Unofficial LXQt spin

I am usually a plasma user but I wanted a less graphically intensive solution for when I create a VM that will be accessed remotely. I decided on LXQt but the community edition doesn't match my personal needs. I decided to build my own from the ground up. I originally used architect but I wanted something I could easily replicate. I ended up making a minimal ISO and I thought I would share it. Since it didn't take much, I also decided to create a less minimal ISO in the event someone was interested in taking a look.

So here it is:

Here are the major differences between this and the community edition:

  • Theming - It uses Matcha Dark Sea to match the current Manjaro theming
  • Installed Applications - The full version includes an application set that more closely aligns with other Manjaro editions
  • Display Manager - I chose LightDM over SDDM because it allows for a unified screen locking experience with Light Locker.

The ISOs are available here:
Minimal ISO - sha256 - 19edef6423bbaaa12cc3ca4ac860da4cbecacbe164d0b71b7d9025460c80080a
Full ISO - sha256 - 2966613b8d1b0d23ad5079cfbcc4ee46eb82d018dc83cb99fa2d0add073a4d8a

Please keep in mind that the minimal ISO is very minimal. It is basically just the apps included in LXQt itself and theming. There isn't even a browser. This is the one I built for myself. I would only recommend it if you want to install all your own apps.

If you would like to review the iso profile or build it yourself you can get it here.

Questions:

Why didn't you use kwin instead of openbox?
Because bringing in kwin and making it useful requires not only kwin and it's dependencies but also plasma systemsettings and all it's dependencies. At that point, I might consider just running plasma instead. However, it is easy enough to install kwin yourself if that is your preference. LXQt makes it easy to switch window managers.

Is it good for HIDPI displays?
Openbox isn't the best for this application. If you want that, you would might want to switch to kwin.

Will it run on older hardware?
It should, you might consider disabling compton for the best performance on older hardware

Why did you include application X instead of application Y?
It is combination of trying to stay close to the default applications included in Manjaro and personal preference

Which kernel is on the ISOs?
Currently, 5.2

Which office suite did you include?
Neither version has a real office suite installed. The full version includes the office online wrapper.

What happens if you stop maintaining this ISO?
Nothing, really. There are no custom packages or repos. It is just Manjaro with a different set of installed applications and theming. It should continue to function as any other Manjaro install would.

What is the difference between the minimal and full ISOs?

These packages

autoconf
automake
binutils
bison
cups
cups-pdf
cups-pk-helper
fakeroot
firefox
flex
fwupd
gcc
ghostscript
git
gsfonts
gtk3-print-backends
hplip
imagewriter
libtool
m4
make
manjaro-hello
manjaro-settings-manager
manjaro-wallpapers-18.0
microsoft-office-online-jak
gcc-libs-multilib
gcc-multilib
lib32-flex
networkmanager-openconnect
networkmanager-openvpn
networkmanager-pptp
networkmanager-vpnc
noto-fonts-emoji
pamac-gtk
patch
patchutils
phonon-qt5-vlc
pkg-config
powertop
pyqt5-common
python-pillow
python-pip
python-pyqt5
python-pysmbc#
python-reportlab
screenfetch
splix
steam-manjaro
subversion
system-config-printer#
thunderbird
ttf-bitstream-vera
ttf-droid
ttf-inconsolata
ttf-indic-otf
ttf-liberation
vlc
wallpapers-2018

34 Likes

Thank you for this. It's nice to see Lxqt getting so much love these days with Manjaro. It's great for older hardware.

8 Likes

I will take a look at it.

I noticed you set the login shell to zsh.

This will only affect the live ISO

If you should affect installed system add this

# default system shell is bash
# '/etc/defaults/useradd': " "
# userShell              : "/bin/zsh"
# empty value will not be used
user_shell="/bin/zsh"
2 Likes

Afaik lxqt edition is not currently maintained. Could you just update that? Your changes seem reasonable.

If you send a merge request to iso-profiles repo (manjaro-architect branch), it becomes available in manjaro-architect too.

5 Likes

I was thinking the same thing - I can build the ISO

4 Likes

The ISO needed rebuild - so I forked the profile and build the minimal ISO

I made some minor tweaks.

The desktop shortcuts can be launched with out question on trust.

I added Openbox Adapta Maia window theme so the windows is not blending with eachother making them easier to see.

2 Likes

Thanks! Interestingly, that section didn't exist in the profile.conf I copied it from.

