Lumina Desktop Environment

I have been working for some time on setting up an install of the Lumina Desktop Environment in Void Linux.
The Lumina Dersktop is an OS-independent DTE which can be installed in BSD, LInux or OS-X. It was developed for PC-BSD and was used in TrueOS and Project Trident.
There is a lumina Website

If you want to see something refreshingly different, have a look at my article … go to

and click on the file voidlumina.pdf
it may display immediately, or you may have to click download

If you like what you see there, try an install… it is in the repos of most Linux Distros including Debian, Arch, PCLinuxOS, Gentoo, Void, Nixos,… @d4andl4 has tried a Gentoo install, it is not all that difficult.

The default desktop looks as follows

The above shot has the desktop settings menu in centre screen , the system tray at the bottom, and an RSS feed embedded widget at the lower right. Yes Lumina has embedded widgets, just like KDE plasmoids.

If you dont like the battleship grey , Lumina is easily configured. Here is a shot with a more colorful layout and the panels reorganised to look like Xfce

You can see system tray is now at the top, there is a panel at the centre bottom which has favourites and the load monitor, and there is a third panel at the right which is a popup and contains a caclulator widget. There are icons for apps on the left. The background is unique Australian scene, Black Cockatoo on a Silky Oak tree. There is an Xterm window.

So yes, Lumina is configurable and you can make it look like any other desktop. Its other attributes are, it uses Qt5, and it has modern features like embedding. Its cons are it is incomplete ( some of its inbuilt apps are clunky), it is not an ‘out of the box’ install, and it is unfamiliar.

If you have a look at my document you will see what is involved in a Lumina install, and will also get an introduction to Void Linux, and see the Waterfox Browser.

I would love to hear some feedback. I have not finished with this project yet.


The Gentoo install of Lumina DE is very incomplete. I got as far as merging and running Firefox, but could not find the insight-fm to install.
Maybe another file manager could be used? This install was in a VM, but
I cannot see that making a difference, maybe Lumina runs differently, using Void Linux.
I gave up on Lumina and merged xfce for my VM DE, I will try to merge Lumina and see if I can use the display manager to switch between DE’s.
There may be to many conflicts for Gentoo too handle.
Lumina would have made a great DE for this VM, if I could get the apps I need.

Insight is already there… it is one of the inbuilt lumina apps.
To find it, click on that little ‘fire’ icon in the bottom left corner. That brings up the app menu. There are about half a dozen inbuilt apps in the menu, insight is one of them.
You can change it so that any app you use a lot comes up as an icon.

One thing it lacks is an Xterm… You need to install Xterm so you can use the command line. Have a look at my document about installing an Xterm. Until you get an xterm, you will have to drop back to the text screen ( ie dont do start or start-lumina) , just to do the install.

Lumina would have made a great DE for this VM, if I could get the apps I need.

You can get there. Not sure about running both DE,s… they may clash.
But you can certainly make a good DE out of Lumina with a bit of effort.
Have a look at my document. I would love to see it used in Gentoo.



I have ran two DE’s in Arch, but have never tried it in Gentoo. Do you think Lumina will run in a VM environment? If so, I have another machine that is much more capable of running VM’s. Two VM’s is all this machine will handle.

I had the Xterm but I never merged a display-manager, I always used the “lumina-start-desktop” command, and that always logged me into “root”. With Gentoo, I have to use a
display-manger like sddm to log into my user profile.

I tried to read your document on Github, but it would never open? I have not used
Github a whole lot, but there is a lot of good info there.


I can now switch between xfce and lumina. The 1.6.2 version is much better, so what
is next?

Yes, that is an annoying thing in Github. When displaying a pdf file it sometimes refuses to do it… I think when they are busy.

The answer is ignore the display and the message refusing to do it. Just press the download button. You will then download your own copy. Then hust look at it with your own pdf viewer.

. Do you think Lumina will run in a VM

No reason why not. It is just a program running inside linux, like all other apps.

So the switching works. That means there are no software bits in common between xfce and lumina. I tried it once with xfce and kde and they clashed… some apps stopped working.

I had verion 1.6.1 in Void. I wish they would get it up to date, my install would have been easier. That screenshot looks like you have a much better menu and more stuff installed.
You say you have an Xterm and can use the command line. That is a big improvement.
On the lumina website they say 1.6.3 has been released. Looks like development is active. Thats a good sign.

Whats next.

  • Do you have all the apps you want
  • Try a configure. Have a read of what I did in that Github doc. It is easy… you just use the menus… no configuration files to edit. You can put panels where you want them and vary the content. You can change the fonts and the theme. you can embed stuff on the background like KDE plasmoids.
  • Do you have a Gentoo logo… add it to the background image
  • Test out the inbuilt apps. A couple of apps in 1.6.1.did not work.
    The music player was useless, and the pdf viewer had very poor quality rendering. What are they like in 1.6.2

Those squares on the left top of your screen must be embedded widgets… they dont look like launcher icons. Did you create them? The top one refers to emerge, then gentoo commands, then lumina theme,… so they are a mix of Gentoo and Lumina stuff?

I think you have a good combination going …ie Gentoo + Lumina.
Keep at it. We might be able to create something interesting.

I’m pretty sure it has something to do with system resources. I’ve seen many users here using old potatoes for their Linux, so it’s no surprise to me, that it won’t load for those who have such machines.

In my case, it always worked. However, I run a pretty well equipped computer and not some 15 year old laptop. :stuck_out_tongue:

Maybe download capacity of my internet link

I believe some of the apps you are seeing is being shared from one DE to the other, some work and some do not. I believe the xterm was installed via xfce.
I also installed this on my hard Gentoo install, that is using Mate. Lumina runs well with Mate, but VLC and lightdm does not work. I have too use “startx” to start Mate and “start-lumina-desktop” to start Lumina.
The only way to really try Lumina, is to let it be the only DE. Before I build another Gentoo, I think I will unmerge xfce from the VM and try to build the Lumina DE. There has to be some Gentoo packages that will run on Lumina.
Could you past me a link to your PDF file, how large is the file?

