lubuntu

How to make lubuntu better

PCMan, the founder of LXDE, has some ideas about "how to make lubuntu better", that I would like to share with you.

One thing I think every developer can do to make Lubuntu better is quite simple. Lubuntu developers can help check if dialogs in LXDE programs can conform to Gnome HIG. Currently, most dialogs in PCManFM/libfm are designed with Gnome HIG in mind, but there are still some missing bits. Since glade is used to create those dialogs, it's not difficult to fix them. If a dialog is too big for devices with small screen like Netbooks, "this is a bug" and should be reported in the trackers. Help is also needed to make them fit small screens. Most of time I develop them with small screen in mind so this might not a problem, but we need to make sure. Another thing you can do with the source code is making sure every GtkDialog is created with gtk_dialog_set_alternative_button_order() called. This is required to make all apps work in consistent ways. To improve user experience, those are things need to be ensure.

Links:

* Lightweight X Desktop http://lxde.org

* PCManFM/libfm http://pcmanfm.sourceforge.net

Lubuntu Lucid Alpha 2 "Preview 2"

Julian Lavergne has released the second Alpha of Lubuntu. It is now available for testing. Don't forget that it's build with Ubuntu Lucid (10.04) which is still in Alpha state of development, so same warnings : "Pre-releases of Lucid are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting, and fixing bugs."

There is not so much changes between Alpha 1 and Alpha 2, don't expect big surprises. The next release (Alpha 3), which will be released after the Feature Freeze, will be more interesting :) As with all things, it is better to test before you buy! At least get feedback from reliable sources before investing in it. That said, what confuses some developers really facilitates the lives of other developers! 

Features :
- LXDE packages up-to-date
- LXDM - The new pcmanfm for testing (type "pcmanfm2" in a terminal)
- Many wallpapers and start icons from lxde forum, gnome-look or Leszek Lesner, to be able to switch easily and to test the result
- First customization with a splash screen from Leszek Lesner
- Installable with ubiquity (but upgrade from this Alpha 2 to next release is not guaranteed). Known bugs:
- Alpha 2 may not boot on karmic Virtualbox, you should upgrade virtualbox to avoid this problem.

If you want to create a bootable usb system, please use the usb creator directly on Ubuntu. Please follow the testing process described on this page : https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/SubTeams/TestingSubTeam . You can also report problems and bugs relative to the tests on this page. Download : http://people.ubuntu.com/~gilir/lubuntu-lucid-alpha2.iso

Lubuntu state before Alpha 2 release

Hi, This is quick summary of the state of Lubuntu, 3 mouths before the target release date.

=== Alpha 2 ===

- May be released at the end of this week.

=== New packages ===

- lxdm was committed, waiting for archive approval. It's mostly working, but need some improvements. Currently, there is no plymouth support and Default language not working well. - libfm and pcmanfm2 are available for testing on the Lubuntu PPA [1].

=== Default applications ===

- Current discussion on the video player, music player and email client
- Future discussion on the browser. It will begin when chromium will enter the archive, or sooner if nothing arrive before 1st February.
- Some changes may happen in the futur, if the manpower is still the same (see below). We need to share the maintenance for non-LXDE applications with other teams, if we want to have good quality. I have in mind the network manager and the browser.
- For all the cases, I would like to stop all the choices for Feature Freeze (18th February), to have enough time for bug fixes and translations of the non-LXDE packages.

=== Maintenance and advertising ===

The main reason why I don't make many advertising around Alpha releases of Lubuntu is because I can't handle more feedback/testing for now. We don't have many devs working on Lubuntu, and my time on it is also limited.

=== If you want to help ===

- If you speak English and 1 or more languages, you can translate LXDE packages and other applications of Lubuntu (see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/SubTeams/TranslationSubTeam )
- If you like to play with unstable stuff, you can test Alpha ISO and report bug you have (We already have some nice testers :)) (see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/SubTeams/TestingSubTeam )
- If you are an artist, you can imagine or create a new artwork for Lubuntu. (see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/SubTeams/ArtworkSubTeam )
- If you want to get involve in Ubuntu development, you can begin to triage bug, improve packages ... (see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/SubTeams/CodingAndPackagingSubTeam ) There is available tasks for everyone :)

I can provide guidelines and mentoring, and I'll try to maintain the wiki to share useful information. Just to be clear, the schedule is still good. There is currently no blocker for the release in April, but more help will make the release better. Regards, Julien Lavergne

[1] : https://launchpad.net/~lubuntu-desktop/+archive/ppa

Lubuntu Lucid Alpha 1 "Preview"

Hi, I just generated the first real ISO for Lubuntu Lucid, available for testing. Don't forget that it's build with Ubuntu Lucid (10.04) which is still in Alpha state of development, so same warnings : "Pre-releases of Lucid are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting, and fixing bugs."

