There’s a new article related to this thread at The Register: “By order of Canonical: Official Ubuntu flavors must stop including Flatpak by default”. In itself interesting, it also links to this article at Snapcraft: “Firefox snap performance Part 3: significant startup improvements” where they deal with the performance issues in detail.
"Lubuntu was formerly a distribution for low-end hardware, but we have refocused." , run good in "old" machine
Hey thanks for sharing the article links.
I’ve read around that some are up in arms over the flatpak issue but it’s simply not included by default. It’s not banned or anything.
I was actually there during the discussion about whether the Flatpak package could be included by default. The media attention has downright awful, and has pretty much ignored the why behind doing it, instead assuming the worst and saying that Canonical is trying to push out Snap’s competitor. (And by the way, Canonical doesn’t even consider Flatpak as a competitor to Snap from what I’ve heard - the two are similar but have different core uses.) Also Canonical didn’t strongarm the other flavors into compliance - there was a debate over it, not a “you shall do this”, and while Canonical did push for it to happen, the Ubuntu flavors agreed.
For those who are interested in the “why” behind the change, I wrote a thing about it on the main Ubuntu Discourse:
Thanks for this… I’ll have to post that link when I see inaccurate rumors out there.
Once upon a time, Lubuntu had a very nice proposition. It had an unique selling point of running stable and nicely on older machines with limited resources.
I am a big fan of Lubuntu, but my conclusion is that it has lost this advantage.
Several competitor distros are offering LXQt. There offering is perhaps not as nice (yet), but good enough.
Since hardware is getting less and less important for the general targeted audience, Lubuntu might loose ground and become even more obscure (in the good-and-not-ugly-spoken-sense of being used by fewer and fewer people).
Has the Lubuntu team thought about this? If so, are there any ideas how to combat this? In other words, what is the short, mid and long term focus now?
Personally, if Lubuntu runs out of steam and is supplanted with something new, I’m likely to move my contributions to the same place the existing Lubuntu team has migrated to.
Also, if you open this link and examine the (giant) image on the right:
You’ll see that very few distros last for decades. They come and go, including Lubuntu alternatives for low-powered older devices. I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t really fear change, but rather embrace it.
If we move on from Lubuntu, it’ll be to something new - and something equally awesome because of the people behind it. Our little project has some of the most active devs and testers in the Ubuntu ecosystem. I expect that to remain true for the foreseeable future.
The above only answers for me. I wouldn’t dare answer for others, though I suspect we all contribute to Lubuntu for similar reasons.
I’ll only speak for myself, but Lubuntu is a Ubuntu project, part of the Ubuntu family, so we can’t go off in ways we decide would best suit us - we must comply with Ubuntu’s aims. I don’t see this as a disadvantage though; we get huge benefits being part of a larger family!
Does Ubuntu force decisions on us; in my view No. In the recent (or current) flatpak clafluffle (probably not a real word; from a recent West Wing episode I watched) I very much disagree with a lot of what has been written about, and have said so in the odd place (eg. here) but the Flatpak ‘change’ involved no change for us so was somewhat easy.
There are always disagreements where many people are involved, always different directions individuals want the project to move; so consensus needs to be reached & Ubuntu is a large community, made up of smaller communities with Lubuntu being one of those.
The Lubuntu team think and talk about many things, but lack of resources (time, energy, people) are the major blocks that are generally experienced.
Lubuntu 18.04 LTS & LXDE releases had an easy means to allow you to snap windows (see here) with efforts to make that work out of the box on LXQt releases more than once… but that requires time/energy & attempts haven’t yet achieved it (lack of resources being the biggest hurdle!).
Lubuntu lunar is already in feature freeze, so work on that has pretty much completed (excluding bug fixing of course), but that’s still our short term focus (for me I’m somewhat spent having just got jammy.2 out)
@KGIII and @guiverc Thanks for your responses.
Ofcourse, I never thought about it in this way. If one “idea(l)” slowly closes down, for whatever reason, people just move on. And of course, some, or most people involved will meet again at another venue.
That ‘other’ snap-thing could be handy. I don’t have the need for it, but I’ve read here before that someone was missing it. Good thing!
About that warm and true community spirit, most users are totally unaware of that aspect of this very nice distro. Perhaps when the artwork of the website gets a makeover, this could get more emphasis and awareness.
As usual, keep up your good work!
Maybe a welcome screen on first boot like Mate has, and one of the messages is the ability to enable flatpak and it’s software library for use with the system.
I like that idea, and its been discussed (more than once), but it still requires someone to create (new, or a fork of an existing one), and for it to be maintained (minor burden I suspect).
Ubuntu lunar (thus all flavors like Lubuntu) has already passed Feature Freeze, so it’s too late for Lubuntu 23.04, but there is still plenty of time for 23.10.
I’ll try to be a bit less prosaic in my future contributions to this and other threads.
Coming back to the threat-trend I described earlier in this thread… I was really flabbergasted today with the apparent progress the Debian-team has achieved with their bookworm-release (Debian 12 to be).
The installer is still the same old boring installer. I selected LXQt as the actual desktop to be installed, and was surprised with the result. Attentive readers may already know that I am using Debian 11 / LXQt 0.16.1 on my work-PC. Mostly for stability and/or security reasons. That system is running the Linux kernel 5.10.0. The current stable edition of Debian’s LXQt offering, and a bunch of old tools and gear already. But stable, very stable.
