• Some thoughts on Desktop Environments


    @bryanpwo thanks for letting me know. I hadn’t tried that option, yet. Glad you could work through it. Breeze is just fine with me (light version). I’m glad this topic came up! I didn’t know I’d like KDE this much, and that it was so easy on the system.

  • I use to dislike KDE, but since 5.12 version of Plasma I think it’s a viable alternative for some people, of course there are some bugs, nothing is perfect, but it’s something I can use, it’s working.

    Also, if you are into docks, there is the Latte Dock, it’s not on version 1.0 yet, so I think some bugs are expected but it’s promising, more info:

    I’m not using right now but I’ve made a few tests, looks like a great dock with lots of customization options, the main issue was that it was too heavy if I remember correctly, I don’t know how it is now.

  • Latte dock is also in our repo, I’ve tried it and it looks works fine. don’t use it though, I prefer the panel.

  • A follow up regarding the aforementioned tricks. Pacman (maybe because it’s not really a Gnome app?) refuses to keep the window settings where it only keeps its own title bar and not add the KDE Breeze title bar on top of it.

    Geary, while keeping the window title bar settings and general looks, loses the close/max/min buttons altogether. You can right click on the title bar to close the window, and if you have Geary set to run in the background, you can go to the App Menu to close it altogether if you want it shut down.

    All other apps seem to behave very nicely, otherwise. And, I think I’m probably going to stay with KDE. Very slick, and very low on resources. More bang for the buck, I guess you could say. No tearing on videos, either! Very nice.

    Well, I probably beat this dead horse enough. Hope everyone enjoys what’s left of their weekends.

  • @Adam-Worth
    Have you tried to uncheck the no border box in the settings you earlier wrote about? When I did it I also lost the close/max/min buttons.

  • I think we have to face the fact that Gtk apps always look a litlle alienated in KDE, they are two completely different worlds.
    Like you, the performance, Dolphin and the search app that instantly starts when typing on the desktop, wins it over Gnome for me, so I’ll be problably keeping it too. But, again I still give it a two week trial before I decide.

  • When I started with Linux I’ve used Ubuntu Mate for a while and I have to say that Ubuntu Mate is a very smooth looking distro.

  • I wish all DEs had the HUD feature that MATE has, I think you have access to it using the “Mutiny” layout from Mate Tweak, it’s so easy, you just hit “Alt” and start typing to easily access the menu items, HUD in action:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lvZRpVFg5k

  • I used to hate KDE, but nowadays I think every single GNU/Linux user should give it a try.
    Most of settings and menues were confusing and weird for me, but I spent a few days understanding how it works and finally I got what I wanted.
    The variety of customizations that you can do are really wide either if you want to have a minimalistic desktop or a full featured environment.
    My suggestion is to do not give up on the first attempt and while you are navigating through the system configuration write down those changes that you are doing or even better run a backup of your settings, so in the future you won’t have to start over.

    One TIP that drove me nuts: on Composition Settings for Desktop Effects -> Animation speed, move the slider to “Instant” and you will have a faster and smoother DE.

  • Personally my take on the common ones are:

    KDE Plasma 5+
    Actually very easy to use and very stable straight out of the box. However with so many settings it really should come with a reset button (is it Budgie that has one? I think so!). Basically either don’t touch anything, google specifically what you want (double click, remove “smart window placement”), or be prepared to reinstall if you screw up.

    Also, This is the only desktop environment except for Gnome that feels modern. It feels contemporary to Windows 10.

    Budgie - Cinnamon - Deepin:
    Newbie friendly? Check.
    Feels like polished versions of Windows 2000 or Windows XP respectively? Check.
    Feels dated? Check.

    XFCE:
    Newbie friendly? Check.
    Feels like a polished version of Windows 9x? Double-check.
    Feels dated? Both more and less than Budgie - Cinnamon depending on how much work you put into it.

    Mate:
    Newbie friendly? Eh.
    Old-timer friendly? Yes.
    Feels like Windows 9x / 2k / XP? NOT check.
    Feels dated? Looks yes. Function? NO.

    Gnome 3:
    Newbie friendly? eh. Think of the screen as a mouse-activated samsung pad? Easy. Trying desperately to make it work like Windows 10? You got some re-learning to do!
    Feels like Windows? NO.
    Feels dated? Double NO!

    I am using KDE Plasma atm, but I am looking at Gnome. Basically they are the only two that both feel completely modern. Also, however… As a life long Windows user I want something that is either familiar (plasma) OR so different I won’t make mistakes from muscle memory (gnome).
    I seriousy can’t decide, I have been going back and forth three times since installing this machine two weeks ago!

