Choose style:

Author Topic: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared  (Read 14455 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline perknh

  • Trusted User
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3849
  • Karma: 303
  • Soy un huevo, nada más.
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 10
Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« on: August 11, 2015, 09:52:37 am »
Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared

by Chris Hoffman for PCWorld

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2951829/operating-systems/freedom-of-choice-7-top-linux-desktop-environments-compared.html

We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum

Offline scifidude79

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4029
  • Karma: 863
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 9
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2015, 01:22:10 pm »
You know what's really hilarious?  Four of their top seven are the same desktop environment.  Gnome 3, Unity, Cinnamon and Mate are all the same DE, Gnome 3.  They just have different front ends.  But, at least they give the user different choices than just the tablet style interfaces offered by Gnome 3 with Gnome-Shell and Unity.  Though, there are also other front ends you can do for Gnome 3, like fallback mode, which almost gets you back to a Gnome 2 style layout.  (too bad it's still crappy Gnome 3 underneath, but I digress)

My personal favorites on that list are LXDE and XFCE.  Keep it simple and massively configurable, I say.  KDE used to rank higher on my scale prior to Plasma 5.  I've ran that on a couple of distributions (Kubuntu 15.04 and KaOS) and it continuously crashes.  Though, so did KDE 4 before they worked out all of the bugs, so I'm just adopting a wait and see approach on that one.  Though, they have removed a few features that I really like from KDE 4.  It would be nice if those would make a reappearance in future Plasma 5 updates.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 01:23:56 pm by scifidude79 »

Offline perknh

  • Trusted User
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3849
  • Karma: 303
  • Soy un huevo, nada más.
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 10
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2015, 03:04:16 pm »
Hi scifidude79,

I posted that article because the article looked like a good introduction to desktop environments for newcomers to Linux.  I also singed up to the site in order to leave a comment.  (Now I don't know if they are still reviewing my comment because I'm new there, or if I just screwed up somehow when posting.)

Anyway, what I had wanted to say was this:  Lubuntu isn't the solid LXDE desktop environment as is claimed --since it's moving quickly towards LXQt.  Peppermint is the way to go for a solid LXDE experience!  ;)  And, although everyone, including myself, is smitten by Ubuntu's MATE DE;  Xubuntu needs to be recognized as the excellent yet underrated distribution that it is.

I felt Hoffman's article had left Xubuntu too much in the grey zone of desktop environments for my taste.  Who knows?  Maybe Hoffman is right and I am wrong about this.  (Manjaro uses Xfce as its default desktop, as does Bridge LInux.)  Also, if Lubuntu is moving as quickly towards LXQt as it appears to be, Peppermint should now carry the mantle of LXDE forward --not Lubuntu any longer.

perknh
We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum

Offline scifidude79

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4029
  • Karma: 863
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 9
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2015, 03:45:35 pm »
Most everybody seems to be moving away from true LXDE these days.  If I remember correctly, LXDE development is slower than most of the other major DEs.  Peppermint 6 doesn't even use true LXDE anymore.  Instead, PCNetSpec has taken some of the best elements of LXDE, Gnome, Mate and XFCE to make a hybrid DE.  In my opinion, it's superior to true LXDE.

Offline perknh

  • Trusted User
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3849
  • Karma: 303
  • Soy un huevo, nada más.
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 10
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 04:01:26 pm »
Most everybody seems to be moving away from true LXDE these days.  If I remember correctly, LXDE development is slower than most of the other major DEs.  Peppermint 6 doesn't even use true LXDE anymore.  Instead, PCNetSpec has taken some of the best elements of LXDE, Gnome, Mate and XFCE to make a hybrid DE.  In my opinion, it's superior to true LXDE.

Hi scifidude79,

Now I'm glad my comment wasn't posted.  Well-intended as I was, I would have misspoken.

Thank you,

perknh
We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum

Offline scifidude79

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4029
  • Karma: 863
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 9
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2015, 04:43:23 pm »
Well, it's not like you were completely wrong.  Peppermint 5 is still available and uses LXDE.  Also, I think you're right that Lubuntu isn't the best example of LXDE.

