Lubuntu Awesome for Older Hardware

Lubuntu is a great way of using older hardware that can’t handle the video requirements of Ubuntu. I’ve just installed Lubuntu 13.04 on two machines – one as an in-place upgrade from Ubuntu 11.04; one as a fresh install over Ubuntu 11.04 on a dual boot (after backing up the home folder of course!).

On the latter, I had to sort out Broadcom wireless again after many years of being able to ignore it. Because I didn’t have a working ethernet connection, I needed to get the deb for linux-firmware-nonfree and install it via the terminal with:

sudo dpkg -e ...deb

Then (leafpad is the Lubuntu default text editor – an alternative to gedit etc):

sudo leafpad /etc/modules

Added a new line on the end


And wireless is a solved problem 🙂

Shifting thunderbird from a backup drive was easy. Copy across the new …..default folder into ~/.thunderbird and change the relevant line in profile.ini to point to it.

To put icons on the desktop, find the program on the menu, right click and make a desktop icon. To change the name of the icon, right click, select Open with … and open the desktop file (like a Windows shortcut) with leafpad. Change the Name= e.g. from

Name=Thunderbird Mail



To position icons in a tidy manner, select them all and right click then select snap to grid.

Finally, I changed the wallpaper to be the Lubuntu one which looks like Ubuntu phone, changed the icon set to Humanity, shifted the panel to the top, and added a CPU applet to the panel.

I also got shockwave working in Chromium – I think it was by installing the flashplugin-installer. However I did it, I’m grateful to have Youtube working plus some web games for the kids.