A look at Lubuntu's LXQt Transition
by Simon Quigley
This blog post is not an announcement of any kind or even an official plan. This may even be outdated, so check the links I provide for additional info.
As you may have seen, the Lubuntu team (which I am a part of) has started the migration process to LXQt. It's going to be a long process, but I thought I might write about some of the things that goes into this process.
Step 1 - Getting a metapackage
This step is already done, and it's installable last time I checked in a Virtual Machine. The metapackage is
lubuntu-qt-desktop, but there's a lot to be desired.
While we already have this package, there's a lot to be tweaked. I've been running LXQt with the Lubuntu artwork as my daily driver for a few months now, and there's a lot missing that needs to be tweaked. So while you have the ability to install the package and play around with it, it needs to be a lot different to be usable.
Also in this image are our candidates (not final yet) for applications that will be included in Lubuntu. Here's a current list of what's on the image:
- Qupzilla - Internet browser
- Transmission (Qt) - BitTorrent Client
- Quassel IRC - IRC Client
- SMPlayer - Media Player
- SMTube - Native YouTube Video Player (launches with SMPlayer so it's a nice partner application)
- Calibre - "E-book" client
- 2048 (Qt) - Sliding block puzzle game
- JuffEd - Text editor
- nobleNote - Application to take notes
- Xarchiver - Archive manager
- ScreenGrab - Screenshots
- nomacs - Image viewer
- XScreenSaver - Screensaver
- gdebi (KDE UI) - Application/Package Manager
- pinentry (Qt) - Secure GnuPG dialog boxes
- usb-creator (KDE frontend) - Tool to take ISO files and write them to USB disks
- compton-conf - Configuration tool for X composite manager Compton
- ObConf (Qt) - Configuration editor for OpenBox
- Qlipper - Clipboard history applet
- QtPass - GUI Password Manager
- LibreOffice - Office Suite
- qpdfview - PDF Viewer
- Muon - Package Management
- Software Properties (KDE) - Easily manage software repositories
An up-to-date listing of the software in this metapackage is available here.
Step 2 - Getting an image
The next step is getting a working image for the team to test. The two outstanding merge proposals adding this have been merged, and we're now waiting for the images to be spun up and added to the ISO QA Tracker for testers.
Having this image will help us gauge how much system resources are used, and gives us the ability to run some benchmarks on the desktop. This will come after the image is ready and spins up correctly.
Step 3 - Testing
An essential part of any good operating system is the testing. We need to create some LXQt-specific test cases and make sure the ISO QA test cases are working before we can release a reliable image to our users.
As mentioned before, we need test cases. We created a blueprint last cycle tracking our progress with test cases, and the sooner that those are done, the sooner Lubuntu can make the switch knowing that all of our selected applications work fine.
Step 4 - Picking applications
This is the tough step in all of this. We need to pick the applications that best suit our users' use cases (a lot of our users run on older hardware) and needs (LibreOffice for example). Every application will most likely need a week or two to do proper benchmarking and testing, but if you have a suggestion for an application that you would like to see in Lubuntu, share your feedback on the blueprints. This is the best way to let us know what you would like to see and your feedback on the existing applications before we make a final decision.
I've been using LXQt for a while now, and it has a lot of advantages not only in applications, but the desktop itself. Depending on how notable some things are, I might do a blog post in the future, otherwise, see for yourself. :)
Here is our blueprint that will be updated a lot in the next week or so that will tell you more about the transition. If you have any questions, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send an email to the Lubuntu-devel mailing list.
I'm really excited for this transition, and I hope you are too.