On the same token, I've long felt that Kubuntu isn't the best example of KDE.  Much like Ubuntu, it's simply the one people know about.   In my opinion, Mint KDE and PCLinuxOS run much more smoothly than Kubuntu does.  There are others too, but those are a couple of my favorite KDE distributions.  Though, neither of those have taken the leap to KDE Plasma 5, which the author wanted to showcase.  That's because a lot of KDE distributions are waiting for Plasma 5 to mature a bit before they switch to it from KDE 4, just as a lot of distributions did the same when moving from KDE 3 to 4.  I find that new KDE releases tend to need a few versions to really get to a state where they have the majority of the issues ironed out.  (though, the same could be said for Unity, Cinnamon, and Gnome 3 with Gnome-shell)  In my opinion, the time to showcase Plasma 5 will probably be sometime next year, not while it's new.

Offline perknh

  • Trusted User
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3849
  • Karma: 303
  • Soy un huevo, nada más.
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 10
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2015, 05:37:40 pm »
And, scifidude79, what would be your Xfce distro of choice?  I think Xubuntu (14.04.2 onwards) has knocked the ball out the park.  I mean I think it's really that out of sight --very solid and stable.  But there must be other distributions featuring Xfce worth taking a look at too. (To a certain degree I'm acquainted with Manjaro's and Bridge's Xfce distributions --but I haven't seen anything quite like Xubuntu yet.)
We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum

Offline scifidude79

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4029
  • Karma: 863
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 9
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2015, 05:42:48 pm »
Xubuntu all the way.  It's my favorite of the "official" -untus.  I was actually running Xubuntu 14.04 earlier this year, before coming back to Peppermint.  It's a joy to run.  I'd work it back into the rotation somewhere, if I didn't have Peppermint on all of my systems and Mint 17.2 KDE (dual booted with Peppermint, of course) on my desktop.  :)

Offline perknh

  • Trusted User
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3849
  • Karma: 303
  • Soy un huevo, nada más.
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 10
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2015, 06:08:13 pm »
I'm running both Peppermint and Xubuntu.  I've tried this different ways, but right now I have Xubuntu 15.04 on my internal drive and Peppermint installed externally so that it boots up first. 

If you have an external hard drive around from an old labtop, you can put it in an USB 3.0 external 2.5" hard drive enclosure; then you can be run Peppermint, Mint 17.2 KDE, and Xubuntu whenever you want in no time at all!  :)
We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum

Offline scifidude79

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4029
  • Karma: 863
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 9
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2015, 06:34:43 pm »
It's not a hard drive space issue with me.  If I wanted to, I could put 4 distributions on this computer with no issues, and that's with a large media partition.  I just don't typically like having Linux distributions installed with the same package base.  To me, it's basically like running the same OS.  The only reason I even have Mint 17.2 KDE installed is for K3B.  I've never found a Linux DVD burning program that comes close to having all of the functions it does.  XFburn is my fallback, but I won't trust that for much more than burning .iso files and blanking rewritable discs.  It can't be used for burning Video DVDs.  (I tried that the other day on a DVD-RW and my DVD player couldn't read the disc)  Brasero supposedly has that functionality, but it's a buggy piece of garbage.  I tried it recently and it told me it couldn't read the DVD video files after I selected "Burn a Video DVD."  So, I use K3B for Video DVDs.  I don't like using KDE software on other desktop environments because it's always so dependent on KDE.  To even install K3B on Peppermint requires installing KDE runtime and a whole bunch of other garbage I don't want on Peppermint.  That's the only reason I have Mint KDE installed.  And I only reluctantly installed that after an exhaustive search for other KDE distributions not based on Ubuntu that I liked or that didn't cause issues on my system.  The only one that fits PCLinuxOS and it needs a major update to its .iso to include the latest legacy driver from Nvidia.

