LXDE

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From project home page:

The "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment" is an extremely fast-performing and energy-saving desktop environment. Maintained by an international community of developers, it comes with a beautiful interface, multi-language support, standard keyboard short cuts and additional features like tabbed file browsing. LXDE uses less CPU and less RAM than other environments. It is especially designed for cloud computers with low hardware specifications, such as, netbooks, mobile devices (e.g. MIDs) or older computers.

Installation

LXDE requires at least lxde-common, lxsession and openbox (or another window manager) to be installed. The lxde group contains the full desktop.

GTK+ 3 version

An experimental GTK+ 3 build of LXDE can be installed with the lxde-gtk3 group.

While it works mostly, there are some known issues with gpicview, lxappearance-obconf, lxlauncher and lxpanel.

Starting the desktop

Graphical log-in

LXDM is the default display manager for LXDE and is installed as part of the lxde group. See also Display manager.

Console

To use startx, you will need to define LXDE in xinitrc:

~/.xinitrc
exec startlxde

See also Start X at login.

Tips and tricks

Application menu editing

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with Desktop entries.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: please use the second argument of the template to provide more detailed indications. (Discuss in Talk:LXDE#)

The application menu works by resolving the .desktop files located in /usr/share/applications. Many desktop environments run programs that supersede these settings to allow customization of the menu. LXDE has yet to create an application menu editor but you can manually build them yourself if you are so inclined. Third party menu editor can be found in AUR - lxmedAUR

To add or edit a menu item, create or link to the .desktop file in /usr/share/applications, /usr/local/share/applications, or ~/.local/share/applications. (The latter two have the advantage of putting your application outside of directories governed by pacman.) Consult the desktop entry specification on freedesktop.org for structures of .desktop files.

To remove items from the menu, instead of deleting the .desktop files, you can edit the file and add the following line in the file:

NoDisplay=true

To expedite the process for a good number of files you can put it in a loop. For example:

$ cd /usr/share/applications
$ for i in program1.desktop program2.desktop ...; do cp /usr/share/applications/$i \
/home/user/.local/share/applications/; echo "NoDisplay=true" >> \
/home/user/.local/share/applications/$i; done

This will work for all applications except KDE applications. For these, the only way to remove them from the menu is to log into KDE itself and use its menu editor. For every item that you do not want displayed, check the 'Show only in KDE' option. If adding NoDisplay=True will not work, you can add ShowOnlyIn=XFCE.

Autostart

Applications can be automatically started in several ways.

Desktop files

Tip: .desktop files can be manipulated with the lxsession-editAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] package.

See Desktop entries#Autostart.

Lxsession

Each line in ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart represents a command to be executed. If a line starts with @, and the command following it crashes, the command is automatically re-executed. For example:

~/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart
@lxterminal
@leafpad
Note: Unlike Openbox, these commands do not end with a & symbol.

There is also a global autostart file at /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart.

Note: If both files are present, lxsession only executes the local file as of v0.4.9

Bindings

Mouse and key bindings (i.e. keyboard shortcuts) are implemented with Openbox. LXDE users should follow the Openbox wiki to edit ~/.config/openbox/lxde-rc.xml.

An optional GUI for editing the key bindings is provided by the obkeyAUR package. Whle it edits rc.xml by default, you can direct it to the LXDE configuration as follows:

$ obkey ~/.config/openbox/lxde-rc.xml

See [1] for more information.

Cursors

LXAppearance, provided by the lxappearance package, is a graphical tool that can determine a number of aspects of the user interface including the cursor theme. Settings configured using LXAppearance are written to ~/.gtkrc-2.0, ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini, and ~/.icons/default/index.theme. See also Cursor themes.

Digital clock applet time

You can right click on the digital clock applet on the panel and set how it displays the current time using the strftime format - see man strftime for details.

Font settings

See Font configuration. lxappearance-obconf configures LXDE-specific settings.

Keyboard layout

See Keyboard configuration in Xorg for generic instructions. A keyboard layout applet is included with lxpanel.

See #Autostart for a way to automatically start setxkbmap in LXDE.

Screen locking

LXDE does not come with a screen locker of its own; see List of applications/Security#Screen lockers for alternatives.

/etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart from lxde-common lists XScreenSaver, which will be launched automatically. See #Autostart when using a different locker. See DPMS on how to control the screen saver without external programs.

LXPanel icons

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: .local/share/ preferred (Discuss in Talk:LXDE#)

Default icons used by lxpanel are stored in /usr/share/pixmaps and any custom icons you want lxpanel to use need to be saved there as well.

You can change default icons for applications by taking the following steps:

  1. Save the new icon to /usr/share/pixmaps
  2. Use a text editor to open the .desktop file of the program whose icon you want to change in /usr/share/applications.
  3. Change
Icon=/default/icon/.png

to:

Icon=/name/of/new/icon/added/to/pixmaps/.png

LXPanel menus

The panel's menus can be configured in /etc/xdg/menus/lxde-applications.menu as per the xdg-menu format to work with applications from other sessions (notably MATE) to add some of the function-ability that lxde lacks.

Replace Openbox

lxsession uses the window manager defined in ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE/desktop.conf. If this file does not exist, it searches in /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/desktop.conf instead.

Replace openbox-lxde in either file with a window manager of choice:

[Session]
window_manager=openbox-lxde

For metacity:

window_manager=metacity

For compiz:

window_manager=compiz

Alternatively, you can autostart wm --replace using the method defined in #Lxsession where wm is the name of the window manager executable being started. This method does mean that Openbox will be started first on each login and will then immediately be replaced by the autostarted window manager.

Note that since openbox dispatches the desktop-wide keyboard shortcuts in LXDE, users who want to replace it and still use these shortcuts will need to reimplement this functionality themselves. A good option is xbindkeys.

Shutdown, reboot, suspend and hibernate options (LXSession-logout)

This requires installation of upower.

Troubleshooting

NTFS with Chinese characters

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with NTFS-3G.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: please use the second argument of the template to provide more detailed indications. (Discuss in Talk:LXDE#)

For a storage device with an NTFS filesystem, you will need to install the NTFS-3G package. Generally, PCManFM works well with NTFS filesystems, however there is one bug affecting NTFS users that if you have files or directories on an NTFS filesystem, the names of which contain non-latin characters (e.g. Chinese characters) may disappear when opening (or auto-mounting) the NTFS volume. This happens because the lxsession mount-helper is not correctly parsing the policies and locale options. There is a workaround for this:

Create a new /usr/local/bin/mount.ntfs-3g with a new Bash script containing:

#!/bin/bash
/usr/bin/ntfs-3g $1 $2 -o locale=en_US.UTF-8

And then make it executable:

# chmod +x /usr/local/bin/mount.ntfs-3g

LXPanel crashes with some themes or browsing particular web pages

With some gtk themes (AUR - gtk-theme-greybirdAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror]), launch lxpanel will get errors below.

lxpanel: cairo-scaled-font.c:459: _cairo_scaled_glyph_page_destroy: Assertion `!scaled_font->cache_frozen' failed.

Try install ttf-dejavu in this case.

If lxpanel crashes when browsing particular unicode web pages, try install ttf-droid.

LXPanel uses a smaller icon size for the Task Bar

The icons of running applications do not match the set Icon size in Panel Settings > Geometry - they are 4px smaller which is making some of them blurry. To have clear looking 32px icons in the Task Bar the set Icon size has to be 36px which would blur the icons of the rest of your active Panel Applets. To get around this create additional panel(s) and have them collectively constitute a single continuous looking panel by adjusting the Alignment and Margin in Panel Settings > Geometry.

See also