LXDE Distro?

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LXDE Distro?

Postby atonz on Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:27 pm

I've been using Mint 6 XFCE CE on my family's old desktop (512mb, 1 GHZ, P4, Old Geforce) for quite some time and have been impressed with it. However it is still not as snappy as I believe many new LXDE distros could be. With delays in Lubuntu and seemingly a standstill on Mint LXDE I was hoping for some input on some other LXDE distros.

I've currently been playing with PCLinuxOS LXDE 2009 (although it upgrades to 2010) and now see Knoppix also uses LXDE. Anyone have any suggestions or advice?
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby vrkalak on Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 pm

At the moment, LinuxMint-8 Helena is only with Gnome as the default desktop. The other DE/CE editions to follow.
I have added/installed the Xfce4 Meta Package from the Mint Repositories over Gnome ... it looks great and works fast.
I will continue to use Mint-8 with the Xfce DE overlay, until the official LinuxMint-8 Xfce CE edition is released.

Perhaps, you could load/install LXDE over the Gnome desktop and choose at the start session, which DE to use?
I think others have done this and it works? Worth a try.
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby Losgann on Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:24 am

I installed LXDE on top of Mint 7 XFCE and it works great. However, some of the LXDE component applications (notably lxpanel and lxterminal) have old versions in the Ubuntu Jaunty repositories, with less functionality than the current versions, so I downloaded the DEB files for the latter from the Debian sid repos and installed those. (I don't know if that was the brightest move, but it worked! :D) I'm still hoping for an LXDE CE of Mint to see the light of day, someday, but so far this works well for me.

As far as other distros go, I haven't seen much with LXDE that impressed me. I found the Lubuntu beta quite underwhelming — just stock, out-of-the-box LXDE on top of Ubuntu, didn't even bother to replace the LXDE logo on the menu button with the Ubuntu logo or anything. Same was true of an LXDE edition of OpenSuse that I tried. MoonOS is nice, but it's basically a rebranded Mint, so you won't get anything there that's different from what you'd get from Mint with LXDE. The artwork is lovely, though! PCLinuxOS has an LXDE version, and it looks all right as far as I can tell from the live CD, but I couldn't install it on my system because my wireless won't work with it, and I've only got a wireless connection on my computer, so that was a deal breaker for me. (I posted about this on the PCLOS forums, and asked why it should be that my wireless works out of the box with just about every distro that I've tried except PCLOS, and was basically dismissed with "Wireless support depends on the kernel. Next question...") I read that the latest version of Knoppix uses LXDE, but I haven't tried it yet. I don't know how well Knoppix works as a desktop OS installed on a hard drive, though; I've always thought of it more as a run-from-the-CD thing.

Also, if you're looking for a light distro, have a look at Crunchbang. It's my other favorite distro besides Mint. Like Mint, it's built on an Ubuntu base and has all the multimedia codecs, etc. running out of the box. The interface is a bit different, but it's like 2/3 LXDE. By default it uses tint2 instead of lxpanel, so it has a task switcher and notification area but no menu; in place of a panel menu you simply right-click anywhere on the desktop to get the Openbox menu (LXDE uses Openbox for the window manager, but stock LXDE does not make use of its menu capabilities) which has been highly customized in Crunchbang. The other major difference is that stock LXDE uses the filemanager, PCManFM, to draw wallpaper and icons on the desktop, while Crunchbang turns this off by default, using nitrogen to draw the wallpaper and eschewing icons on the desktop. Crunchbang is really light and fast, and works well on older hardware. I'd highly recommend checking it out if you haven't already.
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby atonz on Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:11 pm

I've used Crunchbang for extended periods of time on my laptop with much success. However this is a family computer and I dont feel like my family is really prepared for the whole no-icon desktop. That concept scares people who have only ever used Windows!

