Lubuntu bloat?

(Mark Rabideau) #1

Yesterday Lubuntu released with its first LXQt major release (0.13). I was looking at the filing on Distrowatch and noticed what appears to be bloat. I have attached their distrowatch record (an image). I think that the bloat in size is generally due to the addition of LibreOffice (they used to offer GOffice). However, the emphasis in their announcement is the addition of LXQt (not the addition of space hungry LibreOffice)… well you get the point. The messaging is NOT clear.

Here is the DW quote:

We conclude the Ubuntu release day with Lubuntu, a popular Ubuntu variant which, until recently, featured the lightweight LXDE desktop. Starting with version 18.10, the distribution has finally completed its intended switch to LXQt: “Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, Lubuntu 18.10 has been released. This is the first Lubuntu release with LXQt as the main desktop environment. The Lubuntu project, in 18.10 and successive releases, will no longer support the LXDE desktop environment or tools in the Ubuntu archive and will instead focus on the LXQt desktop environment. You can find the following major applications and toolkits installed by default in this release: LXQt 0.13.0, with many bugfixes and improvements backported from upstream; Qt 5.11.1, which is the first point release in the Qt 5.11 series; Mozilla Firefox 62, which will receive updates from the Ubuntu security team throughout the support cycle of the release; the LibreOffice 6.1.2 suite with the Qt 5 frontend; VLC 3.0.4 for viewing media and listening to music; Featherpad 0.9.0 for notes and code editing…”

(Pedram Pourang) #2

FeatherPad 0.9.0 is old – the latest version is 0.9.1. I guess the LXQt they have is the last release, which is also old. If so, Lubuntu users will report LXQt bugs that were fixed a long time ago :frowning:

(Alf Gaida) #3

They have so much backported things in that we simply could mark the most things as wont-fix and downstream - and btw. Ubuntus policy is that users should spam their own bugtracker (launchpad) - the maintainers should triage the bugs and if the bug is really upstream file a bug in the upstream tracker (ofcourse after checking the current development) - so this should be no problem.

KDE had the same problem times ago, Martin Grässlin was verbose about: “Ubuntu bugs? We just ignore them!” - We will see how it turns out.

(Alf Gaida) #4

RE: Bloat - LibreOffice is defacto standard, a bit bigger images are also no problem anymore - and LO fits better to LXQt than GOffice which is and was a pita in the last Lubuntu releases. So - the most delivered applications are sensible. Target of Lubuntu are Users who want to have a lightweight Installation that is usable for daily tasks - and Lubuntu should be. For more advanced users i suggest a minimal iso and apt install the needed things by hand - should be no rocket science.

 apt install $WM lxqt $something

should do the trick - downside: it will be Ubuntu + LXQt, not Lubuntu, so one should not expect any support

(Jim Shriner) #5

But at least Ubuntu + LXQt will get you 5 years of LTS support in the underlying Ubuntu base. All 'Buntu LTS receive 5 years of support, except Lubuntu LTS, which only offers 3. I don’t know why…

I wish Lubuntu would either align with 5 year LTS, or offer a rolling version. Lubuntu rolling would be PERFECT, IMO!

(Pedram Pourang) #6

You’re joking; aren’t you?

(Alf Gaida) #7

It wasn’t a joke, only a misunderstanding :stuck_out_tongue:

First Lubuntu LTS with LXQt will be 20/4 - and LTS for desktops is limited to 3 years afaik - but support means only that they will fix security related thing and major bugs. That’s all.

(Simon Quigley) #8

…why is this on the LXQt forum?

I don’t think it’s LXQt’s concern what we do with our distribution. Either way, we’re taking a new direction.

We’re in sync with Debian on this one, so I think it’s on @agaida.

We do ship with LXQt 0.13 though, the latest release.

It depends on the package. Some packages have ten patches, others zero, but it depends on the module. While yes, people should use Launchpad for bugs (we have a guide here, blanket closing all issues coming from Lubuntu is unfair and short-sighted. I personally try to confirm on Debian Sid if I’m unsure if it’s a Lubuntu or upstream problem.

We simply don’t have the manpower (or the will, for that matter) to maintain antiquated code for longer than three years. That’s why we dropped LXDE… :stuck_out_tongue:

…these are the opposite of each other. :stuck_out_tongue:

Both won’t happen for the foreseeable future though.

Best wishes.

(Alf Gaida) #9

erm - @tsujan @tsimonq2 - featherpad 0.9.1 is released 13 days ago? Really?

(Simon Quigley) #10

Right, this was past Ubuntu’s feature freeze, and yes @agaida, the part of the cycle where it’s a hard freeze. :stuck_out_tongue:

If it’s important we can release it as an update to users, I’d just like some justification as to why it’s so important besides cleanup (so I can tell the Ubuntu Stable Release Update team that upstream strongly recommends we upgrade).

