Lubuntu: The Real Lightweight Ubuntu

Lubuntu logoI often recommend Ubuntu to beginners simply because it's easy, lots of people use it, and help is right there if they need it. One roadblock I've seen several people hit is when they have an older computer the standard flavor of Ubuntu just doesn't cut it, if it will even install. The next step is to look at Xubuntu, a lightweight flavor of Ubuntu that uses the XFCE desktop environment. Xubuntu can be installed on computers with just a few GB of hard drive space and 256 MB of RAM. Allthough I like XFCE and its functionality, sometimes Xubuntu is just not light enough. It's rumored at times Xubuntu takes more memory than Ubuntu. I think this is because of the various GNOME components in Xubuntu have made it into a bit of a monster. This has driven me to try and recommend several Slackware based distributions where users have a little more of a learning curve and many users just can't adjust. That's where Lubuntu comes in.

Lubuntu is a lightweight variant of Ubuntu that uses the LXDE desktop environment. LXDE or the "Lightweight x11 Desktop Environment" is aimed at everyday use and basic desktop tasks. The Lubuntu wiki reports minimum requirements somewhere around a Pentium II with 128 MB of RAM. Although Lubuntu is perceived by many to be the current solution for lightweight Ubuntu deployments it's still not recognized as an official flavor of Ubuntu at After trying Lubuntu for several weeks on my daily driver which normally runs Xubuntu, I was impressed by the obvious speed of Lubuntu. I was also able to get it installed on an old laptop that refused Xubuntu. After these two quick successes I felt it was necessary to pass on my positive experience with Lubuntu 10.04.