Default LXDE desktop
Original author(s) Hong Jen Yee ("PCMan")
Developer(s) The LXDE Team
Initial release 2006 (2006)
Last release
0.99.1 / February 20, 2016 (2016-02-20)[1]
Repository github.com/lxde
Development status Superseded by LXQt
Written in C (GTK+ 2)
Operating system Unix-like
Type Desktop environment
Website lxde.org

LXDE (abbreviation for Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) is a free desktop environment with comparatively low resource requirements. This makes it especially suitable for resource-constrained personal computers[2] such as netbooks or system on a chip computers.


LXDE is written in the C programming language, using the GTK+ 2 toolkit, and runs on Unix and other POSIX compliant platforms, such as Linux and BSDs. The goal of the project is to provide a desktop environment that is fast and energy efficient.[3][4]

In 2010, tests suggested that LXDE 0.5 had the lowest memory usage of the four most popular desktop environments of the time (GNOME 2.29, KDE Plasma Desktop 4.4, and Xfce 4.6),[5] and that it consumed less energy,[6] which suggests mobile computers with Linux distributions running LXDE 0.5 drained their battery at a slower pace than those with other desktop environments.

LXDE is the default desktop environment of Knoppix, Lubuntu, LXLE Linux and Peppermint Linux OS among other distributions.

LXDE uses rolling releases for the individual components (or group of components with coupled dependencies).[7] The default window manager used is Openbox, but a third-party window manager may be configured to be used with LXDE, such as Fluxbox, IceWM or Xfwm.[8] LXDE includes GPL-licensed code as well as LGPL-licensed code.[3]


The project was started in 2006 by Taiwanese programmer Hong Jen Yee (Chinese: 洪任諭; pinyin: Hóng Rènyù), also known as PCMan, when he published PCManFM, a new file manager and the first module of LXDE.

Comparing Linux distribution rankings for DistroWatch in early January 2011 for the year 2010 versus 2009, Ladislav Bodnar noted the increase in popularity of LXDE versus other desktop environments. He said, "Looking through the tables, an interesting thing is the rise of distributions that use the lightweight, but full-featured LXDE desktop or the Openbox window manager. As an example, Lubuntu now comfortably beats Kubuntu in terms of page hits, while CrunchBang Linux, a lightweight distribution with Openbox is still in the top 25 even though it failed to produce a stable release for well over a year. Many other distributions started offering LXDE-based editions of their products, further contributing to the dramatic rise in popularity of this relatively new desktop environment."[9]

Qt port

Main article: LXQt

Dissatisfied with GTK+ 3,[10] Hong Jen Yee experimented with Qt in early 2013[11] and released the first version of a Qt-based PCManFM on 26 March 2013.[10]

On 3 July 2013 Hong Jen Yee announced a Qt port of the full LXDE suite.[12] And on 21 July 2013, Razor-qt and LXDE announced that they are merging the two projects.[13][14][15] This merge means that the Gtk+ and the Qt versions will coexist at first but that, eventually, the GTK version will be dropped and all efforts will be focused on the Qt port.[16]

Software components of LXDE

Unlike other major desktop environments such as GNOME, the components of LXDE have few dependencies and are not tightly integrated.[17] Instead, they can be installed independently of each other or LXDE itself.[18]

Components Descriptions Notes
PCMan File Manager File manager and Desktop metaphor provider
LXInput Mouse and keyboard configuration tool
LXLauncher Easy-mode application launcher
LXPanel Desktop panel
LXSession X session manager
LXAppearance GTK+ theme switcher
GPicView Image viewer
LXMusic A frontend for the XMMS2 audio player
LXTerminal Terminal emulator
LXTask Task manager
LXRandR A GUI to RandR
LXDM X display manager
LXNM Lightweight network connection helper daemon. Supports wireless connections (Linux only). Discontinued
Leafpad Text editor Not developed by the LXDE project
Openbox (Fluxbox, IceWM and Xfwm are also supported) Window manager Not developed by the LXDE project
ObConf A GUI tool to configure Openbox Not developed by the LXDE project
Xarchiver File archiver Not developed by the LXDE project

See also


  1. LStranger (2016-02-20). "LXDE-Common 0.99.1 released".
  2. Christopher Smart (2009-09-09). "Lubuntu: Floats Like a Butterfly, Stings Like a Bee". Linux Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
  3. 1 2 LXDE Team. "LXDE". Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  4. LXDE Team. "About LXDE". Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  5. Larabel, Michael. "Power & Memory Usage Of GNOME, KDE, LXDE & Xfce". Phoronix. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  6. Larabel, Michael. "Power & Memory Usage Of GNOME, KDE, LXDE & Xfce (page 2)". Phoronix. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  7. "Description of current release process". Article.gmane.org. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  8. "LXDE". Retrieved 2016-01-12.
  9. Bodnar, Ladislav (January 2011). "DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics in 2009 and 2010". DistroWatch. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
  10. 1 2 "PCManFM Qt 0.1.0 released". LXDE Blog. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
  11. "PCManFM file manager is ported to Qt?". LXDE Blog. 2013-02-19. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
  12. "LXDE-Qt Preview". LXDE. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  13. brother (2013-07-22). ""The future of Razor and LXDE-Qt"". Blog.lxde.org. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  14. "The future of Razor and LXDE-Qt at Razor-qt Google group". Groups.google.com. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  15. ""The future of Razor and LXDE-Qt" at the LXDE-list archive". Sourceforge.net. 2013-07-20. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  16. "The Future of Razor and LXDE-Qt". Blog.lxde.org. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  17. Łukasz Bigo. "LXDE - lekka alternatywa do GNOME". Retrieved 2008-08-08.
  18. "About LXDE". Lxde.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
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