back to article Lightweight Windows-like desktop LXQt makes leap to Qt 6 with version 2.0

The next major release of the LXQt desktop should arrive in April. Like the imminent KDE Plasma 6.0, it will use version 6 of the Qt toolkit. The development team pre-announced LXQt 2.0 as a replacement for the current LXQt 1.4.0, which came out last November. The 1.x versions were built around Qt 5, which is now past the end …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "it took both Xfce and MATE years to migrate from Gtk 2 to Gtk 3."

    I thought the whole point of MATE was to fork Gtk2 for those who didn't want to join Gnome down its rabbit-hole. Why would they then migrate?

    1. unimaginative Silver badge

      I think lack of options. Gtk is now EOL AFAIK.

      I think the point of MATE was more to have a more traditional DE rather than to keep Gtk2 going. its more DE look, feel, and bloat they are trying to minimse rather than anything at the toolkit level.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Mate for a traditional interface

        The one thing Mate has going that nonefew of the OTHERS seem to "get right" is a 3D skeuomorphic look with TraditionalOK and related themes.

        AdWaita and ALL of the 2D FLATSO FLATASS themes (including GTK 4 and above) should be taken out back and KILLED until they DIE to DEATH, possibly out of a 4th floor window onto the boss's car.

        I took a look at some of the LXQt screenshots https://lxqt-project.org/screenshots/ and I saw Win-10-nic TIFKAM title bar and buttons and OTHER window decorations. YUCK!!!

        What is WRONG with people these days, taking away CHOICE from users by ONLY OFFERING 2D FLATASS themes??? And, GOING WITH THE BORG's DESIGN AS THE *ONLY* CHOICE!!!

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

          Re: Mate for a traditional interface

          Trinity DE might be what you want (forked from KDE 3): https://trinitydesktop.org/

        2. usbac Silver badge

          Re: Mate for a traditional interface

          This horseshit all started with mobile phones. Small screens with limited resolution needed a bit of a shortcut. The 3D effect on edges along with drop shadows took up valuable screen real estate, so a flatter interface was deemed an okay compromise.

          The problem was the idiots at Microsoft thought every device is the same as a mobile phone (thus the extensive touch-UI that they barfed-out and called Windows 8). Why everyone decided to copy the worst UI in recent history, I really don't understand.

          It's weird that the same groups that makes fun of Microsoft (rightly so), is in such a hurry to adopt their poor UI design ideas.

          It's statement to our current times that no one has an original thought or idea anymore. Look at movies coming out of Hollywood; nothing but remakes, reboots, and the continuation of old, tired franchises.

    2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      [Author here]

      > I thought the whole point of MATE was to fork Gtk2 for those who didn't want to join Gnome down its rabbit-hole.

      I think you're getting your layers of the stack mixed up.

      MATE was a fork of the GNOME 2 _desktop_ because they didn't like the GNOME 3 _desktop_.

      (Aside, yes, there have been about 3 different versions of a classic GNOME-2 like desktop as part of GNOME 3, in place of GNOME Shell, but the thing is that they're almost totally non-customisable, while GNOME 2 let you move stuff around. Also, there are the whole separate issue of CSD in place of title bars, Wayland, etc.)

      They wanted to keep the G2 desktop, itself a major task of maintaining a large legacy codebase whose developers have all moved on.

      > Why would they then migrate?

      Keeping the _desktop_ but porting it to the Gtk 3 toolkit instead of also maintaining Gtk2 in theory meant reducing the support workload.

      Ditto for Xfce.

      The snag is that by the time they'd done it, Gtk 3 was on its last legs and GNOME had moved on to Gtk 4.

      Now Gtk 5 is on the horizon.

      I reckon Xfce should have stayed with XForms, the "XF" in "XFCE".

      OTOH it's old now: no new release in a decade.

      http://xforms-toolkit.org/

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Maybe I'm mixing them up with Cinnamon. AFAICR they both wanted to keep the Gnome 2 desktop, one by reimplementing on Gtk3 & the other by forking Gtk2. OTOH it was a long time ago & I was never a Gnome fan, even at Gnome 2.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Splitters ,......

        2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          MATE is an independent Argentinian project -- it's named after _yerba mate_, the tea-like drink -- but Linux Mint adopted it.

          Cinnamon is Mint's in-house project, and it uses a tonne of Javascript extensions to remodel GNOME >=3 into something more like the conventional Win9x desktop. It's not aiming to imitate GNOME 2, but the thing that GNOME 2 was imitating.

          In the end the Mint GNOME Shell Extensions (MGSE) turned into a full fork of GNOME Shell.

          Other projects doing the same thing are the official GNOME Flashback session:

          https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/GnomeFlashback

          And Zorin OS, via a set of FOSS extensions that are not on the GNOME extensions store.

          https://zorin.com/os/

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        The snag is that by the time they'd done it, Gtk 3 was on its last legs and GNOME had moved on to Gtk 4.

        Sadly true. Some of GTK3 is an improvement over GTK2 (or at least has the appearance of being an improvement) but it DOES mean that appearance settings are schizophrenic.

