02 Apr

This Week in Lubuntu Development #1

At Lubuntu we decided it was a good idea to create a weekly newsletter detailing the work that has been happening. So, here we are. πŸ™‚

Changes

General

  • We're preparing to participate in the Final Beta. At the moment, we're aware of two showstopper bugs affecting Lubuntu:

    We expect these bugs to be fixed before we release the final ISO, if not the Final Beta.

Lubuntu Next

  • The Lubuntu Next images as of 20180401 no longer ask for you to select a window manager, and while some default settings still need to be set, it is usable now.
  • The new Featherpad release was synced to Bionic: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/featherpad/0.8-1
  • While these are not things that happened solely over the past week, we have made a few changes in the Lubuntu Next ISOs:
    • It now ships with Arc as the LXQt and Openbox themes. Thanks to the Artwork Team for the hard work!
    • The default applications that ship with Lubuntu Next are now decided on. The goal now is to work on perfecting default settings that will ship with these applications, and to get them set properly.
    • Working with Kubuntu and KDE Neon, we are going to move to Calamares as the default installer for Lubuntu Next. We believe that this is the right decision going forward for users to provide a robust, flexible, and modular installer. As Lubuntu Next is the first flavor (in at least a decade, from our estimates) that has switched their graphical installer (and is not a Canonical-led project), we expect some bumps in the road going forward. The goal is, alongside Kubuntu, to ship 18.10 with Calamares being the only graphical installer.

Infrastructure and Project Changes

As noted in previous announcements, we now have a Phabricator instance that is graciously hosted by our friends over at Altispeed Technologies, the major code that Lubuntu works on is now mirrored on our official GitHub page (we're working on mirroring more useful repositories, stay tuned!), all of our official web presences (meaning, Lubuntu.me and subdomains, because Lubuntu.net is no longer under the control of the Lubuntu project (we can't say more at this time except that we are in no way affiliated with FOSSASIA)) now have HTTPS, and we have many more ways you can contact us. But, there are some more infrastructure and project changes which we have done that haven't quite been announced yet:

  1. The CSS for the Lubuntu pages under cdimage.ubuntu.com has been updated with a refreshed look, thanks to the Artwork Team. We have documented this process for other flavors, which is available here.
  2. The logo has changed to reflect the move towards LXQt. There are some places which will still contain the old logo, but in general, the Lubuntu logo is changing (and has already changed in many places) to the following:

Lubuntu's logo

You can find usage terms for our new logo and brand here. As explained there, it is licensed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 unless you receive explicit permission from the Lubuntu Team.

Roadmap

The rest of the Bionic roadmap is laid out pretty clearly; we will participate in the Final Beta to be released on Thursday (assuming the two showstopper bugs are fixed), then in two weeks we get the release candidates, and one week after that, Lubuntu 18.04 is released.

Lubuntu 18.04 will ship as an LTS with three years of support. The LXDE desktop will continue to be the default throughout the duration of the LTS, and it will ship with the same applications we have shipped in 17.10.

Lubuntu Next will continue to be an early adopter's preview, because our focus as a team right now is on polishing Lubuntu 18.04 and making it a solid LTS. If you install Lubuntu Next 18.04 (which you can grab a daily ISO of right now but won't actually be released), a lot of things won't work well quite yet (of course, you can get it to work with some modifications, but we are not confident enough in the state of the ISO that we are willing to ship it). It will stay unofficially supported, and the packages will only be supported in the Ubuntu archive for nine months after the release. After that, you need to update to 18.10 to receive the latest updates.

We frequently get a question along the lines of "Why aren't you shipping LXQt as the default yet?" The answer to these questions is that while we are working towards it (and progress is being made), we don't want to jeopardize our userbase by shipping something that isn't quite perfect yet. We welcome help with making Lubuntu Next a solid experience, regardless of your experience level, so feel free to get in contact with us.

Contact us

Feel free to get in touch with us.

20 thoughts on “This Week in Lubuntu Development #1

  1. Thank you for the update! It’s nice to hear from the Lubuntu development team directly. Lubuntu is my main OS now and I love it. Looking forward to upgrading to Lubuntu 18.04.

  2. Hi,

    I was wondering whether the LXDE version of Luubuntu 18.04 LTS will ship with Compton or some other compositor by default.

    • No, but you can install it from the repositories if you wish.

