Linux Lite 3.6

Some might say it’s “Xubuntu done right.”

But “right” is a very subjective term. Right for me is first simple, second, fast, third novice-friendly (because I prefer to use the same distro I’m sharing with so many people new to Linux, since it’s so much easier to provide support to them), and fourth suitable for modest, older hardware that can’t handle newer versions of Windows or the big fancy mainline Linux distributions. For others, Voyager is “Xubuntu done right.” For others, Linux Mint Xfce is “Xubuntu done right;” and for many others, it just doesn’t get any better than Xubuntu right out of the chute. Until I discovered Linux Lite, Xubuntu was my go-to distro. The others are all wonderful, but most were either to “heavy” for my old hardware, or not suitable for sharing with “newbies” who never used Linux before. Linux Mint Xfce would ordinarily be my first choice for newcomers to Linux, but many of these new arrivals are here because their computers are older models with low resources, and even the “lightweight” Mint can become a bit resource-hungry.

Linux Lite is built from Ubuntu core (minimal) and uses a very highly modified Xfce desktop which makes it far less demanding on resources than most Xfce-flavored Linux distributions.

But it doesn’t stop there. That would be enough, but Linux Lite aims to be beginner-friendly as well. The trick is to be “newbie friendly” without adding so much GUI stuff (graphical user interface) that you weigh it down and make it slow and cumbersome.

Ease of use used to be a trade-off, sacrificing speed. Or if you wanted speed and miserly demand on RAM and processors, you sacrificed the GUI stuff that makes Linux “friendly” for us ordinary mortals. Linux Lite blows that old paradigm away. You really don’t have to sacrifice speed and resource-demand to make Linux “play nice” for beginners, kids, great grandparents, and even technophobes.

Linux Lite achieves this “impossible” blend of simplicity and speed in three ways:

The first I already mentioned – the very highly modified Xfce desktop. Xfce is ordinarily easy on processing power anyway, but by not mixing it with Compiz and other extra goodies outside of Xfce’s own designs in hopes of making it “elegant” or whatever, it retains it’s undemanding qualities. Other tweaks make it even less resource hungry than “plain vanilla” Xfce.

The second is Linux Lite’s collection of awesome tools, not least of which is the Welcome Screen (which you can bring up on demand long after your first use of the distro) which offers step-by-step links to updating and upgrading, maintaining, cleaning, adding or removing software – all with point-and-click ease. Other cool tools include Lite Sources, which lets you choose from among software repositories anywhere in the universe, for faster updates and upgrades. Choosing the one closest to where you live is generally best, of course. And Lite Tweaks lets you personalize your desktop, clean up any junk, recover wasted space, and speed things up even more!

How is a new user supposed to know that Thunar is a file manager? They don’t know Thunar, but they know Files – Home – Pictures and whatever. So other than the applications everybody probably knows, like Firefox, apps are named for what they do, not the whimsical names that don’t really offer any clue as to their function. That’s simplicity without bloat if ever there was.

A feather is the official symbol of Linux Lite, and it’s completely appropriate. And that heart, well, that just means I love it! That huge dagger behind my back in the picture simply represents hacking out all the extra bloatware and cruft that most people assume is necessary to make a Linux distribution “user friendly.”

To make this Ubuntu-based distribution even more safe and secure, I recommend unlockforus – an “unofficial” repository of wonderful stuff not approved by Linux Lite (yet?) but either developed for Linux Lite or adapted for Linux Lite from other Linux distributions, like the awesome MintStick app and of course the must-have Mint Updater adapted for Linux Lite.

Enjoy!

8 thoughts on “Linux Lite 3.6

  1. Have you found Linux Lite to be favored over Xubuntu, or purely from a newbie stand point? I have been rolling back n’ forth between Linux lite, Xubuntu & Mint XFCE, having a hard time settling on one, all have good points, seem to lean Xubuntu lately…..

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  2. Hi Rob!

    I find Linux Lite much better for newbies because of the supercool tools that not only let a user point-and-click their way through maintaining the OS, but promote best practices in doing so. And because I share Linux a lot with other people, I want to use the same distro I put on their computers just because it makes supporting my new users much easier.

