After several months of ROSA Desktop Fresh R6 KDE release, we are happy to announce a lightweight edition of Desktop Fresh R6 which uses LXQt desktop environment.
Up to Desktop Fresh R5, we used to release lightweight editions on the basis of LXDE. However, LXDE is based on GTK+2 library stack which didn't get significant updates since the year 2011 - all new features are now implemented in the GTK+3 series. However, migration from GTK+2 to GTK+3 is not smooth and some developers are not happy with the ew stack. In particular, after experiments with GTK+3 many LXDE developers decided to consider Qt as an alternative and in the year 2013 they decided to merge with Razor-qt project and create a new Qt-based lightweight desktop environment named LXQt.
The old GTK+2-based LXDE is not dead and is still developed by a group of volunteers, but their progress is not as significant as LXQt's one. In particular, there was almost no significant difference in LXDE components between LXDE editions of ROSA Desktop Fresh R4 and Fresh R5. But our distributin has a "Fresh" word in its name, so we decided to give a chance to a new desktop environment. And after several months of experiments, integration work and bug fixes, we are ready to present a new edition of ROSA Desktop Fresh which is based on LXQt.
This release is based on LXQt 0.10.0 - the latest LXQt version at the moment. LXQt is built with Qt5 framework and the Desktop Fresh LXQt edition tends to include applications that also use Qt5, in particular:
However, we couldn't find Qt5 programs for all possible use cases, so Desktop Fresh R6 LXQt still provides several Gtk applications. The most noticable ones are LibreOffice and Firefox - we decided that it would not be a good idea to provide semi-functional analogues even if they are based on Qt5 (though volunteers are welcome to test otter-browser from our repositories which is based on Qt5 and tries to mimic Opera 12.x GUI).
It is worth noting that LXQt has its own Control Center and ROSA-specific configuration tools such as "Install and Remove Programs" are smoothly integrated into it.
Desktop Fresh R6 LXQt uses SDDM desktop manager which is a recommended DM for Plasma 5, so it is likely that you will see it in futre KDE-based ROSA releases. Also note that this is the first ROSA release with a new default kernel - we have switched to 4.1 LTS branch.
Minimal system requirements