Author Topic: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer  (Read 999 times)

Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« on: December 08, 2020, 01:28:39 pm »
I have taken the plunge and bought a new laptop. It is one that comes without an OS so I can put on what I want (and I am getting it because I have got seriously peed off with W10). It's one of these https://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00323994.html  not the cheapest compared to supermarkets but at least I have liberty of OS and a real shop service (and they are going to do the BIOS update to load Linux). I have downloaded Ubuntu and Lubuntu LTS versions but it is a while since I looked at either so don't know if there are any limitations to what I want to do with Lubuntu (I seem to remember that even on office work the last version I looked at required stuff added - OpenOffice at the time - which made it almost as heavy as the full grown Ubuntu) which is browsing, multimedia, photo visioning and organisation and a bit of basic bureautic (LibreOffice, probably Scribus if I can get my head around it). I still have a PC running W10 for any heavy stuff, this one is a little heavier than my old netbook (XPsp3!). I do have the external optic drive and 1To portable hdd so stockage is no problem.

So Ubuntu or Lubuntu, what are the opinions? (I really liked Lubuntu when I tried it before, on a PC, but that was a little while ago, 12.04 I think)

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2020, 02:07:17 pm »
I'm using Ubuntu Mate (Ubuntu with the Mate desktop), on my 2012 Samsung netbook, which I think is most similar to the XP desktop or you can call it a continuation of the XP desktop.

Ubuntu and Lubuntu are the same except for a different desktop. Lubuntu would be a bit lighter on minimum hardware requirements but with a modern computer that's not relevant.

I think in the end you have try them to know which you prefer.

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2020, 03:05:14 pm »
I have several PCs / Laptops running on Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon.  It is very similar to Windows, so easy to learn / pick up. Have a google and look at comparisons on Linux versus Windows.

The only major issue I found with Linux was getting my old Canon colour laser printer to work - Canon are about the worst printers get working with Linux, HP are about the best.

Remember with Linux you can create a USB boot device and try it on whatever device you like to see how get on with it before you decide.

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2020, 03:45:18 pm »
The main differences are that Ubuntu uses the Gnome desktop which provides a big panel with all your apps on it, a little like the launcher on a Mac. LUbuntu is more menu-driven like Win7. Ubuntu is a bit more colourful out of the box.

You can boot either directly from a USB stick without installing, and you can play with most features. So best advice is to download both ISOs, copy (I use Rufus) them to USB sticks making a bootable Disk/ISO image. Then you can plug them in to the lappy and reboot.

NB sometimes a laptop is finicky about which USB port it will boot off. Try another before looking in the BIOS. If you do end up in the BIOS then it's usually the boot order that needs adjusting to put the USB before the HDD.

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2020, 03:50:59 pm »
I hear a lot of nice things said about the current release of Fedora and it's KDE Plasma desktop.

I had some fun getting Debian Bullseye/Testing working on brand new hardware (Intel Comet Lake) earlier in the year, even with the unofficial non-free firmware install media. I'm using Bullseye/Testing because it has the latest kernel. I suspect even with Ubuntu you might encounter some of these issues. Namely that I had no ethernet networking during the install, and no WiFi post-install. I got there in the end with some Internet searching and perseverence. I suspect you will run into some of these issues with whatever distro you use.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2020, 07:17:24 pm »
I'm just playing with Lubuntu on an old HP laptop. The next thing is to achieve something useful with it :-)

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2020, 08:49:51 pm »
So the principal difference is the desktop now. I am sure that years ago there was more to it than that; Lubuntu was a lot lighter. I had hardware problems with Ubuntu about 2010 when it couldn't see my discs (in spite of the gparted shipped with it being able to see them!) which stopped any installing and made the liveCD a bit limited.

I thought that Ubuntu only had Unity as the desktop now. I used it when it had Gnome before (and Mandriva/Mandrake with Gnome as well). Is Unity the default with Gnome on option after you have installed Unity?

The printer is not a problem; it is installed to the desktop on W10 and that won't change (it is a Canon though but I think it would work with Linux, although I used to go with Epson for compatibility until they stopped being able to replace the heads on a new printer under warranty).

Oh well time to learn how to put isos onto USB. I do isos to CD/DVD and images to microSD for the pi so I should manage that. I did try Mate on the Pi but didn't want the hassle of sorting the sound when it didn't offer anything over Raspbian so I stuck with that.

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2020, 09:42:21 pm »
So the principal difference is the desktop now. I am sure that years ago there was more to it than that; Lubuntu was a lot lighter. I had hardware problems with Ubuntu about 2010 when it couldn't see my discs (in spite of the gparted shipped with it being able to see them!) which stopped any installing and made the liveCD a bit limited.

I thought that Ubuntu only had Unity as the desktop now. I used it when it had Gnome before (and Mandriva/Mandrake with Gnome as well). Is Unity the default with Gnome on option after you have installed Unity?

