The flexibility of Ubuntu (and Linux in general) means that it not very difficult to create derivatives from it – and there a number of derivatives. Ubuntu derivatives could be created for a specific function or created with different desktop environment. To receive support from Canonical, though, the derivative has to be officially recognized by them.
Lubuntu is one such derivative. Lubuntu is based on the Ubuntu but instead of Unity/GNOME, it uses a very light weight desktop environment – LXDE. Ever since the project was started Lubuntu has been quite popular compared to the other non-official derivatives. In fact, during the Maverick Meerkat release cycle, it was considered a very strong contender to receive the official status but missed out at the end.
Today, Lubuntu has been finally accepted as an official Ubuntu derivative. Getting the official status means a lot of things for Lubuntu:
- Lubuntu packages will be available in the main Ubuntu repository.
- Users will be able to install Lubuntu over Ubuntu or other derivatives without adding extra repositories.
- Lubuntu will follow the Ubuntu development cycle.
- Most importantly, it means that Lubuntu will get more exposure as an official derivative.
The decision was taken at the Ubuntu Developer Summit but no official announcement has been made yet. You can see details of the discussion here.
The addition of Lubuntu brings the total number of official derivatives to six. The other official derivatives are Kubuntu, Xubuntu. Edubuntu, Mythbuntu and Ubuntu Studio.