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Thread: Desktop Environments: what I am learning so far

  1. #1
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    Desktop Environments: what I am learning so far

    This is going to be shorter than usual for me. I tried Ubuntu Unity, Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE, and Enlightenment E17 desktop environments and I have to say that they all cater to slightly different users with specific needs. Ubuntu Unity is the dumbed down version of Ubuntu made for the masses. It is supposed to look and feel like Apple Macintosh OS X. I don't agree with the future direction that Canonical is taking Unity, but I have to give them credit for their efforts. So far, it has driven more people away from Ubuntu than drawn them to it. Cinnamon is very nice. It's an old fashioned DE, but it is under heavy development. Things do break and it isn't pretty to discover why or how to solve it. Right now, Cinnamon 1.6.0 is not working for me and I can't use it. GNOME is good, but the need to use hot corners and the annoying system notifications alerts irk me. It takes me more time to scroll through my list of installed software applications than using GNOME itself. KDE is almost just right. I found that it makes the least worst compromises of them all, but the KWallet and screen blanking problems are annoying. They force me to suspend my System76 PC and resume it from suspension all of the time. Enlightenment is a little too plain. It is not intuitive and there is a lot of mouse clicking and scrolling needed to use it. I rarely use it anymore.

    None of them are perfect. However, I found that using Ubuntu Unity is the best compromise so far because it is tested to work with almost everything. It is not that pretty and it's rather constrained and limited, but it works if you believe that Canonical is taking the necessary steps to increase the number of Ubuntu powered PCs shipped worldwide in the next two years.

    There you have it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Desktop Environments: what I am learning so far

    Quote Originally Posted by Welly Wu View Post
    I don't agree with the future direction that Canonical is taking Unity, but I have to give them credit for their efforts. So far, it has driven more people away from Ubuntu than drawn them to it.
    Anyone have any numbers that would support that claim? Please don't say "DistroWatch."

  3. #3
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    Re: Desktop Environments: what I am learning so far

    Quote Originally Posted by malspa View Post
    Anyone have any numbers that would support that claim? Please don't say "DistroWatch."
    I don't take some posts seriously enough to question them
    Shortened urls: See point #11 here. And clicking on them could be risky.
    Use ubuntu-support-status with caution.

  4. #4
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    Window Managers

    If you want to take the exploration further you could check out window managers. Either use them in conjunction with one of the desktop environments that you have looked at or else set them up standalone.

  5. #5
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    Re: Desktop Environments: what I am learning so far

    I like most desktop environments, they all have their good points and some are just plain fun to use. I do not think that people are being driven away by Unity at this point in time though. So many are trying to re-invent the desktop and I see this as a good thing for Linux in general.

    I find that most, not all, new users to Linux want something completely different than Windows. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences so there is really no one size fits all type of interface that is going to please everyone.

    In my opinion, Unity is doing a good job with re-inventing the desktop because it has some very unique elements and has a certain elegance to it.Unity is rather limited as far as user customization and some people really like to completely customize their desktop, so these people are going to find Unity as a less attractive choice.

    Cinnamon is sort of a blend of the old and the new. Cinnamon appeals to people that want a classic desktop with some degree of familiarity with some added blng. Both Unity and Cinnamon are fairly young projects so there are going to be some issues here and there. Something I have noticed though is that Unity is attracting a lot of positive attention from hardware vendors and game developers, Linux use has been held back by these things to some degree by many and seeing these things improving tells me that these new desktop environments are heading in the right direction.

    KDE 4 was not well received when it was introduced but it has had the time to mature and many that liked KDE 3x now are happy with KDE 4. There has been renewed interest and development with e-17 as a result of people wanting alternatives to all of the new desktop environments. E-17 really looks good and it very resource friendly, it's great to see the project receive attention and distributions including it as a choice.

    Linux is constantly changing, it's always been like that but I think it is evolving to much more than a Windows clone these days. We have a lot of choices that proprietary operating systems just don't offer. I believe things are the best they have been in a long time.

  6. #6
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    Re: Desktop Environments: what I am learning so far

    Quote Originally Posted by Welly Wu View Post
    I don't agree with the future direction that Canonical is taking Unity, but I have to give them credit for their efforts. So far, it has driven more people away from Ubuntu than drawn them to it.


    Don't make such a silly statement of fact without presenting some sort of evidence to back it up. Otherwise, just stick to stating opinion. You will get flamed alot less this way.
    Last edited by Version Dependency; September 30th, 2012 at 06:08 AM.
    "The Linux philosophy is laugh in the face of danger. Oops. Wrong one. Do it yourself. That's it." --Linus Torvalds

  7. #7
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    Re: Desktop Environments: what I am learning so far

    I find myself using Cinnamon 1.6.1 most frequently followed closely by KDE 4.9.1. Cinnamon is particularly light weight and it is also kind of buggy. It's still under heavy development. One of the features that still needs to be added is a new menu system. The current version has a functional menu system, but I am hoping for something that is much closer to KDE's implementation of their menu system or Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit. It needs to be more customizable and it needs to be faster in terms of speed and performance.

    KDE 4.9.1 is quite nice. It's basically got all of the features that I want in a modern desktop environment and it's mature and stable. So far, I am happy with it.

    Tomorrow, I will try out GNOME 3.5.4. I am hoping that I will get an update to GNOME 3.6.0 sometime soon as I added the GNOME3 and GNOME Shell Testing PPAs.

    What other desktop environments should I add? I have Pantheon, Enlightenment E17, FluxBox, Window Manager, GNOME 3.5.4, KDE 4.9.1, Cinnamon 1.6.1, Unity 5.6, XFCE 1.4, LXDE 0.53, and Cairo-Dock.

  8. #8
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    Re: Desktop Environments: what I am learning so far

    @Welly Wu, I see you are now testing everything as well as every other thing. I do a lot of testing and found some of the same stuff as you and disagree with most other things you say. You just can not test everything and say this is what works for me. I tested some items for months not just 1 hour or a week. I see some folks making joking post at you on the forums. I do like reading some of your post, but please slow down a little.

  9. #9
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    Re: Desktop Environments: what I am learning so far

    Quote Originally Posted by Welly Wu View Post
    What other desktop environments should I add? I have Pantheon, Enlightenment E17, FluxBox, Window Manager, GNOME 3.5.4, KDE 4.9.1, Cinnamon 1.6.1, Unity 5.6, XFCE 1.4, LXDE 0.53, and Cairo-Dock.
    Try MATE ad get a taste of what the old GNOME 2 was like.

  10. #10
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    Re: Desktop Environments: what I am learning so far

    May I suggest you buy yourself or build yourself a PC purely for testing purposes, also install one DE and or one Distro or one OS on your production machine. I note from your signature that you have a SSD, all the installing and uninstalling you are doing is
    shortening the life span of that SSD.
    This account is not active.

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