Hi everyone. This time around, I decided to review LXQt, seeing at it will replace LXDE in Lubuntu soon. I thought it would be fun to see how much faster it was, and simulate a slow system to see how it responds.
LXQt – a hands on review in VirtualBox
As with a good few of my reviews, this is primarily a video, accompanied with a write-up and some discussion. Note that I recorded this video a while ago, so the chatter is kind of out of date – Cygwin part 2 and the Mint 19 review are both already out. The DSL post is already out as well, by the way.
The (virtual) machine
Simulating a Pentium 4-era machine in VirtualBox seemed like a good idea, seeing as this is probably about the oldest hardware you’d run modern Linux on; while you technically can even run Gentoo on a 486, for it to be easy / user friendly, a Pentium 4 or higher is probably a better bet. Bear in mind that I was installing to and running from an SSD. Given the CPU execution cap, I think the CPU would have slowed it down a lot anyway. The VM had 1 GB of RAM, and a simulated single-core CPU running at 1 GHz, and 32 MB of RAM without 3D acceleration – not very fast.
LXQt started up and installed pretty quickly, which is impressive given our virtual hardware specs. I thought it was a bit of a shame that they didn’t adopt a more KDE-ish theme, because I like KDE, but then it makes sense to keep it looking familiar.
Probably the biggest thing I noticed though is that it was FAST. LXDE was never slow, but LXQt was amazingly fast, so much so I could almost forget what (simulated) hardware it was running on! It really felt almost like a new computer. That is very, very impressive, and I now totally see what people were saying about Qt being better than GTK for old systems.
This was very easy and fast, and I like the Calmeres installer, which I don’t think I’ve used before. It fits LXDE pretty well, and it got the job done quickly. I did speed it up by reducing the execution cap, because I didn’t have too much time to get this done, but even with that I think it would have installed inside 30-45 minutes, which is impressive. Even on new hardware, that’s pretty good. I can think of a certain popular operating system that sometimes takes an hour or even twice as long as that.
Note: Bear in mind that this is an unstable release of Lubuntu, so the preinstalled programs might change. It will also depend on which Linux distro you use.
Not a bad selection at all, especially for a lightweight distro. It came with Libreoffice, Thunderbird, a web browser, and K3B for burning CDs and DVDs. It even comes with an ebook reader and a software center. This is pretty good, especially for a lightweight distro.
There is a fair bit of room for customisation out of the box, which is nice. It was also easy to do, which is always a good thing. There weren’t any really beautiful themes, but who needs those when you have the Windows ME theme? I bet that brings back good memories XD.
In all seriousness, it would be nice to have some prettier, if more heavy themes to pick from by default. I imagine you can install them, but it’d be nice to have the option out of the box. I do like that you can change the taskbar theme though, it’s a bit easier to do than it used to be in LXDE. All the applications fit in nicely with it as well, so they’ve done a good job with the themes.
A nice new desktop environment that appears to run very quickly even on pretty old (simulated) hardware with no 3D support. There are some nice default applications, and a good set of themes. Installation was also fast and easy. All in all, a good experience, especially given this is a development release of Lubuntu, and, presumable of LXQt as well. I found really very few bugs.
That’s it from me for now, but I’ll have some more posts coming out soon 🙂