Installing and Using LXQt-desktop in Ubuntu-17.10


The LXQt desktop has been described as a "light-weight" desktop, compared to the Unity or Gnome desktops, and is thought to be a perfect choice for low-powered computers. I had reasoned that if the response of applications run on the LXQt deskop was satisfactory on low-powered computers, it would be blazingly fast on a high-end computer. I am not sure I picked the proper applications to compare LXQt to other desktop environments, but none-the-less, the results surprised me.

I used two tests to measure responsiveness, both designed to test the speed of 3D-rendering. These were glmark2 from Linaro and glxspheres from VirtualGL. My high-end laptop computer is an ASUS ROG GL752VW. Its graphics card is an Nvidia GeForce Optimus GTX 960M. The base distribution I installed is Ubuntu-17.10 and the installed kernel is 4.13.0-16-generic #19-Ubuntu. The results for a variety of conditions are shown in the following two tables:

GLmark2

Condition
Desktop Environment
Linux Graphics Driver
Score (higher is better)
Fresh Install, Ubuntu-Wayland
GNOME
? - booted with modprobe.blacklist=nouveau
2166
Fresh Install, Ubuntu-Xorg
GNOME
? - booted with modprobe.blacklist=nouveau
2075
Ubuntu-Xorg, proprietery drivers
GNOME
Nvidia-384.90
5341
LXQt Desktop, proprietary drivers
LXQt-0.12
Nvidia-384.90
2894


glxspheres

Condition
Desktop Environment
Linux Graphics Driver
frames/sec (higher is better)
Ubuntu-Xorg, proprietery drivers
GNOME
Nvidia-384.90
1843
LXQt Desktop, proprietary drivers
LXQt-0.12
Nvidia-384.90
1272

Three observations may be made. The first is that, in agreement with the observation made in the Ubuntu-17.10 DistroWatch review, Ubuntu on Wayland seems as least as peppy, if not peppier than the older standard Ubuntu on Xorg. The second is that both benchmarks of 3D-rendering seemed to reveal better performance under the Ubuntu-Xorg ubuntu:GNOME desktop as compared to under the LXQt-0.12 desktop. The third observation is that the Nvidia proprietary drivers certainly speed up 3D rendering. Ubuntu on Wayland can no longer be run once the proprietary Nividia 384.90 drivers were installed.

I can think of several reasons which might explain the surprising performance comparison between the GNOME and LXQt desktops. I have no reason to choose among them so I will simply list them. 1) It is possible Ubuntu has improved the GNOME desktop so that it should no longer be considered a "heavy desktop". 2) Possibly the 0.12 version of LXQt is not as "light" as previous versions. 3) It may be that the tests I chose to compare the two desktops are not good ones for that purpose since presumably they challange the graphics processor (GPU) rather than the central processor (CPU).


Emmes Technologies
Updated 14 Nov, 2017

valid html 4.01!