I can say that I am probably going to go with PCLOS LXDE but might give knoppix more time, although I feel that it is inferior to PCLOS in terms of control panels and GUIs that make Windows people comfortable. I've tried antiX before and feel like Crunchbang it is not really the best for my family.
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby Losgann on Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:03 pm

I know someone who put PCLOS on all his computers, including the LXDE edition on his parents' older machine, and he says they think it's great and have no problems using it. I wasn't able to use PCLOS because of the wireless issue, but if it works on your hardware, then it seems like a good, solid distro to use. Apparently it's a rolling release too, so you don't have to bother with reinstalling every so many months.

Crunchbang can also be tweaked to be more "familiar", of course; install lxpanel or xfce4-panel and turn on the manage desktop function in PCManFM, and you've got a setup that's very close to full LXDE. Another option to consider. I have found that using PCManFM to draw the desktop icons and wallpaper interferes with conky, though.
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby atonz on Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:04 pm

Thanks for the input, I think I'll burn PCLOS LXDE and install it once my Christmas break starts (so I can be there for the bug fixes :P)
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby niraj on Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:08 pm

try mandriva lxde 2010 V2
its currently the best lxde distro
knoppix is also good, but mandriva is just great.
(that applied only to lxde distro, for gnome mint 8 rules !!)
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby exploder on Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:49 pm

Curiosity has got the best of me. I am going to take a look at Mandriva 2010 LXDE myself.

Edit: Took a look at the Live CD, pretty nice! They used Plymouth and it looks nice. The default browser is Aurora, interesting choice but it is light and flash is installed by default. Gimp and Inkscape are included along with most of OpenOffice. All in all a pretty nice LXDE release. Mandriva 2010 LXDE is worth taking the time to check out.
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby arkanabar on Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:22 am

I can believe that Lubuntu has utterly underwhelmed people. I suspect that, like Xubuntu, it could well wind up being heavier than base Ubuntu. I use CrunchBang as well, and I absolutely love the keyboard shortcuts they've built into Openbox (e.g., Super-space for the menu, super-W to open Firefox, super-t to open Terminator, and so on). But if you are looking for a lightweight, ubuntu-based distro using LXDE, take a look at U-lite. It isn't finished, so I haven't tried it myself, but it looks to me like they have not wildly diverged from vanilla LXDE.
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby Fluxx on Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:54 pm

While it's true that Moon OS is indebted to Mint, it's still a very supple project. It's just not my cup of herbal tea, I guess. But I would recommend it to anyone who wants a lightweight Linux and likes its look.

I use Crunchbang with Xfce, and I find it suits me fine. It's very fast. By adding Xfce, you get icons (file folders), too.
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby Zwopper on Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:56 pm

atonz wrote:I've used Crunchbang for extended periods of time on my laptop with much success. However this is a family computer and I dont feel like my family is really prepared for the whole no-icon desktop. That concept scares people who have only ever used Windows!

I can say that I am probably going to go with PCLOS LXDE but might give knoppix more time, although I feel that it is inferior to PCLOS in terms of control panels and GUIs that make Windows people comfortable. I've tried antiX before and feel like Crunchbang it is not really the best for my family.

Then again, CrunchBang uses OpenBox as window manager, and no desktop manager at all... :roll:
It's really easy to add LXDE to it though, and if you let LXDE handle your desktop, you DO get icons on the desktop. :wink:
I personally use CrunchBang with OpenBox, and some LXDE and XFCE and KDE 3 and KDE 4 and Gnome stuff thrown in!
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby Losgann on Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:05 am

Zwopper wrote:Then again, CrunchBang uses OpenBox as window manager, and no desktop manager at all... :roll:
It's really easy to add LXDE to it though, and if you let LXDE handle your desktop, you DO get icons on the desktop. :wink:

You don't even need to add LXDE, since #! uses PCManFM for the file manager, all you have to do is check the "manage desktop" box in the settings and boom, icons on the desktop! But as I said, I discovered that if I do that, every time I open or close PCManFM, It makes Conky disappear and I have to reload it. I haven't figured out a fix for that yet. Of course, if you don't use Conky, then no problem! :)

