Linked by David Adams on Wed 8th Jul 2015 16:27 UTC, submitted by MohdSohail
Linux As with many things Linux-related, the variety of desktop environments is both a strength and a weakness. For new users, the decision of which DE to use can be a hard one. To help, the folks at Linux and Ubuntu have compiled a list of their top five. In typical fashion, partisans for the DEs that were left out were quick to advocate for their favorites in the comments. (I post this mostly to give OSNews readers the opportunity to opine on how wrong they are).
Order by: Score:
Seriously?
by Morgan on Wed 8th Jul 2015 16:58 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I always groan when I see these "best DE/best distro/best whatever" lists because they end up being one of two things: A highly subjective list of the author's current favorites, or a simple list of the top ## based on usage statistics. I see this particular article has gone with the latter, with a sprinkling of "KDE rulez cause I say so!" thrown in (objectively speaking, KDE is a good DE, but at least point out some downsides to make it look like you aren't insanely biased). Add to that the poor grammar and we end up with a completely pointless puff piece.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Seriously?
by ThomasFuhringer on Fri 10th Jul 2015 11:08 UTC in reply to "Seriously?"
ThomasFuhringer Member since:
2007-01-25

It is the single opinion of an individual, nothing more.
The outcome of the poll might hold any relevance. But then it is also the 500st of its kind. Might just as well look at the download statistics.

Reply Score: 2

So there you have it...
by joekiser on Wed 8th Jul 2015 17:02 UTC
joekiser
Member since:
2005-06-30

So there you have it. KDE is the best Linux desktop environment. I'm glad that's settled and we can move on.

Next, can we get an article on which Linux distro is the best?

/xfce de + kde apps user

Reply Score: 12

RE: So there you have it...
by segedunum on Sun 12th Jul 2015 15:20 UTC in reply to "So there you have it..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

So there you have it. KDE is the best Linux desktop environment. I'm glad that's settled and we can move on.

That's been clear for a very long time.

Reply Score: 2

Didn't even mention the clear best DE
by JLF65 on Wed 8th Jul 2015 17:32 UTC
JLF65
Member since:
2005-07-06

XFCE - duh! All the power and polish of KDE/Gnome with twice the speed and one tenth the resource usage. There's a reason nearly every distro out has an XFCE version available.

Reply Score: 7

allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

There is no such a thing as the best DE, there is however a thing called, my personal DE which is the best.

Reply Score: 2

marc.collin Member since:
2012-08-03

no sorry not really the same functionnality

Reply Score: 2

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Question...what kind of ancient history are you running that the resource usage of the DE actually matters?

I mean sure I could understand this "how low can you go?" attitude when the average PC was a Pentium II with 64Mb of RAM but lets get real folks, the C2Q came out in...what 2007? And I haven't had a PC cross my desk that didn't have at LEAST 2GB of RAM in ages and I take trade ins!

So I really don't see what the point of this "must save teh resources ZOMG!" attitude in 2015, I really don't, not when most PCs already have more resources than the average user knows what to do with anyway.

Reply Score: 4

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I mean sure I could understand this "how low can you go?" attitude when the average PC was a Pentium II with 64Mb of RAM but lets get real folks, the C2Q came out in...what 2007? And I haven't had a PC cross my desk that didn't have at LEAST 2GB of RAM in ages and I take trade ins!

Must be nice. The last 2 pcs I had to fix had 1GB and 768MB with shared video memory.

Reply Score: 2

james_gnz Member since:
2006-02-16

Question...what kind of ancient history are you running that the resource usage of the DE actually matters?

My wife uses a desktop box, which I think is about 7 years old, based on the Intel DG31PR board, with 1GB RAM. I use a second hand Lenovo/IBM ThinkPad X60 with 2GB RAM. My older son used a second hand Acer TravelMate 2303LC with 0.75GB RAM up until a few months ago, when my younger son emptied a cup of water on it. At some stage I hope to set up my Raspberry Pi, which has 0.5GB RAM, as a home server (although I guess a GUI's not really necessary here). My parents use an IBM ThinkPad R52 which I think might be about 10 years old, and has 1GB RAM (which I upgraded from 0.5GB), and my sister uses a second hand desktop box which I think might have 1GB RAM.
I guess I could run something other than XFCE on my laptop, but I don't see any point.

Reply Score: 1

Horrible
by elvstone on Wed 8th Jul 2015 17:59 UTC
elvstone
Member since:
2005-09-08

Managed to read about two paragraphs before I realized the author can't write. Please don't post links to crap like this.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Horrible
by ConceptJunkie on Wed 8th Jul 2015 21:36 UTC in reply to "Horrible"
ConceptJunkie Member since:
2012-05-18

The author probably isn't a native English speaker, which is OK if you have an editor, but I guess this piece didn't.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Horrible
by Fergy on Sun 12th Jul 2015 18:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Horrible"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

The author probably isn't a native English speaker, which is OK if you have an editor, but I guess this piece didn't.

Thom isn't a native English speaker.

