Felt Qt (might delete later)*: Two non-Gtk Linux desktops have put out new versions

TDE releases 14.0.11 and LXQt hits 1.0


There are loads of Linux desktops to choose from, but the majority use some version of GNOME's Gtk. Only a handful favour the Qt toolkit, and two of them just released new versions.

Release 14.0.11 of the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) just appeared. TDE was forked from KDE 3 by a team who didn't care for KDE 4's focus on widgets.

They may have had a point; Linux supremo Linus Torvalds was sceptical about them as well.

KDE adopted widgets when they were trendy, soon after Windows Vista, but Microsoft dumped them again after Windows 7. TDE is admittedly one of the more niche options, but it's good to see signs of life.

More mainstream is the lightweight LXQt – which just hit version 1.0 on Friday.

LXQt is the mainline descendant of the LXDE desktop, a Gtk2-based Windows 95-like environment. In our testing back in 2013, LXDE was by quite some margin the lightest-weight desktop for Ubuntu, taking about half the memory of GNOME.

In the same year, with Gtk2 at end of life, LXDE's lead developer, Dr Jen Yee Hong (or "PCMan" as he's known in FOSS circles), moved on to a next-generation project. Rather than port LXDE to Gtk3, he moved it to Qt instead, and merged it with another lightweight Qt desktop project, Razor-Qt. Ubuntu's Lubuntu remix comes with LXQt, so we can expect to see LXQt 1 in Lubuntu 22.04 next year.

Its progenitor isn't dead, though. Just yesterday there was a new version of the Distro Formerly Known As Raspbian. It originally came with LXDE, which the Raspberry Pi Foundation forked and now calls PIXEL. It uses Gtk3 and the GNOME window manager Mutter.

The foundation also offers a PC version of its OS, which your correspondent runs on an old sub-netbook. It's among the few surviving distros for 32-bit x86 kit. We hope to see it get a corresponding update.

The problem with Gtk is that it's a moving target. The GNOME Foundation develops Gtk in parallel with and for its own desktop. GNOME 40 was originally going to be called GNOME 4 and its corresponding version of Gtk still is.

It remains a controversial project ­– Linus too wasn't fond of the new look. Torvalds' other project is a dive-planning app called Subsurface; his co-developer Dirk Hohndel has talked about the difficulties of using Gtk and why they moved to Qt.

The Xfce desktop moved to Gtk3 quite a while before PIXEL, but not without difficulties. So did MATE, while facing accusations that the new version needed more memory. Now, they – and PIXEL – once again lag behind the current Gtk.

There's a small chance that in the longer term this could pan out to the advantage of the Qt desktops. There's at least one we'd love to see come back from the dead. ®

* With apologies to the maker of the "Felt Cute, Might Delete Later" (Squidward) meme, people on social media who are trying to seem humble, and all the people who make fun of them...

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021