Recently, I started noticing severe slowness when using Pop!_OS 20.04 on my laptop. Shadow would work fine, but if I wanted to do anything else alongside Shadow, it was unusable.
My original thought process was the hardware in my laptop was not strong enough. However, my computer is running a 7th gen Intel i7, so it should be able to handle the OS just fine. Then, I remembered the few issues I had when installing the OS, and I realized that it might have been a bad OS install.
So, I decided to reinstall Linux on my laptop, and since I love to tinker, I decided to look for another Ubuntu-based distro to use instead of Pop!_OS.
That is when I came across Lubuntu. I was purposely looking for a more lightweight Linux installation because I do not necessarily need any fancy features. Lubuntu stands for Lightweight Ubuntu, so I decided to give it a try!
After running into some issues with the installation... I was finally able to get it installed on my laptop. This time, the installation ran successfully, and for the time's errors appeared, I made sure to wipe my hard drive's and re-run the setup.
Now that I had a new Linux installation, I needed to make sure I updated it and installed the necessary drivers to make sure Shadow could run. I went and used the commands I posted in my Getting Shadow to work on Ubuntu 20.04 article, and I was up and running with the Shadow Stable client in no time. But, I wanted to get access to the Quick Menu, and currently, the Quick Menu is not available on the Stable client of Linux.
I went and downloaded the Beta client, and when I launched it, my Shadow stream was red/orange and extremely distorted. So now I was stumped... How would I fix this?
After some searching on the Linux-Beta channel on the US Shadow Discord, I came across someone stating that you need to disable RGB10 if you see a distorted Shadow Stream on the Linux Beta and Alpha clients. So, I downloaded the file using the following command:
cd /etc/ && sudo wget https://gitlab.com/NicolasGuilloux/shadow-live-os/-/raw/arch-master/airootfs/etc/drirc
This downloaded the necessary file to the /etc/ directory on my laptop. After it downloaded, I restarted my Shadow Beta launcher and started up the stream. This time, success!!!
I have now been using Lubuntu 20.04.1 for about a week, and I can say that I absolutely love it. I did need to configure some stuff to work, such as enabling external monitor support and installing the necessary X Server drivers to disable my NVIDIA card properly.
What I like about Lubuntu
As I stated above, the reason why I went with Lubuntu is that it is a more lightweight focused version of Ubuntu. As much as I like Ubuntu and many of the distro's based on it, they can all be bloated with "features."
Lubuntu, right off the bat, gave me a lightweight desktop environment, and the bare minimum of applications that I needed to get started with productivity.
Of course, some things were included in the Lubuntu installation that I did not need, but they were easy to uninstall thanks to Lubuntu being Linux based.
Also, since I am more of a terminal user when it comes to Linux, I did not need any of those fancy GUI package managers or App stores included in a lot of other Ubuntu-based distro's.
I also like the fact that everything appears to be running flawlessly on my laptop. I have yet to run into any slowdowns or bottlenecks for what I use it for; Shadow, surfing the web, writing blog posts, and YouTube.
What I do not like about Lubuntu
Honestly, there is not much that I can complain about with Lubuntu. I guess the main thing that annoys me about Lubuntu is the fact that my monitor settings do not stay every time I start my laptop. Each time I have to open Monitor Settings and set up my external monitor correctly. Not a substantial time-consuming process, but it would be nice if it remembered my settings.
Another thing I do miss with Lubuntu over Windows 10 or Pop!_OS is the ability to have snapping windows. It makes multitasking just a bit more tedious. I know I could probably find and install a window snapping software, but not having it out of the box is disappointing.
Using Lubuntu with Shadow
As I explained through the beginning of this post, I did have to do some tweaking to get Shadow to work correctly on Lubuntu. Overall, Shadow runs reasonably well, except for the Shadow Streamer crashing once in a while, but that could honestly just be failing hardware, as my laptop is old.
I run Shadow at a 1080p resolution with either 120/144hz display. Shadow is maxed out at 70mbps download, and it runs perfectly fine. I can highly suggest that if you are looking for a lightweight operating system to use, while also being able to use Shadow, check out Lubuntu.