Productivity

Have an older PC? Try the new Ubuntu Linux-based LXLE

For users of Microsoft Windows, frequent hardware upgrades tend to be a fact of life in order to keep each new iteration of the resources-hungry operating system running smoothly.

Not so Linux, however, which is renowned for its generally small footprint and minimal hardware demands.

Some Linux distributions do even better at this than others, however, and I've already covered Puppy Linux as one shining example of those that excel on low-resources PCs. Recently, however, another one made its debut: LXLE, a brand-new Ubuntu Linux spin created specifically for older hardware.

'Lubuntu Extra Life Extension'

Linux fans may already be familiar with Lubuntu, a lightweight Ubuntu derivative that uses the LXDE desktop environment.

LXLE, which is short for “Lubuntu Extra Life Extension,” is actually based on Lubuntu 12.04, but it adds many extra features. First and foremost, LXLE is designed “to try to remain as light as possible while providing an incredibly rich environment of programs, features, and aesthetics,” the project team explains.

Among the new features offered in LXLE are the “Greybird” theme, beautiful wallpapers, menu and window shadows, and the Conky system monitor. An AeroSnap-like feature, meanwhile, aims to make managing multiple windows easier.

Three different versions

Perhaps more essential, the open source software also includes drivers and utilities for older graphics and audio hardware that get dropped “too quickly” from Lubuntu on account of its six-month core release cycle, the developers say.

At the same time, LXLE includes updated versions of key applications such as LibreOffice, GIMP, and OpenShot.

The LXLE project plans to offer incremental updates until the next Ubuntu LTS release, which is due in April of next year.

LXLE is now available in a 64-bit version as well as two different 32-bit versions: one targeting newer computers with “a lot of RAM” and one aimed at older computers without Physical Address Extension (PAE) support. Whichever version you choose, the 1.5GB download is free on the project site.

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