Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Dec 2008 23:31 UTC, submitted by linuxlinks
Window Managers "Mainstream Linux distributions typically default to one of two desktop environments, KDE or GNOME. Both of these environments provide users with an intuitive and attractive desktop, as well as offering a large raft of multimedia software, games, administration programs, network tools, educational applications, utilities, artwork, web development tools and more. However, these two desktops focus more on providing users with a modern computing environment with all the bells and whistles featured in Windows Vista, rather than minimising the amount of system resources they need. For users and developers who want to run an attractive Linux desktop on older hardware, netbooks, or mobile internet devices, neither KDE or GNOME may be a viable option, as they run too slowly on low spec machines (such as less than 256MB RAM and a 1 GHz processor). This article seeks to identify the best lean desktops for Linux, for users that have old or even ancient hardware."
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RE: ok this just confuses me
by jacquouille on Tue 2nd Dec 2008 00:20 UTC in reply to "ok this just confuses me"
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Well, for somebody versed in C++/Qt and wanting to work on a desktop environment, it's most attractive to just join the KDE project. Very active community, very liberal in granting commit rights (i.e. you quickly get global write access to the code). It's also very customizable/extensible. IMO that's why no other Qt project emerges.

Also, with a bit of tweaking (don't try mainstream distros out of the box...), even the latest KDE 4.2 runs smoothly on machines with 256 MB ram and a second-rate CPU. The more resource-hungry features (Strigi, Nepomuk, compositing) are easy to remove altogether at build-time. So most "netbook"-oriented distros can use it. Sure there's still a niche of distros for ultra-low-spec hardware, like 64 MB RAM, but frankly it's getting irrelevant, as machines with these amounts of RAM haven't been on the market for almost 10 years now.

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