      The reason is because we’re trying our best not to touch regular Lubuntu and only do bugfixes until the LTS comes out. πŸ™‚

  3. I only read this newsletter after watching Destination Linux Episode 61.

    I am very happy to know that you are just working on making LXDE even more stable.
    As for the plans for lxqt I hope to see a well formed desktop environment with it’s own applications.

    LXDE still relies on some XFCE applications or is missing some features that would be wanted in a desktop environment.

    Something I wondered is whether you are going to use a different window manager? I love openbox a lot but it would be great to see a fully KDE independant KWIN. Maybe a fork of it that you could call QTWIN.. (very original name I know)

    I would love to see an earosnap feature, intellihide taskbars, no duplicate icons in the taskbar because of system tray and indicator plugin both putting a wifi icon there or other icon.

    I from my end will do whatever I can to support you. I will soon have a look at Lubuntu Next 18.04 and send any bug reports that I will come across.

    Before I just start rambling on I just want to say that I am grateful for such a brilliant desktop experience that you provide. My PC is very high spec but no desktop environment to me performs as responsive as yours.

    Looking forward to the future!

    • Responding to this email style. πŸ˜‰

      > I only read this newsletter after watching Destination Linux Episode 61.

      Awesome! The guys over there put together a great podcast, and I am super happy they had me on an episode. πŸ™‚

      > I am very happy to know that you are just working on making LXDE even more stable.
      > As for the plans for lxqt I hope to see a well formed desktop environment with it’s own applications.

      Absolutely. This is the case.

      > LXDE still relies on some XFCE applications or is missing some features that would be wanted in a desktop environment.

      Right. It is GTK 2 and becoming a bit old.

      > Something I wondered is whether you are going to use a different window manager? I love openbox a lot but it would be great to see a fully KDE independant KWIN. Maybe a fork of it that you could call QTWIN.. (very original name I know)

      Yes. We’re investigating a different project that I can’t quite make public yet, but it’s for sure something that we’re thinking about.

      But, we are not forking a project, we’re using an existing project.

      > I would love to see an earosnap feature, intellihide taskbars, no duplicate icons in the taskbar because of system tray and indicator plugin both putting a wifi icon there or other icon.

      You can do Aero Snap already (I think), the duplicate icons are being worked on, and the taskbar can do a lot of those things already.

      > I from my end will do whatever I can to support you. I will soon have a look at Lubuntu Next 18.04 and send any bug reports that I will come across.

      Wonderful! Feel free to subscribe me to any bug reports and let us know on IRC/Telegram/Matrix. πŸ™‚

      > Before I just start rambling on I just want to say that I am grateful for such a brilliant desktop experience that you provide. My PC is very high spec but no desktop environment to me performs as responsive as yours.
      >
      > Looking forward to the future!

      Thank you for the kind words!

    • Hi. I keep the panel (the taskbar in Linux speak) on the left on my screen and hide it when I don’t need it. I generally launch everything with synapse which is a nice launcher, but use the panel to turn wifi on/off and things like that. You just have to tweak two settings to set the panel to autohide when not in use and reserve some space so you can find it again when you need it.
      1. Right-click on the panel and choose “panel settings” and go to the “Advanced” tab. In the lower part of the window you can click “Minimize panel when not in use” and set a size of the panel. I use 1 pixel so I can just hoover the mouse over the edge of the screen to bring it back up.
      2. Open “Openbox configuration manager” from the menu. Go to the “Margins” tab. Choose how many pixels you want to reserve for you panel. I use 1 pixel on the left side of the screen to match the setting for my panel.

      And that’s it. Now you just have to log out and log in, and when you do not use your panel, it will be hidden, but when you want it, you can just bring your mouse to the edge of the screen where the panel is (bottom by default) and it will pop up. (PS: I use Lubuntu in Norwegian, so the settings might have slightly different names in English than the ones I have written here because I have translated them back to English.)

  4. I agree that it is great to hear from the development team, and of course am very grateful for all of your work. I also want to commend and thank you for not rushing LXQt. LXDE works great, and does exactly what I want: fast, functional, and with no bugs that waste time. Resisting the shiny new thing must be hard, but I am very glad that you are strong enough.

  5. Thank you to the Lubuntu team for this weekly update. Really nice to get a glimpse of what is happening with Lubuntu. And thanks for an excellent distro! Even if I have a bit of the distrohop fever from time to time, I always come home to Lubuntu LTS for the rock solid Ubuntu base, the vast repositories, the light-weight, but full-featured LXDE with the file manager that has all the features, but none of the bloat, and with the Lubuntu artwork as the icing on the cake.

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