The Ubuntu family shrinks, like when Edubuntu or Ubuntu GNOME was discontinued, or it grows, like when Ubuntu Unity came home, depending on when the topic is discussed. But there are several official flavors that seem to have come in time to stay. Everything can change, but it is difficult to think that old rockers like Kubuntu or Xubuntu will disappear. The protagonist of this article that deals with the requirements to install Lubuntu.
One thing must be clear, and that is that times change and what is one way today is totally different after a few years or months. On my first PC, which had 1GB of RAM (512mb+512mb) I installed Ubuntu 6.06, and nowadays it is recommended not to install it on computers with less than 4GB of RAM. So what is explained here today is valid for the latest version of Lubuntu, but the information might not be accurate if you read this article after a few years.
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A Little History
Lubuntu is available as an official flavor since October 2008, entering the family with the surname Intrepid Ibex. At first it used LXDE graphical environment, but in the latest versions it has started to use LXQt. The history between these two desktops is interesting: they are developed by the same person, but the version with Qt seemed to eliminate some deficiencies or things that he did not like in LXDE, so he began to care more for LXQt although, in parallel, he continues with LXDE. And Lubuntu, aware of all this, also changed.
Lubuntu does not use such a customizable graphical environment, at least in the simplest and most intuitive way, like Plasma or the GNOME that Ubuntu used in its beginnings, but some changes can be made to suit the consumer. It is not its raison d'être, or rather, it is designed with other priorities, such as consuming fewer resources. Before Ubuntu MATE was released, Lubuntu was what I had installed on my 250″ Acer Aspire D10, and it ran pretty well. Of course, as LXDE complicated some things for me, and I knew MATE well from my time in Ubuntu from 6.06 to 10.10 when I switched to Unity, so I switched to MATE.
At the time of writing this article, it arrives with these apps installed by default:
- LibreOffice as an office suite.
- VLC as a video and music player.
- LXImage, image viewer.
- qpdfview as PDF reader.
- LXQt File Archiver, archiver
- Firefox as a web browser.
- KCalc as a calculator.
- PCManFM, file manager.
- Discover as a software store.
- LightDM as session manager.
- Light-Locker as a screen locker.
- ScreenGrab as a screenshot tool.
- Scanlite to scan documents.
- Muon, package managers.
- Transmission as a BitTorrent client.
- Software Update to update packages, it's like the one in Ubuntu.
- Bootable disk creator as USB ISO burner.
- Wget to download in console.
- Quasel IRC as an IRC client.
- nobleNote as a note app.
- FeatherPad text editor.
- QTerminal, terminal emulator.
- KDE Partition Manager as a partition manager.
For those who do not know any of the previous programs, well, say that they tend to be less pretty than others that exist in GNOME or Plasma, and that do not offer options for the most demanding users either, but they are designed so that they do not consume many resources. And it is that, in the end, the requirements to install Lubuntu are the lowest of the whole family.
Regarding LXQt, since 2022 there is a backports repository which does something like KDE's, bring newer software to existing versions.
One of Lubuntu's requirements: 64bit
One of Lubuntu's requirements, which it shares with the rest of official flavors and the majority of unofficial ones too, is that only available for 64bit. As we read in this article, the last version of Lubuntu that supported 32bit was Lubuntu 18.04, and considering that the official flavors are only required to support LTS versions for 3 years, the end of its life cycle came in April 2021. So If one of the points you were looking for was that it support 32bit to be able to revive a less new team, we regret to say no.
Although this article is not about that, I would like to give an alternative if something 32bit is needed. Almost everyone is moving on and leaving 32bit, but at the time this article was written, the Raspberry Pi ofrece a 32bit Debian-based operating system that uses its interface, one that is also LXQt, like Lubuntu's. Therefore, if what you were looking for was a 32bit Lubuntu, a good option is Raspberry Pi desktop.
Lubuntu: minimum requirements
After all this information, here is the list with the minimum requirements of Lubuntu in 2023:
- Processor: x86 with a clock speed of at least 1 GHz.
- RAM: 512 MB (at least 1 GB is recommended for a satisfactory experience).
- Bonded warehouse: 5 GB of available space.
- Graphic card: Any graphics card that supports a resolution of 1024×768.
Being a Linux distribution, it basically supports any hardware that is supported by the kernel, but the above would be the approximate and theoretical requirements. The 5GB of storage would allow the operating system to be installed, but we could not save, for example, music and videos, nor would we be able to install several heavy programs such as Blender with all the options.
Regarding RAM, 512mb is what appears in most of the documentation on Lubuntu requirements, but it is already indicated that the minimum for the experience to be satisfactory must be 1GB of RAM. If you asked me, I would double the bet and recommend at least 2GB, but these are personal opinions that are far from the semi-official information.
And if the most important thing is that it can be executed and the design doesn't matter, another option is to install a window manager like i3wm, but that's another story. In this one, I hope it has been clear both what are the minimum requirements to install Lubuntu and part of its history and essence.
3 comments, leave yours
Without a doubt, Lubuntu is one of the "old" distros that will last over time: it is agile, it has improved in adaptability, it is powerful, safe and efficient in everything you want to do with this distro.
This is one of my four favorite distros: Lubuntu Lxqt, Debian KDE, Gnome Ubuntu and lastly Unity; distro that I never stopped using even though it was abandoned.
Abiword, Gnumeric, etc? you stayed in time, the latest versions already use LibreOffice (the latest LTS comes with LibreOffice 7.4.2 if I remember correctly).
And with LXQT 1.2 I change the distribution in favor (luckily you can put the PPA for the latest LTS)
To finish I want to say that it is one of my favorite distros (I use it on computers with few resources). That if, as always, I have a multitude of windows open in the web browser (I'm lazy to close them) I don't even use it with less than 3GB of RAM, but that's just my case.
Conclusion: A great distro that we hope will continue to improve (so we avoid the planned obsolescence of millions of computers and they will be with us for many more years).
in my opinion it was a failure to change it from lxde to lxqt, with lxqt it is heavier than xubuntu, which hits it forty thousand kicks, it is faster and more customizable, lubuntu has discover which is super slow, a debian with debian is much faster lxde que lubuntu. It is a great distro but that with few resources is going to be no.