Revisiting LXDE

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That Random Guy
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 1:08 am

Revisiting LXDE

Postby That Random Guy » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:36 pm


After not using LXDE for a really long time, I found myself getting exposed to it again when I decided to reformat my Kali USB with the latest image.

It then occurred to me that LXDE is still probably one of the nicest desktop environments around, despite my aversion for it and LXQt's ascension.

Although I find LXQt a lot more user-friendly, it still suffers from the one and only thing I personally found lacking in LXDE and that is the LXpanel menu plugin in LXDE or simply, the panel menu as some may consider it.

Quite honestly, that's largely the only issue I ever had with LXDE. The only reason I can settle with it in LXQt is because they included a search utility and they even have their own launcher. So, being one of those people, I just feel a lot more productive when having those options.

LXDE's menu plugin was not only non-user-friendly out of the box but it didn't allow easy modification to make it so. Yes, I could make my text bigger, but that by itself didn't mean it was designed well nor rendered well on all screens.

I think, however, and to its prolonged use/success, LXDE wins the "lightweight" argument and does so because it follows the KISS principle to its core.

That is why I've found justification for using it on my Kali live pen drive. It includes what I need (and then some), it's simple as heck, and it's fast.

The reason I felt like posting this at all was because I felt that I perhaps criticized LXDE too much in the past. I still wouldn't choose it as my favorite desktop and I still think there's no excuse for a lacking in usability when it comes to GUI components, but that doesn't mean I don't see where it fulfills most people's needs. I think it allowed a lot of basic things you'd see in any "modern" desktop environment and perhaps even had its own quirks. It was by no means perfect, as none are, but whenever I used it, I had what I needed—whether that was a text editor, a terminal, or a file explorer—I had it.

In my opinion, if LXDE had simply modernized that one thing, that one desktop component, there wouldn't have been much justification to move on to LXQt. Obviously, I don't know the real reason why things moved on aside from built-in limitations but I'm not a dev, so I can't give any concrete insight.

If it were me, however, and they did simply make the menu more user-friendly, I wouldn't have minded sticking with LXDE.

So, if there's anything to take from this aside—and not that anyone should care—it's that I didn't hate LXDE per say, I just couldn't use it. :?

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Coen Naninck
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:57 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Revisiting LXDE

Postby Coen Naninck » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:04 pm

I've followed the LXQT project for a long time but didn't install until Lubuntu first included it as an option. I absolutely hate it.

I've used Lubuntu LXDE for about two years, always uninstalling a lot of the default software.

Eventually I figured out how I can go even more minimal creating my own Ubuntu distro of sorts. I now have a system that boots into command line, I type my username and password and then it starts the display server automatically; no login manager necessary. My desktop only contains a clock and vertical taskbar icons in the bottom-right corner (without titles) showing which programs are running. Almost every program on my system is launched with a keyboard shortcut, the rest with the lxpanel Run popup and the wine programs with PCManFM's Applications menu; I don't use menus. It's lightning fast.

I will probably never stop using LXDE, it's light and highly configurable. And Openbox's rc.xml makes it a breeze to configure the OS in any way you like.

In my eternal quest for even more minimalism I recently removed my laptop's internal SSD and installed my OS on an external drive without any loss of speed, it's just as fast. I can take it with me on the go and plug it in a friend's system, enter their BIOS and boot from the SSD, using their hardware with my SSD. If my computer gets stolen they only have the hardware, not my files. Total freedom.

LXQT also uses more RAM; I for one don't understand why Lubuntu switched to it while it's heavier on system resources. They said it was because LXDE is not actively developed anymore. What else does it need? Last I checked the LXDE blog showed a software update in 2019. Oh well.
Ubuntu 18.04.3 + LXDE + Openbox

Rex Bouwense
Posts: 1031
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:44 pm
Location: Sierra Vista, Arizona USA

Re: Revisiting LXDE

Postby Rex Bouwense » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:40 pm

For what it is worth, I heard an unsubstantiated rumor that the decision to move Lubuntu to LXQT was made because of a few individuals on the team who wanted to work on something new and exciting. Lubuntu in my opinion is no longer one of the "go to" distros for under powered, low Ram, or older computers. In any event LXDE is still alive and well and is supported on over 40 Linux distributions.
Lubuntu 18.04

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