Features :
- LXDE packages up-to-date [1]
- LXDM - The new pcmanfm for testing (type "pcmanfm2" in a terminal)
- Many wallpapers and start icons from lxde forum, gnome-look or Leszek Lesner, to be able to switch easily and to test the result
- First customization with a splash screen from Leszek Lesner
- Installable with ubiquity (but upgrade from this Alpha 1 to next release is not guaranteed)

The ISO is called "Preview", because it's build with new features which will be part of the final release, and to encourage early testing. All this components are not yet part of the official repositories (work in progress). Also, if you want to propose a new application for the default installation, please test its behavior in this live-cd.

If you want to create a bootable usb system, please use the usb creator directly on Ubuntu. Please report any problem you have with it on this list or directly to me. Exception for pcmanfm2, it doesn't have all the features pcmanfm have, so no need to report it's incomplete :)

Download : http://people.ubuntu.com/~gilir/lubuntu-lucid-alpha1.iso

Regards, Julien Lavergne

[1] except LXmusic which was released recently and is not part of Lubuntu. Some packages are not yet in official repositories, but it's just a question of time.

lubuntu Lucid release cycle

I plan to stay in sync with the Ubuntu release cycle as much as possible
(see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LucidReleaseSchedule).
So, next release should be near the January 14th.

lubuntu ISO Alpha 0 - testing purpose only

I just created an ISO of lubuntu Lucid for testing purpose. But before starting to download it, please read the following "release notes" :

* Using lxdm instead of gdm This ISO uses a not-yet-in-the-official-repository version of lxdm, thedisplay manager of LXDE instead of gdm. I would like to test the stateof it and if it's possible to include it in Lubuntu.

* Using network-manager instead of wicd This is a temporarily solution, my first tests reported that wicd doesn't work on Live-CD.

* Doesn't have utilities (manage users, network etc ...) It's a bug in gnome-system-tools (see bug 497441 [1]) which bring all GNOME packages as depends. It was temporarily removed from the seed.

* Doesn't have an installation icon See previous point, it's the same problem.

* Can't use synaptic, or any applications using gksu It's a problem in lxdm, not creating an .Xauthority file. To workaround it, you can do in a terminal "startx", which should crash but create the necessary file. It's something to fix before trying to include lxdm.

* No customization, looks like a Ubuntu CD Yes, I know. Artwork welcome :)

So, as everyone is warned, there is the link : ISO: http://people.ubuntu.com/~gilir/lubuntu-lucid-20091220.iso
md5sum: 7fb4b82a7faadb209e2ae4ca831283e5

Last note, this ISO was created "by-hand" (mean by using chroot/mksquashfs/mkisofs), because building with official architecture is currently blocked (space problem on the server).

Happy testing :)

[1] : https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-system-tools/+bug/497441

lubuntu - new programs by default

I just added 6 new programs to the seed to cover some missing features. They will be installed by default in the next upload of the seed :
- xfce4-taskmanager : for monitoring tasks, the origin of lxtask
- parcellite : for a clipboard manager (not start on login for now)
- hardinfo : for information on the system - osmo : for managing event, calendar ...
- language-selector : for installing language packs
- software-properties-gtk : for managing sources in synatic The splash is still missing, but as plymouth was just uploaded, I prefer to wait more before adding it to the seed.

If you think the seed need other programs to be added (not replaced !), please speak now :)

For discussion on existing applications, please begin a new thread or a new page on the wiki. Please also note this :
- Only propose application which are in the archive (not PPA, official archive).

Exceptions are lxde components (like lxdm) and chromium which should be added to official repository soon.
- Prepare some arguments :) The actual policy is to keep the existing seed, so the application need to bring real and additional interesting stuff.
- Read and update previous discussion on https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/Applications/Process%20Documentation

lubuntu - get involved

Julien Lavergne posted ways to get involved into lubuntu on the mailing list of the project and I am reposting his suggestions here.

This is a quick summarize for people wanted to help on Lubuntu. In general, all tasks will be documented on the Subteams pages:

== Participate to the LXDE project ==
This is the most efficient way to contribute to Lubuntu. If you want a functionality, translate a package etc … you should directly work with LXDE.

