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.