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Lubuntu 20.04 Is an Absolute Nightmare of a Linux Distribution

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Lubuntu 20.04
  • Available software
  • Creativity & Inventing
  • Daily Use Purposes
  • Stability & Bugs
  • Customizability
2.2

Summary

We recommend not even wasting time and downloading this release, as it is full of errors and bugs as you have seen. It would be better to search for some XFCE or MATE powered distributions to try instead of this.

I tried Lubuntu 20.04. I wish I didn’t.

I have never seen any more horrible Linux distribution than this in my entire lifetime. And I assure you that I have tested at least +200 Linux distributions in that short life so far.

We did a review a year ago about Lubuntu 19.04, citing many bugs and issues we found. You would be disappointed to know that almost all of these bugs are still right there in 20.04 as well.

Today, we deliver even more discovered issues and bugs than before.

Lubuntu 20.04 Review

Desktop Environment

This is the default Lubuntu 20.04 desktop:

1 lubuntu

LXQt is still a horrible desktop environment, despite the fact that it has been around for years now.

The same issue of brightness management on laptops in Lubuntu 19.04 is still there in 20.04; You can not adjust brightness from any widget on the panel, you have to open a separate window for brightness adjustment and keep that damn window open all the time so that you can change brightness in different periods of the day (A reminder that using keyboard shortcuts does not give you the desired brightness level in LXQt):

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Also, the same keyboard shortcuts issue is still there; You create a new shortcut, only to discover that it doesn’t work. LXQt does not automatically remove the old shortcut if it uses the same key of the new shortcut, instead, it keeps both of them and expects you to choose the behavior you want to run when you hit the key:

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Notice how there are two battery icons on the panel, each representing a different battery in my laptop. While any other sane desktop environment would display both of them in the same indicator so that it doesn’t create a visual pollution on the panel:

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If you open the panel configuration window, you’ll see that you can not resize it vertically, only horizontally. And it is such an transition when you do so:

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Do you wonder why we opened the panel configuration window? Because we wanted to figure out how to add some damn launchers to the panel, but we discovered that this is an impossible task in LXQt.

You literally can’t add icons to the panel:

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It looks like the developers’ solution to this problem was only by expecting users to create a new quick launch area, and then dragging the wanted icons for each area:

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At this point I was wondering whether all of this is real or not?

I open the file manager, and it is displayed in this layout for me by default, there’s no attention to details or even basic UX in LXQt:

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The issue you would notice in the file manager is that there’s no context-menu item to open the current folder in the terminal:

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There’s one to open the selected folder in terminal, so they expect you to go back up by a level, and then open the folder in the terminal using that menu, and then go back to the folder again:

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In their defense, there’s an option to open the folder in the terminal, but only in the “Tool” menu in the upper menu of the file manager, not in the context menu:

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If you drag and drop any file/folder to any other folder, it won’t be moved there automatically. Instead, a menu would appear asking you what to do?

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One area of improvement, however, is that they finally added an option for “Thumbnail view” in the file chooser dialog (Before in the 19.04 release, you would never be able to see the image before you select it):

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If you try to remove a file, you would normally just use Shift + Delete and hit Enter, but in LXQt the default option is set to No unlike all the other desktop environments on Linux, so you have to also use the Left key and then press Enter:

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One area to be credited, however, is that the panel appearance is very customizable; You can adjust its text and background colors, along with making it use a different icon theme then your desktop icon theme:

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Closing the lid of the laptop does nothing in Lubuntu 20.04; There’s an option to change that from the power settings, but by default, if you close the lid of your laptop it would continue to run just like before.

Programs & Accessories

Lubuntu 20.04 uses a system monitor program called qps. The issue with it – apart from its interface being quite horrible – is that normally you would be monitoring the performance of a specific window:

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And then in few seconds, it’s gone!

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The program does not fix the location of the items in the window list. Instead, it changes them continuously per each second, so would have to click on that red underlined button to stop the monitoring, and then inspect the program you want to monitor.

