It’s Not So Scary After All!

…Dual booting, I mean. Not scary at all, except when I was actually installing the second OS to this really olllllld computer. I’ve got my awesome MX-14 installed, and today just for giggles I added LXLE 12.04 (Precise). It’s built from Lubuntu, but way cooler, not buggy at all, and every bit as fast on 512 MB of RAM as my favorite MX-14, and a helluvalot faster than Xubuntu 14.04 (Trusty).

I really expected the LXDE environment to still be buggy and troublesome like it was on Lubuntu was the few times that I’ve tested it, and I was kinda wondering if the LXQt thing might factor in. Frankly I was glad to read a comment from the developer on their forum that LXQt “is a fat pig” that he’s staying away from for as long as possible. While it’s great that two projects merged (very rare in the FOSS world where forking every little project is practically the norm), the “in-between” status of the new project is certainly not ready for prime time. It’ll be a great ride though, when it’s finally ready, I bet. In the meantime it’s really nice to check out LXDE on a clean, elegant platform that is – so far at least – completely free of the bugs that haunted me on every former flirtation with that desktop.

Gorgeous, ain’t it? What you don’t see is the vanishing dock on the left side of the screen (visible only when I mouse over it). It seems to be about as customizable as the Xfce panel, including opacity so all you see is the icons in the launch bar. And the weather applet is super nice – much classier looking than the Xfce weather panel applet.

The Ubuntu base is not particularly appealing because of where they’re headed with Xorg integration with MIR and whatever, and the fact that for a lot of users, every version of a ‘buntu since 12.04 has been significantly slower and more halting and awkward. Xubu 14.04 royally ticked me off, enough to make me either want to go either back to Xubu Trusty (which is good for 2 more years anyway) or check out alternatives (which led to discovering MX and LXLE). The future of LXLE depends on Ubuntu devlopment (which unfortunately includes all the weird stuff they’re doing with X and display management). But this fine Lubuntu respin offers cause for hope. And y’know what else was nice to see, was that they don’t call this a distro! “It’s a respin of Lubuntu,” the web site says, adding a note of gratitude for the developers of the foundation LXLE is built on. That is so refreshing!

I can’t say which OS I’ll spend most of my time on, but they’re both just wonderful! When I’m busy and have a lot of schoolwork to do, I’ll likely keep doing it on the familiar interface that I’m used to so I can work without distraction. But LXLE has piqued my curiosity about what LXDE can really be, besides “lightweight.” It also needs to be simple, intuitive, and stay the heck out of my way. So far so good! A truly unexpected and happy surprise.

In the meantime, just to drive home the point I passionately argued earlier today about MX being the successor and rightful heir of SimplyMepis, I added one of my favorite Mepis wallpapers to my MX-14. It’s dark and mysterious, and mirrors my personal mystical attraction to water. I loved it on my desktop when I played with SimplyMepis, but KDE was confusing and slow, even back then, so I wandered back to Ubuntu+Xfce. Now I get to celebrate the venerable heritage of my favorite distro with a little piece of history:

It’s still MX, but with that supercool historic wallpaper that captivated me back when I was a newbie taking early steps in the Linux universe, stepping outside the “Ubuniverse” for the first time. In honor of Warren and all the new ground he broke for so many users, I think I’ll just keep this wonderful watery wallpaper on the desktop for awhile.

Am I still a technophobe now that I’m finally dual-booting for the first time? Well maybe a little less of a technophobe, but not enough to go changing the name of this blog. 😀

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