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.


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

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 Bukkit s…

Apple: iPad and Emacs

Someone asked my boss's buddy Art Medlar if he was going to buy an iPad. He said, "I figure as soon as it runs Emacs, that will be the sign to buy." I think he was just trying to be funny, but his statement is actually fairly profound.

It's well known that submitting iPhone and iPad applications for sale on Apple's store is a huge pain--even if they're free and open source. Apple is acting as a gatekeeper for what is and isn't allowed on your device. I heard that Apple would never allow a scripting language to be installed on your iPad because it would allow end users to run code that they hadn't verified. (I don't have a reference for this, but if you do, please post it below.) Emacs is mostly written in Emacs Lisp. Per Apple's policy, I don't think it'll ever be possible to run Emacs on the iPad.

Emacs was written by Richard Stallman, and it practically defines the Free Software movement (in a manner of speaking at least). Stal…

ERNOS: Erlang Networked Operating System

I've been reading Dreaming in Code lately, and I really like it. If you're not a dreamer, you may safely skip the rest of this post ;)

In Chapter 10, "Engineers and Artists", Alan Kay, John Backus, and Jaron Lanier really got me thinking. I've also been thinking a lot about Minix 3, Erlang, and the original Lisp machine. The ideas are beginning to synthesize into something cohesive--more than just the sum of their parts.

Now, I'm sure that many of these ideas have already been envisioned within, LLVM, Microsoft's Singularity project, or in some other place that I haven't managed to discover or fully read, but I'm going to blog them anyway.

Rather than wax philosophical, let me just dump out some ideas:Start with Minix 3. It's a new microkernel, and it's meant for real use, unlike the original Minix. "This new OS is extremely small, with the part that runs in kernel mode under 4000 lines of executable code." I bet it&…