I have to say, though, that using #! has made me appreciate a clean, icon-less desktop, or maybe a dock/app launcher on one edge of the screen at most. In fact, I like that setup so much now that I got rid of all the icons on my Windows desktop (I triple-boot XP, Mint 7 XFCE, and #!). Whenever I have to use my wife's computer or my mother's computer or just about anyone else in the family's computer, I'm all like "How the hell can you work with all that clutter?" :lol:

Zwopper wrote:I personally use CrunchBang with OpenBox, and some LXDE and XFCE and KDE 3 and KDE 4 and Gnome stuff thrown in!

Me too, pretty much. I'm still experimenting to find out what sort of setup I like best. I love the Openbox menus and keybindings, but I also like the minimalness-with-eye-candy of a standalone Compiz setup (though I've never figured out how to log out from a Compiz standalone session — I always end up doing a cold reboot). However, I also really like Xfdesktop for managing the desktop, and Xfce4-panel has much more functionality (all the plug-ins and such) than Lxpanel currently does. Basically, I can't make up my mind. :D And then I use whatever apps I like best — I really like LXterminal for my terminal app and the PCManFM file manager, for example, which are from LXDE; K3B is my favorite CD/DVD burning app, from KDE; Gedit is my favorite text editor, from Gnome... etc. etc.

When I'm in the mood for a "full" DE, though, I boot into Mint 7 XFCE, which is both the best implementation of XFCE I've seen in any distro, and IMO pretty much the best out-of-the-box Linux desktop ever.
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby Zwopper on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:59 am

I use tint2 for panel and aDeskbar as launcher - suits me fine! :)
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby Losgann on Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:11 am

Wow, man, that's nice. What icon set are you using in ADeskBar, or is it a mixture? I need to experiment with ADeskBar. I've never used it, but ADcomp has done some great work with it. I really like how you've got it & TInt2 maching there. Very slick. :D
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby Zwopper on Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:47 pm

Crunnluath wrote:Wow, man, that's nice. What icon set are you using in ADeskBar, or is it a mixture? I need to experiment with ADeskBar. I've never used it, but ADcomp has done some great work with it. I really like how you've got it & TInt2 maching there. Very slick. :D

Thanks, ADeskbar is usually hidden and pops up on mouse-over.
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby nitehawk on Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:34 pm

I've got LXDE on Mint 8 right now,....and it seems to be doing fine. May have to try Fluxbox, though.

Zwopper....your desktop looks GREAT! I gotta try that --(so much to try,..so little time,..so much to try, so little time)..
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby Losgann on Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:45 pm

I just saw on Distrowatch that the LXDE spin of Fedora 12 is finally out (they'd been talking about it for a while, but there were some issues that pushed back its release apparently) so I tried it out in Virtual Box and it looks really nice. One of the nicest LXDE implementations I've seen yet. Full fedora branding — same wallpapers as the main DE's, Fedora logo for the menu button, etc.; little things, perhaps, but details that make it feel like the distro, which have been ignored in a lot of LXDE implementations I've looked at so far (including Lubuntu). Also, and this made me say "YES!": the first time in any LXDE desktop I've ever right-clicked on the volume applet in the panel and had a proper mixing console (in this case, one called "GMixer") for all the different lines in & out pop up. Perhaps this is also just a little thing, but it made me really happy. Every time I've ever tried LXDE in any other distro, all the LXpanel volume applet did was adjust the master volume up or down, and that was it.

Fedora 12 LXDE spin seems very nicely done, and is definitely worth checking out!
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Re: LXDE Distro?

Postby AK Dave on Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:00 pm

Most LXDE distro remixes try to go pretty purist with their LXDE implementation. Fedora's use of GMixer indicates that their LXDE mix is not purist at all, and that they're not afraid to bloat your system with a full suite of gnome libs.

This, unfortunately, is the reason that most XFCE mixes aren't substantiallyleaner, in real world usage, than Gnome.
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