        The WORST design choice for GTK4 essentially *CODIFIES* AdWaita as the ONLY theme, basically, regardless of how it is being portrayed. But in Mate it is possible to reverse this, even with Firefox, by un-doing the AdWaita override so you can get NORMAL LOOKING SCROLLBARS back (and similar things) with TraditionalOK as your theme.

        In FreeBSD there was no Gnome 3 port for a long time. The Gnome 2 code got REALLY stable. I liked it. Then Mate came along and solved the rest of the problems.

        I wish there had been a similar fork for Qt-related things like KDE and now LXQt where you are NOT locked into a 2D FLATSO TIFKAM clone theme.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "I wish there had been a similar fork for Qt-related things like KDE and now LXQt where you are NOT locked into a 2D FLATSO TIFKAM clone theme."

          I'm a little confused about this. Are you asking for a Qt-fork so KDE isn't locked into 2D with the implication that it currently is so locked?

          Running KDE5 here:

          Scroll bars are definitely 3D effect on the packaged stuff such as Kate, locally compiled Qt e.g. Kalkon browser.

          So are buttons on dialog boxes.

          Toolbars are a bit of a compromise. Flat in appearance until you mouse-over a button at which point it becomes raised - and depressed if clicked - as 3D.

          When running Gtk stuff you are in the hands of the application developer. Firefox is strictly Gtk kool-aid. Seamonkey makes the effort to do what KDE does as described about as does LibreOffice (it appears it uses a single library to provide interfaces to Gtk and Qt environments using, I think, Gtk tooling underneath that. An application developed under Lazarus, again using Gtk tooling, is full 3D toolbar.

          To some extent this is due to choices made Settinfs>Appearance>Application style including Configure GNOME/GTK .

  2. chuckufarley Silver badge
    Go

    According to Portage...

    ...the Gentoo package manager, I would need to download 314,375 KiB to compile LXQT 1.4 on a system. 233,048 KiB of that is because they are using KDE's Oxygen icons. By way of comparison, Firefox itself is 495,690 KiB of source code. So when people say it's lightweight, they mean it. I haven't used it quiet a while though because I have been stuck in a rut with XFCE, but I'll spin up VM to test 2.0 when it get closer to stable.

    1. unimaginative Silver badge

      Re: According to Portage...

      That is lightweight these days!

      I have ended up using KDE on a low end tablet (because I have not been able to get anything lighter to work correctly with the touchscreen so far) and it is usable, albeit sometimes laggy.

      I do quite like XFCE though. It is pretty light and very mature and is the other DE I have used in recent years.

    2. Dickie Mosfet

      Re: According to Portage...

      When I were a lad, your windowing environment shipped on seven 3.5" floppy disks...

      ...and there was still room for Solitaire, Minesweeper and a clunky word processor.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: According to Portage...

        If you were unlucky you got to 7 before finding the unreadable one.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: According to Portage...

          7 floppies ? Luxury

          In my day you got a space qualified industrial grade hardened realtime OS with a windowing system and web browser on one floppy

          1. druck Silver badge

            Re: According to Portage...

            Mine came on a set of 4 ROM chips.

      2. usbac Silver badge

        Re: According to Portage...

        And it had just about everything we really need in an operating system. All I really need from an OS is to manage the file system, deal with networking, and to launch apps.

      3. chuckufarley Silver badge

        Re: According to Portage...

        As is often the case I once again must point out the difference between the sizes of source code and compiled code.

        Yes, 7 Very Floppical Magicy Things. No, Control or Customization.

        If you had just the source code for that OS you still could not build it. And if you can't build it you can't control it.

  3. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Other GUI

    I'd rather see a novel Linux distro with a unique self-drawn UI instead of them continuously repackaging and altering Qt and GNOME and reinventing the wheel a thousand times.

    RedoxOS too is becoming more palatable since it's focusing on getting Linux and BSD software to run on it. I see a bright future there.

    1. chuckufarley Silver badge

      Re: Other GUI

      Ah, you seek Enlightenment.

    2. Wiretrip

      Re: Other GUI

      Check out DeepIn! It looks gorgeous.

  4. Someone Else Silver badge

    Can someone man'splain this to me?

    From the article:

    In 2014, LXQt 0.8 switched to Qt 5, and currently it uses Qt 5.15. However, that reached EOL in May 2023. So, just like KDE Plasma 6.0, the project must now change tack to the current Qt 6. [Emphasis added]

    Why?

    I mean, its not like the Qt shared libraries (I was going to say DLLs, but this is Linux we're talking about, and in that environment, "DLL" is a dirty word (and rightly so)) are some how going to suddenly and summarily stop working, or self destruct like in some Tom Cruise movie. Qt 5.15 is rock solid, and just works. So, other than chasing the shiny, why "must [one] now change tack to the current Qt 6."? What ever happened to the Prime Directive of SW development: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It? I guess that just isn't whizzy enough for today's Yout'.

    Speeds and Feeds. Coming real soon to an OS near you!

    OK, I'll go back into my hovel, grumbling quietly to myself...

    1. I like fruits

      Re: Can someone man'splain this to me?

