The latest release of Lubuntu, 23.04, offers a range of updates and improvements to its lightweight Ubuntu variant, including bug fixes, performance improvements, and new features.
Lubuntu 23.04,code-named “Lunar Lobster,” is the latest release of the popular lightweight Ubuntu variant. It is currently undergoing beta testing. Based on Ubuntu 23.04 and featuring the LXQt desktop 1.2, this release includes many updates to its components, including the PCManFM-Qt file manager, LXQt Panel, QTerminal, and LXQt power manager.
It is set to release on April 20, 2023. Let’s take a look at what’s new in Lubuntu 23.04.
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Lubuntu 23.04: Top new features
If you compare the earlier Lubuntu 22.10, the main LXQt desktop is changed in this release significantly. This release features the latest LXQt 1.2.0 version which is based on Qt 5.15, the last LTS version of Qt. Each component of the desktop has received a slew of improvements.
The PCManFM-Qt file manager, for instance, now offers rubberband selection in the detailed list mode on non-name columns. This feature is useful for a variety of use cases, and the file manager also allows for CTRL+D to deselect items in both the file dialog and the file manager.
The file manager has also added new search settings, which allow you to specify how much search history you want to keep. The default value is 0, and you can access this by going to Edit > Preferences > Advanced in PCManFM-Qt’s file menu.
Furthermore, the LXQt Panel quick launch items now include a “Refresh” button, which lets you reload them in case of theme changes or other problems. The panel also received some Wayland fixes related to the volume bar position.
QTerminal has also been updated to support bi-directional text rendering by default, as well as improvements on -e command parsing, better handling of newline trimming, and multiline prompts for scripts.
Additionally, the LXQt power manager can now detect the stable state of the battery when plugged in and not discharging. Meanwhile, a new sort submenu in the image viewer provides an enhanced image browsing experience on the LXQt desktop. The ScreenGrab utility has fixed issues for multiple display situations, and there are other additional bug fixes included in this release.
Snap and Flatpak
You probably already heard that Canonical and official distros already finalized that Flatpak will not be pre-installed and configured in any Ubuntu flavours. So, Lubuntu 23.04 won’t have Flatpak by default.
However, Snap is pre-installed and configured.
That said, you can always install Flatpak and Flathub with just a few steps.
The default application stack of Lubuntu 23.04 is upgraded as usual. However, some key changes that you might notice. The default icon sets of LibreOffice is changing as part of 7.5 release.
The Qt version is upgraded to 5.15.8 as per the last LTS version and all the LXQt apps are compiled using it. Here’s a summary of the applications in Lubuntu “Lunar Lobster”:
- Firefox 111 (Snap)
- PCManFM 1.2.1
- LibreOffice 7.5
- Featherpad 1.3.5
- Vim 9.0
- QTerminal 1.2.0
Kernel & Toolchain updates
Lubuntu 23.04 is powered by Linux Kernel 6.2 which is the latest mainline Kernel. Linux Kernel 6.2 improves support for GPU, CPU, ports, and Rust updates.
At the core, Python 3.11 is now available out-of-the-box in Lubuntu 23.04. You don’t need to install Python 3.11 anymore separately. It’s worth mentioning that Python 3.12 release is due this year and currently undergoing multiple RC testing.
Other toolchain updates are as follows.
- GCC 13
- GlibC 2.37
- Ruby 3.1
- golang 1.2
- LLVM 16
Following the “Lunar Lobster” theme, two new wallpaper is arriving for Lubuntu. They are based on the “blue” theme as per the LXQt/Lubuntu base colour. Here they are:
Overall, Lubuntu 23.04, with its many improvements, will undoubtedly please fans of this lightweight Ubuntu variant. You can download the ISO for beta release from the below page.