(Alf Gaida) #11

Anything like cosmic-backports available? It will be hard to sell it as security update :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(Simon Quigley) #12

The middle between cosmic-backports and cosmic-security is cosmic-updates. We have a whole process for it, but it’s up to individual members of the team to evaluate it.

(Alf Gaida) #13

i would put it in backports - it has to go through NEW, it was time to split out l10n

(Michael Tunnell) #14

@manyroads I think calling a distro bloat because it uses LibreOffice is counter-productive. LibreOffice is the most popular and arguably the most usable office suite on Linux. GOffice would require additional GTK dependencies probably. Anyway, I think the use of the word “bloat” is incorrect. Bloat implies it is detrimental and hurts the system in some way but LO does not do that and most of the time people call something bloat in Linux it’s likely more accurate to say “not my preference” rather than “bloat”.


  1. having support for the core and nothing else is not a good trade off
  2. Lubuntu 18.10 has LXQt = not an LTS (normal non-LTS is 9 months)
  3. Most, if not all, Ubuntu Flavours offer only 3 Years on their LTS. I don’t know of one that does the full 5 Years.
  4. No Ubuntu flavour can offer a rolling release if Ubuntu itself doesn’t. Also a rolling release of Ubuntu kind of defeats the point of offering a stable release in general and since Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro family, I think that would be a mistake.

(Jim Shriner) #15

I don’t disagree with anything you said. I wasn’t necessarily advocating for one over the other, just outlining differences.

I do question your statement #3 though. It used to be 3-year for desktop, and 5-year for server, but I believe the Ubuntu family has 5-year support periods for both desktop AND server LTS, starting with Ubuntu 12.04:

If this isn’t true, I’m happy to be corrected, as I don’t want to provide bad information. And if it’s true, I was wondering why Lubuntu was only 3 years for desktop LTS. Simon Quigley answered that in another post. Lack of manpower makes sense. I wish it was different, but that’s all I can do…wish.

I also wish I could hit lotto…and that wish will get me as far as the Lubuntu wish. But if I do ever hit, I promise you Lubuntu, and the whole LXQt ecosystem in general, will be able to afford some additional manpower! :sunglasses:

(Michael Tunnell) #16

Oh ok, this is just a lack of clarification to what I meant. Ubuntu is different from Ubuntu Flavours. Ubuntu is the main distro that uses the Unity-like GNOME desktop. The Flavours are all the officially recognized community derivatives. The wiki page you links refers to Ubuntu proper but not the flavours. All of the flavours have the choice of doing 3 years or 5 years but last I checked, most, if not all, of them choose the 3 years.

I will also put in my future lotto winnings as earmarked some for Lubuntu and LXQt. :smiley:

(Mark Rabideau) #17

@MichaelTunnell Here is what I said…

what appears to be bloat

I did not say it was bloated. To further clarify my ‘meaning’, I would note that the expansion of distro size by some 40% with the loud claims of LXQt use, may give the appearance of bloat, when in fact, it looks like the biggest contributor to increased space consumption was LibreOffice. Perception being reality, may leave people with a significant ‘misconception’ that LXQt was the cause; because, the release publication did not make the effort to enumerate a very significant addition to their distro size.

I agree with @tsimonq2 that it is not your job to worry about such things. However, LXQt may suffer negative impacts, in terms of PR (public relations/ perception).

All I was providing was a ‘heads-up’. I am okay with whatever you decide.

(Alf Gaida) #18

The “Bloat” discussion is important for all distributions based on LXQt. We had similar discussions (bloated etc) in siduction times ago. There was times when we (the developers) fought about every additional package - just to prevent so called “bloat” - Office Suites included.
And with every release there was the same reaction: “Nice distro, fast, reliable etc. But why the hell these guys don’t deliver some useful applications?” - Our typical answer was: “There is apt, install what you want to.” - But that didn’t fly.
At some point i started to think the other way around and put basically the applications the most users will install anyways on the image and was done with. Some users hated it, but the overwhelming majority liked it - youtube reviewers included :smile:
There was some discussions about the image size - but not for long. Let’s face it - we are in the 21. century. And esp. for a distribution based on debian unstable it isn’t really important, if an image has 1G or 1.5G - the things that are really expensive in the sense of used data volume are the dist-upgrades over time.

(Rex Bouwense) #19

I have been using Lubuntu since 10.10 and am currently using 18.04 with lxde. The very first thing I do after installation is install Thunderbird and Libre Office. If it is bloat so be it but I needed (wanted) those two applications. Back in the day before Lubuntu had a LTS release, we were doing a fresh install every 6 months and were happy with it. Most of the Lubuntu users that I have run into accepted the default programs and installed others when they needed (or wanted). With the release of 18.10 I like many others have taken a wait and see position. People really don’t mind the extra or newer stuff so long as it doesn’t slow down the performance which is one of the reasons why that particular DE is chosen to begin with.

(jubalh) #20

Why not just use Debian testing (rolling) and install LXQt from there? :wink: