Yesterday the LXDE community received an announcement on their blog, in which developer Mario Behling told the world about the availability of the first Lubuntu test images, based on Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala). The upcoming operating system already proves to be a serious contender to Xubuntu, the ISO weighing in at a meager 342 MB. The image is based on the work of David Sugar, with added patches by the community.
Highlights of Lubuntu 9.10 Beta 14:
· Linux kernel 2.6.31 RC8
· Openbox 126.96.36.199
· Firefox 3.5.2
· Pidgin 2.5.8
· Aqualung R-1061
· xfBurn 0.4.2
The final version is planned to be synchronized with the Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, and is scheduled for the 29th of October, 2009.
The Lubuntu project started in March 2009, with the purpose of creating a lighter and less resource demanding alternative to the Xubuntu operating system, using the LXDE desktop environment. The ultimate goal of this project is to join the ranks of Kubuntu and Xubuntu and become an officially supported derivative of Ubuntu.
The developers claim that, while Xubuntu is often represented as a lightweight distro, it actually fails to run on older hardware, so they are targeting their Linux distribution at older legacy computers and devices with less than 256 MB of RAM.
While this project hasn't received too much attention until now, the LXDE project received an invitation to become a self-maintained component of Ubuntu back in February 2009, straight from the Ubuntu founder, Mark Shuttleworth.
Under the management of Mario Behling, the project received a project logo and an official Ubuntu wiki page that includes a list of desired applications, packages and components.
LXDE is a very lightweight and minimal desktop environment using the openbox window manager, the PcManFM file manager, and a very select list of default applications. It is compatible with basic freedesktop standards and all needed parts are already packaged in Ubuntu today.
Download Lubuntu Beta 14 right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is a beta release and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended to be used for testing purposes only.