Definitely an improvement. Once you turn off some auto-start stuff you don’t need (like Bluetooth and Virtualbox in my case), it’s a quick-booting masterpiece that is even more simplified for new-users, especially those Windows users who are looking to try Linux for the very first time. I added Waterfox (not in the Lite Software listing), Mintstick (also not in Lite Software), and of course, a safe updater adapted from Linux-Mint for Linux Lite, available here. This is not the official and accepted way to update Linux Lite, but because it’s Ubuntu-based and because Ubuntu puts a lot of beta-quality, untested crap in their updates, I choose to use the updater, especially for newbies to Linux!
I continue to believe and assert that including untested stuff in updates in a distro intended for newcomers to Linux is unconscionable and unforgivable. Not that it’s a daily occurrence or anything, but it happens often enough to brick a perfectly good working system. The addition of the adapted MintUpdater helps to prevent it, especially if it’s set up to accept only tested, safe updates from upstream.
This new version of Linux Lite is lightweight compared to most other Xfce desktop distros ( Xubuntu, Linux Mint Xfce, and the Xfce flavor of PCLinuxOS). My other old favorite, SalixOS, won’t run on newer hardware, believe it or not, because even upstream Slackware hasn’t updated the kernel in so long. In my humble but somewhat experienced opinion, Linux Lite beats even Linux Mint for newbie-friendliness and simplicity. Folks coming from Windows will find the default layout and configurations (pictured above) almost “familiar.” On my own computer of course, I change that right away. I won’t want my computer to “look or behave like Windows” in any way! I want mine as different from Windows as I can make it! But that’s just me. Fortunately the Xfce desktop is not only very lightweight, but infinitely configurable!
It used to be an axiom in the desktop Linux world that “newbie-friendliness” and performance were a trade-off. The more “user-friendly” the distro, the poorer performance you could expect. Speed is sacrificed for simplicity, they said. And it is largely true. Except in Linux Lite, which has proven that it doesn’t have to be true! Only in Linux Lite have I seen and experienced no reduction in speed and performance “in exchange for” the super-easy graphical user interface and cool tools for newbies.