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my favorite desktops


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May 14, 2021
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I've been asked this more and more lately as newbies try to navigate what they see as confusion over desktop choices.
You see most of them are coming from a no choice environment.

My list and I must point out it's my list because everyone's may be different and that is OK.

1. KDE -- I've always liked KDE better than Gnome since they were both introduced way back when. It just works for me and over the years has become much more efficient.
2. XFCE -- Highly configurable and just works most of the time on any machine.
3. CINNAMON -- I never like gnome and don't use it on any of my machines at the moment. but Cinnamon takes gnome to a good spot and is workable.
4. LXDE ( LXQT) LXDE was a good lightweight desktop and I used it for awhile but it's now pretty much defunct. LXQT which replaced it is ok but not as good in MHO.
5. JWM -- Simple and works.
6. Mate. --- I like it but just doesn't suit me JMHO.
7. Gnome -- My last choice. -- It often not backwards compatible - always changing and not always for the better. and I find it quite buggy most of the time. It is a resource hog at the moment. again this is just my opinion and other may disagree. The Gnome developers also seem to have an attitude they the are always right. and the Op will just have to abide by that.

8. Other lesser know Desktops and Widows managers. I like the simplicity of straight windows managers but for the most part don't want to put in the effort to make them what I need in a desktop.

Others please feel free to chime in and disagree it is ok. :)
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My favorite two are right up there with you, KDE Plasma and Xfce. Plasma for it's modern look Xfce for it being lightweight and modular, I use Xfce for when I want a desktop for a remote system. I also like i3wm and Sway, but I dislike the fact that I have to setup everything I want when using a stand-alone window manager. That being the reason why I combine i3wm with Xfce when on my system at work which gives me a nice tiling window manager workflow but I don't have to setup all the other stuff I use either.
You missed a very popular one.
A lot of newbies would choose Cinnamon, looks pretty, all point and click, easy to navigate.
I don't have a favourite, as long as it works for me, if a distribution comes with a desktop I don't like, I just change it usually to XFCE
You missed a very popular one.
A lot of newbies would choose Cinnamon, looks pretty, all point and click, easy to navigate.
I don't have a favourite, as long as it works for me, if a distribution comes with a desktop I don't like, I just change it usually to XFCE
look again cinnamon is # 3 on my list :)
Cinnamon - Clem and the Mint Dev's did a great job in taking a not so great DE and making it into something usable.
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My favorite desktop is Xfce
and favorite window managers are Openbox and Fluxbox
not a fan of tiling window managers
what ever desktop or window manager I choose I like to customize it to meet my workflow
For me it is KDE all the way, always have been ! :)

Can you make a poll at the start of the topic? It will be interesting to watch which desktop is most popular on this forum. I like KDE
This my favorite desktop environment ;)
I didn't spot it as it's in lower case and the rest in CAPS o_O
Amusingly, I want my desktop to be fairly similar to older Windows.

So, LXDE, LXQT, or Cinnamon are all I use outside of VMs.
I personally am using KDE full and plasma at the moment, and overall i like the former better than Unity even though their approach to mapping custom keyboard shortcuts is much more cumbersome and irritating, at least from the point of view from someone who isn't terrible with the command line. The keyboard shortcuts in KDE full definitely gives you more options though...through more intimidating windowing.

I like Cinnamon just fine, that and KDE full have a very similar feel to the standard WIndows desktop. It's really funny to me that windows is now trying to emulate apple with their desktop design!

Gnome overall is definitely one of the worst, it just starts out as some blank space with some little drop down thing in the corner. I kinda liked the way that Fedora and Unity did their workstation thing, even though i don't need it, i don't like multi-tasking that much. I actually haven't found any major bugs with Unity and KDE so far...even though KDE plasma for some reason triggered my previous BIOS issues more frequently than any other desktop environment i've used, i wonder why?
From: https://www.enlightenment.org/about-enlightenment:
Enlightenment uses less memory than any other major compositing Desktop. Almost 1/4 as much as KDE Plasma, 30% of the memory footprint of GNOME, almost half the memory of XFCE and even less than LXQT (which does not do compositing). It uses a marginal 12% more memory than LXDE which also doesn't do compositing.
Enlightenment used to be a unique window manager, but is now quite an elaborate "graphical shell desktop environment". Actively developed since the 1990s, and now wayland enabled as well.
One thing i've enjoyed looking at in KDE is the visible clipboard in the startup bar...i never use it, but i think it's something that should probably be visible in this type of GUI. I wonder if operating systems have a document with it listed somewhere that you normally don't know about...
kc1d1 asked:
Which distro are you using enlightenment on?
Thanks for asking. It's installed on a debian machine running bookworm which is the "testing" branch, but both the OS installation and enlightenment are stable, reliable and problem-free. Debian actually labels enlightenment as a "window manager" but once it's installed, it's clear that it far more capable than that and it functions like a DE. One difference is that it uses tools that make lighter use of resources, for example using conman for networking configuration rather than NetworkManager. One can use any configuration utility one prefers of course and install it, but by default enlightenment has judiciously chosen light efficient ones and it shows in the responsiveness of the desktop. It's fast. One only needs to set it up once with the "enlightenment_start" program.
Mine is Linux Mint Cinnamon for sure.
I agree re: lxde -- QT version not as good for my needs. Personally, I do not need pretty, and especially NOT KDE (although I wish Dolphin were a module so I could use it without KDE, like I do with k3b sometimes).

Ergo, no DE just a WM unless I have to use XFCE by default (as with one or two distros I enjoy using)