Lubuntu 13.10

Sometimes less can be much, much more when it comes to Linux distributions. Lubuntu 13.10 offers some of the advantages of Ubuntu but in a much more minimalist package. Lubuntu uses the LXDE desktop environment instead of Unity, and it contains less software than Ubuntu 13.10.

For example, you won’t find LibreOffice bundled into Lubuntu; instead you get Abiword and Gnumeric as your default office applications. Don’t worry though, if you really want LibreOffice then you can easily download it via the Lubuntu Software Center (more on that later).

If you aren’t familiar with LXDE, here’s a brief description from the LXDE site:

The “Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment” is an extremely fast-performing and energy-saving desktop environment. Maintained by an international community of developers, it comes with a beautiful interface, multi-language support, standard keyboard short cuts and additional features like tabbed file browsing. LXDE uses less CPU and less RAM than other environments.

It is especially designed for cloud computers with low hardware specifications, such as netbooks, mobile devices (e.g. MIDs) or older computers. LXDE can be installed on many Linux distributions including Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu. It is the standard for Knoppix and lubuntu. LXDE also runs on OpenSolaris and BSD. LXDE provides a fast desktop experience; connecting easily with applications in the cloud. LXDE supports a wealth of programs that can be installed locally with Linux systems.

The source code of LXDE is licensed partly under the terms of the GNU General Public License and partly under the LGPL.

Lubuntu 13.10 Preinstall Boot Menu

Lubuntu 13.10 Preinstall Boot Menu

What’s New in Lubuntu 13.10
Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:

New version of pcmanfm / libfm (1.1.0) including a built-in search utility.
Artwork improvements, including new wallpapers, community wallpapers, new icons …
Removing catfish, since pcmanfm has its own search utility
Fix a very old bug causing gnome-mplayer to crash with some CPU (P4)
Several fixes for the image viewer gpicview.

System Requirements for Lubuntu 13.10
Here’s what you’ll need to run this distro:

A Pentium II or Celeron system with 128 MB of RAM is probably a bottom-line configuration that may yield slow yet usable system with a standard lubuntu desktop.

13.04 32 bit ISO require your CPU to have Physical Address Extensions, or PAE. “PAE is provided by Intel Pentium Pro and above CPUs, including all later Pentium-series processors (except most 400 MHz-bus versions of the Pentium M).” – If you have a NON-PAE CPU you can use 12.04 instead.

For PowerPC, it is known to run on a G4 running at 867MHz with 640MB RAM.

For Intel based Macs, lubuntu should run on all models.

Lubuntu 13.10 Download
You can download Lubuntu 13.10 from this page. The file I downloaded weighed in at 736.1 MB. Lubuntu 13.10 is available in 32-bit or 64-bit for PCs. You can also get a 64-bit version for Intel based Macs.

If you’re a distrohopper then you might want to try it in a virtual machine via VirtualBox before running it on real hardware.

Lubuntu 13.10 Installation
Lubuntu 13.10 is very easy to install, and the installer is also fast. Since Lubuntu 13.10 is a live distro, you also have the option of trying it without doing an install.

On the preparing to install screen you have the option of installing third party software and downloading updates, I did both for this review. I almost always do this since it saves me the headache of doing it later on after my system has been installed.

You can also watch a brief slideshow while your Lubuntu 13.10 install completes.

Lubuntu 13.10 Prepare to Install

Lubuntu 13.10 Prepare to Install

Lubuntu 13.10 Install Type

Lubuntu 13.10 Install Type

Lubuntu 13.10 Install Slideshow

Lubuntu 13.10 Install Slideshow

The Lubuntu 13.10 Desktop

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  1. jscottu says

    This week Lubuntu 14.04 comes out. It will go on most of my computers. Some will dual-boot with XP. Some will stand alone. This version will be supported for FIVE YEARS. It doesn’t get any better than that for your old Pentium 3 or Pentium 4. My dual core machines will get Linux Mint.

  2. sunny says

    I just started using Kubuntu and realized after some research that Lubuntu is more suited to my needs. Do I need to uninstall Kubuntu and then re-install or is there any other way? I don’t want to keep Kubuntu on my system anymore but since both are based on ubuntu, i thought there might be a way I could just change the desktop without going through the full installation again. Thanks

    Also, I am total new-comer and would appreciate a step by step instruction.

    • ubuntu-usess says

      This is very simple. Just go to the Software Center and install the package “lubuntu-desktop” (search for it). You may want to install any Add-ons (these are the standard Lubuntu apps). If you are unsure, I recommend installing every Add-on.
      Anyway, you should be aware that you can access all your apps from every desktop (Lubuntu apps in Kubuntu and vice versa), but starting Kubuntu apps might take some time in Lubuntu.

      Next, when the package is installed, go back to the login screen and select “LXDE” as desktop environment. That’s it. Welcome to Lubuntu-Desktop. ;-)

      PS: If you like it, I recommend installing a fresh Lubuntu 14.04 in April. Also, you can simply try all other desktop environments by installing the *buntu-desktop packages or the direct packages (like Lubuntu uses LXDE).

  3. caos30 says

    After been a user of Ubuntu+Gnome since 7.04 about a year ago i decided to test Ubuntu+LXDE and i really found it EXCELENT. For me is the best and most functional OS/desktop i could use. Sincerely i don’t need more and i cannot ask for more.

    Indeed, if you didn’t test it: try to install and use SYNAPSE… it’s a fantastic LAUNCHER… you will love it. Sincerely, i think that i use the classical “main menu button” once per week…!

