5 Sep 2013

Debian LXDE with LXLE Added Features

LXDE is a desktop environment, which aims the low-performance hardware and old computers. However, you can use it on with modern computers and accessories too, making them flashing fast.

LXLE is an Ubuntu based distribution using LXDE desktop with the LTS kernel. It has some added features not found in Lubuntu. We will try to mimic them in Debian.

First install Debian. We will use a 32-bit install of Jessie (testing). I have only tried this on Debian Jessie so I can't confirm everything will work on Debian Wheezy. On the boot menu be sure to select the LXDE desktop.

Hopefully you are familiar with installing Debian, as we aren't going to delve into that here, but here are some good instructions.

The features we are going to add from LXLE, are the following:
  • Deepin package manager
  • Areo.. hot keys for moving windows around the screen
  • Fast Forecast... a local forecast retriever
  • Fehlstart ...a keyboard application launcher
  • Compton...a low resource compositor
  • Random wallpaper... for automatically changing wallpaper at login.
  • Lxweather which as of this writing is not included in LXLE

Install Deepin Software Center

Open a terminal window.
Type in the following commands then hit Enter after each.

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/deepin-sc

sudo leafpad /etc/apt/sources.list.d/noobslab-deepin-sc-jessie.list

Change jessie to precise on both entries, save and close leafpad.

Back in terminal do

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install deepin-software-center

Now you should have a functioning deepin-software-center.

Install Fehlstart

Lets install Fehlstart:

sudo apt-get install git

sudo apt-get install python-keybinder

sudo apt-get install libkeybinder-dev

git clone git://gitorious.org/fehlstart/fehlstart.git

cd fehlstart


sudo make install

Now do Alt+F2 and type fehlstart.
Press Super+space and start typing an application's name.

It should suggest applications as you type, just press enter when you have what you want.

Now we need to add it to applications, so in a terminal type:

sudo leafpad /usr/share/applications/fehlstart.desktop

Then copy and paste the following:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Application Launcher
Save to /usr/share/applications name it fehlstart.desktop, copy to ./.config/autostart/ and keep the suggested name of fehlstart.desktop.

In terminal do:

cp /usr/share/applications/fehlstart.desktop ./.config/autostart/fehlstart.desktop

Then click ok.

Now it will run automatically at startup.

Install Compton Compositor

In terminal do

sudo apt-get install asciidoc libconfig++-dev libdrm-dev libdbus-1-dev libgl1-mesa-dev

git clone https://github.com/chjj/compton.git

cd ./compton


sudo make install

Now add Compton to your autostart folder. In a terminal type:

cp /usr/share/applications/compton.desktop ./.conf/autostart/compton.desktop

Now we have a low resource compositor.

Configure AereoWindowMoving

Open Leafpad with the file ./.config/openbox/lxde-rc.xml file

Create a backup of your lxde-rc.xml file first. Then find the place where it says

and copy the following text below:

<keybind key="W-Left">
<action name="UnmaximizeFull"/>
<action name="MoveResizeTo">
<keybind key="W-Right">
<action name="UnmaximizeFull"/>
<action name="MoveResizeTo">
<keybind key="W-Up">
<action name="UnmaximizeFull"/>
<action name="MoveResizeTo">
<keybind key="W-Down">
<action name="UnmaximizeFull"/>
<action name="MoveResizeTo">

Configure Random Wallpaper

In a terminal type:

sudo leafpad /usr/share/applications/random-wallpaper.desktop

Then copy and paste in the following

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Randomly change LXDE wallpaper.
Exec=bash -c 'pcmanfm -w "$(find ./Pictures/Wallpapers -type f | shuf -n1)"'
Now click save and close.

Now copy it to ./.config/autostart/

cp /usr/share/applications/random-wallpaper.desktop ./.config/autostart/random-wallpaper.desktop

Now it will automatically start when you log in.

Now Create a ./Pictures/Wallpaper directory in your home folder.

As soon as you add some wallpaper to the ./Pictres/Wallpaper directory and log in again you should have an image from the directory on your desktop.

