FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
1) What does the name LXDE mean?
- LXDE is the abbreviation of Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment, and also LX means LinuX.
2) Why do you develop another desktop environment? Aren't there already KDE, GNOME, XFCE, and a ot of well-made DEs? Why reinventing the wheel?
There are several reasons for developing LXDE.
- Though other desktop environments are well-made and powerful, they are in some ways big and slow, and eat up our RAMs. LXDE aims to reduce the resource hunger.
- Not everyone on this earth is rich. There must be a nice desktop environment for those who can't afford new fancy hardware, and we have the ability to help them.
- Other desktop environments are too integrated, meaning reusing each part of them requires installing lots of dependencies.
- If Windows 98 and xp work quite well on old machines, why my Linux desktop needs a 1.0 GHz CPU + 1GB RAM? We don't believe building such a usable desktop environment requires that much resource usage, so we try it ourselves.
- Because reinventing the wheel is cool, and we love it! (Simply the best reason)
3) How can I use a window manager other than Openbox with LXDE?
- Simply edit /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/default with a text editor, and replace openbox with your favorite window manager.
4) I don't want a full DE, I only need XXX in LXDE, how can I do?
- Each component of LXDE can runs independently, so you don't need to install the whole DE, if you don't like it. We deliberately keep all components desktop-independent and loosely-coupled. This is the main difference between LXDE and other projects.
5) How do you justify calling LXDE "lightweight" and "fast" when it uses Gtk 2? This toolkit is among the fattest and slowest available. Why not FLTK or FOX?
- Nobody wants to use it if there are better toolkits which really fit the need. Using gtk+ 2 is a hard choice. The i18n support of other toolkits are not very good. Apart from lightweight & fast, useability is important at the same time. For English users, there is no problem, but can FLTK and FOX handle bi-directional text rendering? I know they already supported utf-8, but utf-8 is only the minimal requirement to be internationalized. Simply supporting rendering utf-8 strings is far from being internationalized. Bi-di, input methods, and many other issues should be properly-handled. So, the only toolkits with really good i18n supports are gtk+ 2 and Qt among which gtk+ 2 is lighter. FLTK and FOX unfortunately are not the right toolkits currently. Hope FLTK and FOX can have better i18n support, and we can start using them. I know FOX 1.7 has improved i18n support, but that's not complete yet. Besides, these toolkits lacks some advanced features and supports to freedesktop.org standards.
- In some restricted environments, like embedded systems, competent C++ compilers are not available, and programs with C++ toolkits cannot be used. So gtk+ is a better choice if portability is important. Writing programs with gtk+ is really a pain, though.