When you are looking for the lightweight desktop environment of Linux to speed of your PC, one name starts to appear more and more often. LXQt is the successor of LXDE interface that uses so few resources that makes the Raspberry Pi a fully functional PC. What is LXQt and why is it special?
The desktop environment is what you see on the screen. This is the panel at the bottom. This is what organizes your apps in Windows and allows you to move them.
Windows and MacOS come with one desktop environment. In Linux, a lot of them. You can completely change the look of your desktop using the same application, the same background library and the same Linux kernel.
Most operating systems based on Linux use desktop environment by default (some allow you to choose your favorite, and the other is not included in the delivery package). There is a version of Ubuntu, the most popular desktop version of Linux called Lubuntu, which provides LXQt. Also have a LXQt version of Fedora.
If you use a different Linux-based OS, you will probably have to install LXQt on your own. Instructions are available on the website LXQt.
The history of the development of LXQt
To understand the difference between LXDE and LXQt, we must first talk about toolboxes. Toolboxes allow you to consistently draw application interfaces. Without the tools developers had to develop and program the toolbar buttons and the drop down menu from scratch for each application. Linux is dominated by two sets of tools: the GTK+ and Qt.
LXDE uses a very old code for GTK+2. GTK+3 has been around since 2011. The LXDE developer Hong Jen Yee (Hong Jen Yee) did not agree with some changes in GTK+3, so in 2013 he released the port based on Qt. Soon after, the Qt version of LXDE, and a separate desktop interface, known as the Razor-qt merged into LXQt. Hong Jen Yee was planning to eventually focus on LXQt in the future. Since then, the LXQt formally became a separate project.
How does LXQt
By default LXQt uses the default layout, familiar to anyone who used Windows. In the lower left corner is the app launcher. Located at the bottom right task bar. In between tabs of open Windows.
Apps launcher contains only the necessary and nothing more. The category that contains the installed apps appear at the top, then there are system settings controls the user session and the search string.
The interface is very easy to configure. You can change desktop themes, applications and icons. The panel can be moved to any side of the screen and you can rearrange items as you wish. No reason to keep a scheme similar to Windows, if you do not too like.
In each component LXQt – panel widget. Widgets by default allow you to save your favorite apps on the panel to switch between multiple workspaces and hide Windows to show desktop. The kit includes a few extra widgets, such as monitoring the CPU and the color palette.
One of the features of LXQt is the lack of dependencies (daemons, which must be installed to run the program) and the use of interchangeable components. For example, LXQt uses Openbox window Manager. You can use any themes compatible with Openbox to modify the appearance of the header rows of your window. You can also change the order of the buttons in the title bar and the display order of the buttons.
LXQt does not have some features that you can expect from a modern desktop. Default LXQt does not draw shadows around the Windows, and no animation to open or expand Windows. The animation for minimizing the window is present, but somewhat unstable. You can fix this by enabling or installing a separate composer. The default Lubuntu provides one of them, known as the Compton X.
Remember the search bar in the launcher apps? It is very simple. You need to look for the exact name of the application, not part of it. Don’t expect to find the files and folders until you install additional software, since these features can slow down your computer.
LXQt also has a very small support. You should know the names of the apps and what they do. If you do not know, you will need to learn. Apps launcher not inform you of the preinstalled text editor, the image viewer or web browser. Will have to handle this on your own.
This does not mean that LXQt is hard to use. I don’t think so. But I also have some idea about how Linux works. If you are faced with MATE or Xfce, LXQt and it will take you just a few minutes to figure it out. Most things are where you expect to see them. Just the implementation is different.
If anyone needs LXQt?
There are several main reasons to consider LXQt:
- LXQt lightweight. If you need a simple desktop interface that uses a relatively small amount of system resources, put LXQt to your list.
- The Qt-based LXQt. Honestly, there are not so many desktop environment based on Qt compared to GTK+. If you prefer a Qt application, but I am not a fan of the KDE Plasma Desktop, LXQt is one of your few alternatives.
- LXQt is modular. If you don’t need a desktop environment that tries to do it all, LXQt can make you smile.
LXQt is not getting as much attention as other desktop environment. This does not mean that it is not so good. But if you want to get an idea about other the possibilities available to you, here you will find more than a dozen of the lightest Linux distributions.