IDEA: a DE even lighter than LXDE

Jason Hsu jhsu802701 at
Mon Mar 26 10:08:25 PDT 2012

I see an unprecedented opportunity for lightweight distros and desktop environments for several reasons:
1.  Windows XP support ends in two years
2.  Ubuntu 10.04 LTS support ends next year
3.  The Ubuntu/Unity controversy
4.  The ever-growing hardware requirements of Ubuntu
5.  The GNOME 3 controversy

While the upper end of the Linux market is very competitive (Mint, Fedora, OpenSUSE, etc.), the lower end of the market is underpopulated.  Puppy Linux is the only lightweight distro ranked in the top 10 on DistroWatch.

Similarly, the middle/upper part of the DE market is very competitive (KDE, GNOME, Xfce) but the lower part is underpopulated.  While LXDE is lighter than Xfce (which is lighter than GNOME and KDE), the use of a lightweight window manager (like IceWM or JWM) with ROX pinboard is even lighter but provides as much or almost as much utility.

Somebody should start a DE that's even lighter than LXDE.  Puppy Linux and antiX Linux prove that user-friendliness doesn't require bloat.  A DE that's even lighter than LXDE could inspire more lightweight distros.  New ideas beget new ideas.  If it weren't for antiX Linux, there would be no Swift Linux.

I would start the new lighter-than-LXDE project, but working on Swift Linux is keeping my hands full.  However, I would be glad to provide input, and I'm sure that anticapitalista of antiX Linux and Barry Kauler of Puppy Linux would be glad to as well.

Jason Hsu <jhsu802701 at>

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