    Fast, simple, effective. You launch applications, recent files, etc… with 2 or 3 keyboard pressing in less than 1 second!!! Essential tool for an effective desktop (i think).

    These are my 2 cents ;)

  4. Juan says

    Lubuntu 13.10 is horrible, the display errors in the text are everywere, and it’s annoying when you are on your browser trying to read something and you see blurred letters, also the update from lunbuntu 12 has a lot of errors. I’m a Lubuntu user but I’m thinking to try another distro.
    Also I realize compatibility problems on the Lubuntu software center
    Please lubuntu team, when release another version, test it first


    Lubuntu 13.10 es horrible, los errores de visualización del texto esta por todas partes y es molesto cuando estás en tu navegador tratando de leer y encuentras letras borrosas, también la actualización de lunbuntu 12 tiene un montón de errores. Soy un usuario de Lubuntu, pero estoy pensando en probar otra distro.
    También me doy cuenta de los problemas de compatibilidad en el centro de software Lubuntu
    Por favor equipo de Lubuntu, cuando saquen otra versión, pruébela primero

  5. Greg Krakow says

    I often check out other distributions but have maintained Lubuntu as my main OS at home for over four years. It is uniquely situated in a sweet spot that I love – not to lightweight like Puppy and not too overloaded like Ubuntu. Basically I just want to be able to quickly run any application, run it well, run it fast and have the OS get out of the way. Lubuntu is perfect for this.

  6. Brian Masinick says

    Good points on Lubuntu:

    I like the fact that I have a choice between the Software Center and Synaptic (and for a true “minimalist”, the choice of apt-get and dpgkg as well!)

    I feel that LXDE as a desktop environment is maturing nicely. Frankly, LXDE is “barely” a desktop environment, when you use the definition of desktop environment commonly seen; it’s more like a window manager plus just a few apps, or a DE–, as opposed to DE++ or DE (bloat, bloat) that we see so much of. Therefore, for minimalists or for those who either don’t need a DE or if they use a DE, just a few features, then this implementation is “on the mark”. I’ve been using and watching this distribution for a couple of years now. The more and more I find myself moving from desktop centric applications to Web-based applications, the less and less I see the need for a full blown desktop environment, and the more and more I see distributions like Lubuntu, Peppermint OS, antiX, Absolute Linux, and other lightweight distributions, not only being useful, but actually making more sense than the bloated messes we’ve been seeing too much of (Ubuntu, Mint, Mandriva, etc.)

    Though you can now also find LXDE as a desktop environment choice in many of the large, general purpose distributions, you can get the moderate, simple one right here, though I’d hasten to mention that it is possible to find even lighter LXDE implementations, such as the Puppy variation called Simplicity Linux 13.10, chances are that Lubuntu, being a bit more mature and developed, may still produce a smoother, somewhat more managed overall experience.

    I’ve found the versions of Lubuntu that I’ve used to be trivial to run live, easy to install, easy to maintain, and they generally remain on my systems until the next release comes out; that ought to tell you enough.

    • Brian Masinick says

      wish these comments could easily be edited; found a typo in my comments: the low level package managers are apt-get and dpkg. (not dpgkg!)

      • Jim Lynch says

        Hi Brian, I just installed a WordPress plugin that should allow you to edit your comments for up to 30 minutes. It also has a spell checker and a popup box to give you more room to write your comments. Sorry I didn’t think of this sooner, it just completely slipped my mind when I got rid of Disqus to speed up the page loads.

        I just tested it and so far it works pretty well. But let me know what you think.

        • Brian Masinick says

          Spotted it for my most recent Kubuntu thread comments but just missed it for my previous comments here; thanks Jim!

          • Jim Lynch says

            You are very welcome. I also looked for a formatting toolbar, but they are all outdated. I can’t find one that is being maintained. So no text formatting for now. If I stumble onto one I’ll give it a try.

  7. Morten Juhl-Johansen Zölde-Fejér says

    I… have a problem with this one.
    I think Lxde is brilliant, no doubt about that. But I think that this themeing has done all it could to look like Windows 95. Every time I use Lubuntu, I feel it misses “slick” just that little bit and passes into “dull” – especially compared to Xubuntu. If Lubuntu was themed like Xubuntu, it would be so much more.

    • Brian Masinick says

      I would concede that the default appearance is nothing to get excited about with not just this release of Lubuntu, but every release of Lubuntu. If looks are the most important thing for you, then I would suggest one of a couple alternatives (and there are plenty of other ones)”
      1. If you like Lubuntu as is, except for appearance, just go out to forums or do a search to find more LXDE themes. They are out there, or you can even make your own.
      2. If you like Lubuntu, but you do not want the responsibility of modifying it much, if at all, take a look at an excellent Lubuntu variant called Peppermint OS 4; it’s really good, looks better than Lubuntu, is developed by one of the Lubuntu developers, and it adds more than just visual improvements; it offers a nice blend between desktop software and cloud software; it’s a “hybrid distro”, light, like Lubuntu, and it’s a very good alternative to Lubuntu.
      3. If Lubuntu just doesn’t cut it for you, and you are the type of person who wants to “do it yourself”, then I highly recommend antiX Base as an alternative; don’t go with antiX unless you are willing to put some of your own effort into it; if you do so, it’s one of the most easily modifiable distributions around, though Lubuntu is also quite good in this regard, so don’t write off Lubuntu prematurely.

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