Minimalist distros are an important option for many Linux users. Not everyone wants tons of desktop glitz and zillions of bells and whistles. Lubuntu has always been a terrific option for minimalists who prefer to stay within the Ubuntu family. Now Lubuntu 14.04 LTS is available and it follows in the footsteps of previous releases by providing a high-quality desktop distro that is light-weight and fast.
You should know that LTS releases like Lubuntu 14.04 are mostly geared toward providing a long term, very stable desktop. So this release is not chock-full of new features. Don’t let that disappoint you though because Lubuntu 14.04 is still worth upgrading to if you are using an earlier version of it.
If you are totally new to Lubuntu you can get a pretty good overview of it, along with a history of prior releases on the Lubuntu page at Wikipedia:
Lubuntu is a lightweight Linux operating system based on Ubuntu but using the LXDE desktop environment in place of Ubuntu’s Unity shell and GNOME desktop. LXDE is touted as being “lighter, less resource hungry and more energy-efficient”.
Like Xubuntu, Lubuntu is intended to be a low-system-requirement, low-RAM environment for netbooks, mobile devices, and older PCs. Tests show it can use half as much RAM as Xubuntu, making it an attractive choice for installing on older hardware being refurbished for charitable distribution.
What’s new in Lubuntu 14.04 LTS
Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:
LTS support (three years)
Lxsession-default-apps has a new user interface
Artwork update (themes and icons have been updated)
The LTS support will be quite useful for those who want to upgrade to a distro and then stick with it for a long time. Distrohoppers will probably not care about that though, since they prefer to hop around from distro to distro regularly.
PCManFM is a light-weight file manager and version 1.2.0 includes a dual pane view, menu editing and folder settings (among other features). There’s quite a bit in PCManFM 1.2.0, far more than I can cover here. Be sure to read through the release announcement for more details on the changes and new features. It’s definitely worth checking out if you want to know more about what’s in PCManFM 1.2.0.
Lubuntu 14.04 LTS also comes with new artwork that should please most users. This release includes updates to the GTK and icon themes, along with some pretty new wallpapers to spruce up the Lubuntu desktop.
Lubuntu 14.04 LTS download and install
You can download Lubuntu 14.04 LTS from this page. You can get Lubuntu 14.04 LTS in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. You can check it out as a live distro before actually doing an install. The install itself is quite easy and fast, as is the case with Ubuntu and all of its various spins. You should not have any problems even if you are totally new to Linux.
Linux software included in Lubuntu 14.04 LTS
Here’s a sample of the software included in this release. As you can tell from the list, Lubuntu 14.04 LTS does not overload you with gobs and gobs of software. You get just what you need for most functions and no more.
Don’t worry though, there are thousands and thousands of applications available in the Lubuntu Software Center. So you can add whatever applications you need with just a couple of clicks. And you can easily remove installed software as well.
mtPaint graphic editor
Firefox Web Browser
Where to get help for Lubuntu 14.04 LTS
If you’re having problems, please post your questions in the comments below or post in the Desktop Linux Reviews forum. Other readers might be able to assist you. You might also want to check out these Lubuntu 14.04 LTS resources:
Please note that there are some known issues with Lubuntu 14.04 LTS:
Some keyboard layouts may have problems (such as UK ones). You can workaround the problem by removing all the ibus-* packages (see 1284635))
Graphics and Display
Network indicator on the panel may not start at login. You can start it manually by launching “nm-applet” in a terminal. Some others autostarted applications may also be affected (such as automatic updates). See 1308348 for the details and the ETA for the fix. To turn on nm-applet in autostart, follow these instructions It may need two reboots to fully work.
PPC has several issues and workarounds, please refer to the documentation on the wiki.
Slideshow on PPC Desktop ISO was removed because of a bug on webkit (996568)
Installer on Desktop PPC (Ubiquity) is enable to resize and split partitions. you can use Gparted before launching the installation to make the modifications to your partitions (1307994)
Final thoughts about Lubuntu 14.04 LTS
Lubuntu 14.04 LTS performed very well for me. It was fast and quite stable while I was using it. I had no problems running any applications and the system as a whole lived up to its reputation as a great choice for Ubuntu minimalists. Overall, I think most current Lubuntu users are going to enjoy this upgrade.
If you haven’t used Lubuntu before but you are curious about it, I recommend downloading it and giving it a try. The LXDE desktop environment is very different than Unity for Ubuntu or GNOME 3 in Ubuntu GNOME. It’s a traditional desktop which means it’s very quick and easy to learn how to use. And if you are someone that doesn’t like Unity or GNOME then LXDE in Lubuntu 14.04 LTS might be just what the doctor ordered. You’ll get all the benefits of Ubuntu, but without the discomfort of the Unity interface.
Lubuntu 14.04 LTS is suitable for beginner, intermediate or advanced Linux users.
What’s your take on Lubuntu 14.04 LTS? Tell me in the comments below.