Reply Score: 2

Shows how out of touch I am with DEs....
by gan17 on Wed 8th Jul 2015 18:44 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

As someone who's used window managers for the last few years on Linux and BSD, my first reaction to the title was "Huh, are there even five DEs out there in total?". Always thought it was just KDE, Gnome and xfce, with all the other Mint/Ubuntu-specific ones being simple forks of the various Gnome versions.

Edited 2015-07-08 18:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I know of 4 full-fledged DEs: KDE, GNOME, XFce, LXDE

And then there are all the GNOME-based variants (GNOME 3 vs GNOME 2 vs Cinnamon vs Mate vs Unity vs whatever).

There's probably others, but those are the ones I'm familiar with. We started out using KDE 3.x in our schools, then migrated to XFce 4.x.

I use KDE 4.x on my work and home desktops, and LXDE on all my GUI-based rescue CDs/USB sticks. And I avoid GNOME (and most GTK-based apps) like the plague!

Edited 2015-07-08 20:00 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

And then there are all the GNOME-based variants (GNOME 3 vs GNOME 2 vs Cinnamon vs Mate vs Unity vs whatever).


Unity doesn't really belong in that list. The original versions were Gnome-based, but the current versions have little (if anything) in common with Gnome.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by judgen
by judgen on Wed 8th Jul 2015 18:47 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

I really like ROX and AmiWM. But Enlightenment is oh so much prettier than all the others i have seen.

Reply Score: 4

KDE & Wayland
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 8th Jul 2015 19:13 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

They are way, way behind Gnome. Gnome seems to be the best highly productive default environment out there. KDE does have the better selection of default graphs. But, I've continued to run into crazy hard to track down bugs in KDE that make it less than pleasurable to use at times. If I don't have time to fix it, I switch to gnome.

Also, in addtion to the glaring miss on XFCE, they're also missing LXDE-QT a very nice "Minimal" DE.

Reply Score: 1

Favorite or best?
by bosco_bearbank on Wed 8th Jul 2015 19:23 UTC
bosco_bearbank
Member since:
2005-10-12

My favorite (today, it may change tomorrow or next week) is Mate. The best? Whatever turns you on.

Reply Score: 3

Only part of the story
by ameasures on Wed 8th Jul 2015 19:38 UTC
ameasures
Member since:
2006-01-09

Although the choice of DE has a bearing on things; in practice I respond much more to the dovetailing and general integration of the DE into the whole system. A great DE can be rendered mediocre by lack of polish and vice versa.

Now, I don't have the time to bridge the gap myself so it becomes part of the choice of distro .... which has lately led me personally to Pinguyos but your mileage may vary.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Wed 8th Jul 2015 20:05 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

The best desktop environment is /bin/sh. (Well, Bell Labs' rc shell is yet better, but it never really took off.)

Edited 2015-07-08 20:07 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by ddc_
by Drumhellar on Wed 8th Jul 2015 22:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by ddc_"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

/bin/sh ?

Please. /bin/csh.

Reply Score: 4

Why I prefer KDE
by acobar on Wed 8th Jul 2015 20:48 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

(first and foremost, it is my opinion and, of course, you don't need to agree)

KWin is a fantastic window manager with a great level of customization and features set.
* Want scripts support ? Available;
* Windows/applications pre-settings ? Present;
* WIndows/applications behavior adjustments ? Checked;
* Decent composition support ? OK.

Dolphin is the best file manager not only on Linux but from all other OS I have used (if you compare it with what comes default). Scripts, kio-slaves and many other features make it an impressive tool to manage local and remote files.

Kate is a very good source code editor and Kdevelop is a very capable IDE (my favorites, actually).

Amarok is another wonderful application that comes with KDE.

I still prefer to buy media and convert them to mp3 or flac. Audex comes to help !

Try Plasma Activities, I bet you are going to miss it sorely if your desktop of choice lacks something similar.

Qt is a heck of a good toolkit used as base of KDE and on many of my favorites applications:
- Octave;
- Lyx;
- Scribus;
- Goldendict;
- Veusz;
- Labplot2.

KDE would be almost perfect if LibreOffice, Gimp, Inkscape, Firefox and Chromium could be build with KDE libs or, at least, Qt libs but, when comparing against other DE, it is already very good in retrospect.

Reply Score: 6

Gnome 4x?
by shadowhand on Wed 8th Jul 2015 21:23 UTC
shadowhand
Member since:
2005-07-06

So they included KDE and 4 different versions/forks of Gnome 2/3? And no XFCE? Alright.

Reply Score: 2

sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

MATE

The rest sucks badly, sorry. It's pretty sad.

PS: just my opinion not an universal truth. I'm an historical KDE1, KDE2 and KDE3 user. I've loved KDE so much, I even contributed code to it, but today KDE is just a horrible mess of bloat and complication. I miss KDE3 so much. ;)

Edited 2015-07-08 21:51 UTC

Reply Score: 1

sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

I miss KDE3 so much. ;)

http://www.trinitydesktop.org/

Reply Score: 3

jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

If you quit KDE because of version 4, I think you ought to give KDE Plasma 5 a try. Or at least read a good long review of it. I also didn't like 4, but I think 5 is great.