The printer is not a problem; it is installed to the desktop on W10 and that won't change (it is a Canon though but I think it would work with Linux, although I used to go with Epson for compatibility until they stopped being able to replace the heads on a new printer under warranty).

Oh well time to learn how to put isos onto USB. I do isos to CD/DVD and images to microSD for the pi so I should manage that. I did try Mate on the Pi but didn't want the hassle of sorting the sound when it didn't offer anything over Raspbian so I stuck with that.

Unity was the default desktop environment on Ubuntu. Now it is Gnome. The Unity project lives on, so you can probably install it. I've mixed feelings about Gnome. I much prefer Cinnamon but I installed Gnome by accident and I thought I might as well try it. I don't like the lack of a system tray (without an extension) and the fact I can't hide the activities bar. In it's favour it is more usable than XFCE and does have a full range of keyboard shortcut keys.

You can download the ISOs and on Windows, use a tool like rufus to copy the ISO onto a USB stick.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2020, 09:50:00 pm »


It's Linux, you can always change it. Don't like the gnome or what ever? Install evilwm or xfce or something similar.

Which distribution you choose basically comes down to whether you want apt-get install, yum install, or ./configure && make && make install.

I will say, despite using Debian for nearly 2 decades, the Arch documentation is by far the best, and I often use it, even tho I'm not using arch.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2020, 10:00:08 pm »
Somehow I've just never got properly to grips with Linux. I've installed it several times and fiddled about, but failed to comprehend completely the installation processes for packages, and not really achieved much on a Linux system.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2020, 11:03:10 pm »
Somehow I've just never got properly to grips with Linux. I've installed it several times and fiddled about, but failed to comprehend completely the installation processes for packages, and not really achieved much on a Linux system.

On debian or ubuntu.

open a terminal

sudo -s
type your password in
apt-get install thePackageYouWant

Not sure what package you want?

apt-cache search WhatYouThinkThePackageNameIs.

Done.

Very simple.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2020, 11:11:29 pm »
Ubuntu has the "Ubuntu Software Centre" where you can browse and search for and install software and it's all GUI.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2020, 12:32:52 am »
For a Linux newbie, often the hardest problem is the names of things.  *nix has a long history of clever program names based on abbreviations; puns on the names of earlier (or other-platform) programs with similar functionality, and commonly used words that are effectively impossible to google for.  It's not a deliberate attempt to obfuscate, but it sometimes feels a bit like one.

Sometimes it's just quicker to ask someone with a bit more experience what you need.  (And to be prepared for technically correct but not necessarily helpful answers, because there's a certain personality type that's drawn to clever things involving computers.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2020, 12:36:24 am »
Ubuntu has the "Ubuntu Software Centre" where you can browse and search for and install software and it's all GUI.

Since it has gone from using apt repositories to using snaps, some of the packages I use aren't there so I have to resort to doing it the old fashioned way.

Most distros have a GUI front end for their package manager but the biggest problem is the sheer number of packages can make for an overwhelming choice. This was big stumbling block when I first toyed with Linux. And back then  there wasn't so much community around it. Now there are many more podcasts, tutorials and communities built up around it.

Cross post with Kim, sorry!
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2020, 07:01:40 am »
Ubuntu has the "Ubuntu Software Centre" where you can browse and search for and install software and it's all GUI.
Since it has gone from using apt repositories to using snaps, some of the packages I use aren't there so I have to resort to doing it the old fashioned way.

Ubuntu still uses deb repositories for 99% of packages, apt is just an installer not a packaging or repository format. Snaps are only used for those packages that aren't distributed by Ubuntu but directly by the developers (the developer creates the snap). That's the point of Snaps in that they are a universal package that can run on any *nix system that meets certain requirements and they run in a sandbox. The Snap contains all the libraries that the application needs to run as well. An entire distribution using nothing but Snaps would be very bloaty as there would be many copies of the same libraries (though there is Ubuntu core for IOT stuff that is entirely Snap based - not sure how they stop its size ballooning but there must be method in the madness).

I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2020, 07:26:46 am »
Ubuntu has the "Ubuntu Software Centre" where you can browse and search for and install software and it's all GUI.
Since it has gone from using apt repositories to using snaps, some of the packages I use aren't there so I have to resort to doing it the old fashioned way.

Ubuntu still uses deb repositories for 99% of packages, apt is just an installer not a packaging or repository format. Snaps are only used for those packages that aren't distributed by Ubuntu but directly by the developers (the developer creates the snap). That's the point of Snaps in that they are a universal package that can run on any *nix system that meets certain requirements and they run in a sandbox. The Snap contains all the libraries that the application needs to run as well. An entire distribution using nothing but Snaps would be very bloaty as there would be many copies of the same libraries (though there is Ubuntu core for IOT stuff that is entirely Snap based - not sure how they stop its size ballooning but there must be method in the madness).