    I’ll always love Xubuntu though! Last time I used it, I installed only Xubuntu-Core from the mini-CD and customized it with favorite apps and tools. Nothing beats Linux Lite for simplicity, though. Have a look at the video I shared in a later post, on Why Linux Lite beats Linux Mint for new users. From the Welcome Screen to the on-and-offline Help Manual, Lite Sources, and Lite Tweaks, it’s a model of simplicity! I also use some of “Ralphy’s” awesome tools from http://unlockforus.com to make it even more awesome. “Ralphy” used to be a main developer and contributor to Linux Lite. He and the head of the project have created some wonderful lightweight tools that make it super-easy for newbies.

    I remain a Xubuntu fanboy and always will be, I think. If not for the fact that I bring new people to Linux a lot, Xubuntu would still be my favorite.

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    1. I had seen the English bob video, have a hard time with EB, he jumps ship every other week, he’ll be on to his latest best ever Linux in a few weeks…
      I understand the appeal of LL but I still feel Xubuntu looks a little better, in your experience does it function better overall? A lot folks feel LL/Mint XFCE are Xubuntu done right, I’m not sure on that, or that Xubuntu is stuck, stale, second class citizen blah, blah, I mean I’ve been using Win7 the way it is so long, I am obviously not driven by shiny, just functional.
      Just need to be able to rely on it, not have it break, be able to do some music production, tired of distro hopping, need a new OS, got to ditch the Winbloze!!

      Why did Ralphy move on?

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      1. “Looks better” is purely subjective, of course. But no doubt, Xubu looks awesome! It uses the Compiz window manager, which is cool, but “heavier” on modest hardware, and unnecessary IMO because the window manager that comes with Xfce4 is just fine. It’s little choices like that which give me pause, plus the “borked after updating” problems that the Ubuntu family is famous – or rather infamous – for. Ralphy adapted Linux Mint’s superb updater for Linux Lite, but it’s strictly “unofficial” and not the way I’m “supposed” to keep LL updated. But in fact, I wouldn’t use LL at all without that extra margin of safety for my newbie users.

        If Linux Lite ever goes away, I would be right back on Xubu (Xubuntu-CORE) and add Ralphy’s cool tools, MintStick, TimeShift (which is likely to replace SystemBack in LL, which is awesome but no longer maintained), and NOT use Compiz and some of the other unneeded bloat. Linux Mint Xfce is wonderful and green is my favorite color! But omygosh, so much extra stuff that slows it down!

        As for Ralphy’s departure from Linux Lite, I’m not free to share any details. Suffice it to say it was an amicable parting, and Ralphy may still be offering more cool stuff for Linux Lite users on his web site. He’s the one who wrote the code for the newest cool tool, Lite Sources.

        If you’re not a total rookie, you’ll do very well to stick with Xubuntu! If you’re a terrified newbie or a bit of a technophobe, Linux Lite is the better choice – with the “unofficial” updater from Ralphy.

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  3. Not a total newbie but still wanting to make the best choice, and stick with it. Thanks for the tip on Timeshift, systemback was something I was looking to replace for reason stated.
    Agreed on the look of a distro but my Xubuntu just has a sharpness to it that LL does not, for me. I am not so worried about a little bloat, I mean, I’m coming from Windows!!
    I do use Compton & even Compiz if necessary, as tearing is a real bugger otherwise, I may have to weigh up Mint over Xubuntu, my computers can totally handle the slight bloatiness, lots of ram I5 & 7’s.
    Oh, and i should buy a lottery ticket, fickle Bob does it again!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvnz6UsPsZE

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just giving Bob a hard time, 3 weeks ago Solus, 2 weeks prior UB Mate etc.

      Thanks for all the pointers, running Mint XFCE for a try, we shall see which one sticks!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. EB does a lot of reviews, and as an “expert user,” Arch Whatever suits him. The “Why LL is Better for New Users” video didn’t mean he was switching to Linux Lite!

    You don’t need LL on a computer with specs like yours! Go with Xubu then! My desktop has under 1 gb of RAM so I need an ultralight distro that is also newbie friendly. For me iot’s Linux Lite. If/when I get a new ‘puter or this one is finally unsupportable, I may be back on Xubu myself.

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