I would like to present the young project DoudouLinux  which is
using several components of the LXDE desktop and is then kind of
downstream project for LXDE. DoudouLinux is a Debian-based Linux for
(small) children from age 2. Its goal is to be as simple as a gaming
console and to speak the children language without any action.
Our most advanced sessions  are using LxSession to derive the
standard LXDE session into an LxLauncher-based session . As the goal
was to get the simplest desktop ever, LxLauncher was found to be the
best solution. LxPanel accompanies it in order to give some useful
information to the user (battery, time, etc.) but we removed everything
that is not strictly necessary , for example the task bar and the
Additionally several small patches  were applied to few components:
* In LxSession-logout, I added an option to disable the logout options
suspend/hibernate/change user. Maybe there is a more elegant way but I
didn't find it.
* In LxLauncher, I added the possibility to use a custom menu file in a
per-user lxlauncher.menu file. This was necessary in the version of
Debian Lenny, but maybe it is not anymore in Squeeze. I also changed
the position of the “back” button used to go back to the first level of
* Recently I also patched LxLauncher to improve its look & feel as
shown on a screenshot posted on our bug tracker . However the
patched source code hasn't been published yet.
* I wrote a script that changes the LxLauncher icon size at GDM start
in order to fill about half the screen area with icons . Of course
this supposes that tabs have a maximum number of icons known in
advance. We may want to code icon size specified in percents directly
into LxLauncher in the future.
* In LxPanel, I patched the alsa volume tool to make the volume button
in panel change both Master and Master Mono. When only the internal
speaker is connected, this button has no effect without the patch since
it only changes Master. I also had to patch LxPanel for ARM hardware
that doesn't have the standard set of output controls. Without this
patch, the volume icon doesn't show.
Although all of this has proven to function well, we are still not
totally satisfied with the final user experience and the overall
graphic design. We'd like to bring several improvements to LxLauncher
* Provide funnier icon arrangements in tabs (circle, square, rainbow,
spiral, vertical lines, etc.).
* Merge LxPanel into LxLauncher. Its icons would be directly displayed
in a rectangular region of LxLauncher, close to a given screen edge.
Thanks to these desired changes, we would have a nice and similar look
whatever the screen. In the end this would turn LxLauncher into kind of
smartphone desktop manager application. As our project is moving to ARM
processors, this becomes more and more important: DoudouLinux may run
one day from very small pocket screens to very large TV screens.
Finally we also have minor issues with the versions shipping within Debian Squeeze:
* Gnome applications are not able to show their documentation. It seems
they're using an URI like help://path/to/doc and this doesn't work in a
standard LXDE session for an unknown reason.
* Removable devices do not get shown in Qt file system tree after they
are mounted. Users have to browse /media to find them, which is not so
* LxPanel may not always show his contents at session start .
However this is much rarer with the version of Debian Squeeze than with
Lenny. However if LxPanel is embedded into LxLauncher in the end, this
issue may not be of interest anymore.
* Mouse cursor doesn't indicate that an application is being launched.
Children may then click several times on the same icon until the first
instance of the application shows.
That said, we are very happy with the LXDE desktop components and want
to go on with them as long as possible. Our concern is now to find a
way to contribute back to the LXDE project and find a way to work
together, supposing that our design goals would be judged as relevant
for your project as it is for ours. Maybe we should just open tickets
on your bug/task manager?
Thank you for your great work that is the only one to provide a nice
and really light Linux desktop :).
DoudouLinux, the computer they prefer!