Skip to main content

Linux: lubuntu


I decided to give lubuntu a try:
lubuntu is a faster, more lightweight and energy saving variant of Ubuntu using LXDE, the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment.
If you already have Ubuntu installed, trying lubuntu is really easy; just run "sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop".

In summary, it's very pretty, super fast, and crazy small. In fact, its memory usage was almost laughable considering I was running it on a 4GB MacBook Pro. I think my total memory usage was something in the 200-300MB range.

The downside is that there are a lot of things that I've grown accustomed to in Ubuntu that I can't live without. Ubuntu has a GUI to swap the capslock key with the control key, and it has a GUI to tweak my touchpad and power management settings. There are probably ways to configure these things by hand under lubuntu, but I've grown mildly impatient in my old age ;)

The biggest challenge for me was that lubuntu doesn't know about encrypted home directories. I have an encrypted home directory, and Ubuntu knows that it has to run ecryptfs-mount-private when I log in; in fact, it doesn't even need to ask me for my password again since it does it as part of the login process. When I ran lubuntu, I had to log in, run ecryptfs-mount-private (typing in my password again), log out, and then log back in.

I have a couple more tips. To access the OpenBox menus, middle click on the desktop. If you decide to install lubuntu, don't tell it to switch to lxdm. Otherwise, if you remove lubuntu, you'll end up with a borked gdm setup. To fix it, you'll need to remove and reinstall gdm.

In summary, I really like lubuntu. It makes my machine feel lightning fast, faster than any other computer I've ever owned--at least until I fire up NetBeans ;) I'm not sure if they'll fix the things I mentioned, but if those things don't affect you, I think lubuntu is worth a try.

Comments

akaihola said…
I've been wondering about the caps lock issue as well. I'd like it to act as the Super key by default which is easy to do in Ubuntu, but Lubuntu's lxinput GUI doesn't support that.
akaihola said…
Actually, appending the following to /etc/xdg/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart does the trick, at least when using the Finnish keyboard layout:

setxkbmap -option caps:super
jjinux said…
Thanks for the tip :)
Anonymous said…
other possibilities are

setxkbmap -option ctrl:swapcaps # Left Control <-> Caps Lock

setxkbmap -option ctrl:nocaps # Caps Lock -> Control
jjinux said…
That's really helpful. Thanks.

Popular posts from this blog

Ubuntu 20.04 on a 2015 15" MacBook Pro

I decided to give Ubuntu 20.04 a try on my 2015 15" MacBook Pro. I didn't actually install it; I just live booted from a USB thumb drive which was enough to try out everything I wanted. In summary, it's not perfect, and issues with my camera would prevent me from switching, but given the right hardware, I think it's a really viable option. The first thing I wanted to try was what would happen if I plugged in a non-HiDPI screen given that my laptop has a HiDPI screen. Without sub-pixel scaling, whatever scale rate I picked for one screen would apply to the other. However, once I turned on sub-pixel scaling, I was able to pick different scale rates for the internal and external displays. That looked ok. I tried plugging in and unplugging multiple times, and it didn't crash. I doubt it'd work with my Thunderbolt display at work, but it worked fine for my HDMI displays at home. I even plugged it into my TV, and it stuck to the 100% scaling I picked for the othe

Drawing Sierpinski's Triangle in Minecraft Using Python

In his keynote at PyCon, Eben Upton, the Executive Director of the Rasberry Pi Foundation, mentioned that not only has Minecraft been ported to the Rasberry Pi, but you can even control it with Python . Since four of my kids are avid Minecraft fans, I figured this might be a good time to teach them to program using Python. So I started yesterday with the goal of programming something cool for Minecraft and then showing it off at the San Francisco Python Meetup in the evening. The first problem that I faced was that I didn't have a Rasberry Pi. You can't hack Minecraft by just installing the Minecraft client. Speaking of which, I didn't have the Minecraft client installed either ;) My kids always play it on their Nexus 7s. I found an open source Minecraft server called Bukkit that "provides the means to extend the popular Minecraft multiplayer server." Then I found a plugin called RaspberryJuice that implements a subset of the Minecraft Pi modding API for B

Creating Windows 10 Boot Media for a Lenovo Thinkpad T410 Using Only a Mac and a Linux Machine

TL;DR: Giovanni and I struggled trying to get Windows 10 installed on the Lenovo Thinkpad T410. We struggled a lot trying to create the installation media because we only had a Mac and a Linux machine to work with. Everytime we tried to boot the USB thumb drive, it just showed us a blinking cursor. At the end, we finally realized that Windows 10 wasn't supported on this laptop :-/ I've heard that it took Thomas Edison 100 tries to figure out the right material to use as a lightbulb filament. Well, I'm no Thomas Edison, but I thought it might be noteworthy to document our attempts at getting it to boot off a USB thumb drive: Download the ISO. Attempt 1: Use Etcher. Etcher says it doesn't work for Windows. Attempt 2: Use Boot Camp Assistant. It doesn't have that feature anymore. Attempt 3: Use Disk Utility on a Mac. Erase a USB thumb drive: Format: ExFAT Scheme: GUID Partition Map Mount the ISO. Copy everything from