18 January 2009

Surprising LXDE

Among all the new software packages that come with Debian  5.0 codenamed "Lenny" I discovered a fantastic desktop environment for my eee pc. It's called LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment). I discovered it as a matter of chance surfing the net. And I must say that it fascinates me. I really love it!!!

It is very easy to install since it comes with the distribution. (apt-get install lxde) It is a download size of  20 MB more or less. Even this is fast!!!. After installation you have to restart the X server or reboot your machine. And simply select lxde at the gdm display.

Saying that it is fast is not enough, it is incredibly fast. Gnome works fine on eee but lxde goes at the speed of light, it can open and close windows in the wink of an eye. My special recommendation: DO TRY IT!!!

Apart from being fast it has many configuration options and it integrates well  typical applications of other desktops.

The default layout reminds me of Windows Vista, start menu down left, black colour... but of course it has nothing to do with it. There is this powerful Debian GNU/Linux behind!!!

I think this new desktop beats XFCE. I must confess that I personally don't like XFCE. Besides I read that LXDE is even faster. I believe it!.

If you are running GNOME or any file manager (
I sometimes use mc; The midnight commander) on your eee pc and you are satisfied with it, that's ok, but if you believe that it is too bloated for your limited disk space then you can give LXDE a try.

There is a special project to install debian with lxde on eee pc and I quote from:

eee PC
dd if=debian-eeepc.img of=/dev/<USB-DEVICE>

Note: <USB-DEVICE> = the device, not a partition. (/dev/sdX NOT /dev/sdX1)

(And then boot the installer from the usb)

* * *

Now I quote from the Debian Project News newsletter:

Bits from the Debian CD team

Frans Pop sent Bits from the Debian CD team, summarizing various
changes affecting the installation media for the upcoming release of
Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "Lenny".
The most notable change is the replacement of the Xfce installation
disc with a "light desktop" installation disc for installing Xfce or
LXDE. Furthermore, all four major desktop environments (GNOME, KDE,
Xfce and LXDE) are directly installable from the first DVD image; the
desktop environment to be installed can now be chosen via the boot