I am planning on using lubuntu, or lxde. One is a distro, one is a de, both are the same? I am confused.

What would be the best way to go about installing? Fresh from terminal after installing ubuntu 12.04? From scratch without ubuntu 12.04? If that is possible.

Should I get lxde or lubuntu?

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    Especially with Jorge Castro's edits, this question is quite clear, it will help others (who are confused about distro / DE issues), and it has good answers. I strongly recommend against closing this. – Eliah Kagan Sep 28 '12 at 3:32

LXDE is a Desktop Environment, in other words, a collection of specific programs and tools like OpenBox window manager, Pcmanfm file browser, lxpanel, etc. You can have it anywhere (in fact, you actually do), for example, on Debian, Suse, Fedora, PCLinux, etc.

Lubuntu is a distro, in other words, a *buntu base with LXDE on top, instead of Gnome, Unity and other stuff specific to Ubuntu. (Note, LXDE on Debian is not Lubuntu).

Since you want Lubuntu installed, there is no reason to install Ubuntu first. Download an ISO of Lubuntu, make a CD/USB, run in Live mode, and if you like it, proceed installing.


LXDE comes only with the essential packages needed to run that desktop environment. And even then there are still packages that are duplicates of their stock Unity counterparts.

Lubuntu on the other hand is a full-blown distribution with its own selection of default programs for different use cases. If you install this on a machine that's already running Ubuntu, you will be left with a whole lot more duplicate applications. On the flip-side, the user experience on Lubuntu will probably feel more coherent than on bare LXDE.

Your choice.

  • LXDE+Ubuntu = Lubuntu

  • XFCE+Ubuntu = Xubuntu

  • KDE +Ubuntu = Kubuntu

  • Unity+Ubuntu = Ubuntu

  • GNOME + Ubuntu = Ubuntu GNOME

All of these desktop environments are implementation of X11 specifications.

Full fledged Linux system is a combination of different kinds of software working together.So in case of Lubuntu what you see is an amalgamation of Linux kernel+Login Manager+Light weight X11 Desktop Environment(LXDE)

Components that makes LXDE are Display Manager(LXDM),Window manager(Openbox),PcMan FileManager and other stuff.

So what you should do is download Lubuntu ISO.


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