So here’s my latest experiment in Linux:

It’s PCLinuxOS with the LXDE desktop. Or “PCLXDE” for short. It’s plenty fast and all that, but really it’s the applications more than the desktop environment that make a system fast or slow it seems to me. I’m interested in LXDE because of their plans to “convert,” as it were, to Qt instead of GTK.

So far it still looks and behaves like the same old LXDE, except it’s much better behaved in PCLinuxOS than in Ubuntu or Mint. Lots better.

Panels are adjustable for geometry and opacity, color, and order of launchers and applets. But there’s no weather applet, the clock is – well, you get what you get – digital with a simple calender that doesn’t compare with Xfce’s options and integration with Orage, the Xfce calender app. But I bet when they’re all Qt-ed up it could be as spectacular as KDE, but ultralight at the same time. A rival to Enlightenment, perhaps!

I haven’t noticed any particular difference in responsiveness between Xfce and LXDE, which is what my experience has always been. Fewer features than Xfce and no noticeable advantage in speed or resource consumption. I’m not sure why PCLXDE comes with Compton, a composting window manager (like Compiz) in addition to Openbox. But it does ship with lightweight apps like Slypheed mail reader instead of Thunderbird, and Abiword instead of the heavier and slower LibreOffice suite. But installing LibreOffice is a snap with the built-in quick-installer.

This isn’t supposed to be a review of PCLinuxOS / LXDE or anything, just a little update of my Linux journey and one sidekick’s experience with LXDE so far. I have no idea why it’s so much better on PCLinuxOS than on Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based Linux Mint. I only know that all of my previous flirtations with this desktop environment fell victim to what I call “the ‘Buntu Bug.” But apparently, only on my computer and others like it. Dells are known to be a little capricious on Linux, as Ubuntu is known to be capricious on just about any computer. 😉

I might just get to missing my old wonderful Xfce desktop enough to switch back, but I’ll always keep trying LXDE on for size every year or so, and perhaps more often as the Qt integration proceeds. Can’t help myself, I guess. Xfce has become as comfortable as old leather, and in my limited and few years of experience thus far, it seems to be improving a lot faster than it’s younger sibling.

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