== Create an artwork for Lubuntu ==
We don’t have an original artwork, and it’s an important goal for Lucid. Some works began on the LXDE forum, but there is a lots to do to create a complete set of artwork. Currently, it could be nice to have:

  • 1 wallpaper
  • 1 icon set
  • 1 GTK engine
  • 1 login manager theme (for lxdm)
  • Custom configuration for GTK theme in the session
  • 1 openbox theme
  • 1 banner for logout
  • 1 logo for the main menu
  • 1 background image for lxpanel
  • 1 cursor
  • Specific icons for lxpanel
  • 1 splash screen (for usplash or/and plymouth)

Please see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/SubTeams/ArtworkSubTeam/Documentation for details.
If you want to work on artwork, you should contact the Ubuntu Art Team. There are a very good experience on making artwork for K/X/Ubuntu etc … It’s also important to work on the artwork, as a complete set. It’s better to submit a wallpaper + icon set + gtk engine together than separately.

IMPORTANT NOTE : We didn’t have currently decide the colors of the artwork. We should discuss and decide this on the next IRC meeting. But you can create some mockups to add them to the discussion :)

== Triage bugs on Launchpad ==
We need to manage bug reports for many packages (mostly, the LXDE core packages).
See https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/HowToTriage/ for an overview of the triaging on Ubuntu.
The current packages and bugs are here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/~lubuntu-packaging/+packagebugs
Most important to know is:

  • Is the bug is correctly affected?
  • Is the bug still reproductible by user in Ubuntu 9.10? By you?
  • Is there a solution/patch available on the bug? Upstream? In another distribution?

== Fix bugs / Develop features ==
If you want to work on a bug, you should affect it to you so people know you are working on it. If you want to implement a feature, or working on a patch, you should open a bug on Launchpad, so people can eventually help you. I’ll try to add a TODO list for packagers who want to help but want some mentoring or ideas (See https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/SubTeams/CodingAndPackagingSubTeam for futur information).

== Testing ==
We may have some ISO to test near the Alpha 1 of Lucid, it’s a good occasion to test if it’s working, and report bugs. You don’t need to know how to code for this, just use Lubuntu and report bugs/complain about it. You can also install a command line Lucid system in VirtualBox and install lubuntu-desktop package by “sudo apt-get install –no-install-recommends lubuntu-desktop”. Another way is to test a pristine lxde session by installing the lxde package, and see if no Lubuntu specific patch cause problems in a standart LXDE session. To report bug, do ubuntu-bugs the_name_of_the_package_affected. If you don’t know, use ubuntu-bug lubuntu-meta, we’ll triage it for you :) Testing (and reporting problems) is critical, because developers can only try to fix problems if there are reported.

== Improve the Documentation ==
Our wiki ( https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu ) can always be improved. If you intend to do massive changes, please inform the mailing list before.

Feel free to add others tasks if you have any in mind. Some others tasks will probably appear in the futur on this mailing list or on the SubTeams pages. Also, you can ask any questions on any of those items on the mailing list.

Thanks in advance for your help :)

Default applications on Lubuntu 10.04 - Summarize of the UDS Session

a quick summarize of the session we had in UDS about the workflow for choosing default applications, and with a current proposal.

Blueprint : https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/lubuntu-lucid-default-applications
Complete spec : https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Specs/LubuntuLucidApplications

Current consensus was to stay with the list of applications we have for Karmic (but please read until the end of this mail :))

The general proposal for the roadmap is the following :
- Determine areas not currently covered in Karmic seed that still need to be addressed
- Discuss applications that could be replaced
- Organize a IRC meeting to stop the applications list

For problematic applications, we'll need discussions preferably with advantages/disadvantages, benchmarks (memory and CPU usage , dependencies, installed space ...). The goal is not to replace all the seed, but focus on some keys applications that can be discuss, and which have solid arguments for a replacement.

lubuntu RAM and CPU Requirements

We don't have for now the requierement needed for Lubuntu, because some components are still in developpement.

However, I done some testing on Karmic + LXDE/Lubuntu packages updated from Lucid + some adjustements, and a session start with 50-60 Mo, according to the taskmanager. So in your case, the memory could be a bit short to be confortable.

For the processor, I can't test if it's useable. But It will be a good candidate for testing Lubuntu Lucid, and I will be happy to have your feedback on it.

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