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Ubuntu variants with LXDE pre-installed

If you are installing Ubuntu + LXDE on a new machine, there are some existing Ubuntu-based distros using LXDE. Maybe you can try them first.

  • Lubuntu - Ubuntu with LXDE.
  • LXLE - Popular respin of Lubuntu.
  • WattOS - Designed for older and low power computers (we make new ones screaming fast also :) ).
  • MoonOS - an operating system featuring art.
  • Masonux[1] - Ubuntu remix featuring LXDE that includes Firefox, Pidgin, Ubuntu's normal networking applet, and Synaptic package manager preinstalled.
  • Knoppix - live CD with LXDE


LXDE is available in the Ubuntu stable repositories. Type in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install lxde

Configuration for Login Managers


Just select LXDE from the available sessions listed by the display manager. If you don't see LXDE in the list, restart your gdm or kdm. You can also reboot.


With this display manager, some manual configuration is needed. Please refer to their official document and write your /etc/slim.conf and ~/.xinitrc. The command you should put in your ~/.xinitrc to start LXDE is:

exec startlxde

No display manager, use startx

Run following command:

sudo update-alternatives --config x-session-manager

Then choose startlxde. The next time you run startx, LXDE will be started.

Configuration for locales and input method

  • GDM or KDM: Setting locale is not needed. Input method can be specified by im-switch.
  • SLIM: put this in your ~/.xinitrc before "exec startlxde" to set locales.

zh_TW.UTF-8 (traditional Chinese, Taiwan) is my locale, please replace it with yours.

export LC_ALL=zh_TW.UTF-8
export LANGUAGE=zh_TW.UTF-8
export LANG=zh_TW.UTF-8

If you need to use input method, add those lines, too. Please refer to the document of your input method. Here I use scim for example. (FIXME: Maybe we can use some im-switch compatible way here. Anyone know how to do it please fix this)

export GTK_IM_MODULE=scim
export QT_IM_MODULE=xim
scim -d

Minimal Ubuntu + LXDE Installation

  • Install Ubuntu base system with Ubuntu Alternate installer CD, and only install a command line-based system (Server without all the internet services). Some user suggested that you can install xubuntu and remove xfce after installing LXDE. However, install from base system is recommended. Ask on Ubuntuforums if you got problems regarding to this. There are some related articles on the forum.

Only install the base system. Then, add our preceding repository, and do this:

sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install xorg lxde
sudo mkdir /usr/share/backgrounds 
#The LXDE screen saver app requires that this directory exist or it returns annoying error messages.