This will mean that gtk3 apps and qt apps will have different window decorations which sort of defeats the purpose of unified theming.

image

Thank you dalto :+1:

Will have a look at it as i'd really like to see a Manjaro LXQt community edition.

1 Like

you are right - I didn't see that - I will look at modifying the matcha theme.

The way the windows blend onto eachother is bad because you get confused as to which parts of the windows belongs to what.

I think it is a recurring issue with black themes.

I has been there some time now - it was @admdb who last updated the profile.

I just rebuild the ISO from time to time.

2 Likes

Isn't that just a personal preference thing? i.e. For every person who appreciates the extra contrast there will be another person who is distracted by the light borders in their dark theme.

Also, won't you need to modify the actual gtk theme in addition to the openbox theme? Otherwise, gtk apps will have different window borders than qt apps as you see above in the screenshot.

You could be right.

Do you immediately now what is what when there is nothing to tell the dialogs apart from what is on screen?

I will have to think about that - just a slight hint that would tell the elements of the UI apart would be nice.

With the dark themes like the Matcha-Dark - and the previous dark themes - I find my self looking for the dialogs - I don't think that is good for usablility.

I have spend a lot of time developing applications and considering UX and discussing workflow with endusers - I have a pretty good feeling about what is usablity and I feel many dark themes sacrifice some of that when dialogs are not distinguishable from the rest of the UI.

But as you point out - it may just be me :slight_smile:

I have uploaded a new ISO replacing the one with the Maia theme. I get your point and it should stay the way you made it.

It is in the sample profile.conf - it is an addition made when I started with Openbox Edition because I would like the profile to set the same shell as used on the live ISO.

I was not aware of that, especially as it is not listed as a community edition on manjaro.org.

@dalto

As Openbox is not a DE but a window manager - then any theme used as window manager theme will be reflected no matter the toolkit.

Thank you for making the point of the window decorations being different.

I have added a package to unstable manjaro-openbox-matcha-themes which makes it possible to just changes the window border color and the appearance of the openbox root menu. Window decorations are Matcha decorations.

If you take a look at the manjaro-community storage at osdn you will see several semi-official community editions :slight_smile:

My primary focus is Openbox but I refresh the LXDE and the LXQt from time to time to keep them reasonably up-to-date. They are - LXDE and LXQt - build around Openbox and as such quite the choice when going for proven stable system.

1 Like

I wish this was still the case but most gtk3 apps now are client side decorated. Look at my screenshot above, you can see the window borders are completely different. For theming to be consistent, the gtk, qt and openbox themes all need to match.

I see what you mean using gtk3 vs. gtk3-classic.

That depends if you are using gtk3 or gtk3-classic - the latter removing client side decorations - I think.

So if an edition deploys with gtk3-classic the window decorations are drawn by the window-manager.

How do one edit the gtk3 theme do you know what to look for? I have been searching the css for window border but it is not that intuitive :slight_smile:

Yes, gtk-classic avoids the issue, but the downside is that gtk3 apps designed to use CSDs sometimes look odd when artificially wrapped by the window manager.

No, that is outside my area of expertise. I do know that if we customize a gtk theme it will require regular maintenance as gnome stuff changes. I usually just pick an existing theme and live with it.

It would be nice to get this in the Manjaro download page to give LXQt more exposure. LXQt build isn't even on there currently.

I noted that the pcmanfm-qt looks odd when it gets a green border inside - just wrapping the folder content :slight_smile:

Problem for me is - I really like dark themes (lesser strain on old eyes) but when you cannot tell one window from another - that is a problem for me.

2 Likes

Very nice indeed, development & updates for LXQt has slowed down for very long time. This is a very nice simple no-nonsense DE, without a bunch of preferences and setups to configure yet it is compatible with multiple widget styles like gtk2-3 & Kvantum. What's left to annoy me is we need a matching WindowManager theme for gtk2-3 or Kvantum themes, however not many people are keen to design and create more WindowManager themes for Openbox which is rather unfortunate.

Thanks for both your effort!

I mean... you can just use Oomox to make themes for Openbox. I do it all the time on my Manjaro Openbox. And there are plenty of "managers" for setting Openbox themes. The Manjaro Openbox build uses some. You can make gtk2 & gtk3 themes with oomox too. The LXQt build does need a way to set themes for gtk programs though, like how KDE has.

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