Lightweight Option for Ubuntu Users

The Unity desktop that comes with Ubuntu is cool and good looking – but like many of my cool, good looking friends it can sometimes be a bit of an attention hog.

I notice this particularly when I’m playing a game on my laptop. It’s a nice machine, but it doesn’t have a fancy graphics chip and occasionally a game like (ahem) Minecraft will stutter.

Fortunately, Ubuntu is Linux, which means we can use more than one desktop. I want to keep Unity installed, because I like using it for day-to-day stuff, but I want to provide something more lightweight for gaming sessions where I need all the performance I can get.

LXDE Screenshot

LXDE’s desktop is simple and familiar.

LXDE is one of many lightweight solutions you can choose from to run alongside Unity. Installing it is as simple as:

  1. Open the Software Center
  2. Search for LXDE
  3. Click the install button.

When you’re done you’ll have to log out. At the login screen notice the little “gearbox” icon next to your name. Click on that to choose either the standard Unity or the lightweight LXDE when you log in to Ubuntu.

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