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.
Lubuntu, the LXDE based Ubuntu variant, did not make it to Lucid Lynx but it seems like it is set for a good debut with Maverick Meerkat.
Lubuntu developer, Julien Lavergne, have announced in the Lubuntu mailing list that the Indicator Applet will make an appearance in Lubuntu 10.10.
The indicator applet is the envelop that you see in the top panel in Ubuntu 10.04. It is introduced in Ubuntu 10.04 to tidy up the desktop by having the IM client, email client, microblogging client etc. under one icon.
This is what the indicator applet will look like in Lubuntu according to the image posted by Julien Lavergne:
By default the indicator applet will not be enabled by default due to memory considerations. (After all Lubuntu is meant to be light weight).
The indicator applet is not available yet but Julien Lavergne says that it will be available soon in either the Lubuntu PPA or the Maverick repo.
[via: OMG! Ubuntu!]
When Canonical’s “Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator for Life”, Mark Shuttleworth, announced the new branding of Ubuntu, many asked him if there is going to be new branding for other Ubuntu-derivatives like Kubuntu. Shuttleworth replied that there will be new brandings and that the designers at Canonical are working on that.
Now, a part of the new branding for Kubuntu 10.04 and Lubuntu 10.04 has emerged with the release of the new plymouth themes for both of them. Sadly, the new theme has not come in Xubuntu 10.04 yet.
The new plymouth themes in both Kubuntu and Lubuntu are identical in design to that of Ubuntu. The only difference is the logo and the color.
Here are the new plymouth themes for Kubuntu and Lubuntu:
- Kubuntu 10.04 Plymouth Theme
- Lubuntu 10.04 Plymouth Theme
The Kubuntu plymouth theme is not final. As part of the new branding, new logos are being designed for Kubuntu. When the new logos are available, the logo that is used in the plymouth theme right now will be replaced by the new logo.
The some decisions of the Canonical design team regarding the Ubuntu branding did not go down very well with certain sections of the Ubuntu community. When the news of the new Kubuntu branding emerged, certain sections of the community has already started raising concerns if the design team will make those same decisions for Kubuntu as well.
With the upcoming 10.04 release of Ubuntu and its various variants, a new variant has been added to the list of official variants – Lubuntu. Like Kubuntu and Xubuntu, Lubuntu is basically Ubuntu with another desktop environment. Lubuntu uses LXDE as its GUI, as opposed to GNOME which is used in Ubuntu.
LXDE is a very light desktop environment that is rapidly gaining quite a few followers. LXDE stands for Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. Advantages of LXDE are:
- It is extremely fast.
- It is both energy and system resource efficient.
- It runs well in systems with low configuration.
Since LXDE is making an appearance in the official Ubuntu family for the first time, here are some screenshots of Lubuntu 10.04 Beta:
- Lubuntu 10.04 Startup Screen
- Lubuntu 10.04 Desktop
- File Manager in Lubuntu 10.04
The some of the default applications in Lubuntu 10.04 are:
- Image Viewer – GPicView
- File Manager – PCManFM
- Graphics – MTPaint
- Music Player – Aqualung
- Web Browser – Chromium
- Terminal – Lxterminal
You can view the proposed final application list at the Lubuntu Wiki.
[image credit: Open Source Critic]