Lubuntu looks promising

Pictures like these make me happy.


I’ve been seeding the Lubuntu beta for a day or two, and of course, I had to try it out. It doesn’t look a whole lot different from, say, a plain-Jane installation of Ubuntu with the LXDE desktop installed.

But the beauty of this is perhaps that it is an Ubuntu-sanctioned (is that the correct term?) project running as a live disc on a machine with only 256Mb of memory, and it’s quite usable. That alone is worth applauding. The last time I could do that with Ubuntu was … three years ago? Maybe never.

When the final version is complete, I want to give it a complete shakedown. There are some obvious quirks right now, and it doesn’t seem to follow the Ubuntu style too closely yet (not that it has to; the earliest versions of Xubuntu were quite eccentric, to be nice). I’m sure all of this will come through in time.

Right now it’s just fun to think that there’s another option for underpowered machines. And it looks like it will do well.

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18 Responses to “Lubuntu looks promising”

  1. 1 Brian 2009/09/06 at 8:25 AM

    There’s also crunchbang –

    Great forums :)

    Brilliant Ubuntu based Openbox distro

  2. 2 Timmy 2009/09/06 at 10:23 AM

    This is the best news I’ve heard today.
    @Brian Yes, but CrunchBang doesn’t try to be light. At all.

  3. 3 stlouisubntu 2009/09/06 at 1:22 PM

    LXDE on an ubuntu base is nothing new. u-lite FKA ubuntulite has been around for years. The only difference appears to be the Lubuntu is officially sanctioned while u-lite has been shunned for no valid reason. In fairness, please consider giving u-lite a shakedown:

    I can tell you from experience (by using it for over a year and a half) that is works quite well.

    • 4 K.Mandla 2009/09/06 at 7:38 PM

      I’m one step ahead of you.

      I won’t make a case for Lubuntu against u-lite, or u-lite against MoonOS LXDE, or MoonOS LXDE against PUD/GNU-Linux or anything else that happens to combine LXDE with Ubuntu. You’re right; mixing the two is not anything new, but mixing them under the auspices of Ubuntu/Canonical and finally exposing Xubuntu’s bloated monstrosity as anything but a “lightweight distribution” … is what I find appealing.

      If there’s a reason why the LXDE developers were tapped to create an “official” Ubuntu version, I don’t know it. But it could be that I just hit on it: Because they’re the LXDE developers. Aside from that, I haven’t any idea.

      • 5 stlouisubntu 2009/09/07 at 1:03 PM

        Okay, point well taken. If this actually being developed by PCMan himself, it would indeed make sense to have him develop Lubuntu. However, it still doesn’t make sense for ubuntu / Canonical to have shunned Ubuntlite / u-lite since before 8.04. Why not have supported their efforts (even consult with the LXDE developers on it) instead of completely reinvent the wheel once again (as happens so often in open source / free software communities.)

        • 6 Shae 2009/09/09 at 9:44 AM

          I also hope Kmandla would check out U-lite sometime once I create an official release, but right now there would be little sense in it.

          I understand your frustration stlouisubntu. You are just representing mine that I expressed several times on U-lite’s site, but I digress. I fully support the efforts of Lubuntu and am involved in a somewhat minor roll. The only ill will I harboured against them was that they seemed to have forgotten to contact me early on in their planning although they considered it. They have of course more than made up for any mess that made.

          My main grievances are against Canonical who could not even reply to my email early after being notified about our previous name asking if cooperation leading to recognition was even possible.

          • 7 Shae 2009/09/09 at 9:45 AM

            Oops, I forgot, but Kmandla is well aware of U-lite and was a Forum admin (and I suppose still is although it has been a while since I have seen him on.)

    • 8 Robin 2009/12/17 at 10:48 PM

      U-Lite appears to be nearly dead. The latest downloadable version is based on Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy) and the newest version has been in Beta for ever. The forums have ancient unanswered posts and almost no activity at all. Even the “What’s going on” thread is months out of date. Judging by the web site, it looks as though the project has been all but abandoned.

      It’s really too bad, because U-Lite was the original LXDE/’buntu mixture. It broke some new ground and all the others that have followed are in U-Lite’s debt.

      But life ain’t always fair, and fate is not kind to lone developers with little to no support, going it alone as Shae is.

      But Shae has had the good sense to join and participate in the Lubuntu project herself, and I’m sure that her contributions will be awesome.

  4. 9 sector 2009/09/06 at 8:03 PM

    It must be very light too.
    I use LXDE on Debian testing. (L)
    Much more light than XFCE, right?

  5. 11 Adam Gonnerman 2009/09/06 at 9:30 PM

    I tried out the Lubuntu live cd last week and intend to blog about it soon. I agree that for now it looks like Ubuntu fitted with LXDE and needs some more work,and I’m looking forward to seeing its progress. As a full install (once the distro is ready and the rough edges are smoothed) I might use it on my laptop to increase speed.

  6. 12 the_englishman 2009/09/06 at 10:56 PM

    There’s also Spri Linux (previously known as Icebuntu)

  7. 13 Carl Snyder 2009/09/07 at 5:04 AM

    OK, I have to comment. I just installed Debian 5.0 Lenny with LXDE on a Compaq Presario 1640 (64M RAM, 3.5G HDD). It is usable, although slow. Works as well as Damn Small Linux on the same machine, but LXDE may be easier for the (former Windows user) intended user to use (especially in front of small children).

    My sister wants to use it for light word processing, flyers, invitations, etc., Google mail, and web browsing.

  8. 15 Brian 2009/09/08 at 6:52 PM

    >but CrunchBang doesn’t try to be light. At all.

    It doesn’t? Do you mean by choice of software? There is also the Lite version. I’ve found it works well on older machines.

  9. 16 thealphanerd 2009/09/08 at 6:59 PM

    CrunchBang, is by default, a horribly bloated distro yet it’s fast…. on new machines. It’s pretty much Ubuntu with more Cowbell and Openbox. Don’t bother, Alternate with a good IceWM config can run more infinite loops.

  10. 17 Shae 2009/09/09 at 9:39 AM

    I am actually somewhat excited to see their progress. I helped a little in the early package selection, but it seems that the people who were in charge of putting together the meta diverged greatly from the original plans, but that is their right. I hope the best for this project.

  11. 18 steve 2009/09/12 at 7:00 PM

    Using it right now, very nice it is too…Same resource use as Debian + LXDE ~180MB with a terminal, PCManFM, a movie and iceweasel/firefox going…This is definitely one to keep an eye on…Thanks for the heads up.

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