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TheGuyWithTheFace
June 9th, 2012, 03:54 PM
I like Unity, but I've never really tried anything else. I've read a few reviews of xfce and ldxe (<--- Is that what they're called? I can never spell those right), but I'd really like to learn some upsides and downsides from a bunch of perspectives.

So, what's your favorite DE, what are some good things, what are some bad things, and what is your favorite feature that puts it above the rest?

As I said, I like unity, it's pretty user friendly, I like the dash, but I wish I could rearrange the icons on the top bar thing. My favorite feature is by far the HUD, it's just so darn... Convenient!

Frogs Hair
June 9th, 2012, 04:30 PM
I'm happy to use Unity or the Gnome Shell . I was a dock user prior to Unity so it fits my usage pattern. I have tried KDE,LXDE,and XFCE. I like the way E17 works , but will it ever be finished and will the themes improve is the question. I'm not interested in Cinnamon, Gnome Fallback, or Mate having used Gnome 2 exclusively on three out of six my Ubuntu releases.

To each their own and it is almost always a benefit to try new things.

eyeofliberty
June 9th, 2012, 04:33 PM
Full featured: KDE
Lightweight: Openbox

zombifier25
June 9th, 2012, 04:35 PM
Unity and/or GNOME Shell for me. Mostly Unity.

BigSilly
June 9th, 2012, 07:02 PM
I've spent a fair bit of time with all of them at one point or another. Picking a fave is hard, since they all have so much to offer for different types of users. So I won't. :D I think the one DE that really does it all is KDE. It's the main one that can tick a lot of boxes.

However, I'm currently using Cinnamon which is working very well indeed. :)

Mikeb85
June 10th, 2012, 06:42 AM
Unity is probably still my favourite, but I'm beginning to like KDE now too.

markbl
June 10th, 2012, 07:14 AM
Gnome-shell for me, slightly over Unity which is very good also. Both these new desktops are definitely an improvement over KDE, gnome 2, and the others.

black veils
June 10th, 2012, 10:51 AM
i have tried every desktop and lots of distros, and my favorite desktops are xfce and enlightenment (e17). two nice distros for those are Xubuntu and Bodhi Linux.

i like and require them because the panels can be configured a lot, from size, to theme, to plugins. and there are plenty of general configuration options available. also the theming possibilities add a purely fun aspect.

i think Xubuntu is intuitive and well integrated, not that i need easy to use, but i appreciate the organised structure. which i see as logical.

the lxde desktop is nice for panel choices also, but not much in the way of general settings, although the only reason i wouldn't use it is the temperature monitor didn't work (in 11.10, i don't know about 12.04).

DingusFett
June 10th, 2012, 01:45 PM
I'm still fairly new and been playing around with a few. I tend to come back to Unity all the time, however have tried gnome-shell and lxde, currently trying out Cinnamon, it is very nice. Am running XFCE on my HTPC.

Thras0
June 10th, 2012, 02:35 PM
I liked Gnome 2 very much, but it's not developed anymore.

I have to say KDE has grown on me. It's my DE of choice on my desktop.

As for my lappy , Cinnamon wins there.

odiseo77
June 10th, 2012, 02:41 PM
I liked Gnome 2 very much, but it's not developed anymore.

I have to say KDE has grown on me. It's my DE of choice on my desktop.

Same here. Used to use Gnome2, but after the arrival of Gnome3, I switched to KDE. I'm even liking it.

Peripheral Visionary
June 10th, 2012, 04:45 PM
I like Xfce for it's simplicity, configurability, and beauty. And it runs great on my older hardware. Even if I had super-razoo mega-powerful hardware I'd still use Xfce.

Erik1984
June 11th, 2012, 09:33 AM
I liked Gnome 2 very much, but it's not developed anymore.

I have to say KDE has grown on me. It's my DE of choice on my desktop.

As for my lappy , Cinnamon wins there.

KDE here too. It's quite easy to make KDE like Gnome2. Just add a 2nd panel on top and move the Systray and Kickoff to the top panel. I have a setup like that for two months now and it works great.

buzzingrobot
June 11th, 2012, 02:31 PM
Bounced from Unity to Gnome 3 to KDE back to Gnome 3 and, finally, back to Unity.

I like using a dock with an empty clutter-free desktop. I'm not 100% sold on the DASH and HUD, but the Launcher is essentially a dock. I'd rather it wasn't a fixed size, though, but, instead, expanding and contracting as icons are added and removed.

