A brand new stable release of the lightweight LXQt desktop is now available for download.
LXQt 0.8.0, which has been five months in the making, arrives stuffed to the gills with welcome changes, bug fixes and performance improvements. These include two new themes, support for reordering panel items and a set of basic, but much needed, admin tools.
The PCManFM-Qt file manager adds single-click opening, desktop drag & drop, Ark archive manager integration and makes minor tweaks to the “icon view” layout.
This release is also the first to offer full compatibility with Qt5.
What is LXQt?
LXQt is the Qt-based version of LXDE — the Lightweight Linux Desktop Environment used in Lubuntu.
It’s billed by its developers as “a Classic Desktop with a modern Look & Feel” and it remains well-suited to lower-end hardware that might otherwise struggle to run heavier desktop shells, such as Unity or Deepin.
In announcing the availability of version 0.8, project co-lead Jerome Leclanche speaks of the momentum gathering behind the desktop:
“…we have seen a surge of interest and several new developers have joined us. Collaboration with other desktop environments has been very promising and we are very excited to be able to pick up new KDE Frameworks libraries to replace custom, duplicated and often sub-par functionality.”
Notable Changes in LXQt 0.8:
- New admin tools, including date & time config
- File manager improvements
- New themes: Plasma Next & Dark Alpha
- Better multi-monitor handling
- RGBA transparency (where applicable)
- Compton integration (disabled by default)
- Support for setting UI font
- LXQt-Panel now allows reordering of task bar button and supports urgency hints
Installing LXQt in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Although LXQt 0.8.0 is considered stable enough for use in “production environments”, though it would be wise to use it with an open mind. Gaps remain in some minor configuration and customisation options, things those switching from more “mature” environments may find a deal-breaker.
That’s the negative. The positive is that installing LXQt in Ubuntu has been made simple.
The Lubuntu Daily PPA stocks all of the required packages for LXQt, including a meta-package to simplify installation. Just like other desktops, LXQt can be installed alongside Unity, GNOME, etc., but also the GTK+ version of LXDE.
If you plan to install over public, capped or unreliable cafe Wi-Fi you should be aware that a number of additional Qt dependencies will be pulled in as part of the installation process.
Source archives and install details for Arch, Debian, Gentoo and Hannah Montana Linux users (I’m lying about the last one) can be found on the official project website.