Any experience with LXLE?

Hi everybody,

I just want to ask if anybody has got any experience with LXLE.
DistroWatch ranks it as place 67 at the time of writing (https://distrowatch.com/ ).

As I understand LXLE is a derivative of Lubuntu. That´s what wikipedia tells me (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubuntu ).
Homepage is https://www.lxle.net/ .

I´ve been using Lubuntu 64 bit LTS for the past few years on my machine (Lenovo-H520e PC). And I´ve always been very satisfied with it.
It works well and reliably.

I know it´s a bit early for considering moving to focal fossa as bionic beaver will receive updates until April next year. And I´m planning on using bionic until then.
But I don´t want to leave things til´ the last minute and so I´m letting my thoughts wander to what I´m going to do.

The thing is: Lubuntu won´t be the same any more.
With the move from LXDE to LXQt there are going to be vast differences. Watching some introductory videos on YouTube almost gave me some sort of a culture shock.

Not only is the ubiquity installer exchanged for calamares but a huge amount of default applications won´t be the same either. Not to mention icons etc.

So I´m looking for an alternative.
I´d very much like to stick to the LXDE dektop and to as many applications as possible in relation to my current Lubuntu (bionic).
I came across LXLE which is derived from Lubuntu and it seems to me that it´s much more similar to bionic Lubuntu.

So is there anyone using LXLE and who can tell me anything about it experience-wise?

Thanks a lot in advance.

Greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

I installed LXLE on a very old computer for someone else, once. This happened a couple of years ago. I tested it a bit and it seemed alright. I didn’t really have any complaints, though I only tested it shortly and the only issue I found was that the weather indicator wasn’t working as it should.

That said, I have general advice on such questions, for everyone:

About ten years ago I was distro hopping like a maniac, trying out anything that I found remotely interesting. I was still very fresh to the Linux world and was just beginning to dive into it.
After all these years and accumulated experience, I have to swallow the red pill:

There is barely any difference between all those operating systems.

What does that mean? How?
The reason is, that most distributions are based on already established ones. Peppermint OS, LXLE, Devuan, and many many many many other distributions, are nice, have their quirks and stuff, but ultimately, they are all based on the same OS: Ubuntu and Debian.
Additionally, all the differences, that always pop into everyone’s eyes are the different WMs and DEs, as a modular part of the distribution, but at the same time are not an essential, unchangable part about that distribution, since you can change whatever DE or WM you are using, any time. Once you also understand that, you will see, that all these different distributions are nothing magic, they are just custom configurated base distributions, with certain goals in mind. Some want a lean and lightweight experience (Peppermint OS), others specialize on something very specific (Ubuntu Studio) and further want to run on old computers (LXLE) and so on.

However, you can accomplish whatever you want, exactly the way you want, if you just take the base distribution yourself and adjust it to your needs. That is precisely the reason, I stopped distro hopping many years ago and decided on Debian. There is no reason for me to use anything other than Debian, because I can make anything out of Debian. I just have to customize it the way I want to. I don’t need a third party involved in customizing the base OS the way I want it + stuff they want, but I don’t.

So conclusively, I just find it useful to really change a distribution, if the distribution is truly different. That is the case with NixOS, for example. This distribution has an entirely different structure than Ubuntu and Debian have. So it would be truly a change to use this distribution, instead of e.g. Debian. On the other side, there wouldn’t be really anything different when switching from Peppermint OS to LXLE, except the desktop environment and logo.

That said, many enjoy the convenience of preconfigured systems having specific goals in mind. I understand that, that is why I am not “against” the idea of distributing the same base OS in different fashions. I just want to clarify, that people see those distributions as extremely separated, while this couldn’t be further from the truth. They are, for the most part, all brothers and sisters. Sometimes even twins and triplets.

These are the reasons, why I think it is fine if you use LXLE, though you shouldn’t break your head about it, thinking what distribution is best, because you can’t really do anything wrong, as long as the base OS is the one you prefer.

