The Linux Desktop: 6 popular Linux desktop environments

By Jos
Aug 18, 2014
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  1. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,106   +1,376

    "Popular" Linux - that's a laugh :)

    781 Linux distributions as of today - feel free to throw up. This assures, it will never be an OS of choice for the large market.

    In the meantime, Microsoft is taking the few distros they have and re-consolidating them within Windows 9, with only focus to make the OS distribution easier for everybody.

    And if you still say that Microsoft isn't listening to its users, then it is safe to say that Linux zoo is listening very closely, to make sure to do the exact opposite.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  2. Siavash

    Siavash TS Enthusiast Posts: 65   +19

    There is over 750 different types of cheese. Cheese will never be a food of choice for the large market.

    Great article like always, however XFCE is missing from your list :)
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,106   +1,376

    Does your cheese come with a dictionary of console commands that you need to decrypt and learn before eating?
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    To hell with Linux, I'll just carry on with Windows thanks.
  5. Orange90

    Orange90 TS Rookie

    Popular "Linux desktop environments".
    So he is referring to Desktop Environment that are popular among Linux users...
    Julio Franco and cliffordcooley like this.
  6. From the array of responses you can clearly see none of you have ever actually used Linux.
    georgetoad and at0mic_Mike like this.
  7. tomkaten

    tomkaten TS Addict Posts: 183   +81

    I've tried to use it, I swear, except most of the time it's unusable. I've had trouble with most of the desktop environments analyzed here, from stuff breaking while changing a couple of elementary settings, to some that are lacking basic features, like keyboard shortcuts to quickly start pinned applications.

    VitalyT is right, IMO. This insane segmentation is only there to make sure Linux will never get into the spotlight. That's sad, because it's an OS with huge potential. So many good programmers, each preferring to work on new forks instead of sharing their experiences and working towards some form of unification...

    Maybe SteamOS and the rewrite of OpenGL will change that somewhat, but I'm not expecting any miracles soon.
  8. If you want to suck up to MS it's your prerogative but why you should come to an article dealing with Linux desktops and troll away is beyond me. If you like something, fine. Don't see why you see the urge to insult people who like something else. Well that's fanboyism I guess..

    On topic, interesting article; especially the pros and cons of each desktop. I for one never knew that Cinnamon required. Agree with Siavash that Xfce should warrant a mention as well, it does away with the flashy effects of Unity and GNOME 3.x
    georgetoad likes this.
  9. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,408   +463

    As stated already, popular DESKTOP ENVIROMENTS.

    Different distros don't diverge too far from one another, usually there are differences on which desktop enviroment it uses and how well/light packed they are in terms of aplications (packages). The terminal commands are almost the same so you don't need to actually learn a different set for 750+ distros, hell I could change a couple things use a custom kernel and say it's KibaruX distro.

    Well I don't expect more from people who get frustrated by Windows 8.

    I've taken again linux for headless server purposes through ssh and nothing fancy, it's fun to actually make it run yourself.

    Again, if you are frustrated by W8, don't try linux, it's simply not your thing.
  10. Another vote for XFCE.
  11. Aderf

    Aderf TS Rookie

    The global menu can be turned off in Unity and make the menus appear in the title/window.
    locally integrated menus (LIM)
  12. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,248   +220

    Brilliant article, I rarely read fully through the articles but this one is my night read tonight! Thanks!
  13. yorro

    yorro TS Booster Posts: 250

    I'm a software developer and I use Linux at work. As a normal person with responsibilities, I very much prefer Windows when I am not working, which just surf the internet and play some videos. I tell you, after years of endless sifting through countless codes, settings, directories.

    Its not that I don't like it, but sometimes you just want things to work.
    tomkaten likes this.
  14. Dukenukemx

    Dukenukemx TS Member Posts: 71   +16

    Best choices I've used are XFCE > Cinnamon > KDE. XFCE because it works fast and it supports hybrid GPUs. Cinnamon is great if it wasn't for it's lack of hybrid GPU support and it's excessive use of the GPU. On a laptop it can get very hot. KDE is very pretty but it's not very fast but I do believe it has hybrid GPU support.
  15. Dukenukemx

    Dukenukemx TS Member Posts: 71   +16

    The choices aren't a problem for Linux. If you're going Linux then you'll generally choose.


    Those are generally the go to choices for Linux. There's always Debian and Elementary OS but they're more niche. Though Elementary is gaining ground.

    But I plan to migrate all my computer systems over to Linux soon. As soon as DX9 state tracker is fully implemented to give me backwards compatibility with my old Windows applications. So far I have Mint 17 on my Laptop cause Windows was slowing it down badly and constantly getting viruses. My laptops have never been snappier and cluster **** free. Best of all when I run update manager it updates all my software, and not just what comes with the OS. So I always have the latest Java, Firefox, Flash, and even drivers for my OS. You don't get any of that with Windows, no sir.
  16. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +331


    Did he actually compare cheese to a modern OS with millions of lines of code.

  17. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +331

    Wow really.

    With that crystal ball you own can you give me next week's lotto numbers :)
  18. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +331

    I would run a linux distro any day over windows 8 and I find windows 8 frustrating to use!
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  19. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +331

    A laptop constantly getting viruses speaks more to the User and your usage patterns than the OS.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  20. Why do people complain about win 8. This doesn't look any easier or better.
  21. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 159   +41

    I have used Ubuntu a lot in the past, but because I play a lot of PC games I have to use Windows. If it weren't for that I would use Ubuntu exclusively.

    My girlfriend has a rather old Macbook, that now that the battery has started bulging, is on it's last legs, but a couple years ago I instead Ubuntu on the Macbook because she was constanly complaining of performance issues, and once Ubuntu was installed, it was like a brand new computer, and she has been happy with it since.

    She wants to get a new(er) laptop soon because of the battery issue, but she said that she didn't want to use Mac OS or Windows anymore and so she wants me to install Linux on the next laptop she gets

    Also, either she is better at fixing computer related issues than she lets, or Linux has just gotten better over the last several years, but I can only recall once over the last 2 years that she has complained about Linux/Ubuntu and that had to do with the formatting issues with .doc's when creating a doc in OpenOffice or Libre Office and then trying to open it in Microsoft Word. The formatting was just really weird, which isn't really the OS's fault anyway.
  22. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +331

    When you start to do real work on a computer will you will understand :)
  23. "Real work" means not messing around with your computer or its OS.
  24. There's few distributions that actually require this. Most have so much GUI it's just as easy as windows. My 11 year old sister enjoys Ubuntu and Mint, herself. You don't need to learn the commands unless there's some sort of more advanced problem or if you're a power user.

    There's 750-whatever distros, but how many have failed and how many of those are for advanced users and how many of those are for other very specific uses? Core-boot, which is based on the linux kernel and could be considered a distro, is actually a custom BIOS.

    This, as well as the fact that probably the majority of the distros are based on Debian, you really would only have to learn one set of commands, which are commands for the package manager (if you even wanted to). Also many commands are the same across distros unless you change them yourself.

    And if you're gunna scream about "muh gams," I run Gentoo on my 4770k and r9 280 and have the ability to play any game in the steam library (windows AND linux) and even run them with DirectX just as well as windows can. I've done the same with my sister's computer. Of course, I'm an advanced user.

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