Bookworm (as I’ve seen it today) will be running LXQt 1.2.0 (already, yeah), and kernel 6.1.0 (yes yes). With xfwm4 as their default window manager my desktop feels steady and modern. And polished.
Woow. What a surprise! And what a shock really. The Debian 12 core team, and at least the LXQt team have made great leaps, and are, or almost, on par. They do not anymore lag miles behind the usual suspects (competitors).
Major releases of Debian tend to come quicker as well as ever before. Almost unbelievable considering how it has been in the past.
Will Debian 12 / LXQt already be a serious threat for Lubuntu? Not yet, not yet, but it seems things are changing in the Debian-camp. Who knows what a good part of marketing from their part might do. Their product seems ready for it.
(Note, all following opinions are my own.)
I don’t see any other operating system as being a “threat” to Lubuntu. Linux doesn’t really work that way. There are tons and tons of thriving distros because everyone’s use case is a little bit different. Distros that die out don’t die because another distro “pushed them out”, but because the maintainers either got busy or left the project for some other reason and eventually things can’t keep going. Many well-used and well-loved distros have died over the years even while they were actively used (like Edubuntu, which, by the way, is being resurrected recently).
So long as there are developers for Lubuntu with the time, resources, and willingness to keep things going, we’ll still be here. We aren’t concerned with market share, we’re concerned with making a good product that gives users an option if they want to use Ubuntu but with a simple and lightweight desktop. That’s what Lubuntu is.
As an interesting sidenote, many of the developers use distros other than Lubuntu in their day-to-day lives. I personally am typing on a laptop running Ubuntu Unity 22.10. I know that one of our core testers regularly switches between Lubuntu and Debian, and has an openSUSE installation somewhere. Another one of our main developers, Dan Simmons, has a podcast where he and a friend talk about the history of a ton of different distros, software, and other stuff, so there’s pretty much no telling what distro he’ll be using this week. (By the way his podcast is here if you like that sort of thing: https://www.linuxuserspace.show/)
Diversity is good. Options are good. No distro will ever be able to compete with us, nor are we competition for any other distro. We just complement each other.
Good text. I know how it works, Aaron. Still impressed, however.
Perhaps I’ve should have started my contribution with…“less provocative” instead of “less prosaic”
Pretty much sums up the reason I use Lubuntu and have used since the days of Lubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr “a simple and lightweight desktop”.
I use several different lightweight Linux distros although Lubuntu just seems to run best on my old Frankenstein builds.
Maybe the most important thing from this whole long thread should be:
Lubuntu is lightweight
Team, emphasise this on your website: Lubuntu is lightweight.
I can vouch for it. For example, EndeavourOS (different bred, Arch-based, LXQt, nice, feels good) will NOT install on an older SoC laptop with only 2GB memory. Surprisingly, it will also NOT install on my more recent N4020 budget laptop which runs Lubuntu splendidly (with 4GB memory).
Big disqualifier for EndeavourOS. Debian 11 will not work out of the box on the 4GB-box because there is an issue with the WiFi adapter (too new, does not work with the non-free additions as well since the Debian 11 kernel is too old).
Seems the only light-capability Lubuntu has lost in recent years is running on 32-bit machines.
That Lubuntu is Ubuntu based is very OK. I can live with snaps. Big hurray for Lubuntu.
I think the link with Ubuntu is important and should be emphasised on the website. Maybe its benefits are not so visible in the final product (Lubuntu that is), but it is a huge bonus.
"Ubuntu under the bonnet" Lubuntu == Ubuntu with a different desktop
Personally, I am curious what direction Canonical is going business wise with “Ubuntu Pro”. Clearly, there is a market for commercial open source (RHEL, Oracle). I see what Canonical is trying. It is OK, I am not obliged to use it.
From the Ubuntu website (/pro):
Same great OS.
More security updates.
Reduce your average CVE exposure time from 98 days to 1 day
with expanded CVE patching, ten-years security maintenance, optional support and operations for the full stack of open-source applications.
Unfortunately, for the non initiated, it may be confusing to learn from the Ubuntu website that their Ubuntu Pro version is top notch when it comes to solving security problems, and… the non-Pro version leaves security holes unfixed for almost a hundred days???
Am I wrong and am I the only one to read it like that?
This Pro-thingy is not a very good unique selling point for Lubuntu.
"Oh yeah, and by the way, besides all the other big advantages Ubuntu-based offers, we do not participate in the Pro-program. "
It is even questionable for plain Ubuntu as well
Lubuntu Pro, anyone??
I’ve read good things about the Pro program and I’ve read some not good things about the Pro program not being what it claims.
I don’t know if it’s something the home user would need or leastwise I don’t believe it’s something I need.
I believe you’ll find that is referring not to when the updates are available but more towards how companies tend to apply updates. Many enterprises (and people) are quite conservative in their update approach unless there’s a major security risk floating about. Even then, they seem to not be all that hurried in their approach to updating.
The Pro includes stuff like live patching for security upgrades, including (as I understand) patching the kernel without needing an immediate reboot for the changes to take effect. Which is how you go from 98 to 1 day.
From my own personal experience, you can install Pro on Lubuntu just fine. It appears to work as intended. The difference is that Lubuntu doesn’t offer support for 10 years. You could leave Lubuntu installed and use the Pro features, but you’d be on your own when it comes to support.
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Your reply was fantastic and really clarifying given all the bad media attention this got.