Configure Fast Forecast

In terminal do

sudo leafpad /usr/share/applications/FastForecast

Then copy and paste the following

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Quick xterm weather launcher.
Exec=xterm -bg SteelBlue4 -fg white -geometry 75x45 -hold -e weather --forecast --alert --no-cache-data 45999

In the Exec line change 45999 to your postal code.

Save and close.

Now add it to your lxpanel:

  1. Left clicking on the panel.
  2. Right click on Add/Remove panel items.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Choose application launcher.
  5. Select it, right click Edit.
  6. From the Accessories menu add FastForecast.


You can read about how to install lxweather here.


And if you want an lxle like conky, in a terminal just type:

sudo apt-get install conky

leafpad ./.conkyrc

When it opens, copy and paste the following

background no
double_buffer yes
no_buffers yes
out_to_console yes
total_run_times 0
own_window yes
own_window_colour 494949
own_window_type normal
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
own_window_transparent yes
alignment top_right
draw_borders no
draw_graph_borders yes
draw_outline no
draw_shades no
gap_x 10
gap_y 10
minimum_size 85
maximum_width 85
#Default Colors
default_color f3f3f3
default_outline_color 494949
default_shade_color 494949
cpu_avg_samples 2
net_avg_samples 2
update_interval 2
diskio_avg_samples 2
format_human_readable yes
imlib_cache_size 0
top_cpu_separate no
short_units yes
uppercase no
use_spacer left
use_xft yes
xftfont Bitstream Vera Sans Mono-7
xftalpha 1
override_utf8_locale yes
${font :style=bold:size=9 }${alignc}SYS Uptime
${font :style=bold:size=8 }${alignc}${uptime}
${hr 1}
${font :style=bold:size=8}${alignc}CPU ~ ${cpu cpu0}%
${alignc}${cpubar 10,85}
${font :style=bold:size=8}${alignc}RAM ~ ${memperc}%
${alignc}${membar 10,85}
${font :style=bold:size=8}${alignc}HDD ~ ${fs_used_perc}%
${alignc}${fs_bar 10,85}
${font :style=bold:size=8}${alignc}L/A ~ ${loadavg 1}
${alignc}${loadgraph 10,85 494949 f3f3f3 0 -l}
${font :style=bold:size=8}${alignc}I/O ~${diskio}
${alignc}${diskiograph 10,85 494949 f3f3f3 0 -l}
${font :style=bold:size=8}${alignc}U/L ~${upspeed eth0}
${alignc}${upspeedgraph eth0 10,85 494949 f3f3f3 0 -l}
${font :style=bold:size=8}${alignc}D/L ~${downspeed eth0}
${alignc}${downspeedgraph eth0 10,85 494949 f3f3f3 0 -l}
${hr 1}
${font :style=bold:size=8 }${alignc}Total TX / RX
${font :style=bold:size=7 }${alignc}${totalup eth0} /${totaldown eth0}

Then save and close.

Now add conky to the ./.config/autostart folder.

Log out and back in.

Now we have a Debian Jessie install with some nice LXLE extras.

Want more? Checkout LXDE on Steroids here.


This is a guest post by Randy Fry


  1. Dear Mr. Duck, would you ask randy fry to write
    a note about:

    1. How do i Get a desktop icon set-up on my LXDE
    desktop that will start a terminal window of my
    choice, and then execute a command to "launch" a
    terminal-based program that i have in my home

    2. How do I get some of the appications that run on
    my lxde system to have good old scroll-bars the full
    height of the window and not those nasty "pop-up"
    scroll-bars? (Firefox does it right, but the bash terminal program does it wrong.)

    Thanks, knott@civilized.com

    1. 1. Not all terminals have the same options, use with xterm, in a terminal type...

      leafpad ./.local/share/applications/your-program-name.desktop

      Then copy and paste the following...

      [Desktop Entry]
      Name=your program name here
      Exec=xterm -hold -e /path/to/your/program/filenameHere

      Then change above path/to/file to suit your needs.

      Then save and close.

      Now use a file manager and navigate to ./.local/share/applications and duoble click tour new .desktop file and see if it works. you can then copy and paste it to your desktop.

      2.If your using ubuntu see here http://askubuntu.com/questions/134629/going-back-to-standard-scrollbars-on-unity