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LXDE Screenshot
Default LXDE desktop
Original author(s) Hong Jen Yee (“PCMan”)
Developer(s) The LXDE Team
Initial release 2006
Development status Active
Written in C (GTK+), C/C++ (Qt)
Operating system Unix-like
Available in Multilingual
Type Desktop environment
Website lxde.org

LXDE is a free and open source desktop environment for Unix and other POSIX compliant platforms, such as Linux or BSD. The goal of the project is to provide a desktop environment that is fast and energy efficient. LXDE stands for "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment".[1][2]

LXDE is designed to work well with computers on the low end of the performance spectrum such as older resource-constrained machines, especially those with low amounts of RAM.[3] In 2010, tests suggested that LXDE 0.5 had the lowest memory usage of the 4 most popular desktop environments of the time (GNOME 2.29, KDE Plasma Desktop 4.4, and Xfce 4.6),[4] and that it consumed less energy,[5] which suggests mobile computers with LXDE 0.5 drained their battery at a slower pace than those with other desktop environments.

LXDE is the default desktop environment of Knoppix, Lubuntu and Raspbian, among others.

LXDE is written in the C programming language, using the GTK+ toolkit, and runs on Unix and other POSIX compliant platforms, such as Linux and BSD. GTK+ is commonly used in many Linux distributions and allows applications to run on different platforms.[6] LXDE uses rolling releases for the individual components (or group of components with coupled dependencies).[7] Its window manager is Openbox. LXDE includes GPL licensed code as well as LGPL licensed code.[1]


The project was started in 2006 by Taiwanese programmer Hong Jen Yee (Chinese: 洪任諭; pinyin: Hóng Rènyù), also known as PCMan, when he published PCManFM, a new file manager and the first module of LXDE.

In reviewing Linux distribution rankings for DistroWatch in early January 2011 for the year 2010 versus 2009, Ladislav Bodnar noted the increase in popularity of LXDE versus other desktop environments. He said, "Looking through the tables, an interesting thing is the rise of distributions that use the lightweight, but full-featured LXDE desktop or the Openbox window manager. As an example, Lubuntu now comfortably beats Kubuntu in terms of page hits, while CrunchBang Linux, a lightweight distribution with Openbox is still in the top 25 even though it failed to produce a stable release for well over a year. Many other distributions started offering LXDE-based editions of their products, further contributing to the dramatic rise in popularity of this relatively new desktop environment."[8]

Qt port[edit]


Dissatisfied with GTK 3,[9] Hong Jen Yee experimented with Qt in early 2013[10] and released the first version of a Qt-based PCManFM on March 26, 2013.[9] He clarified, though, that this means no departure from GTK in LXDE, saying “The Gtk+ and Qt versions will coexist”. He later ported LXDE’s Xrandr front-end to Qt.[11]

On July 3, 2013 Hong Jen Yee announced a Qt port of the full LXDE suite.[12] And on 21 July 2013, Razor-qt and LXDE announced that they are merging the two projects.[13][14] [15]

Software components[edit]

LXDE has forked a couple of the GNOME Core Applications and written several from scratch. Unlike other major desktop environments such as GNOME, the components of LXDE have few dependencies and are not tightly integrated.[16] Instead, they can run independently of each other.[17]

LXDE consists of several components:

PCMan File Manager File manager and Desktop metaphor provider.
LXInput Mouse and keyboard configuration tool
LXLauncher Easy-mode application launcher
LXPanel Desktop panel
LXSession X session manager
LXAppearance GTK+ theme switcher
GPicView Image viewer
LXMusic An audio player frontend for XMMS2
LXTerminal Terminal emulator
LXTask Task manager
LXRandR A GUI to RandR
LXDM X display manager
LXNM Lightweight network connection helper daemon. Supports wireless connections (Linux only). Discontinued
Leafpad Text editor Not developed by the LXDE project.
Openbox Window manager Not developed by the LXDE project.
obconf A GUI tool to configure Openbox Not developed by the LXDE project.
Xarchiver File archiver Not developed by the LXDE project.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b LXDE Team. "LXDE". Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  2. ^ LXDE Team. "About LXDE". Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  3. ^ Christopher Smart (2009-09-09). "Lubuntu: Floats Like a Butterfly, Stings Like a Bee". Linux Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  4. ^ Larabel, Michael. "Power & Memory Usage Of GNOME, KDE, LXDE & Xfce". Phoronix. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Larabel, Michael. "Power & Memory Usage Of GNOME, KDE, LXDE & Xfce (page 2)". Phoronix. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "GTK+ Features". 
  7. ^ Description of current release process
  8. ^ Bodnar, Ladislav (January 2011). "DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics in 2009 and 2010". DistroWatch. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "LXDE - PCManFM Qt 0.1.0 released". Blog.lxde.org. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-05-04. 
  10. ^ "LXDE - PCManFM file manager is ported to Qt?". Blog.lxde.org. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2013-05-04. 
  11. ^ "LXDE xrandr GUI frontent lxrandr is ported to Qt in one day". Gmane. Retrieved 2013-05-04. 
  12. ^ "LXDE - LXDE-Qt Preview". Blog.lxde.org. 2013-07-03,. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  13. ^ "The future of Razor and LXDE-Qt" at LXDE blog
  14. ^ The future of Razor and LXDE-Qt at Razor-qt Google group
  15. ^ "The future of Razor and LXDE-Qt" at the LXDE-list archive
  16. ^ Łukasz Bigo. "LXDE - lekka alternatywa do GNOME". Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  17. ^ About LXDE

External links[edit]