LXDE – lightweight desktop environment

Last Updated on May 19, 2022

LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) is a project with an objective of providing a desktop environment which is lightweight and fast. It is not designed to be powerful and bloated, but to be usable and slim enough, and keep the resource usage low. Different from the majority of desktop environments, it does not tightly integrate every component. Instead, it tries to make all components independent, and each of them can be used independently with few dependencies.

This means that users do not need to install the whole desktop, but they can select the parts that they like for their own customized desktop.

LXDE is designed to work well with computers on the low end of the performance spectrum such as the new generation netbooks and other small computers. LXDE is energy efficient and fast compared to other desktops. LXDE can be built on top of various Linux distributions such as Ubuntu or Debian.

The gOS LXDE edition (good OS) uses the gOS concept of Web 2.0 Apps alongside the extremely fast LXDE desktop interface.

Features include:

  • Lightweight, runs with reasonable memory usage.
  • Good-looking, gtk+ 2 internationalized user interface.
  • Easy-to-use, the user interface is simple, but usable enough.
  • Desktop independent (Every component can be used without LXDE).
  • Standard compliant, follows the specs on freedesktop.org.
  • Suitable for old machines.

Components include:

  • PCMan, an extremely fast and lightweight file manager with tabbed browsing (like Firefox), built-in volume management, built-in file searching, drag & drop, thumbnails, and more.
  • LXLauncher, easy-mode application launcher which follows freedesktop.org specs.
  • LXPanel, a feature-rich desktop panel based on fbpanel.
  • LXSession, session manager.
  • LXAppearance, GTK+ theme switcher.
  • leafpad, simple text editor.
  • Xarchiver, third-party desktop-independent file archiver.
  • GPicView, a fast, simple image viewer.
  • LXTerminal, terminal emulator.
  • LXTask, task manager derived from xfce4 task manager.
  • LXNM, lightweight network connection helper daemon for LXDE supporting wireless connections (Linux-only).
  • Openbox, third-party window manager.

Website: lxde.org
Support: Forums
Developer: The LXDE Team
License: GNU GPL, LGPL


LXDE is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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