We loved Lubuntu last cycle but is the lightweight non-official variant of Ubuntu much cop this time around?
That depends on what you’re looking for.
Lubuntu’s ‘traditional’ interface will be of comfort to those agitated by the interface revolution heralded in GNOME 3 and Ubuntu Unity; it certainly won’t appeal to “bling” fans!
But that’s not to say attention hasn’t been paid to the appearance. The new default theme by Raphael Laguna and the use of the Ubuntu font helps to give the sometimes-basic-feeling OS a distinctly professional look.
The default application set of Lubuntu consists of ‘basic offerings’ with an eye on resource usage.
Covering the ‘vitals’ of any modern desktop are Chromium as the default web browser, Sylpheed as the default mail application and Pidgin as the default messaging client.
In place of LibreOffice are AbiWord and GNUmeric – two capable office applications.
Audacious now sits as the default audio player, replacing the dated Aqualung. Neither of these applications are going to win a beauty pageant. Likewise neither do much outside of simply ‘playing’ music.
Elsewhere webcam booth ‘Cheese’ has been replaced with Nixie Pixel’s favourite app GUVCView, and archives are now extracted using file-roller.
As with all “final” releases of Lubuntu the OS is to be considered as a ‘stable beta’.
Official status-hood beckons?
One niggle that has plagued Lubuntu from its inception is the continued “not official Ubuntu spin status this cycle”. With such an accomplished release as 11.04 in particular this remains disappointing.
Thankfully the dedication and hard work of the Lubuntu development team is paying off.
Writing on the Ubuntu Technical board mailing list, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth was positive in response to Lubuntu’s progress during the last 2 years, adding: -
“The fact that you are now 100% in the archive, and using PPA’s and other tools effectively, makes it possible for us to consider recognising Lubuntu as an official part of the [Ubuntu] project. “