So, it's a couple of weeks on and no answers are appearing.

I am sure I'm not alone in wanting some answers here, chaps.

To refresh folks' memories, Jon York asked with admirable concision:

1- what will Lubuntu offer that any other version of *buntu does not offer?
2- what kind of performance increase shall we see with Lubuntu?
3- what is our geographic and demographic target?
4- is Lxde ready for its own *Buntu variant?
5- how will Lubuntu compared to Xubuntu in terms of GB install, Ram
usage, performance and functionality?
6- what is the projected usage curve for this project?

In a bit greater length, I said:

Firstly, there is an existing effort to create a lightweight version
of Ubuntu. It's called U-Lite (formerly Ubuntu Lite until Canonical
had Words), being developed largely solo by Shae Smittle.

So Lubuntu seems to be rather duplicating this effort.

Secondly, If Lubuntu wants to be a lightweight distro for low-end
machines, then there is simply no point including large, heavyweight
apps such as OpenOffice.

There is no reason that a cut-down Linux should not run happily on 15
to 20 year old PC hardware - and back in those days, when production
volumes were much lower and PCs were much more expensive, they were
built of higher-quality components and are quite likely to still be
working fine.

192MB of RAM and a few gig of disk is not a particularly lightweight
PC. That spec will run Windows XP if you're patient, and a hundred
other Linux distros. It will, for example, run Xubuntu quite well.

The big gap in the Linux ecosystem is lower down than that. It is for
machines which were meant for Windows 98: 64-128MB RAM and 1GB of disk
or less.

Yes, distros like Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux will run on this,
but they are dramatically constrained and both are designed to run
from bootable CDs, not to be installed onto a hard disk. This poses
various problems.
[1] They are not easy to install.
[2] Once installed, they are not easy to keep updated.
[3] It's also not trivial to add new applications, remove existing
ones and so on.
[4] Many very old, very low-spec PCs can't boot from CD anyway. Indeed
of my own half a dozen PCs still in regular use, none can boot off a
USB stick, and these are all from the 21st century and run modern OSs
just fine.

There is a real gap in the market for a VERY lightweight Linux desktop
aimed at such machines. Bear in mind, if it runs on a 64MB box in
500MB of disk, it will *fly* along on a more modern PC. Aiming at
low-end kit does not limit you to low-end kit.

LXDE might be just the thing for it, too.

But at the moment, it seems to me that the team behind Lubuntu:
[a] are rather pointedly snubbing Shae and the U-Lite project
[b] lack clear demarcation either from U-Lite or from any other
flavour of Ubuntu
[c] are including tools that disqualify them from their alleged goal
of running on moderately low-end kit which
[d] would appear to distinctly overlap with the objectives of Xubuntu,
just for starters.

My most serious concerns could be expressed thus:
- firstly, pick some proper lightweight apps to go with your
lightweight desktop. There is no point in just offering the same apps
as any other Ubuntu variant.
- secondly, stick to one toolkit or set of libraries when doing this,
or you will bloat your distro out with a horrendous mix of GNOME
libraries and KDE libraries and LXDE libraries and so on.
- thirdly, make it a proper, really lightweight distro for really
low-end kit. There is an abundance of choice in terms of distros for
relatively modern kit, and with nothing to distinguish it, Lubuntu is
doomed to obscurity.

Set a target - e.g. not more than 250MB of binaries on media, or 500MB
installed on disk  - something that allows for more functionality than
one of the 50MB or 100MB business-card-CD or mini-3"-CD distros - and
deliver a proper, installable, updateable, full distro with the power
of APT-GET, rather than just another LiveCD.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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