But guess what? Since you stopped the monitoring (in order to not lose the current program you monitor because its location is changing), you also stopped updating the performance matrices (RAM, CPU.. etc), so this rendered the entire point of system monitoring useless. What’s the point of even using this app right now?

Remember the non-working drawing icons in the image viewer in Lubuntu 19.04? Thankfully, they work this time:

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However, Ctrl + Z shortcut for undoing the unwanted changes does not work here. So if you just made a small mistake while you are modifying the image, you have to close the entire thing and start over.

Also, it doesn’t ask you to save your modifications before existing, so if you forget to do so by mistake, all your changes are gone.

One good feature we found (finally!) is that you can upload the currently opened image automatically to an online service:

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And a list of supported services will be displayed:

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It would return the URL of the uploaded image once it’s finished:

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The default text editor in Lubuntu 20.04 is Featherpad, it is safe to say that it initially works well and is full of customization options:

A graphical password manager called QtPass is shipped by default in Lubuntu. But you would get the following error if you try to run it:

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Makes you wonder why they didn’t install GPG by their selves if it is a dependency, too?

Then it would display this window for you, where no users are listed to choose from and also both the OK and Cancel button are not working at all:

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If you close that window by the x button at the top right window, the following window will appear:

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Which if you close, now a new cycle of error messages would appear starting from the following image, again:

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You have to keep closing the following windows, until you finally reach the standalone window of the program:

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And after all of this effort… You would discover that the program does not work 🙂

The final issue we ran into was that you can not resize maximized windows without hitting the “unmaximize” button first. E.g If you have the file manager window open and maximized, then normally on other desktops you can simply drag the title bar down and it will be automatically unmaximized and windowed for you. But this is not the case in LXQt, you have to hit the button by yourself. (Same as in 19.04).

Performance

Lubuntu 20.04 uses 358MB of RAM after a fresh boot:

[email protected]:~$ free -m
    total used free shared buff/cache available
Mem: 3369 358 2509 29 501 2761
Swap: 0 0 0

And boots in 8.7 seconds:

[email protected]:~$ systemd-analyze
Startup finished in 3.427s (kernel) + 8.791s (userspace) = 12.218s
graphical.target reached after 8.740s in userspace

Conclusion

So here ends the nightmare of Lubuntu 20.04.

We recommend not even wasting time and downloading this release, as it is full of errors and bugs as you have seen. It would be better to search for some XFCE or MATE powered distributions to try instead of this.

One would have hoped that the bugs we covered in the Lubuntu 19.04 review would be fixed by this release, but sadly, the bugs are increasing and not decreasing.

You can check our reviews for other flavors of Ubuntu 20.04 from this timeline:

If you tried Lubuntu 20.04 we would like to hear you comments about it in the form below.

Lubuntu 20.04
  • Available software
  • Creativity & Inventing
  • Daily Use Purposes
  • Stability & Bugs
  • Customizability
2.2

Summary

We recommend not even wasting time and downloading this release, as it is full of errors and bugs as you have seen. It would be better to search for some XFCE or MATE powered distributions to try instead of this.

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Pavel

The reason, you get the same bugs as in 19.04 is, that lxqt component are practically the same in 20.04. Reason is, that due problem with release manager, there was no never lxqt environment release in meantime. Details in https://github.com/lxqt/lxqt/issues/1779
Never version of lxqt is now released (to late for Lubuntu 20.04) so if it will get packaged for Ubuntu (maintainer is the same person, as defunct release manager), 20.10 could be in much better shape. In meantime, you can taste by installing in Arch (trough Manjaro probably?).

Jimmy

I’ve tested it on Manjaro, the community version using LXQt is less buggy than the Ubuntu version, even though it’s a rolling-release kinda distro.

I also noticed a huge quantity of daemons and services enabled by default on the Lubuntu version. I think it also can make performance decreases and boot process longer.

List of enabled daemons/services: systemctl list-unit-files –state=enabled –no-pager
List of what is enabled during boot: systemd-analyze blame

For a distro that cares about being lightweight, fast, well… it’s fully bloated, IMO.

