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I'm running 18.04.6 LTS on an old Pavillon desktop and would like to give lubuntu a go. I have a USB prepared. Would this be like an update where all or most of my loaded software will still work. Or would it be more like a fresh install on a wiped system? (I'm not sure what works on what.)

LSB Version:    core-9.20170808ubuntu1-noarch:security-9.20170808ubuntu1-noarch
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 18.04.6 LTS
Release:    18.04
Codename:   bionic

dan@Pavilion:~$ echo $XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP
XFCE
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  • I would recommend you to fresh install. If you try to keep all the software, then the gnome desktop environment will also remain. In case you have a separate home partition then you can keep your files. Otherwise, you will have to back up the files in your home partition. Sep 26 at 13:23
  • Lubuntu 18.04 LTS is no longer supported; refer lubuntu.me/bionic-eol or fridge.ubuntu.com/2020/08/14/ubuntu-18-04-5-lts-released where you'll note only Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Desktop & Ubuntu Cloud come with 5 years of support; flavors had shorter lives. You can add lubuntu-desktop to your existing system, which has the least changes (just adding extra now EOL software to your existing system) without re-install; you can use ubuntu-support-status to see security status, but do note Lubuntu/LXDE software will be adding more unsupported software to an 18.04 system.
    – guiverc
    Sep 26 at 13:24
  • Also note Lubuntu 18.04 was the last LXDE release; so a re-install is required to upgrade to a later system, you didn't specify what release you're asking about that has Lubuntu, you do mention 18.04.6 where no 18.04.6 media exists for any flavors of Ubuntu, as they'd reached already reached EOL (see fridge.ubuntu.com/2021/09/17/ubuntu-18-04-6-lts-released where you'll clearly see no flavors of Ubuntu are mentioned). Also FYI: You can re-install, including other desktops without losing files & having your manually installed applications auto-re-install. You decide at install.
    – guiverc
    Sep 26 at 13:25
  • Since Lubuntu 18.04 is no longer supported, you can use Lubuntu 22.04 instead. However, Lubuntu 22.04 uses LXQt, which is not as lightweight as LXDE in Lubuntu 18.04. If you want to use LXDE on a supported operating system, you can use Debian LXDE edition instead. Sep 26 at 13:27
  • You can install LXDE on your current system; I've done that on Ubuntu systems up to and including 22.04, being a fan of the old Lubuntu but not the new. I am not sure about the support status, but the packages are still in the Ubuntu repos. (You can then choose which to log into on the signin screen.) If this approach appeals to you, let me know in a comment, and I'll post an answer. Sep 26 at 14:07

2 Answers 2

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Does security matter to you?

Lubuntu 18.04 LTS is no longer supported; refer

where you'll note only Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Desktop & Ubuntu Cloud come with 5 years of support; flavors had shorter lives.

You can add lubuntu-desktop to your existing system, which has the least changes (just adding extra now EOL software to your existing system) without re-install; you can use ubuntu-support-status to see security status, but do note Lubuntu/LXDE software will be adding more unsupported (no guarantee of support) software to an 18.04 system.

Also note Lubuntu 18.04 was the last LXDE release; so a re-install is required to upgrade to a later system, you didn't specify what release you're asking about that has Lubuntu, you do mention 18.04.6 where no 18.04.6 media exists for any flavors of Ubuntu, as they'd reached already reached EOL (see https://fridge.ubuntu.com/2021/09/17/ubuntu-18-04-6-lts-released/ where you'll clearly see no flavors of Ubuntu are mentioned).

Also FYI: You can re-install, including other desktops without losing files & having your manually installed packages/apps auto-re-install (if available in Ubuntu repositories for the release). You decide at install by the options you use.

FYI: I've QA-tested LXDE on all releases up to and included 22.04, however it relies on many deprecated libraries that are no longer supported upstream, so it's a decision as to whether or not you still want to use it (security wise etc); but yeah it still does work. Modern Lubuntu uses LXQt however, as LXDE developers joined with Razor-Qt developers and creating the replacement LXQt desktop as they blogged about when porting LXDE to GTK3 was deemed to heavy and against the L=Light aim of the project.


Lubuntu 18.04 LTS questions on this site are still on-topic, the unsupported nature I'm referring to is what you'll see with ubuntu-support-status because only packages from 'main' & 'restricted' come with 5 years of guaranteed support. Lubuntu (and flavor packages are from 'universe' and no longer supported by the Lubuntu team with all guarantees of fixes ending at 3 years from initial release). It's still possible for any MOTU (master of the universe) or a Core-Dev to make security changes until 2023-April, but teams no longer support the packages. About 70% (from memory) of a Lubuntu 18.04 LTS install is from 'main' thus still gets security fixes (I still have a rarely used Lubuntu 18.04 LTS system installed; though I now consider it Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with LXDE & XFCE as I have both Lubuntu & Xubuntu desktops installed)

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    Clarification here: the GUI components of Ubuntu 18.04 and all Lubuntu supported components of the Lubuntu 18.04 software are EOL - that includes LXDE. Outside of the LXDE suite and other Universe components that're in 18.04, security updates for core libs like OpenSSL, etc. are still ongoing until 2023 (next year) around April, after which 18.04 will be fully End of Standard Support
    – Thomas Ward
    Sep 26 at 14:43
  • That is true.. Lubuntu 18.04 LTS questions on this site are still on-topic, the unsupported nature I'm referring to is what you'll see with ubuntu-support-status which I mention, as packages in 'main' & 'restricted' come with 5 years of support; however Lubuntu packages are from 'universe' and no longer support by the Lubuntu team. It's still possible for any MOTU (master of the universe, or core-dev) to make security changes until 2023-April, but teams no longer support the packages. About 70% (from memory) of a Lubuntu 18.04 LTS install is from 'main' thus still gets security fixes
    – guiverc
    Sep 26 at 14:49
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    FYI: I'm typing this on a 2008 desktop system, and I prefer using Lubuntu over Ubuntu for a number of reasons. Firstly I'm no fan of GNOME, whilst I have it installed too (my system is bloated with many desktops installed) I can only cope with it on occasion & not daily as it's not preference. I'm happier with Lubuntu's LXQt (or even Xubuntu's Xfce), but the other major benefit is LXQt is much lighter, and on an old desktop system with limited resources - LXQt is far faster (esp. using Qt5 apps). The apps you'll use will decide the fastest/leanest desktop; ie. apps+desktop sharing resources
    – guiverc
    Sep 26 at 22:51
  • An example of a ubuntu-support-status can be found here - discourse.lubuntu.me/t/… (from the old IBM Thinkpad t43 (i386) that I still have running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (with LXDE & Xfce). Note: it's the 70% I remembered; but that figure will include all the apps I've added to the system where my systems tend to be bloated (hey it's got xubuntu-desktop to it for a start) so the percentages will vary to a clean Lubuntu 18.04 LTS system
    – guiverc
    Sep 27 at 6:07
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First, upgrade to a more recent version of Ubuntu (LTS).

Then,

sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop

This will transform your Ubuntu experience into Lubuntu, but without removing any software you already have installed. You could still remove the Lubuntu components again if you wish, or even choose to log into a Gnome session or change your desktop manager without uninstalling anything.

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