10 Reasons to Love Lubuntu 12.10 Part 1

Category: Linux

Both LXDE and Ubuntu aren't perfect, but in the same way Windows users tolerate small issues with Windows Update and Mac users have to wear horse blinders to ignore the shortcomings of OSX's desktop, the combination of Ubuntu and LXDE can be pretty sweet in the right context.

I've had a solid few months running  the Ubuntu 12.10 release of Lubuntu and I have to say I love having Lubuntu around. To wit, here are ten quick reasons to appreciate the LXDE spin of Ubuntu:

1. PCMANFM supports comic book thumbnails - In my review of an earlier release of Lubuntu, I noted that unlike KDE's Dolphin and Gnome's Nautilus, LXDE's default file manager doesn't support CBR and CBZ thumbnails. The latest release supports digital comic books right out of the box and there's now no reason not to manage your comic books using Lubuntu.  Plus, all it takes to read your favorite Spidey comic book is to double-click the digital comic book, which triggers the excellent document viewer Evince.

PCMANFM CBR thumbnails and Evince

2.  Browse files and manage your iPad or iPhone - Unlike openSUSE and Windows 7, Lubuntu can manage the file directories of your iPod or iPhone using PCMANFM. Add, delete, and extract documents from your apps without having to run fickle iTunes. And for those who have lived under a rock in the last couple of years, Android is a kissing cousin of Linux so plugging in an Android device works in a pinch, too.

Browsing the iOS Media Player app's documents in Lubuntu

3. Attractive Desktop Interface - I don't customize my desktop very often and LXDE may not have the prodigious settings of KDE or the pretentious design of Gnome 3, but Lubuntu seems to have taken a page out of Linux Mint's playbook and rendered a pretty attractive default desktop. No longer will LXDE users be ashamed to park their system next to a Gnome 3, KDE 4, or Unity. Frankly, I'd take LXDE over OSX and Windows 7's tired interface any day of the week. Whether you're running Lubuntu on a 13.3 inch screen (like my Ideapad Z360) or an 11.2" netbook display (like my old EEEPC 1000H), Lubuntu (and LXDE) scales very well with plenty of themes preinstalled to boot.

4. Software galore - You can't really mention any Ubuntu derivative without mentioning the excellent access to tons of open source software online. As an openSUSE and FreeBSD user, I'm fully aware that developers always consider Ubuntu support before releasing their projects. From cross-platform applications such as FileZilla, Handbrake, Skype, Calibre, and the Dropbox utility to production software such as Bluefish, Shutter, Cherrytree, Grsync, Remmina, LyX, you can install them using Synaptic Package Manager, GDebi, or Lubuntu's own Software Center, which thankfully isn't as convoluted and distracting as the mainstream Ubuntu Software Center.

5.  Works well with others - I've already mentioned support for iOS and Android devices, but I'd also like to add that Lubuntu, like most Ubuntu derivatives, works well with other Linux boxes on a network whether they're openSUSE or Fedora installations (both of which admittedly can be testy at times). If you're dual-booting with Windows or another Linux distribution, Lubuntu is a good choice because it's a slim installation and doesn't interfere much with its neighbor. Although Lubuntu doesn't provide the hand-holding for setting up network shares, there are plenty of packages that can help you set up an NFS, Samba, or CFS share without much effort.

10 Reasons to Love Lubuntu 12.10 Part 2


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