Offline perknh

  • Trusted User
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3849
  • Karma: 303
  • Soy un huevo, nada más.
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 10
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2015, 11:38:19 pm »
I know KDE is for power users, of which I am not! ;D  But from what I can see KDE a very attractive desktop that packs one heck of a tool kit.  In my case, I just don't know what to do with all of those tools.   I've found I only need to add Skype, GtkHash, and Xfburn to Peppermint.  I also add Firefox and XScreenSaver, but I know these programs are not really necessary.  I just like them. 

I'm astonished at how few programs I need to add to Peppermint --very, very few!
We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum

Offline scifidude79

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4029
  • Karma: 863
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 9
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2015, 12:39:01 am »
I don't know if KDE is so much for power users, but it is a lot more like Windows (7 and earlier) than the other Linux desktops.  The default layout and style is very Windows-ish, plus it even has something similar to Windows' Control Panel, the System Settings tool.  Plus, it can at times be almost as aggravating as Windows.   >:(  But, I still like it.  I'm sure, once Plasma 5 gets a bit further along, it will be as good as KDE 4.  Though, aside from some bug fixes, it also needs some themes.  It doesn't have a lot just yet, and I personally hate that black and white with the flat icons look.

Offline perknh

  • Trusted User
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3849
  • Karma: 303
  • Soy un huevo, nada más.
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 10
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2015, 06:54:27 am »
And I noticed something happen late last-night after have posted here.  There were series of upgrades for Ubuntu yesterday, including a major upgrade for Firefox.  After doing the upgrades my mouse froze in Xubuntu 15.04 after a reboot.  I was able to get out of this jam by using our manual REISUB command.  But as with Plasma 5 not fully developed, I've always suspected that these intermediate Ubuntu releases are actually more beta than stable. 

I always like to see what come down the pike in Ubuntu, but the intermediate releases always seem to have a few bugs within them.  I hadn't had a problem with 15.04 until last night.  I suspect you had no glitches upgrading yesterday within Mint 17.2 KDE yesterday because it is based off of Ubuntu's 14.04 LTS release.  I'm hearing that Plasma 5 is still buggy (but very beautiful), and still has only a relative handful of compatible widgets adapted for it.
We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum

Offline scifidude79

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4029
  • Karma: 863
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 9
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2015, 11:18:43 am »
I'm pretty sure that's what Canonical did when they switched to 5 year support cycles for LTS and 9 month cycles for non LTS.  They pretty much made the 9 month versions "testing" versions.  Only the LTS release are worth a crap anymore.  I've noticed even Mint isn't doing any releases based off of the non LTS version.  Of course, neither is Peppermint.  9 months just isn't that long, plus those intermediate releases are definitely a bit unstable.

Offline perknh

  • Trusted User
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3849
  • Karma: 303
  • Soy un huevo, nada más.
    • View Profile
  • Peppermint version(s): Peppermint 10
Re: Freedom of choice: 7 top Linux desktop environments compared
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2015, 12:47:57 pm »
I'm pretty sure that's what Canonical did when they switched to 5 year support cycles for LTS and 9 month cycles for non LTS.  They pretty much made the 9 month versions "testing" versions.  Only the LTS release are worth a crap anymore.  I've noticed even Mint isn't doing any releases based off of the non LTS version.  Of course, neither is Peppermint.  9 months just isn't that long, plus those intermediate releases are definitely a bit unstable.

I like to see what's new and upcoming, but installing every 9 months or so gets to be a pain after a while.  I don't know if Ubuntu calls these 9 month releases "testing" or not, but if they don't they should.  Thinking about it, I don't know what Ubuntu calls the intermediate releases.  :-\

I think it's smart that both Peppermint and Mint are not locked into nine month cycles.  If I've learned anything during Peppermint 6's beta testing period, it's that producing a new release takes an awful lot of time, energy, and patience.  My hat's off to anyone who can do it.  I guess Ubuntu has the resources to produce a distribution every nine months:  The smaller distributions just don't have resources to do the same.  Producing a new release takes a tremendous amount of work.  I have never seen anything like it.
We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum