Lubuntu LXDE

I spend a good deal of time reminding my students in the computer laboratory to use alt-tab to try to recover lost windows. The new Unity desk top in Ubuntu Natty Narwhal 11.04 is simply confusing for the students. The launcher is an unusual metaphor in this virtually Mac-less nation.

The computer lab computers being older 512 Mb RAM machines, there are also problems with the resource intensive Unity desk top. After a hour of running, the launcher will often fail to auto-hide for Calc.

For other reasons, I stumbled upon Lubuntu LXDE. Test runs on two computers in my office show LXDE to be faster and more responsive than Unity. The real plus, however, is that students were able to instantly understand and use the desk top without any assistance. With the rest of the campus running Windows Vista and Windows 7, the similarity of LXDE is a real plus.

I am more than pleased that Lubuntu will become a full sibling to the other Ubuntu distributions with 11.10. With all the chatter I see on line about how to dump Unity and run Gnome 3, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and other spins, I have to wonder whether the core Ubuntu group has been wise in committing all of their futures to Unity. Somehow Unity appears like a case of Mac dock envy.

My thanks to the Lubuntu team for their excellent work!

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