Oh, OK,
So the xfce lumina blend is not perfect separation.
Nice experiment, but I think you would do better to install the apps directly into lumina.

Lumina runs well with Mate, but VLC and lightdm does not work. I have too use “startx” to start Mate and “start-lumina-desktop” to start Lumina.

Some desktops seem to install a display manager and run it, others like lumina dont… you have to put it in separately. If lightdm is already tbere from mate, I dont see why it would not detect lumina?
I tried sddm and lxdm with lumina, and they both work
Just a thought… maybe you have both sddm and lightdm running… that might stop either from working.

Mixing desktop environments would seem to be less than perfect.
Why dont you try Lumina on its own?
There is only one distro that allows you to switch properly between two DTEs and that js Fedora. It has special provisions to keep them separate, ie it doesnt mix them, it creates two separate environments.

The only way to really try Lumina, is to let it be the only DE. Before I build another Gentoo, I think I will unmerge xfce from the VM and try to build the Lumina DE. There has to be some Gentoo packages that will run on Lumina.

OK, you came to the same conclusion as me. Use Lumina as a sole dte.
Any app will run on Lumina… if it needs libraries and stuff from another dte it will pull them in as dependencies when install the package. That said, the best packages for Lumina are those that use Qt5… that is its native support. If you install a qt5 based package its window will look consistently like all the other lumina windows. If you install say a GTK based package, its window will look diffferent.

The pdf file is here

when the page comes up, you see a list of files. Scroll down to the file
and click on it
It will try to display it and may fail. If it fails click on the download button and it will download
It is large. Cant remember the size and not on computer so cant look it up.
Got it 10.4Mb

Lumina DE update!!!
Downloaded and read your PDF file!!! Do not know if I have that much expertise, but I am making progress.
Lumina kept asking for an app called Eterm to set the wallpaper, finally found a “Eterm-0.9.6.tar.gz” from SourceForge to download. After extraction, I used “./configure” “make” and “make install”, I now have Eterm and can now change the wallpaper.
I do believe now, it is beneficial, to be able to run and build Lumina with xfce, since Lumina can run about all xfce has to offer.
I will install VLC in this VM and see if Lumina can use it.

This is my Lumina wallpaper.

I have pinned a few shortcuts to the desktop!!!
Eterm download | this is where I found Eterm.
You think you might add some Gentoo data to your PDF file?
I also had to emerge “x11-libs/libast” before Xterm would configure.

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Hi Daniel,
Wow I like the wallpaper,
It never asked me for Eterm? That must be a Gentoo thing.
I just set tne background using the Lumina menus.

You can move those top and bottom panels around if you want… I have my system tray at the top and that little panel at the bottom.

Dont worry about lack of expertese. Expertese is just practice. Tou know that from welding.
Just ignore all the Void xbps stuff in my document and substitute emerge

I think if you try to mix Xfce with Lumina it will need a lot of pruning of incompatable apps. Xfce is GTK based… Lumina is Qt based.
Why do you want to mix them… cant you just install the apps you want under Lumina? You know how to use emerge

VLC is a good choice for Lumina. It is Qt based

I think you can make a really nice Gentoo setup with this . Keep going.
Now that I have finished the Lumina doc, I will install that Gentoo download and will be able to help more. We might eventually do a writeup. Keep notes on what you do.
I am a bit frustrated with Void not having Lumina up to date, so a move to Gentoo will help me too. It will take me a while though, I only have a little experience with Gentoo, there will be a learning curve.

Yes I can, but that has not really been a problem, The VM running on PCLinux is close to being everything I want.

I can see from your shortcuts, you have an Xfce terminal ( which is better than Xterm anyway), and the mousepad editor, and firefox. So yes the mix has saved you some work, but you run the risk of clashes.
So what do you say about Lumina… is it usable for you?

I cannot answer that ? until I have Lumina installed as the only DE for Gentoo, to see just how hard it is to configure, into a usable state. I might can try that with the VM by --unmerge of xfce and lumina and the reinstalling lumina.

On a VM, with make.conf “ACCEPT_KEYWORDS=”", or just leave it out, and set keywords on a per package use. Yes, one could play with Lumina.
I have been playing with Lumina on my Gentoo hard install, with the “~amd64” keyword set. Lumina on Gentoo needs the Eterm installed, the problem is, Eterm will not install because of a file called “imlib2” installed because of the keyword “~amd64”.
What is “imlib2”? It is a file associated with the install of Enlightment.
I am running Enlightment now, but it is basically an overlay of Mate, since it is pulling in everything from Mate. It would run differently if it were merged with Gentoo on it’s own.
Bottom line is, Lumina and Enlightment will both run, if merged with the right Use flags.
A lot of time is consumed, when running Gentoo, and one might be better off trying to customize an install of kde, mate or xfce or even lxqt.

So for me, Lumina or Enlightment, is just something to play with in a VM, but not as a daily use DE.

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Yes, I agree.
I could work with it, but it takes more effort in the state it is in at he moment.
I am interested in Lumina because it has potential to become a really good modern desktop… but it is not there yet

Yes In agree about Lumina but Enlightment seems more refined.

Possibly, but from what I read on the Lumina website, the developer is looking for someone
trained in C++ and Qt for some help.

Yes it needs continuing development
The design is clean and new, so they have a good base to work from, with no historical hangovers.

Are you really considering a Gentoo install?