    Last time I used Linux, in 2006, I jumped on KDE, because it looked most familiar, but bounced off it pretty hard because KDE 4 was… rough. No real design think-thru, no harmonization, and tons of bugs. I quickly settled on Gnome 2 back then.
    Now? Plasma is much MUCH better, while Gnome 3 is a different beast altogether.

    I also feel like customization is overrated. Think about it: If you’re on a Mac or Windows machine… are you really expecting to tweak EVERYTHING? It seems, however, at least online, that linux users judge all DE’s on “How much can I tweak this?”

  • @ssspacez are you a troll? No good open source apps? The software and tweakability are what cinched it for me. It doesn’t matter what I want to do there is a Foss alternative to the blob software out there. You’re not looking hard enough. There are several office tools, but libre office is what I used ln windows as well, after open office got sold to Oracle. And you can save in Microsoft formats. Games? Ever heard of SteamOS? Antergos has a runtime version of steam that runs quite nicely. Of my 200 games on steam about half of them run on steam. My steam controllor is what I use to control my htpc at home and it works great. If you want to fault anyone for not developing linux games, fault the triple a developers not linux devs. The only program I miss from windows is foobar2000 music player. I could probably run it in wine, but I have been running Clementine with it crippled to not report to Google, cause I think they are the devil.

    To everyone who likes KDE, your wrong! 😜
    I absolutely adore GNOME with it’s extensions, the dash to dock being one of my favorites, gtk software, I mean there is a program for everything, why use VMware or virtualbox, when I can run QEMU through GNOME boxes!? I never use a menu, I just hit the windows key, and, cycle through the screens, and, it remembers your most used apps so I can navigate it quicker than an applications menu, which you can have as an extension natively with out downloading it anyway. I was a rezhacker on windows since xp hacking my registry to make it look and act how I wanted, and, I can be happy with GNOME in a couple minutes, I am not happy with one of the changes to tweak tool, but, that was easily resolved earlier. As far as memory goes, what are you guys running with memory issues? I have a 4790k desktop system I built in 2014 with 16 gb of memory, and, a first gen I7 laptop with 8 gb of memory, both are snappy, and, that laptop is long in the tooth.

  • @michaelnothing said in Some thoughts on Desktop Environments:

    To everyone who likes KDE, your wrong! 😜
    I absolutely adore GNOME with it’s extensions, the dash to dock being one of my favorites, gtk software, I mean there is a program for everything, why use VMware or virtualbox, when I can run QEMU through GNOME boxes!? I never use a menu, I just hit the windows key, and, cycle through the screens, and, it remembers your most used apps so I can navigate it quicker than an applications menu, which you can have as an extension natively with out downloading it anyway. I was a rezhacker on windows since xp hacking my registry to make it look and act how I wanted, and, I can be happy with GNOME in a couple minutes, I am not happy with one of the changes to tweak tool, but, that was easily resolved earlier. As far as memory goes, what are you guys running with memory issues? I have a 4790k desktop system I built in 2014 with 16 gb of memory, and, a first gen I7 laptop with 8 gb of memory, both are snappy, and, that laptop is long in the tooth.

    I am primarely a mouse user. This was my issue with WIndow 8; they just assumed everyone would run off and buy touch screens for some reason. Why on EARTH would I have a touch screen on my PC? It’s damn expensive, it would make the screen dirty and it is EXTREMRELY unfomfortable (no ergonomy at all) to stretch across the keyboard to poke at something intead of using the mouse.

    As for using the keyboard… Sure. However I am left handed, so I have to let go of the mouse to press the Super Key.
    That said, I love the sleek design; Plasma, just like KDE 4, is much worse at integarting other apps into it’s style. Also, the longer I use Linux the less interesting Modifications become to me. It is really nice to set up your Plasma desktop “exactly as I want it”. But it usually means style over substance. I get along fine with Gnome 3 if I just add a minimize button on windows. I like it even better with Dash to Dock and I really like it in Classic mode, but that’s me being used to Gnome 2.x (I stopped using Linux 2006 last time).

  • @snailbeard

    If you really enjoy the classic mode, have you ever tried it with Dash-to-Panel? It’s the Budgie panel on steroids, and you get to keep the defaut Gnome application menu.

    For Plasma, check out the Latte dock.

    GM

  • @snailbeard said in Some thoughts on Desktop Environments:

    I get along fine with Gnome 3 if I just add a minimize button on windows

    you can also change window settings in tweak tool to minimize windows on doubleclick! more comfort on mouse use as you do not need to catch this tiny little button …

  • @joekamprad I have double click to maximize or change window size, and, middle click to minimize.

  • @michaelnothing on my DE i do not need any action to move or size windows ;)

  • What DE would that be?

  • @joekamprad I tried that one on blackarch and was not impressed. Prefered openbox or fluxbox as menus in this case help me remember the name of the programs.

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