Thursday, July 25, 2013

Xubuntu vs Lubuntu (Xfce vs LXDE)

While looking around for alternatives to Ubuntu, I stumbled upon two lightweight derivatives of Ubuntu: Xubuntu and Lubuntu. They're both derivatives of Ubuntu, which means they get the same great up-to-date packages, community support, and can benefit from PPAs. Plus they're both lightweight enough to be run on older computers, which is a nice change of pace from regular Ubuntu, whose Unity interface is too bloated to run well on older machines.

Lubuntu is a little more lightweight than Xubuntu, but on closer inspection it's clear that Lubuntu's advantages end there.

Here are some reasons why Xubuntu is the better choice:

  • Xubuntu is more mature; it's been around since 2006, whereas Lubuntu was introduced in 2010.
  • Related to the previous point, Xfce (the desktop environment which Xubuntu is based on) is more mature and has been around much longer than LXDE (which Lubuntu is based on).
  • LXDE is largely developed by one person, whereas Xfce has a large and robust development team.
  • Every two years Ubuntu releases an LTS (Long Term Support) version. Xubuntu follows Ubuntu in providing LTS releases, but Lubuntu doesn't.
  • Xubuntu has an integrated settings manager, but Lubuntu doesn't.
  • Lubuntu is a little too bare bones and requires more work to configure and customise (Sources: 1 2 3)
  • This is mostly a matter of opinion, but Xubuntu/Xfce looks better (and I'm not the only one that thinks so). It also looks more like GNOME 2.
Of course you are free to use whatever desktop environment you like. My goal is just to help you make an informed decision.

Oh, and the screenshot at the top is Xubuntu :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this - I'll stick with xubuntu on my old netbook.