Chris D

Try Sparkylinux. I love it on my Netbook. It has become my go to distro. It’s implementation of LXQT is quite polished and runs on Debian.

Muxx

“If you open the panel configuration window, you’ll see that you can not resize it vertically, only horizontally.”
“The final issue we ran into was that you can not resize maximized windows without hitting the “unmaximize” button first.”

I hear you! I have to use macOS Catalina at work, same annoyance there.

Gregory Chester

Here we are again. Trying to make distro that is good for the newbie and for someone that is an active Linux user. Some of the nuances you point out should be included for newbies so they don’t wreck the system. Bugs, not so much. There are always going to be areas you cannot test for or expect. Newer distros will always take time to debug and iron out the glitches especially given the vast amount of hardware they are expected to be compatible with.

Mas Grande

[@Gregory Chester says Lubuntu is good for a newbie]. How is it good for a newbie when Calamares is a disaster? It complains that the ESP flag isn’t set — when there’s no ESP flag to set! The process of creating a GPT table fails for no apparent reason. That was happening 6 months before Lubuntu was released. They could have gone back to Ubiquiti. Instead, they expected everyone to *stab in the dark* forever, hoping some pattern would emerge. They didn’t expect Calamares to provide more detailed error reporting (the context of what happened). They wouldn’t even enable extended… Read more »

Robert Christian

I have not used linux in years because of the apps I needed all ran on windows, but I did give Ubuntu 20.04 a spin a couple days ago and if I were just using a browser, it was quite fast, compared to what I remember. However, it didn’t shut down properly for some reason. Well, back to work. . .

Maurice

I just went back to 18.04. True, it was a nightmare.

Jimmy

This version is so dated, how do you guys manage to live in such dated environment? I would go insane.

Tohz

My experience was great. I think is not normally or giustified put a low point valutation for a personal experience.
Many persons may appreciate what you sede Mike waste of time:
Easy installation
Easy driver recognition
Ready office and standard applications
Repeat, 4 me that’s perfect.

js290

I use Lubuntu knowing it’s not fully featured. It’s reasonably lightweight & fast on older systems. It’s a step up from Fluxbox which is all I really expect from a windowing manager.

Dan

It’s not that fast or lightweight compared to other distros and DE’s. In my humble opinion, people seem to overastimate Ubuntu and its flavors and they keep ignoring other options.

Aditya

This seems a bit harsh. Some of the annoyances for you, I would actually consider features, like shift+delete not defaulting to “yes”. But apart from that, good review. Hopefully people get involved in contributing fixes and features. I would hate to see the LXDE/LXQt community fade to oblivion, though I don’t use it myself.

C P

Wanted a light weight distro for a 12 year old HP Pavilion, originally provided with MS Vista. Seems like the Lubuntu sweet spot, right? WiFi drivers not native in the Lubuntu 20.04 kernel. Found them and loaded after a search. Could not render any Open Office document into PDF despite using three different PDF read/ write programs. All I got was a blank page. Most annoying was the random “clicking” of the PC’s audio speakers. Added the power manager code found on various blogs. No solution. In fact I might argue the speaker “clicking” problem became slightly worse. Abandoned Lubuntu… Read more »

Dan

Go to SliTaz or AntiX
Lubuntu is bloated and overrated!

foobarry

Can you provide links to the bugs you submitted please, so we can track progress?

Disgruntled FOSS Community Member

I’m all for honest reviews, but this felt like complete click-bait with the title.

The Lubuntu devs have worked hard, for free, and sure, there may be some issues, but actually most of them are to do with the DE, which if I’m not mistaken is a separate project, available on other distros, so maybe you filed the aforementioned issues there, or submitted your PRs?

The whole tone of the article is unconstructive and negative and not what the FOSS community needs.

I, for one, will not be visiting this site again.

Dan

It seems these Lubuntu devs are wasting the time downvoting comments here… Yeah, instead of doing this, they could’ve improved Lubuntu/LXQt.

But it seems they have more important things to do than working on their lovely buggy LXQt

Christian R. Conrad

Hard to know how seriously to take this review, when it seems at least one of your complaints is based on you not knowing how to use a common GUI program: In both screenshots of the task-manager thingy, whatever it was called (“qps”?), there is a downward-pointing arrow next to the column header “%CPU”. This usually indicates that the rows are sorted according ro the values in this column. When a column with rapidly changing values, like CPU usage, is selected rows will switch places accordingly, and what was the top line one instant may drop to the bottom —… Read more »

Christian R. Conrad

Funny, I can’t see why it should be hard for you to judge how seriously to take my comment, given that I told you exactly what it is based on: Knowing how to use a graphical task manager. All the rest is beyond my ken; I had never heard either of this distribution nor of you and your site before this article happened to swim by in my newsflow, so, as I said: I judged the review by this single point because that was the only thing I could judge it by. But your reply was enlightening, so now I… Read more »

LaserLinux

Dang! You guys are tearing each other apart! I realize that everyone has different opinions (I, for one, love Lubuntu 20.04), but you don’t have to verbally kill each other over it! Everyone’s likes and dislikes are different when it comes to computers – some people absolutely LOVE Windows 10. (I am not one of these people.) So, voice your opinions, make a good discussion, and DON’T tear each other to pieces! “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” Galatians 5:15 King James Version.

Jaki143

I really hope they keep the filemanager’s feature to ask what you want to do when you release a dragged file, I love it. I consider filemanagers as very unpolite, clumsy and just horrible which don’t ask and instantly move. I really miss this feature in Xfce’s Thunar. I’m context menu fan, so I agree. there should be a context menu entry for the terminal in the current folder. But pressing F4 instead is a fast workaround I can live with. Lubuntu with LXDE was great, I loved to tweak it to my needs – LXQt is ookeey but does… Read more »

Alexander B

I also didn’t like LXQt and I find it as an eternal beta. I thought the settings were pretty crap, if they say GNOME is basic, LXQt won the award. Settings are missing, it is extremely basic. At the level of the Pantheon. I didn’t find a graphical way to start automatically without asking for a password. There are not many extensions (widgets) for the panel when compared to LXDE and Xfce. There are not many themes, especially modern ones There is no way to place a window to one side of the screen, dragging them with the mouse to… Read more »

Will

OMG! Ubuntu and Reddit users hating on facts.

It seems to be a crime making criticisms to anything Ubuntu-related or is just me?

Sadik

Hey hey Lubuntu is my love, she needs support not kicking! I can’t live without Lubuntu!

alireza

Use mx linux or manjaro they are better.(Or even voidlinux)

Mas Grande

MX Linux is my favorite. But, it’s not lightweight. Manjaro’s Xfce flavor was huge when I compared memory usage of 20 distros a few months ago. Linux Lite 5.0 would be my alternative to Lubuntu. Maybe Sparky (I didn’t like Sparky’s forcing obfuscated passwords the last time I looked at it). Antix is excellent for low-resource hardware. But, a little rough around the edges (like Puppy). Maybe not great for new users. Bodhi is small. But, again, it’s workflow is odd (not intuitive).

Peterson

The copy-or-move menu thing in the file manager comes from kde, and to be Frank, I actually like it.

pastebin

Iinux have lot problem but hope report them…

JRChen

For my old-age laptop(2010), I would like to appreciate Lubuntu and LxQT desktop. I had tried Linux Mint Xfce 19.3 but the panel problem (sometimes went back to Xfce classical panel (small mouse icon?) after reboot! Where is the Linx mint Xfce panel??? crazy!) always makes me crazy! Manjaro Linux made my CPU fan crazy running and extreme hot! After shifting to Lubuntu, the system is extreme stable without any known problem. I use WPS office in stead of Opne office and it works fine! Statistics R program also works perfectly! Lubuntu has extended the life of my old Acer… Read more »

LaserLinux

Hey, thanks for the review! Now, I do use Lubuntu 20.04 quite a bit. In fact, I am writing this comment from a computer that runs Lubuntu 20.04. Now, I hadn’t initially run into most of the bugs that you mention, so I went through the review carefully and tested all of the problems that you mentioned. I wrote this mini-review inside yours so that users who are looking into Lubuntu don’t think that all hope is lost – some people enjoy the system. Here’s some rebuttals to the issues you mentioned. 1: Lubuntu works great on older computers, even… Read more »

Riot

Funny how the last good version of Lubuntu was LXDE not LXQT. lets face it Lubuntu is dead. Even when everything is fixed it will have no clear advantage over XFCE. I guess there maybe a small crowd who want a QT based system that is lighter-weight then KDE. That does seem like a niche user-base though.

Everyone says LXDE is not longer maintained. This does not appear to be true. While LXQT is receiving more attention there is still work being done on LXDE and quite honestly I feel its a way better option.

Mas Grande

LXQt is competing against KDE. It’s a dead end. Moving LXDE forward would have been a much more relevant.

Simon James

LXDE is disconnected as far as I know, anyone developing it?

Oldtimer

I am an advanced user rather than an IT professional. For me, lubuntu 20.04 violates the key principle of a good OS: it lacks backward compatibility. MY COMPUTER SHOULD NOT CHANGE SUBSTANTIALLY JUST BECAUSE I INSTALLED AN UPDATE. I have other things to do rather than checking how much of my personalisation and fine-tuning survived. So, in the meantime, back to LU18.04. Then we shall see.

Mas Grande

IMO, a large part of the problem is Ubuntu (Canonical) making all the flavors produce releases on the same schedule (whether there’s a reason to, or not). It’s like a death-march of feast/famine. Lubuntu 20.04 was clearly not ready for release (especially LTS!). But, the cult-like rigidity of Canonical requires everyone to produce a release at the same time. I think this is a perfect example of why Linux never gains much traction against Windows as a desktop. They opened “Bug #1” (MS has market dominance). Everyone got goosebumply feelings. That bug was closed with great fanfare (and hubris) in… Read more »

Lou

Having had such positive experiences with Ubuntu and Lubuntu before, it’s a shame to have to be negative about Lubuntu 20.04 Ubuntu became too demanding on my laptop. It is an old laptop – that I still really like overall. I discovered Lubunto and “Hey Presto!”. Fantastic. Upgrade to 18.04 caused all sorts of problems. Went back to Ubuntu and remembered why I’d switched. Saw Lubuntu 20.04. Read good things about it. Much talk of “really still lightweight”. Installed. Oh my, the freezing up! Programs (pre-installed) suddenly freezing and unusable, unable to kill them when mouse also froze. Reboots and… Read more »

Mas Grande

I understand where you’re coming from. If I were you, I’d look at Linux Lite 5.0 (it’s based upon Ubuntu 20.04 LTS). Sparky might be good (it’s based upon Debian). Antix is definitely small, but doesn’t feel as natural as Lubuntu did (when it was a viable lightweight distro). It’s based on Debian too. MX Linux is a close relative to Antix, but not lightweight. But, there are people slimming it down (using Fluxbox instead of Xfce) to be a lightweight environment, but more polished/normal than Antix’s feel. Bodhi is lightweight, but its Enlightenment desktop (workflow) doesn’t feel intuitive to… Read more »

Fynny

Are you paid to do so?

John

I’ve recently switched from Kubuntu 18.04 LTS to Lubuntu 20.04 LTS. The downsizing is precisely what I wanted, and I’m very happy with it. Lubuntu 20.04 LTS is giving me EXACTLY what I expected and wanted and want, though I still love Kubuntu and may one day return to it. It turns out that I’ve installed on Lubuntu most of the very same software that I was using on Kubuntu, so I’m quite at home. It’s not bugs that you are seeing. You just need to figure out HOW to get what you want out of Lubuntu 20.04 LTS and… Read more »

Goody

I write down.

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