Lubuntu 13.10: Saucy Salamander Alpha 1 released !! Review and screenshot tour

The Alpha 1 release of Ubuntu ‘opt-in’ flavors were released a couple of days ago. Here is a screenshot tour and review of the release.

Synopsis

Overall, the install went smooth in my hardware, which is mentioned below. I tried to put in as minimal resource limit as possible to test how Lubuntu performs and was surprised to find it did pretty well. Following are key changes for 13.10:
 

    • Chromium browser has been replaced by Firefox.

 

  • XScreensaver has been removed.

 

 

  • ZRam has been added enabling the desktop installer to work on lower RAM machines.

 

 

  • 3.9.0.7 Ubuntu Linux kernel

 

 
Full release notesĀ here.

Hardware Used:

 

    • IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad W510

 

  • 4GB RAM

 

 

  • 8GB HDD Partition (SSD)

 

 

  • 4 Core Intel Core – i7 processor (from 2009/10).

 

 

VM config on VirtualBox:

 

    • 512MB RAM

 

  • 8GB Thin provisioned hard disk

 

 

Review:

 

 

Lubuntu 13.10 Alpha 1 comes with Firefox 22, Sylpheed email client, leafpad, lxterminal as the core default applications. Installation in VirtualBox went without any issues at all and so did initial boot up. Once logged in using LightDM login screen (new in 13.10), you are presented with the simple and elegant yet efficient desktop. Lubuntu’s Desktop Environment is based on Openbox and hence you get all advantages of high configurability you would get using plain vanilla Openbox installation.

 

 

The installation picked up my network settings automatically and so my video settings.

 

 

True to its word, having Firefox, Sylpheed, couple of lxterminal, leafpad instances, Panel Settings window, conky, blogilo etc., all open at the same time did not let the installation drag down the performance. I was still able to work efficiently, all with just 512 MB RAM in place.

 

 

Even though the distro as such doesn’t bring in a lot of innovation on top of the existing Openbox+LXDE combo, whatever is done is done well. I managed to pimp up the desktop to look almost similar to the Unity shell, with next to minimal effort and managed super breezy experience unlike Unity (no offense Unity, but these are performance targeted DM/DEs). I’ll talk about it in another post.

 

 

 

 

 

Without much ado, here is the Screenshot tour:

 

 

Install:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desktop:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sylpheed Email Client:

 

 

 

 

Lubuntu Software Center:

 

 

 

 

 

Conky showing memory and CPU usage:

 

 

 

 

Panel placement and font size changed:

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion / Verdict:

 

Pros:

 

    • Install was a breeze

 

  • Boot up was a breeze

 

 

  • Default apps are well selected

 

 

  • Default zRAM for enhanced performance.

 

 

  • Easy theme reconfiguration a la openbox.

 

 

 

Cons:

 

 

    • Lubuntu software center didn’t find and list ‘Conky’ :( but Synaptic did.

 

 

 

 

Verdict:

 

Good to install. Of course, being an Alpha build, it’s not suitable for a production system and comes with all standard disclaimers attached. As always, if something breaks, you get to keep both the halves :)

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