ROSA Fresh Desktop R5 LXDE
As many English-speaking users already noticed, more than a month ago we have published ROSA Desktop Fresh R5 LXDE images on our mirrors but still didn't make the announcement. We are extremely sorry for this delay and now would like to provide you some details about that release.
LXDE, that is Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment is one of the most popular lightweight desktop environments.
In the world of user interfaces lightweight implies
- Instant reaction of GUI applications to user actions and low resource consumption. One of the way to teach this is to drop all potentially slow components such as interpreted languages with dynamic garbage collectors and use compiled programs only (at least in the core system part) and use the same set of shared libraries for all core components - window manager, control center, file manager, taskbar and other desktop items. The latter usually means that all programs with GUI should be implemented using the same GUI toolkit - Qt, Gtk or other. And it would be better if all programs in the system use this toolkit.
- Simplicity of UI concept. To be sure, we have the simplest desktops such as twm or fvmm, but most users would prefer more intuitive desktops that look similar to Windows 95/XP with the task bar at the bottom and the "Start" button at its left side.
If you like the ideas above, then you should definitely try LXDE which tries to implement this lightweight concept:
- It uses a light window manager named OpenBox which misses modern 3D effects but is able to work on almost any video card.
- Its UI concept is similar to the one of Windows 95/XP and is comfortable for users who don't want to become familiar with modern designs such as Gnome3 or MacOS X and at the same time don't want to spend much time on reconfiguring desktop according to their wishes (like it often happens with KDE which can be made to look similar to old-style Windows, but this definitely requires some efforts).
Besides the user interface, one should remember that LXDE doesn't consume much resources so you can install it on your old granny's notebook and still launch Chromium or ROSA Media Player there.
- System Requirements
- 256 Mb of RAM (512 Mb is recommended for the installed system and 384 Mb for the Live mode).
- 6 Gb of free space at your hard drive
- At least Pentium4/Celeron CPU
- Release Notes
LXDE edition shares the package base with KDE and Gnome, so improvements in one flavor automatically appears in the others (if applicable).
In comparison with the previous release, the following changes appeared in ROSA Desktop Fresh R5:
- Boot loader and installer now supports Secure Boot and have a lot of other improvements to support modern hardware.
- Updated versions of major system components (Linux kernel, Mesa and X11 stack, NVidia and AMD proprietary drivers) as well as user-level software (new Chromium, Thundebird, Firefox and others).
- Automated launch of TRIM for SSD (once a week), implemented by means of ssd-utils package.
- Improved support for Intel+AMD hybrid graphics - just set it up by means of our XFdrake tool.
As for LXDE-specific improvements, one can mention only a couple of bug fixes:
- Fixed work of battery indicator on laptops.
- Fixed work of playing files with non-ASCII symbols in ROSA Media Player.
- Updating From Previous Releases
If you already have ROSA Fresh LXDE R4 installed then you have nothing to worry about - your system will be automatically updated to R5 state (and even further) by means of standard update mechanism. Users of older systems (R1, R2, R3) should first update their systems to R4 (though we recommend new installation wherever possible).
Feel free to try and provide your feedback. We have official forum monitored not only by isers but also by ROSA developers and QA team and classic bugzilla for advanced users who are able to formulate their problem in the terms that developers will easily understand. You can use this link to file a new bug against LXDE edition.
- Future Directions
The ROSA Desktop Fresh LXDE R5 is based on the rosa2014.1 with guaranteed support until the 2016, Autumn. However, before that date we are planning to switch to LXQt as our main lightweight desktop environment. LXQt appeared as a united project of LXDE and RazorQT teams who decided to rewrite all LXDE in Qt.
LXQt is already available in ROSA repositories and you can try it by installing task-lxqt package.
There are still a lot of things to do here, but the current quality is already close to LXDE