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Lubuntu vs. Xubuntu: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 3, 2023
Lubuntu uses the LXQt desktop environment, focusing on speed and efficiency, while Xubuntu employs the XFCE desktop, emphasizing customization and moderate resource usage.

Key Differences

Both are official "flavors" of the Ubuntu operating system, designed to offer different desktop environments tailored to various user needs and system capabilities. Lubuntu is known for its minimalist design, while Xubuntu provides a balance between functionality and aesthetic.
Lubuntu, in its mission to be lightweight, uses the LXQt desktop environment, designed specifically for older computers or systems with limited resources. On the other hand, Xubuntu, with its XFCE desktop environment, is a middle ground, requiring moderate resources but offering more visual appeal and customization options than Lubuntu.
While both are built upon the Ubuntu core and can run most applications compatible with Ubuntu, the user experience they provide is distinct. Lubuntu is often recommended for users who prioritize performance over aesthetics, while Xubuntu is for those who want a bit of both without the demand of the main Ubuntu with GNOME desktop.
Installation and system requirements for both are pretty similar, given their lean nature. However, Lubuntu might edge out in performance on very old hardware, thanks to its bare-bones approach. Meanwhile, Xubuntu might be more suitable for users transitioning from other operating systems and looking for something more familiar in terms of visual design.
In terms of community and support, both flavors have active user communities, with forums and resources available for troubleshooting, tips, and customization ideas. Since they both stem from the Ubuntu family, a wealth of knowledge is available for users of either system.

Comparison Chart

Desktop Environment

Uses LXQt

Primary Appeal

Speed and efficiency
Balance of customization and resource usage

Usage in Sentence

Often as a noun (e.g., Lubuntu OS).
Typically as a noun (e.g., Xubuntu release).

Recommended For

Older systems with limited resources
Systems with moderate resources, users wanting customization


Moderately aesthetic, more than Lubuntu

Lubuntu and Xubuntu Definitions


An official flavor of Ubuntu using the LXQt desktop.
She installed Lubuntu on her old laptop to rejuvenate it.


Ubuntu's version designed with XFCE's customization in mind.
With Xubuntu, she could tweak the desktop to her heart's content.


A lightweight Linux distribution tailored for older systems.
Lubuntu breathed new life into his decade-old computer.


An alternative for those seeking a middle ground in Linux OS.
Not wanting the heaviness of Ubuntu or the starkness of Lubuntu, he opted for Xubuntu.


A blend of the Linux kernel with the fast LXQt desktop.
Lubuntu's merger of Linux stability and LXQt speed was ideal for his netbook.


A Linux distribution combining Ubuntu's core with XFCE's flexibility.
Xubuntu was his choice for its versatility and active community.


The go-to for those seeking speed and efficiency in an OS.
He chose Lubuntu for its rapid boot times and responsive feel.


A moderate-resource OS offering aesthetic appeal.
Xubuntu provided the visual appeal she missed in other lightweight distributions.


Ubuntu's minimalist counterpart prioritizing performance.
For her minimal computing needs, Lubuntu was the perfect fit.


An Ubuntu flavor showcasing the XFCE desktop environment.
He was a fan of Xubuntu's balance between form and function.


Are Lubuntu and Xubuntu free to use?

Yes, both Lubuntu and Xubuntu are free and open-source.

Is Lubuntu faster than Xubuntu?

Lubuntu is designed for utmost speed and efficiency, especially on older hardware, so it might edge out Xubuntu in performance on very old machines.

Can I use applications from Ubuntu on both Lubuntu and Xubuntu?

Absolutely, both are based on Ubuntu and can run most Ubuntu-compatible applications.

Which has better customization, Lubuntu or Xubuntu?

Xubuntu, with its XFCE desktop, typically offers more customization options than Lubuntu.

What are Lubuntu and Xubuntu's primary distinctions?

Lubuntu uses the LXQt desktop for speed and efficiency, while Xubuntu uses the XFCE desktop for customization and moderate resource usage.

Can I install Lubuntu and Xubuntu on the same machine?

Yes, you can dual-boot or install multiple desktop environments and choose between them at login.

Can I switch from Ubuntu to Lubuntu or Xubuntu without reinstalling?

Yes, by installing the respective desktop environments, you can switch between them without a fresh OS install.

Can I use Lubuntu or Xubuntu on a Raspberry Pi?

There are versions or derivatives of both that can be used on the Raspberry Pi, but it's always good to check compatibility with the specific model.

Which is better for older PCs, Lubuntu or Xubuntu?

Lubuntu is specifically designed for older PCs, making it a more suitable choice for very old hardware.

Are there any known conflicts between Lubuntu and Xubuntu applications?

Since both stem from Ubuntu, conflicts are minimal. Any issues would likely stem from individual application compatibility.

How often are Lubuntu and Xubuntu updated?

Like Ubuntu, both Lubuntu and Xubuntu receive regular updates, with new stable releases typically every six months.

Are there any applications exclusive to Lubuntu or Xubuntu?

Most applications are available for both. However, default installed apps may vary based on the distro's focus.

How do Lubuntu and Xubuntu compare in terms of system requirements?

Lubuntu has slightly lower system requirements due to its focus on older hardware, while Xubuntu requires moderate resources.

How do Lubuntu and Xubuntu handle proprietary software?

Both allow the installation of proprietary software, utilizing Ubuntu's software repositories and management tools.

Which is more user-friendly for Linux beginners, Lubuntu or Xubuntu?

While subjective, many find Xubuntu's interface more intuitive, especially if transitioning from other OSes.

How do Lubuntu and Xubuntu handle drivers?

Both handle drivers similarly, utilizing Ubuntu's driver management tools.

Do Lubuntu and Xubuntu support touchscreens?

Both support touchscreens, but your experience may vary based on hardware and drivers.

Are Lubuntu and Xubuntu secure?

Both inherit Ubuntu's security features and are updated regularly to address vulnerabilities.

Is Lubuntu's LXQt desktop different from LXDE?

Yes, Lubuntu previously used LXDE but has transitioned to LXQt, a merger of LXDE and the Razor-qt project.

Which has a larger user community, Lubuntu or Xubuntu?

Both have active communities, but Xubuntu has been around longer and might have a slightly larger user base.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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