Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, Lubuntu 23.04 Beta has been released. With the codename Lunar Lobster, Lubuntu 23.04 will be the 24th release of Lubuntu, the tenth release of Lubuntu with LXQt as the default desktop environment.
With 23.04 being an interim release, it will follow the standard non-LTS support period of nine months, which means 23.04 will be supported until January 2024. Please note that 23.04 is still in Beta, and is not officially supported until its scheduled release on April 20, 2023.
You can download 23.04 Beta here. If you would like to upgrade your existing 22.04 LTS or 22.10 installation, please visit our manual page describing the process. Common Ubuntu instructions can be found here.
Known Issues and Notable Changes
System Installer and Potential Instability
Lubuntu uses the Calamares system installer in place of the Ubiquity installer that most other flavors use. While we are ensuring 22.04 LTS’ Calamares follows the upstream LTS cycle, we decided to get ahead of the curve by shipping Calamares 3.3 Alpha 2 in 23.04.
Here are the factors that went into this decision:
- Users will benefit from Calamares 3.3’s improved featureset and code cleanup.
- Calamares is now a community project. We are committed to supporting the development of Calamares, and are actively involved in submitting bugs and testing feedback upstream. This is partially for the benefit of the Calamares project as well.
- We now have an extremely thorough test suite covering a wide variety of install types. We have already tested for (and caught a few) bugs, and are confident this release will work for the vast majority of usecases extremely well.
- Our development Matrix(/Telegram/IRC) channel has a variety of skilled volunteers (that you can certainly join!) who will be happy to help if you find a Calamares bug.
Additionally, you may notice that the main Ubuntu Desktop does not ship with Ubiquity this cycle. Instead, it ships with a new snap-based Ubuntu Desktop Installer. While flavors are free to switch to the new installer, Lubuntu is still evaluating this decision (preliminary performance, usability, and design assessments continue to show Calamares as the clear leader between the two choices).
Firefox, and the move to snap
An ongoing concern within the Ubuntu and Lubuntu communities has been the increased startup times for the Firefox web browser due to using the Snap package format instead of the traditional Debian-based package format used for the rest of the system. After careful consideration, taking into account the fast-paced technical improvements in modern web technology, the work required to keep Lubuntu users secure after the release, and Canonical’s commitment to Firefox as the default web browser for Ubuntu, we made the decision to keep this as-is.
That being said, the existing issues to watch out for include:
- Snaps ship with confinement enabled by default, in order to properly isolate the application from the rest of the system. While this eases the update process, if you need to pass through a device to Firefox (such as a smartcard), some manual work will be required.
Common Release Notes
Please also check the Ubuntu Release Notes for more common issues and bugs affecting all Ubuntu flavors.
What is Lubuntu?
Lubuntu is an official Ubuntu flavor which uses the Lightweight Qt Desktop Environment (LXQt). The project’s goal is to provide a lightweight yet functional Linux distribution based on a rock-solid Ubuntu base. Lubuntu provides a simple but modern and powerful graphical user interface, and comes with a wide variety of applications so you can browse, email, chat, play, and be productive. You can find the following major applications and toolkits installed by default in this release:
- LXQt 1.2.0
- Qt 5.15.8
- Mozilla Firefox as shipped in the snap package, at the time of release this is version 111.
- LibreOffice 7.5
- VLC 3.0.18
- Featherpad 1.3.5
- Discover Software Center 5.27.3
You can find a variety of other applications installed which aim to enhance your experience while staying out of the way of your normal workflow. New features and bugfixes in core Ubuntu components can be found here.
The Lubuntu Team has been hard at work in polishing the Lubuntu Manual to make it easy for new and experienced users alike to use their system more productively. The manual can be found at manual.lubuntu.me. We want to thank Lyn Perrine for all the hard work she has put into the Lubuntu Manual. Thank you!
Versions of the Lubuntu Manual:
While the documentation for previous releases will be kept in the Git repository, they will not be published anywhere.
Want an easy way to access the manual? Don’t worry, it’s now an (opt-out) desktop icon.
How can I help?
We can always use more help! No matter your skill level or your technical experience, there’s something you can help with that can make a huge difference in Lubuntu. Join us on our chat (which is bridged three ways to Matrix, Telegram, and IRC) and talk to us there. Whether you know another language, have some spare time to help us test Lubuntu, are good at writing documentation, or just want to stay “in the know,” that is the place to be. More information about contributing can be found here. If you want to contribute to Lubuntu but do not feel you have the time or skills, consider buying a t-shirt or donating to Lubuntu. Another great method to get involved is bug reporting. If you notice an issue, please file a bug using the instructions on the Lubuntu Wiki. Don’t want to file a bug? Let us know what the problem is (in detail, enough that we can reproduce it) and we can assist you in filing one or do it ourselves.
We would like to thank the following contributors for dedicating their time to Lubuntu this cycle. Thank you!
- Simon Quigley
- Walter Lapchynski
- Lyn Perrine
- Dan Simmons
- Chris Guiver
- Raman Sarda
- Thomas Ward
- Leó Kolbeinsson
- Rik Mills
- Erich Eickmeyer
- Aaron Rainbolt
- Many more contributors!
In addition, we would also like to recognize some very active contributors on our Discourse forum.
We also wanted to give a special mention to Julien Lavergne, our Project Lead Emeritus and Founder. Without you, the Lubuntu project would not exist today. Thank you.
The Lubuntu Global Team has been created to foster communities in non-English languages and locales. An up-to-date list of our communities can be found on our Links page, but the existing groups include: Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Chinese, German, Japanese, Arabic, and French. If you would like to start a language group, join our development channel and talk with the Global Team. At minimum, you should have a few interested drivers of the community, and at least one administrator that speaks English. We now have multiple languages available in the support section of our Discourse forum.