Gnome 2 was fun while it lasted. But, there are real issues with menus and sub-menus sprawling across the desktop. The panel and a dock are approx. equivalent as task switchers. KDE's launcher menus don t sprawl, but I find them a bit awkward.

Puttings aside tiling window managers, all current DE's are more alike than not.

BigSilly
June 11th, 2012, 06:56 PM
Same for me, back on Unity again with 12.04, and it's lovely to be back! I just find that I miss using it when I spend time with other DE's. You can't go wrong with any available in Linux right now though imho.

craig10x
June 12th, 2012, 03:30 AM
Was using ubuntu 12.04 with unity...now using it with Cairo Dock (in the session that includes the ubuntu panel on top with the global menu)...It looks like that is going to be my favorite! :)

paulkiss
June 12th, 2012, 07:40 AM
I know for people who've been with Linux for years "Unity" equals "crap" and "a tablet for 3 year olds", but I might say that those "classic Gnome" things look like Windows for me. They do. The "Start" button is there, the menu organization is there (althout it's automatically better organized than the crap yard in Windows). And XFCE looks like Mac. And other fancy stuff like Cinnamon, Mate... too fancy. TOO fancy.

I didn't have no hesitation about a DE when I first installed Ubuntu on my desktop PC, because I didn't quite know much about DEs. Unity was the 1st DE I saw.

Then I started thinking about installing Ubuntu on my netbook. It's pretty modest, 1.6GHz, 1G RAM. And I made a strange assumption that Unity is too heavy for these specs, that it would "lag" and "freeze". And I started to search for anything lightweight. I found LXDE, installed Lubunty. Well... not bad. But it was already uncomfortable, and again, Windows reminding. "Start -> Programs" way. Plus Lubuntu had some strange limitations, I couldn't add languages that straightforwads as I did in Unity. That was awkward. And there was a couple of other issues. Not critical ones, but still.

So yesterday I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with Unity on my netbook. Damn... Why did I ever have to make that way around through another DEs? I didn't have to at all. Unity works ok on my modest netbook. Yes, I did switch to Unity 2D, but that ain't a problem for me. And it feels like home, things are familiar, and I love it this way. No fancy stuff. Neat and simple.

My fav DE is now 100% Unity.

viperdvman
June 12th, 2012, 10:31 AM
Well, mine will be a complex response.

I've used GNOME (both GNOME 2, a version of GNOME 3 GNOME Shell that I've modified to look and act like Mac OS X, and 2 and 3's Unity) for a long time. I've also played around with KDE, Cinnamon, and Enlightenment... and I like them. I also like GNOME Shell, as well as Unity, despite all the haters out there. Sure, they aren't nearly as configurable as GNOME 2, Xfce, KDE, and Cinnamon (just examples), but for what they are, they're great. And the GNOME Shell Extensions at least give you some ability to customize your GNOME Shell.

But right now, KDE is my desktop environment of choice, with Enlightenment (Bodhi Linux) as my Linux "home away from home". KDE is just doing everything right for me, from being very configurable to working perfectly with my dual-display setup (stuff that even the newest Unity doesn't do). And Enlightenment is an excellent lightweight DE to play around with. It too is very configurable, and has plenty of effects and modern eye candy without eating too much resources (CPU, GPU, and RAM).

However, I very well could switch back to Unity or a modified GNOME Shell very easily... or even Cinnamon or MATE... depending on my mood.

BrokenKingpin
June 12th, 2012, 09:25 PM
I like Xfce for it's simplicity, configurability, and beauty. And it runs great on my older hardware. Even if I had super-razoo mega-powerful hardware I'd still use Xfce.
++

irv
June 12th, 2012, 10:04 PM
Bounced from Unity to Gnome 3 to KDE back to Gnome 3 and, finally, back to Unity.

I like using a dock with an empty clutter-free desktop. I'm not 100% sold on the DASH and HUD, but the Launcher is essentially a dock. I'd rather it wasn't a fixed size, though, but, instead, expanding and contracting as icons are added and removed.

Gnome 2 was fun while it lasted. But, there are real issues with menus and sub-menus sprawling across the desktop. The panel and a dock are approx. equivalent as task switchers. KDE's launcher menus don t sprawl, but I find them a bit awkward.