      The world continues to change. You don't want to base your product on EOL platform because even stable libraries need bugfixes, security fixes, updates to take advantage of new capabilities, etc, etc. If not now, they will have to switch to newer versions at some point anyway. The switch is easier now rather than after a few years down the road.

      There is also a question of developer motivation on this open-source project. "chasing the shiny" sounds derogatory towards the people who share their labor with us for free. I don't mind them enjoying working with new and shiny technologies if this is what drives them.

      As a user you don't have to update to newer versions of the product :-) It is easy to find Linux distros from decade ago. I bet they are much lighter than Linux today.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Can someone man'splain this to me?

      They're not going to stop working but they're not going to get any updates either. Whether or not that's a good thing depends on whether there are any bad bugs discovered in it now. Either way, it's going to be a fair while yet befre KDE 6 shows up in Debian.

      BTW KDE6 is out today. It looks like they're continuing to suffer from Microsoftitis in regard to settings which has been changed again. There's something about the return of the Cube which is to do with swapping between worktops so KDE can look cool. Heaven preserve us from desktops where looking cool is a feature.

      Personally there are very few things I'd want them to fix:

      Reinstate the feature lost at KDE 4 whereby you could set the hot-spot for unhiding the panel to be a corner instead of all the way along the panel.

      Fix the bug whereby if I introduce my own file suffix and set up my own program as the default for it after some random number of days it forgets all about it and Ark pops up complaining it doesn't know how to open what it, in fact, a text file.

      And that's about it. They could put some effort into getting Discover to work without some undocumented and undiscoverable library or whatever it's missing being installed but as Synaptic works perfectly well I can live without it.

      1. usbac Silver badge

        Re: Can someone man'splain this to me?

        I think this was the OP's point was, can we just fix the bugs and stop mucking around with the UI? This change for the sake of change, is why I'm moving to Linux instead of Windows. The last thing I want is for that disease to infect Linux.

        I want an OS that gets security patches, and they leave the UI the F*** alone. If I didn't dislike Apple so much, I would switch to a Mac.

        1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

          Re: Can someone man'splain this to me?

          There are SO many different DEs to choose from in the Linux world, and one of the main reasons is that there are many different opinions on what the UI should look/feel like, and what functionality it should provide. If you can find one DE that you love out of the box, no customization needed, that is fantastic, but don't expect it to last forever. Either someone will change it, or it will be abandoned, lose compatibility with current tools/aps, and become a security risk. I'm happy if a DE can fit my needs with less than an hour of my time needed to customize it.

          You will almost certainly find something you like in the Linux world, but if you want a forever unchanging UI, I'm not sure there is any environment that will accommodate you, short of living in the terminal at all times.

          1. Paul Kinsler

            Re: a forever unchanging UI

            For me, fvwm comes pretty close ...

            Probably not for everyone, mind. :-)

            1. Gene Cash Silver badge

              Re: a forever unchanging UI

              Me too. So highly customized, no one else can use my machine... which is not something I consider a problem!

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Can someone man'splain this to me?

          can we just fix the bugs and stop mucking around with the UI? This change for the sake of change, is why I'm moving to Linux instead of Windows. The last thing I want is for that disease to infect Linux.

          Welcome aboard!!!

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Can someone man'splain this to me?

          "I think this was the OP's point was, can we just fix the bugs and stop mucking around with the UI?"

          Be careful what you ask for. If KDE hadn't made changes to the UI we wouldn't for instance, have had multiple desktops. It may well be that you don't want or need them but I frequently find myself with windows open on all of the four I have configured and can switch between them quickly. I prefer the classic cascading menus - possibly you may prefer one of the alternatives that wouldn't be there had they not been added.

          In general adding things to interfaces in general, not just UI is good. Removing things (other than bugs!) is not good.

    3. PM.

      Re: Can someone man'splain this to me?

      I guess they have to be on top of wave so to speak, because Wayland, because better fractional scaling, because whole host of changes in contemporary Linux

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Can someone man'splain this to me?

        in reality it is children who grew old enough to say "It is OUR turn now", but have convinced themselves that the choices made in the past were NOT based on experience, but on a LACK of what THEY (the younguns) have, something that us "old farts" cannot POSSIBLY understand.

        And once again I mention Arthur C. Clarke's "Superiority"

        https://metallicman.com/laoban4site/superiority-by-arthur-c-clarke-full-text/

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Can someone man'splain this to me?

          "Fractional scaling" is something most of the "old farts" really want, even if they don't know it.

          It's how you make the whole UI a bit bigger so failing eyes can still read the text.

          Also, modern monitors have more dots per millimetre, so many people need this improved high and mixed DPI support to get the full benefit of their hardware.

          There's quite a few other features "under the hood" that you probably want, too.

          Qt have backported some of this into the "commercial" editions of 5.15, but most open source was otherwise stuck - some back on 5.12.

          The annoyance is of course that said commercial-only exists, while 6.6 has still not reached feature parity with 5.15.16.

  5. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

    I still don't know what's the point in having all these compating medium-weight, no-frills desktop environments. Like LXQt, Xfce, and MATE. Isn't one enough?

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