I was meaning specifically the bundled GUI app in 20.10 which is the snap store .. It is the only result returned when typing software centre into the activities view. Confusingly, even it's icon looks like an 'A' for apt. By old fashioned way, I meant using the apt cli.

snap store/privacy rant...
(click to show/hide)
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2020, 08:25:44 am »
Thanks. I've used apt-get a reasonable amount, but mostly as a recipe following instructions. What I mean is understanding what's going on behind the scenes, what changes will result and so on. With Windows, if I install something, I can make a fair guess what directories will change, what else will also be affected, and so on. With Linux, I'm hazier. I understand mount points and the basic tree, but I haven't really learnt the distinct purposes of most folders in the tree such as /bin

There are a couple of package managers on my system that I can also use, I think.

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2020, 09:21:26 pm »
I've been a Puppy user for some condiderable time. One of the things I have learnt is that, no matter how simple the package installer, there are a load of dependancies that either are not available or are not in the same version number as that required by the principal package. Once the distro is more than a year old this becomes a real problem. Those more serious than me would solve this, probably fairly simply; I just accept that there are things I won't do - after all they are rarely important to me since all the main packages are already bundled with the distro. Ubuntu seems to install a lot less in the way of default packages (or did, I will find out what reality is in a short while!)

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2020, 01:34:48 pm »
F**king dependencies. I was trying to install you-get, but it said I didn't have perl 2 (or was it perl 3?), ended up going round in circles. I've actually got Perl 2 and Perl 3. Gave up in the end and stuck to using youtube-dl.

Installing get_iplayer is not simple either.

The other big drawback with Linux is drivers for printers, scanners, TV tuners etc. I think you can manage with one computer if it's Windows, but with Linux you have to have an additional Windows computer as a back up because some things won't work on Linux. But having 2 computers is a good idea anyway.

Just now, my top and bottom panels on my Mate/Gnome 2 desktop just suddenly disappeared and had to spend half an hour getting them back.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2020, 01:46:26 pm »
The other big drawback with Linux is drivers for printers, scanners, TV tuners etc. I think you can manage with one computer if it's Windows, but with Linux you have to have an additional Windows computer as a back up because some things won't work on Linux. But having 2 computers is a good idea anyway.

This can mostly be managed by not wasting money on devices that don't have proper Linux drivers.  It's a good rule of thumb even if you don't use Linux[1], as devices that rely on some proprietary Windows driver are frequently awful, and more likely to become useless after some OS update if their manufacturer stops providing support.

There's always niche stuff that you don't get a choice with (barakta has a book-edge scanner that isn't supported in Linux for tedious technical reasons), but for something like a TV tuner, just get the well-supported one.  Printers, of course, should speak Postscript over Ethernet, otherwise they're printer-shaped-objects and you're just making it hard for yourself.


[1] And just because you don't intend to run Linux on the desktop doesn't mean you might not want to plug that printer into a router or NAS, or connect that TV tuner to a Raspberry Pi media thingy or whatever in future.  Why restrict yourself?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2020, 03:27:55 pm »
Admittedly I still have one Windows PC because I've a back catalogue of pictures in Lightroom.
But, for the last four years I've switched it on on average, once every 6 months. Usually to solve a Windows problem for someone else.

Now I use it every day, but only as a temporary arrangement to display the content of two web pages on two monitors. It will be replaced by a Linux machine as soon as the CPU I've ordered arrives.

I've managed to bring many a peripheral back to life on Linux long after Windows driver support has disappeared. Which includes most scanners more than 5/6 years old.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2020, 04:49:52 pm »
Ubuntu has the "Ubuntu Software Centre" where you can browse and search for and install software and it's all GUI.
Since it has gone from using apt repositories to using snaps, some of the packages I use aren't there so I have to resort to doing it the old fashioned way.

Ubuntu still uses deb repositories for 99% of packages, apt is just an installer not a packaging or repository format. Snaps are only used for those packages that aren't distributed by Ubuntu but directly by the developers (the developer creates the snap). That's the point of Snaps in that they are a universal package that can run on any *nix system that meets certain requirements and they run in a sandbox. The Snap contains all the libraries that the application needs to run as well. An entire distribution using nothing but Snaps would be very bloaty as there would be many copies of the same libraries (though there is Ubuntu core for IOT stuff that is entirely Snap based - not sure how they stop its size ballooning but there must be method in the madness).


I was meaning specifically the bundled GUI app in 20.10 which is the snap store .. It is the only result returned when typing software centre into the activities view. Confusingly, even it's icon looks like an 'A' for apt. By old fashioned way, I meant using the apt cli.

snap store/privacy rant...
(click to show/hide)


Just after I installed xubuntu 20.04 on my desktop i installed the synaptic package manger.

Re: Ubuntu or Lubuntu for a new computer
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2020, 06:57:46 pm »
Admittedly I still have one Windows PC because I've a back catalogue of pictures in Lightroom.
...

I’ve still got my Mac mini to hand for this reason. My main machine is running Ubuntu 20. I knew I wanted to go back to linux, my choice of distribution was mainly down to the path of least resistance for Cuda. I spent a while mucking about with different window managers, and I’m still not entirely convinced I’ve got the best photo management setup.