Alfred Peng from Wuhan, China started to port LXDE to OpenSolaris. I met him in Singapore and could see how it is running already pretty smoothly.
Since it’s a GTK based desktop environment, some of the applications (pcmanfm, lxpanel, lxappearance, lxlauncher etc.) can be easily built and installed. But some still don’t work. The network manager lxnm is one of them, also lxtask and lxterminal. Good news is that the OpenSolaris nwam manager works great with small memory footprint 🙂 The app lxmusic, which is the media player for LXDE, depends on xmms libraries. This could be a limitation for the distribution as xmms links against a lot of patented codecs. Maybe GStreamer framework could be a better choice from a distribution’s point of view. Anyway, I can still use Songbird/Rhythmbox/Totem.
To compare with my personal experience of Xfce, LXDE runs better on OpenSolaris. Xfce is a little bit sluggish on my box (configuration issue?). LXDE’s performance and memory footprint are really impressive to me. It provides a nice alternative for the resource-limited desktop users (Eee PC users for example). On the other hand, the desktop layout of LXDE is pretty similar with Windoz. I guess this is because a big bunch of the developers are from Taiwan 🙂 This helps easier migration for users from the Windoz land. As the LXDE applications are still in the 0.x stage, please feel free to get in touch with the community (mailing list or IRC) for any problems you find.
The first set of spec files have been checked in to the SFE reporitory (SFElx*, SFEgpicview, SFEgtknetcat, SFEopenbox and SFEpcmanfm). If you’re familiar with CBE, it’ll be very easy for you to build and install LXDE on OpenSolaris. Those who are interested can also refer to the CBE instructions.
Actually the porting initiative comes from Mario Behling‘s introduction of LXDE on the Singapore Linux meetup group event in January. The frozen-bubble porting was also after the event 🙂 It’s nice to talk with him face to face and get to know a lot of community people behind: pcman, jserv and many more in the Asia region. Stay tune, I believe there will be more to come from LXDE community. (http://blogs.sun.com/pengyang/entry/lxde_lightweight_x11_desktop_environment)
LXDE on OpenSolaris with Alfred Peng from Wuhan, China
* Alfred Peng – Blog http://blogs.sun.com/pengyang/
* LXDE on Opensolaris http://blogs.sun.com/pengyang/entry/lxde_lightweight_x11_desktop_environment
* Opensolaris LXDE desktop community http://opensolaris.org/os/community/desktop/communities/lxde/
* Opensolaris in the LXDE Wiki http://wiki.lxde.org/en/OpenSolaris
I had a talk and discussion with students and Open Source and Free Software supporters organized by LinuxNUS at the National University of Singapore this week. It really amazes me to see the high level of knowledge here about free and open source software and current developments and I am happy to say, that I learnt quite a bit myself from those students. Together we gained lots of ideas how we can cooperate closer in the future. I invited them to the OpenTechSummit and the LXDE Asian Summit which we are organizing as a partner from May 4-10 in Taipei and I am looking forward to get involved in more events with LinuxNUS in the future. LinuxNUS, thanks for your great work and organisation!
Fotos: GOH Lu Feng
Liveblogging by GOH Lu Feng: After talking about the business opportunities with LXDE, Mario is now talking about the community at LXDE. An interesting fact about LXDE Project is that the founder of the Project, alias PCMan, is actually a medical doctor! A very prominent member of the LXDE community is Klaus Knopper, also the creator of Knoppix LiveCD. In fact, the recent release of Knoppix has moved from having KDE to LXDE as the default desktop environment. One of the key messages from Mario is that an Open Source Project need both technical and non-technical members, as well as people with wide diversity in order for an Open Source Project to be successful. Mario also gave an anecdote of a student in Taiwan who actively contributed to LXDE. This student enjoyed development work and was netted an internship with the Open Source Foundry in Taiwan, due to his involvement and experience with Open Source Development. Mario also mentioned that he is able to get openSUSE to sponsor usb sticks if anyone is able to produce a light version of openSUSE with LXDE. To be updated: Details steps on how to contribute to the LXDE project and GSOC LXDE Projects. Todo: Help LXDE advertise abt GSOC to the Singapore Universities. (http://linuxnus.org/2009/03/11/live-blogging-at-lxde-talk-mar-09/)
We had dinner at Dover after the talk. The food was great and so was the company. Quite a few ideas popped out from the conversations. One suggestion from Mario was to organise some girl only events to attract girls into Open Source. This has been a successfully practiced in Taiwan. Another idea that is likely to be worked on is to organise FOSS.SG. (http://linuxnus.org/2009/03/12/lxde-talk-mar-09-aftermath/)
The strength of an Open Source FOSS project comes from its community. Google has realized that and supports the community with its Summer of Code programme. I had the chance to meet up at an earlybird breakfast in Brussels with Leslie Hawthorn and some folks from Google like Peter Anvin to discuss some ideas of how we can work together to support the Asian FOSS community. Leslie Hawthorn is the program manager for Google’s Open Source Team and responsible for the Summer of Code project of Google.
I am happy that Google likes our ideas about bringing the international FOSS community closer together. The LXDE team is engaging in bringing the global FOSS community together by supporting the community with tools in their language, organizing meetings of contributors and educating folks about open source and free software. Recently some core members including Andrew Lee and me also joined the organization team of the OpenTechSummit series and we have much more in mind.
With me at the meeting I had also invited my friend Felix Fietkau aka nbd, the number one OpenWRT developer and member of the Freifunk community. The OpenWRT guys are currently working on making LXDE run with their speedy distribution. It is fascinating to see what will come out of it.
Talking about the GSoC: Leslie told me that Google is very positive of our upcoming application for the Summer of Code 2009. We will suggest some ideas for students who are interested to participate in our wiki soon. As this is a wiki, you are of course invited to post your ideas: http://wiki.lxde.org/en/Google_Summer_of_Code_2009
We had a fantastic time at FOSDEM 2009 in Brussels. After the Chaos Communication Congress a few weeks ago, we have again seen many people already using LXDE. Christoph Wickert (Fedora) and I had a lightning talk where we gave an overview of LXDE and the expanding community in front of about 500 people. Special thanks to Tias Guns for hosting our talk.
We also met many contributors maintaining LXDE packages in Linux distributions. Even though the LXDE project is still a project of a small community, it is already one of the most international projects in the free and open source software world.
Sander Marechal from LXer writes: The most striking thing about LXDE is… the community. Where many projects lament the lack of Asian members the LXDE community is truly international. (http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/115938/)
We will continue to support the growth of the community, engage to get more resources for developers and contributors and make it easy for people to join us. Check out more infos on how to join here join.lxde.org.
* FOSDEM 2009 LXDE Talk: http://www.fosdem.org/2009/schedule/events/lxde
* Chaos Communication Congress 2009, LXDE Page: http://events.ccc.de/congress/2008/wiki/LXDE