Lumina DE: a fresh desktop to try out

Lumina 1.0.0

The 1.0 Beta release of the Lumina Desktop Environment made some news this week. While it is the flagship DE for PC-BSD, Lumina can be installed and used on many other distros as well. We’ll see how to install it on Ubuntu 15.10 (and link to the procedure for other distros) but a little about Lumina first.

Lumina, has been developed from scratch and is not a fork of any other existing DE. If you remember, we have seen this trend with the Budgie desktop as well. Unlike Gnome or KDE, Lumina desktop environment is not an application development toolkit/framework – it is only a system interface. However, the DE concepts and building blocks are similar.

Lumina is an excellent candidate to test against lightweight DEs like LxQt and XFCE. It typically needs less than 150MB of memory to run, is highly customizable and doesn’t come in the way of your workflow. To give you an idea of the bulk, Lumina has only 13 packages for Ubuntu Wily at the time of writing.


  • customize wallpaper, theme, font, color scheme, icons
  • mime handling, lumina-open (similar to xdg-open)
  • fully customizable interface, built-in plugin system
  • consistent interface
  • lightweight and responsive
  • multi-core CPU utilization
  • multi-monitor support
  • System Dashboard panel plugin to access configuration options
  • Insight File Manager
  • search DE using lumia-search utility
  • lumina-screenshot and lumina-fileinfo utilities


To install Lumina on Ubuntu 15.10, which is the only officially supported Ubuntu version at the time of writing, run:

$ wget
$ sudo apt-key add wily.key
$ wget
$ sudo mv lumina-wily.list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install lumina-desktop

Using a different distro? Get the instructions to install Lumina here.

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