Reply Score: 2

Lumina
by jessesmith on Wed 8th Jul 2015 21:53 UTC
jessesmith
Member since:
2010-03-11

It's still in beta, but I quite like Lumina. It's pretty light and flexible. Reminds me a bit of LXDE/LXQt in its style, but with a different approach to the application menu.

Reply Score: 3

OK, I think
by zizban on Wed 8th Jul 2015 21:54 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's an OK list but to leave out XFCE is a shame. I have no idea where it would be on that list but it should be on that list, somewhere.

Happy CDE user here.

Reply Score: 4

RE: OK, I think
by drcouzelis on Thu 9th Jul 2015 11:42 UTC in reply to "OK, I think"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

You use CDE in Linux? May I ask what distribution you are using? And what package / version of CDE?

I've never used CDE in a personal setting, but I've been fascinated by it ever since Thom's article explaining why it's the best DE. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: OK, I think
by zelse on Sat 11th Jul 2015 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE: OK, I think"
zelse Member since:
2015-07-11

Not sure if you're aware but OpenCDE combined with the released source code of CDE and is now available to build; their website actually has decent instructions for building it on most common distributions. The only difference you're likely to notice is the icons are a bit different because IIR art was not freed alongside the source.

Reply Score: 1

Why KDE on Fedora 21 is working for me
by Dasher42 on Wed 8th Jul 2015 23:27 UTC
Dasher42
Member since:
2007-04-05

Consistency and configurable keyboard keystrokes is a top feature for me. I want intuitive keystrokes for easy tiling features out of the window manager which will work on desktops and on laptops without a numeric keypad. I want consistent keystrokes for managing tabs and multiple desktops. I do like Unity's level of borrowing from NeXT and Mac, without aping it entirely. I've successfully gotten KDE configured to scratch all of these itches.

The fact that KDE reuses its libraries heavily does make its kitchen-sink nature actually more easy to handle, and with KDE 5, they're cleaning up the interface quite a bit.

It *would* be nice to see a lightweight version of it, but out of these DE's, it's gotten my vote.

Reply Score: 4

Qt based
by lpotter on Thu 9th Jul 2015 03:04 UTC
lpotter
Member since:
2005-12-01

Any DE that isn't based on Qt libraries cannot be in the top 5. Except blackbox. well, and maybe fluxbox.
My order: LxQt, Kde/plasma, Unity.

All have their strengths and weaknesses for my different moods.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Thu 9th Jul 2015 06:10 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

when I saw the title, my first thought was kde, gnome, xfce and something else.
that they went with kde, gnome, gnome gnome, gnome gave me a chuckle ;)

Reply Score: 3

"The folks at Linux and Ubuntu"
by Savior on Thu 9th Jul 2015 08:13 UTC
Savior
Member since:
2006-09-02

What does that even mean?! Also, if people at "Ubuntu" (Canonical?) were in on this list, Unity probably wouldn't be last. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by lispykid
by lispykid on Thu 9th Jul 2015 09:07 UTC
lispykid
Member since:
2009-02-02

Leaving out XFCE is a sin. And while technically an OS not a DE I'd vote for Elementary OS, as Unity is also Ubuntu only when you don't want to build it yourself.

Edited 2015-07-09 09:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by mdsama
by mdsama on Thu 9th Jul 2015 09:18 UTC
mdsama
Member since:
2005-07-08

DEs are funny things, aren’t they? I get caught up over them too, but really a window manager and launcher are sort of insubstantial things… Once you’re doing something real with your computer, they hardly matter.

And yet…

I suppose they’re the face of a computer, the first thing you see and also what hold its experience together.

(Personally, I’ve ended up using Unity. It sort of just works, and it’s elegant to look at. The “Arc” theme is lovely.)

Edited 2015-07-09 09:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Am I odd?
by Gone fishing on Thu 9th Jul 2015 23:54 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

It seems that in these types of articles that to be good the environment needs to be customizable. I don’t like too much customization I like my desktop to be quite vanilla.

Am I odd?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Am I odd?
by Soulbender on Fri 10th Jul 2015 03:34 UTC in reply to "Am I odd? "
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

No, I am also one of those who just likes thinks to work without having to fiddle with billions of settings. There was a time when I enjoyed the extremely configurable DE"s but then I realized that there are other things I'd rather do. Now I just use Unity.

Edited 2015-07-10 03:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Am I odd?
by Gone fishing on Fri 10th Jul 2015 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Am I odd? "
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

No, I am also one of those who just likes thinks to work without having to fiddle with billions of settings. There was a time when I enjoyed the extremely configurable DE"s but then I realized that there are other things I'd rather do. Now I just use Unity.


I feel exactly the same.

Reply Score: 2

The best DE is the one YOU like
by gfx1 on Mon 13th Jul 2015 18:21 UTC
gfx1
Member since:
2006-01-20

I play around with several DE and linux environments. I usually like Ubuntu because most stuff just works.
Tiny irritations about the scrollbars in unity.
On the desktop I have mint 17.2 just play around with. Tried it on my laptop and it didnot work. So that is back to xubuntu. Played with archlinux, it was faster but the time spent installing it was a bit much ;)
Never liked KDE.

Edited 2015-07-13 18:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2