and a predilection to mess with things that they don’t fully understand), is a fast, stable, and reliable system that does not gain any clutter or slow down appreciably over time.

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