Puttings aside tiling window managers, all current DE's are more alike than not.
Ditto:
After using Unity now for awhile I can find anything fast even if I can't remember the name. I just start typing the what it does and it finds it. I also can type find and it will call up recoll which I installed and it will find anything inside a file. gotta love Unity.

buzzingrobot
June 12th, 2012, 10:32 PM
I know for people who've been with Linux for years "Unity" equals "crap" and "a tablet for 3 year olds", but I might say that those "classic Gnome" things look like Windows for me. ... And XFCE looks like Mac. And other fancy stuff like Cinnamon, Mate... too fancy. TOO fancy.


The concept of putting a strip across the edge of a screen to hold icons of both favorite programs and icons of running programs is hardly unusual. Screens are typically horizontal. The icons need to go somewhere that does not interfere with program execution *and* is easily accessible by a user who is otherwise engaged in interacting with one of those programs. That's why we've seen the similarity in appearance between Windows, Gnome 2, KDE, etc. OS X also follows the same pattern, with a fixed panel at the top and a movable dock elsewhere. (The difference between a dock and a panel, of course, is almost entirely cosmetic and semantic.)

Each of these designs begin to fall apart when forced to deal with the hundreds of applications typically found in a modern OS. Most simply provide a system of menus and submenus launched from the panel, either as an integral part of the panel or as a separate application. OS X takes a slightly different approach by bundling all that functionality into the Finder.

None of those approaches are very good at dealing with many applications. They simply facilitate the process of directory listing. Recent emulations of the iOS approach of simply stacking up rows and columns of icons falls apart for the same reason -- it works only with a limited number of apps -- in iOS, OS X, Gnome 3, etc.

Unity's approach to this problem is interesting. The Launcher is a dock that is fixed to one side of the screen. Unity alters the "big page of icons" syndrome by leveraging the HUD and confining the icon display it generates to a smaller area of the screen. I think the jury remains out on this approach. Much will depend on how skilled the HUD becomes at finding the right program/file at the user's first keystrokes.

Appearance and aesthetic appeal are secondary issues because they aren't involved in the functionality of a DE.

(BTW, as an OS X user, I've never seen any similarity between the appearance of XFCE and the appearance of OS X.)

ninjaaron
June 13th, 2012, 09:52 PM
I prefer not to use a desktop environment, generally speaking, and scrap together bits of other things to create my work environment. I use herbstuftwm, a manual tiling window manager (completely controlled and configured by shell commands), use dmenu for launching apps, conky for system info, ubuntu-one and dropbox for cloud sync, nitrogen for setting backgrounds, lxappearance for setting themes, SLiM display manager, wicd for network, vifm for filemanagment, mplayer and mpd for media playback, rsync for backup, rxvt-unicode for terminal.


VIM for everything else. :twisted:

I was playing with using the panel and launcher from unity2D in this mix last night too, but It's not acting quite the way I want yet.

I use Unity on my netvertible though, most of the time. I've tried going DE-less on it a few times, but it can be tricky getting the wifi to do what I want, and unity works so well with the touchscreen these days.

mihalybaci
June 13th, 2012, 10:05 PM
I have #! Linux (look here (http://crunchbanglinux.org/)) installed on my laptop. #! is Debian-based and uses Openbox as the DE with tint2 to handle the panel/system tray, and its amazing. It's super-fast and infinitely customizable. Eventually, when I have enough free time, I'm going to do a minimal Ubuntu install with Openbox, and skip Unity/GNOME DE's altogether.

ninjaaron
June 14th, 2012, 04:39 AM
I'm going to do a minimal Ubuntu install with Openbox, and skip Unity/GNOME DE's altogether.

Arch is calling your name.

Bazon
June 14th, 2012, 06:00 AM
Gnome-Shell and XFCE.
Both are very customizable, XFCE by nature, Gnome-Shell by allowing extensions.
+ Both DEs look very good with the ambiance theme.

TheGuyWithTheFace
June 16th, 2012, 03:34 PM
VIM for everything else. :twisted:



What's vim?






unity works so well with the touchscreen these days.

Really? I hadn't heard of people using unity on touchscreens yet, but I know that's what Canonical's moving towards. It's good to know Unity works well on that platform!

BarfBag
June 18th, 2012, 02:15 PM
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Mate! That's what I've settled on. I also really like XFCE, but I've been using Gnome 2 for years. Old habits die hard. I can see myself using Cinnamon once some of the bugs are worked out.