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Thread: Settling upon a desktop environment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Nutley, NJ
    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Settling upon a desktop environment

    I have a System76 Lemur Ultra Thin (lemu4) with Ubuntu 12.04.1 64 bit Long Term Service as my default and primary operating system of choice. I downloaded and I installed several different desktop environments:

    Ubuntu Unity 5.6
    Cinnamon 1.4
    GNOME 3.4
    KDE Plasma 4.9
    XFCE 1.4
    Cairo-Dock (including GNOME and Unity versions)

    In general, I find that the default Ubuntu Unity desktop environment to be the most useful as it preserves file menus for third-party software applications such as my LastPass Premium Pocket. The problem is that I hate Apple, Inc. I hate Apple because they represent a smug and elitist bunch of users that are easily snookered into purchasing overpriced PC hardware and mobile devices and the software is replete with security vulnerabilities and attack vectors. Apple Macintosh OS X and iOS are safe to use, but they lack robust security mechanisms and tools which I deem to be an information security risk. Apple users are being targeted by attackers with greater frequency and the devastation to their data is quite sickening to me. Yet, Apple users love Apple, Inc. and they rarely rail against the company especially regarding security risks. That has been my observation so far.

    Microsoft Windows users especially 7 suffer too many damn 0 day vulnerabilities and attacks on a daily basis. It is the most popular operating system in the world used by billions of users worldwide. The problem is that it is tightly locked in. Freedom is severely limited by restrictive measures and users can not change the basic structure of Windows especially 7 to their specific needs like GNU/Linux and Ubuntu users are able to do so.

    I just don't like Apple OS X, iOS, or Microsoft Windows 7 or 8. I hate the fact that Microsoft Corporation is going to know which software applications you install on Windows 8 using their Smart Screen feature in Windows 8. You can not change the look and feel of the operating system whenever you like. You are stuck with OS X, iOS, and Windows and you have to work and play according to their rules. That royally sucks.

    Ubuntu Unity resembles Apple Macintosh OS X too much for my tastes. It has the same basic features in a different look and feel. Canonical made a serious mistake in alienating Ubuntu users by forcing Unity upon all of us with Ubuntu 12.04.

    I am using GNOME 3.4 and I like it a lot. It helps me to manage my digital work flow quite nicely. It requires fewer keyboard hot key combinations in order to make it useful compared to Ubuntu Unity. I like the fact that I can see all of my installed software applications instead of using the Dash feature to search for keywords. I like the fact that I can see my mission control and I can get an up to date preview of the current software application so that I know what I was working on. GNOME 3.4 is very fast compared to Unity. It does not slow me down at all and almost all of my software applications are compatible with it.

    KDE Plasma 4.9 is very slick. It has a beautiful user interface that is rich with features and it is highly customizable. I can make KDE look and perform exactly the way that I want it to work for me. The problem is that on a new computer such as my System76 Lemur Ultra Thin (lemu4), it can be a little bit slow. It is not that bad at all. If you like eye candy and neat features, it is hard to top KDE.

    Cinnamon is nice to play with, but it needs further development and patches. As it stands now, Cinnamon 1.4 is usable, but it really lags behind the other desktop environments. It needs to be super charged with speed and performance to make it better.

    MATE is a nice throwback to the good old GNOME 2.x days. I rarely use it because it is kind of annoying to click and scroll through nested window layers just to find and launch the software application that I want. It also leads to a cluttered desktop when you add applets and launchers.

    XFCE and LXDE are similar. They are very lightweight and they are extremely fast, but they lack features found in the other desktop environments. I rarely use them.

    I have not tried Enlightenment or Pantheon or Fluxbox yet. I will get around to these later.

    For now, I am still experimenting and I am learning more about these various desktop environments. GNOME seems to be the leading contender right now. I find it a joy to use Ubuntu and GNOME together. It gives me the right balance of new features, usability, speed, and performance without being overtly obtrusive.

    Please share your thoughts about these various desktop environments. I know that I might have started a war with Apple and Microsoft users, but I stand by my opinions although I welcome others to share their opinions.

    My days of using Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 are coming to a close. I rarely use it anymore. It is not fun to use. I saw reviews of Microsoft Windows 8 and I tried Release Preview 64 bit, but I am unconvinced that it will save Microsoft Corporation. I have serious doubts that Microsoft Windows 8 will overtake Windows 7 users for the next three years. We shall see.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Settling upon a desktop environment

    All I can say is play around, and use the one you think is best.
    It's all a matter of personal preference.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Across The Pond
    Ubuntu Mate 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Settling upon a desktop environment

    Well, I appreciate this. I've doodled around too: Unity, Gnome 3, Gnome Classic, Cinnamon, and Xfce. I love Gnome Classic, and found "without effects" most like home. It's not supported anymore though, is it? Cinnamon seemed too quirky, probably for the reasons you state. Right now I'm mostly using Xfce, though I really like the look of Kubuntu.

    Thanks for your indepth analysis. Can't imagine there are all too many Windows and Apple diehards on this forum, so you're probably fairly safe from flame wars.
    "Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Obscurial Springs
    Ubuntu Budgie Development Release

    Re: Settling upon a desktop environment

    Enlightenment (E17) is the fastest DE I have tried on my computer. I like the multiple dock/shelf options and a menu appears when right clicking any open area on the desktop.

    The GTK application integration was a bit of a problem on when Gnome 3 came out due to a lack of ported themes. I didn't find many themes I liked but the newer ones are improving. If I were serious about using it again I would install an E17 distro.
    "Our intention creates our reality. "

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Re: Settling upon a desktop environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Buntu Bunny View Post
    Can't imagine there are all too many Windows and Apple diehards on this forum,
    You'd be surprised. Watch and see...

    Quote Originally Posted by Welly Wu View Post
    Please share your thoughts about these various desktop environments.
    I never miss an invitation to share my thoughts...

    I won't comment on GNOME; no version of it ever held much interest for me, not sure exactly why. Just never felt right.

    Unity's not near as bad as people like to say; it's functional enough when I've used it, and pretty enough for a modern desktop. Just not tweakable enough for me.

    I was a die-hard KDE guy for years. It's a great environment, packed with novel ideas and cool tech; incredibly flexible, and it can be almost whatever you want.

    XFCE is solid and simple; it's an old-school Linux desktop in some ways, but solid, dependable, and complete. I like it for older people who don't want the flashy, or older computers that can't run the flashy.

    LXDE is faster, but less complete. It has a nice simplicity to it, I use it on servers when I need a dead-simple GUI. Development seems to have slowed down on it over the last year or so, I don't know what the "next big step" in LXDE is, if there is one.

    Razor-QT is an interesting new desktop environment, kind of the QT answer to LXDE. Minimal, but still very nice looking, and with some KDE-like configuration dialogs. Still a bit buggy, unfortunately.

    I currently use Awesome WM. It's probably not to your liking if you find LXDE and XFCE too minimal, because it makes them look bloated. Once you use a good tiling window manager, though, it's hard to go back to anything else.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    The Freight Yard

    Re: Settling upon a desktop environment

    Or you could always use LXDE and use XFWM4 in place of Openbox. Have that setup on a diferent computer & so far it's been working great.
    This post is like Brigadoon!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy

    Re: Settling upon a desktop environment

    Although I don't use Unity myself and agree to certain degree with your criticism towards Apple, I find quite odd that you discarded Unity only (?) because you find resemblances with Mac OS X

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    The New Forest

    Re: Settling upon a desktop environment


    There are a plethora of other "I don't like this environment" threads in Recurring Discussions to post in.


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