4 Likes

Hi @Akito and thank you very much for your detailed report .
Yes, I think you´re perfectly right with what you are saying.

Well that sounds good and I´m glad I found an expert in you who has installed and taken a look over LXLE.

As far as customization is concerned I know that it´s possible to change the desktop environment but wasn´t sure if that´s the case with Lubuntu 20.04. I mean they changed it to LXQt for a reason.

And even if it´s possible to get hold of LXDE… I think using LXLE from the start would save me quite a bit of work.
Plus there´s always the difference between Lubuntu 18.04 and 20.04 as far as default applications are concerned:


and:
https://phab.lubuntu.me/w/bugs/

So thanks again for your help.

Greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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It’s possible on any Ubuntu or Debian based OS, except an incompatability is explicitly stated by the publishers or a bug prevents the change from happening.
As for the change to LXQt:
I know that LXQt was a long time in an early development stage and finally has been “born” as in ready to used as a stable DE. LXQt is also supposedly one of the most lightweight DEs on the market right now. Therefore, I think they just changed to it, because the time was right, from their point of view. That doesn’t at all mean, that it’s not possible or discouraged to change the DE.

Indubitably.

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For some of us new to Linux;
DE = Desktop environment
WM = Windows manager
*
I believe that Cinnamon, Mate, and Xfce on Linux Mint are examples of DE’s.
I do not know the names of any WM tho I assume Linux Mint must use one.
*
It is interesting that @Akito has told us it is possible to change DE or WM w/o (without) changing Distro.
*
Still feeling some what new to Linux (and fearing I would mess something up) I have not try changing DE or WM on an installed Distro. Instead, I have tried out different Distro with different DE.

3 Likes

I highly appreciate @Akito 's statement.
As it is true.
Only thing I would tell someone when it comes to the “differences” between distros is, that the maintainers of them make everything pretty smooth and streamlined to match the overall “experience” as a well designed and prepared OS. But this is only from a “Design” perspective.
When you build your “own” distro from a pure Debian, sometimes it lacks this feeling of “smoothness” (in terms of Design)…

3 Likes

@Akito:
Thanks for your comments.

Following your statement I gather it should be possible to install Lubuntu 20.04 and then install LXDE dektop environment as a second step. That might be worth considering.
But as far as the default applications are concerned there´s still work to be done (uninstalling the unwanted ones and replacing them with others).

Good to know. Thanks. :wink:

@easyt50:

That´s a valid point. I myself generally use a VM for trying out distros beforehand.
Cheers.

@Fast.Edi:
Thanks for sharing your views.

Greetings at all.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

I have just finished installing LXLE 32bit as a VM on a W10 host. First impression is OK, it lets me drag and drop and move files and folders to where I want, one does have to right click on the Desktop and use the Open as Root option, to run certain things. Installing VBoxGuestAdditions was not bad but getting the shared folder to work was a nightmare. I have an low spec older machine, with XP, that I may have to get out of mothball and see if it will run. It does have a lot of wallpaper photos.

@4dandl4:
Hi Daniel,
nice to hear from you again. :smiley:
Thank you so much for making such an effort to even install LXLE as a VM. :+1:
I would have never expected that.

Your findings and experience seem to give me the impression that LXLE would be an alternative worth considering.
So right now I think I´ll go for LXLE in the future as Lubuntu 20.04 presents too much of a change to me. It´s a bit of shame though.

Tnx again for you kind help.
Greetings.
Rosika

1 Like

Keeps me busy in this day and time!!! I have yet to try this on real hardware, but I am working on it. It does have quite a few features that I like. Why the switch from Lubuntu?

Hi Rosika.
Just like Akito I installed LXLE in a very old laptop, for a friend, about 2 years ago.
It runs fine and has a few good Apps in the package.
Didn’t notice any troubles.
Not jumping over Akito’s (who I respect a lot) review about the several distros all over the world I would like to give you a piece of advice:
Always try the distro (whatever the distro) in live mode! It can save you a lot of troubles.
'though the distros have all the same cores (kernels) and whatever layers (DEs, WMs and App bundles) the distro makers put on top of it… You may find that some distros recognise all your hardware and others don’t (I’ve gone through it).
… Just a thought.

