Ubuntu LXDE Desktop
Light Ubuntu LXDE desktop
This is a light weight Ubuntu desktop guide for everyone who wants install minimum packages but have Graphic User Interface. The alternative choice is Lubuntu which comes pre built using [LXDE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LXDE] (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) along with all recommended applications.
- The approach in this tutorial is to achieve following objectives
- Use Ubuntu as a base system
- LXDE as light weight desktop environment
- Firefox, Network Manager as only necessary applications
- LXDE environment makes following core applications
- Pcmanfm, a fast and lightweight files manager using gio/gvfs.
- Openbox, the fast and extensible, default windows-manager of LXDE.
- Lightdm, cross-desktop display manager using the simple GTK greeter
Installing LXDE on Ubuntu
sudo apt-get install lxde-core
It then had none of the extra software install. Originally I tried with
--no-install-recommends but this left it too bare and seemingly with missing dependencies. After doing this I installed lxappearance and obconf to allow me to change the themes easily
sudo apt-get install lxappearance obconf
Install firefox without any recommended software as the addons are for Gnome.
sudo apt-get install firefox --no-install-recommends
Install startx if no display managers are available
sudo apt-get install xinit startx
Select session manager
~$ sudo update-alternatives --config x-session-manager [sudo] password for piotr: There are 3 choices for the alternative x-session-manager (providing /usr/bin/x-session-manager). Selection Path Priority Status ------------------------------------------------------------ * 0 /usr/bin/startlxde 50 auto mode 1 /usr/bin/lxsession 49 manual mode 2 /usr/bin/openbox-session 40 manual mode 3 /usr/bin/startlxde 50 manual mode Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 0
Optional. If you have errors in xsession-errors to clear up
sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-pixbuf
Logging Out LXDE
To log out from the session you can run the command lxsession-logout. This will show you a dialog asking if you want to shutdown, reboot, change session, etc.
Change Resolution in LXDE
LXRandR is the standard screen manager of LXDE. It manages screen resolution and external monitors.
sudo apt-get install lxrandr x11-xserver-utils
After installation you will it in Start > Preferences > Monitor Settings. There is a bug when it runs in vmguest - 'Unable to find monitor information' therefore we needed to install x11-xserver-utils to have native xrandr helping detect the monitor information. If you installed vmtools screen will resize to the window size from now on.
sudo lshw -numeric -c video xrandr -q
Installing Network Manager
Install Network Manager this will be around 155Mb but without --no-install-recommends it is only ~10Mb. Then you need to restart X session by logging out and in. You will see NM icon in right bottom corner.
sudo apt-get install network-manager
By default it does not control network interfaces. Network Manager needs configuring after bare LXDE has been installed: Unmanaged_Wired_Network. The nm-system-settings.conf is now called NetworkManager.conf as written below:
Change Network Manager settings Start an LXTerminal session, then issue:
sudo vi /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf
In section [ifupdown] find the line managed=false and change to true and restart NM service:
sudo service network-manager restart
After a short while you should see "Connection established" message above the Network Manager applet tray icon.