Lubuntu 18.04 Desktop Environment

I am new to this O/S and trying to read up on its functions. I assume I have LXDE desktop environment and I have read not to mix desktop environments. This one comes w/ PCManFM, but it don’t do what I need as a file manager, I see that NAUTILUS does. Will it hurt the system if I install and use this file manager?

No it won’t hurt your system. Both pcmanfm and nautilus are GTK+ based, however nautilus ( is GTK+3 based (ie. ver 3 of gimp+gnome toolkit) where as LXDE and pcmanfm ( is GTK+2 based.

In the links I provided for comparison. you can see pcmanfm uses libgtk2-0.0 (ie. GTK+2) where as nautilus uses libgtk-3-0 (ie. GTK+3). Thus different libraries (that do the same thing; just different versions) will get added to your system which will not break anything (at this point just more packages & more disk space used). The consequences during operation will mean you will have two sets of libraries loaded into memory at the same time, which won’t be a problem if your machine has enough ram, but if you’re machine has limited ram, the effect could be substantial (ie. result is a slightly slower to moderately slower machine).

The same effect occurs if you used dolphin (KDE) or pcmanfm-qt (Lubuntu LXQt) as both are Qt based. It won’t break your system, but your system’s ram usage (when they are being used) will be higher.

What other programs you have running at the same time (and thus in memory) also of course play a part.

Hurt your system no, if your system has limited RAM it could cause more swapping of memory to disk, and a slower system.

The size of your ram is what I’d consider first.

  • If less than 1gb RAM I’d suggest avoid.
  • If 1GB RAM, you sure don’t want a browser open when running nautilus.
  • If 2GB RAM you may not even notice it.
  • If 4GB RAM or more, I’d not worry at all.

I haven’t done comparisons, but XFCE’s thunar may be lighter than nautilus and is what I’d choose if you didn’t want pcmanfm

ps: these issues occur in the windows & other environment worlds, just users get told you “need a new system, need more memory etc” instead of why. I just tried to explain why.

If you heard in the XFCE/Xubuntu world; the recent release of XFCE 4.14 was the move of XFCE from GTK+2 to GTK+3 (GTK version 3). Lubuntu’s LXDE never did make that move, instead Lubuntu moved from LXDE (gtk+2) to LXQt (Qt 5)

Thank you, very useful information.
So w/ that said, Will installing both SaMBa & NFS have the same (memory effects) on my system?
Will both play together while I figure out which one I want?

In my testing on Lubuntu 18.04 LTS, Lubuntu 18.10 (& Lubuntu 19.04 up until x86 was stopped dec-2018) I used a 1gb ram system, along with 1.5gb & larger systems for testing purposes so I have some experience there.

With servers (SaMBa / NFS) I’ve never explored memory usage as I never felt the need (my servers all have >16GB of ram). For file serving purposes I’d personally worry less about the ram used by libraries (which is a few hundred/thousand KB wasted) compared with the memory used for caching purposes (ie. I believe this would have significantly more impact on performance).

If NFS & Samba were used by different (client) systems at the same time, they’d likely be reading different files possibly on different parts of the drives thus couldn’t share cache… ie. your usage, how many simultaneous users, what types of files (size/frequency of write/reads) is what I’d be considering way more than extra libraries using/sharing memory.

Yes I’d setup & use them both, do any comparisons you want. Test with one in use (the other doing nothing; unless you have tons of ram it’ll get paged to disk & thus shouldn’t impact performance), and know eventually if you see the need, removing or just stopping/disabling one may get you more speed/performance. But I have no testing/experience with this (it’s what I believe would you’d find in testing). My 2c anyway.

OK. Sounds like a plan to me. Thanks.
I had an extra old box lying around that I wanted to make into a backup server, w/ a light weight O/S and rock solid security. I will be the only user on this box. Just a place to run backups for my WINDOWS PC’s.
My goal is to just place this box on a shelve and remote into it for back up storage. Its only job will to be a file/BU server.
It just has a INTEL Celeron 2.53 Ghz CPU, with 2 Gb. memory. Nothing special, I just want good security.And play around w/ something other that B.S. WINDOWS.
After the deployment of Win10, I threw both hands in the air and said “I GIVE UP”
No more B.S.!!!

Thanks again for all your help.

1 Like

I would consider using Ubuntu server myself.

By not running any GUI desktop (even a light one like LXDE) you’ll have more memory for serving functions… thus your primary purpose (file/backup server) will perform better.

My [home] servers do have desktops installed, but when I want to remote into them I never access them any other way than ssh (ie. secure shell; the [encrypted] secure version of rsh or remote-shell) which is just via text terminal that uses almost no resources (in contrast to gui).

You can have GUI such as LXDE installed & disable it to make it equivalent of a server, but I’ve not done that in too long to advise

This topic was automatically closed 60 minutes after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.