3 Likes

@4dandl4:
Hi Daniel,

Well, apart from the use of the calamares-installer (only a minor point as I hopefully have to use that just once ) I´m not particularly fond of the changes of many default applications.

The links I posted here (post #3) show that too much has changed for my taste.

Just an example: plasma-discover instead of gnome-software??? Why on earth…
I don´t like many of the other default apps either.
All in all that would result in having to uninstall them and replacing them with others.
So it looks like I have to change to another distro. And I´m still searching. :wink:

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@dreis:
Hi Daniel,

Thanks. I´m pleased to hear that.

That´s really good advice. And I´ve done so in the past and intend to keep it that way.

BTW: Just out of curiosity I´ve now installed a second desktop-environment (LXDE) in my Bodhi VM (lubuntu-core) and I´m very pleased with the result. It has gone very well and it makes a great difference visually.

Greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Hi Rosika
It can be confusing in trying to find a distro, seems like walking in a minefield, especially when each distro say’s “I’m the best”. I did get around to installing LXLE 64Bit on a SSD using real hardware, I have had a few issues. One is the Sea Monkey browser, which I really do not care for, I installed Firefox, but I am now having Firefox crashing. I will try Chromium and see how it works. LXLE also is in need of a few more config switches. Three Distro SSD check this link.

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@4dandl4:
Hi Daniel,
thank you so much for further trying out LXLE, this time on real hardware. Much appreciated. :+1:

To be frank I would have replaced seamonkey as well.
Presently I´m using chromium as my main browser. Additionally I use firefox as well.
The problem is: chromium will be offered as snap-only as from eoan
(https://packages.ubuntu.com/search?suite=all&arch=any&searchon=all&keywords=chromium-browser ).
That´s a real shame as I run all browsers in firejail-sandbox.
Yet snap-apps cannot be sandboxed this way although they were supported by firejail once.

I know snaps provide some degree of isolation but compared to firejail with all its possibilities they´re simply not good enough for me.
As a result I would have to convert to firefox as my main browser as well.
So your findings seem really relevant to me. Thanks.

Oh my …

Greetings.
Rosika :smile:

P.S.:
Thanks for the link

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I uninstalled Firefox and am now trying to use Sea Monkey, witch is also by Mozilla. I do not use sandbox, so cannot help there. I getting the feeling that LXLE may not take well to customizing. It may work well on older harware.

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Somehow my name got dropped in this thread, wrong Daniel? Definitely the wrong person to ask about LXLE or LXDE, I hate all incarnations of LXDE, including Raspbian’s default “Pixel” desktop - if I wanted an XP lookalike, I’d install Windows XP somewhere…

Pretty much the first thing I do with an RPi I’m going to run a desktop on, is replace LXDE with XFCE -and I mostly enable “X” on Raspbian anyway, but disable lightdm from systemd and run them mostly headless…

I’ll probably keep running my RaspberryPi 3/4 systems headless with Rapsbian 32 bit until the Raspberry foundation release a 64 bit system (no - not interested in running 64 bit ARCH64 Ubuntu or Manjaro or Arch) - I’ll just wait… but it does irk me a bit running a 32 bit O/S on 64 bit capable RISC hardware…

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@4dandl4:
Thanks a lot.
I haven´t got any experience with seamonkey either. But in principle I would´t mind using it.
Firejail sandbox even provides a dedicated profile for that.

Oh, that seems a bit unfortunate. I was just beginning to be sympathetic to using LXLE but perhaps I should keep looking for alternatives.

Tnx again for your great help. :+1:
Greetings.
Rosika

@daniel.m.tripp:
Hi Dan,
thanks for sharing your views.

Greetings.
Rosika