Lubuntu 20.04 LTS is significantly different from its previous version of LTS. It aims to give you a better experience than just focusing on old equipment. Read more about this, and more, in the Lubuntu 20.04 review.
Lubuntu 20.04 review: first LTS release with LXQt
I don’t use Lubuntu often, and I usually have a version of Ubuntu Gnome or Xubuntu installed, so using Lubuntu was a nice change for me.
This is what I noticed and felt in Lubuntu 20.04.
Goodbye LXDE, hello LXQt!
For a long time, Lubuntu relied on LXDE to provide lightweight Linux connectivity. Now it uses the LXQt workspace.
LXDE is based on GTK (libraries used by GNOME), or rather GTK + 2, released in 2020. Dissatisfied with GTK + 3, LXDE developer Hong Jen Yee decided to port the entire desktop to Qt (libraries used by KDE). LXDE, its Qt port, and the Razor-qt project were merged into LXQt. Although today LXDE and LXQt coexist as separate projects.
Since the LXDE developer himself focuses on LXQt, it makes no sense for Lubuntu to stick to the desktop environment, the last stable release of which was released more than three years ago.
Lubuntu 18.04 is the latest version with LXDE. Fortunately, this is long-term support. Officially, support for the Lubuntu 18.04 distribution will be until 2021.
Lubuntu 20.04 Review
Not only for old equipment
Since the definition of “old machine” changed in 2020, Lubuntu 18.04 is the last one that comes with a 32-bit version. Currently, even a 10-year-old computer has at least 2 gigabytes of RAM and a dual-core 64-bit processor.
Accordingly, the Lubuntu Team will no longer provide the minimum system requirements and will no longer focus on older hardware. Although LXQt is still a lightweight, classic, yet polished and multi-functional desktop environment.
The first release of Lubuntu with LXQt was 10/18, providing developers with three standard releases to enhance the LXQt desktop before the release of Lubuntu 20.04 LTS, which is a good development strategy.
Lubuntu uses the Calamares installer
A new installation starts with a new Calamares installer instead of the Ubiquity installer that other official versions of Ubuntu use.
The whole process takes about 10 minutes, a little faster than in previous releases of Lubuntu.
Since .iso comes pre-installed with the necessary applications, you can also set up your system pretty quickly.
There is no update from Lubuntu 18.04 to Lubuntu 20.04
You can usually upgrade Ubuntu from one LTS to another LTS release. But the Lubuntu team advises against switching from Lubuntu 18.04 to 20.04. They recommend a new installation and rightly so.
Lubuntu 18.04 used the LXDE desktop, and 20.04 used LXQt. Due to significant changes in the desktop environment, updating to 04/20 from 04/18 will lead to a system crash.
More KDE and Qt Applications
Here are some applications that are available by default in this new release, and as I can see, not all of them are lightweight, and most of them are based on Qt.
Even the software center used is KDE Discover, not Ubuntu GNOME.
- Ark – Archive Manager
- Bluedevil – Bluetooth Connector
- Discover Software Center – package management system
- FeatherPad – text editor
- FireFox – Web Browser
- K3b – CD / DVD burner
- Kcalc – calculator
- LibreOffice – Office suite (Qt interface version)
- LXimage-Qt – image viewer and screenshot
- Muon – package manager
- Noblenote – notes
- PCManFM-Qt – File Manager
- Qlipper – clipboard manager
- qPDFview – PDF viewer
- PulseAudio – audio controller
- Qtransmission – Bittorrent client (Qt interface version)
- Quassel – IRC Client
- ScreenGrab – Screenshot Maker
- Startup Disk Creator – creator of bootable USB drives
- Trojita – email client
- VLC – media player
- MPV video player
Testing Lubuntu 20.04 LTS
The boot time of the LXQt version of Lubuntu does not exceed a minute, although I used an SSD.
LXQt currently requires a bit more memory than Gtk + v2-based LXDE, but alternative Gtk + v3 toolkits would also require more memory.
After rebooting, the system runs at approximately 340 MB for modern standards, 100 MB more than LXDE.
LXQt is designed not only for users with old equipment, but also for those who are looking for a simple and classic experience on their new machine.
The desktop layout is similar to the KDE Plasma desktop, isn’t it?
In the lower left corner there is an application menu, a task bar for pinned and active applications, and a system tray in the lower right corner.
Lubuntu in its version of LXQt can be easily configured, and everything is in the settings menu, with most of the key items in LXQt settings.
It is worth noting that LXQt uses the popular Openbox window manager by default.
As in the last three releases, 04/20 LTS comes with a dark theme by default Lubuntu Arc, but it is easy and fast to change if it does not suit your taste.
In everyday use, Lubuntu 20.04 proved to me its trouble-free, like any other Ubuntu distribution.
Lubuntu 20.04 LTS – download for free
You can download and try the latest version on the links below
The Lubuntu team has successfully transitioned to a modern, still lightweight and minimal work environment. LXDE looks abandoned, and this is a good reason to move on to an active project.
I hope that Lubuntu 20.04 is as enthusiastic as mine, and if so, feel free to let me know in the comments below. Stay tuned!