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My new laptop has some less powerful specs than my current, and so I want to install Xubuntu instead of Ubuntu. However, everywhere I see, reviews say not to install Xubuntu 16.04 because it is full of bugs. Yet, when I look at the download for Xubuntu 14.04, it says its end of life is in April 2017.

With this in mind, what version of Xubuntu should I install? I just need 2-3 years with a trustworthy, minimal-bug ridden OS.

Thanks!

closed as primarily opinion-based by Gunnar Hjalmarsson, muru, Eric Carvalho, dobey, Seth May 24 '16 at 1:10

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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If your laptop is low-spec NOW, just imagine how it will be 3 years into the future: even lower-spec (compared to that day's standards).

I always found Lubuntu running better than Xubuntu on low-spec PCs. I have a laptop like 7 years old. I couldn't run the newest Xubuntu in a decent manner on it, but the newest Lubuntu works like a charm on it. Because lxde is simpler, smaller and faster than xfce. I admit it might seem uglier to the user's eye at first glance, but it proves really useful and decent (with some little tweaks).

Just give LXDE a try. It's a beautified Lubuntu.

So so sorry about the typo. I meant LXLE, not LXDE. LXLE is a beautified Lubuntu.

  • My new laptop is there for two purposes: 1) to write programs in a few languages such as C++, Java, Python, PHP, and maybe a few others 2) to have a nice browsing experience. Does Lubuntu support command line compilation of programs well? – user529161 May 23 '16 at 1:43
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    The flavor has no effect on command line development. The same repositories are available to all Ubuntu variants. If a particular component isn't installed in a particular variant, you can easily install it. – Scott Severance May 23 '16 at 6:54
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    Despite being upvoted and accepted, this doesn't actually answer the question. – Jon Bentley May 23 '16 at 8:53
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I don't know where you read that 16.04 is "full of bugs". What I do know though, is that I have been using it since April 23 and apart from that appstreamcli bug that appeared a few days ago and was fixed right away (and of course it was not a Xubuntu related bug) I haven't seen any reason why someone should stay away from it.

If on the other hand, you prefer to use a safer strategy, you can install 14.04, wait until 16.10 is released (October 2016) so that its kernel will also be available to 16.04 as an official hardware enablement upgrade and install 16.04 by that time.

Personally, I prefer installing new releases from scratch instead of upgrading older ones because upgrades do produce bugs sometimes.

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The answer is simple - install 14.04 LTS and if you ever need it, just upgrade to 16.04, by that time it will be bug-free and flawless.

  • So when the LTS runs out, does that mean my system will no longer update? – user529161 May 22 '16 at 20:34
  • Exactly like you say - updates will be no longer released, but you will still be able to use your system and install packages from standard backport repository. Furthermore, you will still be able to compile apps from source. – Michal Polovka May 22 '16 at 20:40
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I would opt for using 14.04 for the time being. It's still supported even though it's end of life is April next year. When the time comes for you to switch to the newer LTS version you'll be able to do this relatively easily. So if you're worried about the new version containing bugs, opt for 14.04 and give it a few months for those bugs to be ironed out.

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The primary reason for using Xubuntu for me was that it does not assume 3D-accelerated graphics. I had issues running regular Ubuntu in a VM, because Unity did not play nicely with VMs. (This may no longer be the case, but at the time it certainly was.)

For running Ubuntu actually on the hardware though, I honestly can't see any recent machine having any problems at all. If you have a strong reason for needing 99% of processor resources instead of 95%, then OK - but in that case your biggest problem is starting from having a crappy laptop, and squeezing out an extra few percent is not going to make enough difference for you to notice.

  • My current laptop has an AMD A6 Quad-Core Processor, so Ubuntu is running nice. However, my new laptop has an Intel Celeron n2940, so I am thinking that Lubuntu would be a dream on that machine (even more so than Xubuntu or any *buntu) – user529161 May 23 '16 at 13:09