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7 Best Desktop Environments For Linux (It's FOSS)

Started by Jason, December 29, 2019, 10:26:02 AM

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Jason

This article from It's FOSS isn't an in-depth comparison of the different Linux Desktop Environments (DEs) but it'd probably be useful to new users. Just ignore the video which is 3 1/2 years old.

https://itsfoss.com/best-linux-desktop-environments/
* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13

fox

Nice summary; pretty unbiased. I'm surprised it didn't say anything about LXQT, which is where LXDE seems to be going. I like that they took the XFCE screenshot from Manjaro. Manjaro has done a great job, aesthetically, with XFCE. If you look at its default configuration in Debian, XFCE looks quite bland and unappealing. In the same vein, Peppermint has done a nice job with LXDE, and the version they show on Fedora is pretty bland. Pretty much any desktop shown on Fedora is going to look bland because Fedora's defaults are always unthemed. (Same with Debian I believe.) I'm pretty sure that the Gnome version shown is also from Fedora, and it looks much nicer in Ubuntu. If I had been writing the article, I would have chosen pictures that highlight what a particular desktop could be, aesthetically:

KDE - Kubuntu
MATE - Ubuntu MATE
Gnome - Ubuntu
Cinnamon - Mint
Budgie - Solus or Ubuntu Budgie
LXDE - Peppermint
XFCE - Manjaro
Ubuntu 23.10 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 22.04 on Dell XPS 13

Jason

I think you're right about the Gnome screenshot and Xfce looks crappy in every distro I've looked at except Manjaro. It just lacks not only the ascetics but also the two-pane program menu that most desktops have which is very handy. I seem to remember that some other distro did a good job of making it look good, MX Linux or maybe Linux Lite? Buster would probably know.

I have Lubuntu (which uses LXDE) on my laptop and I would not recommend it based on looks. But it is very fast. Strangely, Lubuntu is put together by the LXDE group so I'm not sure why it doesn't look better. It reminds me of Xfce honestly but maybe slightly less chunky. You're right that it looks good in Peppermint.
Even though I think that Pantheon is only used in one distro, it should have a mention, too. But then there are still lots of lesser-know environments that weren't mentioned like enlightenment, BlackBox, Trinity, and a few others that Arch mentions. And of course, LXqt which the LXDE people link to in their menu.I guess that LXqt was originally going to replace LXDE but instead both projects are continuing.

The best thing about Linux is that there are so many DEs to choose from. The worst thing about Linux is that there are so many DEs to choose from.
* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13

fox

Quote from: Jason Wallwork on December 29, 2019, 01:11:53 PM
....
The best thing about Linux is that there are so many DEs to choose from. The worst thing about Linux is that there are so many DEs to choose from.
Amen, brother.
Ubuntu 23.10 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 22.04 on Dell XPS 13

buster

"MX Linux or maybe Linux Lite? Buster would probably know."

Both of these work really well with older hardware. MX also has everything you need installed, and is very easy. Lite just works.

Mostly in these I miss the split window in files, but if you are married to Marilyn, more beauty in the house would be overkill. So really attractive desktops aren't a key issue. And either of these can be made to look quite nice.

They are quick and pleasant to use.
Growing up from childhood and becoming an adult is highly overrated.

Jason

Quote from: buster on December 29, 2019, 05:48:46 PM
"MX Linux or maybe Linux Lite? Buster would probably know."

Both of these work really well with older hardware. MX also has everything you need installed, and is very easy. Lite just works.

I meant whether or not they use Xfce. From a brief look at each website, it looks like MX Linux uses Xfce but I can't tell what Linux Lite uses.
* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13

buster

"I can't tell what Linux Lite uses."

Yes it does use Xfce. And it may be possible to install a different file manager to get the split screen. Never tried.

Growing up from childhood and becoming an adult is highly overrated.

Jason

Quote from: buster on December 29, 2019, 06:13:16 PM
"I can't tell what Linux Lite uses."

Yes it does use Xfce. And it may be possible to install a different file manager to get the split screen. Never tried.

Well, it's based on Ubuntu so KDE Plasma stuff is likely in their repositories. A quick 'apt update' and 'apt install dolphin' would do it. But the Plasma libraries would come with it, I'd presume. I'm sure you can find it in synaptic, too, but not any faster. :)
* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13

buster

With the desktops, I think I've found I like Plasma. And I like Plasma because it has Discover. And I like Discover because it doesn't just 'get' updates, but it 'fetches' them. Sort of like having Lassie running around the Web. Very comforting.
Growing up from childhood and becoming an adult is highly overrated.

Jason

#9
You like Discover? Weren't you the guy that swore up and down about how easily you could find programs on Synaptic? Discover is a bit slow but I like it, too, not in updating just loading. And if you have to install a bunch of software by selecting it first and then clicking 'Go!' or in your case, 'Fetch!', it's not possible, you have to do them one at a time. Ubuntu MATE does this with their package manager, it's like a shopping cart. Very classy.
* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13

buster

"You like Discover? Weren't you the guy that swore up and down about how easily you could find programs on Synaptic? "

I update on Discover because the indicator for updates uses Discover. I get programs on Synaptic.
Growing up from childhood and becoming an adult is highly overrated.

Jason

Quote from: buster on April 21, 2020, 10:12:35 PM
"You like Discover? Weren't you the guy that swore up and down about how easily you could find programs on Synaptic? "

I update on Discover because the indicator for updates uses Discover. I get programs on Synaptic.


Sure, sure. Buster. You go on telling yourself that.  :)  I bet you install programs on it, too, when nobody's looking.
* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13