This is a guide how to install a bare minimum but usable LXDE desktop in Ubuntu very useful especially in cases like AWS instance desktop environment or virtual machine desktop in VMWARE and Virtual-box.
Ubuntu LXDE Desktop is light weight Ubuntu desktop guide for everyone who wants install minimum packages but have Graphic User Interface. The alternative choice is Lubuntu which comes pre built using [LXDE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LXDE] (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) along with all recommended applications. The approach here is to achieve these objectives:
- Use Ubuntu as a base system
- LXDE as light weight desktop environment
- Firefox, Network Manager as only necessary applications
Installing LXDE on Ubuntu
sudo apt-get install lxde-core
It then had none of the extra software install. Originally I tried with
--no-install-recommends but this left it too bare and seemingly with missing dependencies. After doing this I installed lxappearance and obconf to allow me to change the themes easily
sudo apt-get install lxappearance obconf
Install firefox without any recommended software as the addons are for Gnome.
sudo apt-get install firefox --no-install-recommends
Install startx if no display managers are available
sudo apt-get install xinit startx
Select session manager
~$ sudo update-alternatives --config x-session-manager [sudo] password for piotr: There are 3 choices for the alternative x-session-manager (providing /usr/bin/x-session-manager). Selection Path Priority Status ------------------------------------------------------------ * 0 /usr/bin/startlxde 50 auto mode 1 /usr/bin/lxsession 49 manual mode 2 /usr/bin/openbox-session 40 manual mode 3 /usr/bin/startlxde 50 manual mode Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 0
Optional. If you have errors in xsession-errors to clear up
sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-pixbuf
Logging Out LXDE
To log out from the session you can run the command lxsession-logout. This will show you a dialog asking if you want to shutdown, reboot, change session, etc.
Change Resolution in LXDE
LXRandR is the standard screen manager of LXDE. It manages screen resolution and external monitors.
sudo apt-get install lxrandr x11-xserver-utils
After installation you will it in Start > Preferences > Monitor Settings. There is a bug when it runs in vmguest – ‘Unable to find monitor information’ therefore we needed to install x11-xserver-utils to have native xrandr helping detect the monitor information. If you installed vmtools screen will resize to the window size from now on.
sudo lshw -numeric -c video xrandr -q
Installing Network Manager
Install Network Manager this will be around 155Mb but without --no-install-recommends it is only ~10Mb. Then you need to restart X session by logging out and in. You will see NM icon in right bottom corner.
sudo apt-get install network-manager
By default it does not control network interfaces. Network Manager needs configuring after bare LXDE has been installed: Unmanaged_Wired_Network. The nm-system-settings.conf is now called NetworkManager.conf as written below:
Change Network Manager settings Start an LXTerminal session, then issue:
sudo vi /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf
In section [ifupdown] find the line managed=false and change to true and restart NM service:
sudo service network-manager restart
After a short while you should see “Connection established” message above the Network Manager applet tray icon.
Installing vmware tools
If you run your Ubuntu LXDE as Vmware guest you can install vmware-tools from ESXi, Vmware Player or Workstation menu. Then copy mounted CD, extract and install the tools.
mkdir ~/vmtools cp /media/username/* ~/vmtools/ cd ~/vmtools/ tar -xzvf ./VMwareTools-9.6.1-1378637.tar.gz cd vmware-tools-distrib/
Run installation script with all default options
You need to restart X sessions before any mouse or graphic changes take effect. Invoking vm-tools:
TO enable advanced features rg guest resolution fit, drag and drop, copy/paste:
- Manually start /usr/bin/vmware-user
- Log out anf log back into your desktop session
- Restart your X session
$ ps -e | grep X 20929 tty7 00:00:20 Xorg sudo kill PID_here_20929 startx &