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MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:20 am
by uqbar
OK. I understand I risk to ignite a flame or a religion war.
I'll try to keep it as cold as possible.
I've been using KDE in the past 10 years but now I need to setup a small netbook with Linux.
It "only" has 1GB RAM and has a dual core Atom CPU and I'd like to make is as responsive and smooth as possible.
As far as the CPU/RAM hunger is concerned (also known as "computing footprint"), is there any comparison/analysis available?
I'm not concerned about the applications themselves, as they would be the same (Firefox, LibreOffice, Skype) across the three DEs.
Many thanks in advance for any kind of information, especially if it's useful! :-)

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:52 am
by hairybiker
You don't say what the gpu is which is more important to cinnamon & kde than mate.
If it is a shared ram type then I would go with mate on it, then if you can enable effects fine but at least you will get the same desktop
I run a lt with a intel gpu and xfce but mate would also run on it fine, I only run xfce as I couldn't get mate to run x over ssh on it.

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:54 am
by nomko
I understand you want to know which DE is lightweight? Ever thought of Xfce? This De is mainly build to serve as a lightweight DE for older systems with lesser RAM and lower CPU spec's. But i would choose MATE if i had to make a choice between the 3 DE's. Mate is easy to use, fast and easy to configure. And i would take Mint 13 since this is a LTS version which will be supported till april 2017.

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:06 am
by uqbar
hairybiker wrote:You don't say what the gpu is which is more important to cinnamon & kde than mate.
If it is a shared ram type then I would go with mate on it, then if you can enable effects fine but at least you will get the same desktop
I run a lt with a intel gpu and xfce but mate would also run on it fine, I only run xfce as I couldn't get mate to run x over ssh on it.
The main CPU is a N450.
I think it's shared RAM and I'm not willing to activate any effect.
For XFCE and KDE I'd prefer to see a Linuxmint installation medium, rather than manually uninstall Mate/Cinnamon and install the other DE.
And, most important, I need to know "why" choose a DE over another one.

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:40 am
by hairybiker
WHY is user based.
I prefer mate over cinammon and kde, you prefer kde but would the lt handle the plasma desktop?
There are xfce and kde based mint installs available. I have LMDE xfce installed on my lt, but this pc is a mate (Mint14rc) that I use normally.
It is upto you what you install on it, kde MAY work, but with only 1Gb of ram it may be slow, I would install mate and see if you like it if you don't add cinammon from synaptic and switch to that and see if you prefer it.
I think these days that mate is actually lighter in use than xfce is, but that is another thread. It is def. lighter than cinammon or kde, so releasing more ram for your apps to be more responsive.

A desktop is very much based on what they user wants rather than what the base is. You can install Mint 14 mate version then replace mate with cinammon or xfce or ratpoision or why.

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:54 am
by axel668
With that kind of setup you definitely want Mint 13 XFCE (yes, there's an ISO for it). Running it on a netbook, too, and it's much faster and more stable than Cinnamon (in fact more stable than anything else I have tried so far). Cinnamon is running OK (as, I guess, KDE would, too, if you turn off effects) but XFCE 4.10 is really snappy.

About Mate, well ...
Mate is, technically, Gnome2 (with everything renamed to avoid conflicts with Gnome3), and if you wanted Gnome2 you probably wouldn't have been using KDE for the last 10 years.

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:58 am
by uqbar
I'm actually open to other setups. KDE on a desktop PC is one thing.
KDE on a 15" laptop is another.
I have no real idea about the right DE on a 10" netbook.

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:52 am
by EmpireITtech
They have a KDE and Xfce version of Mint Maya 13. IMO, the Xfce desktop is the best desktop for "lightweight" options. I don't believe they've released a download for the newer Nadia 14 for Xfce or KDE, it usually takes them a number of months to come out with these. But Maya 13 is great, I use Cinnamon personally, but I've used the KDE and Xfce versions on VMs as well. cinnamon seems to need better performing hardware, although I've never used MATE (i don't like it), but I have a Quad-Core, 8gig, GTS250 rig so Cinnamon runs beautifully for me.

TL:DR - Xfce is best for lightweight distros

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:47 pm
by I2k4
Got to say, why don't you just create Live USB with whatever you're interested and see how they run for yourself. You can be assured an install on the hard drive will be measurably faster than the Live USB for all of them, but as between them the comparative performance on your particular hardware will be valid. Live USB is also a good way to pretest whether anything about your hardware gives any of the DEs grief in some unpredictable way.

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:08 pm
by The Dark Side
Of these three desks mentioned, my favorite is KDE. By far the best Linux desktop for now. XFCE is very good too, especially for machines not as modern and Cinnamon is an interesting project, which gradually matures. Not a bad desktop at all, but I prefer KDE far away, or if not, Mate before with Cinnamon.-

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:52 pm
by dequire
My advice would be to try KDE with the Plasma Netbook Workspace (Selectable from within System Settings). Then install the package kubuntu-lowfat-settings and you will be fine. I've used on several laptops and netbooks with 1GB of RAM without issue. Installing the lowfat settings package is a must, however.

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:01 am
by EmpireITtech
dequire wrote:My advice would be to try KDE with the Plasma Netbook Workspace (Selectable from within System Settings). Then install the package kubuntu-lowfat-settings and you will be fine. I've used on several laptops and netbooks with 1GB of RAM without issue. Installing the lowfat settings package is a must, however.


Great idea with the lowfat settings, I didn't even think of that. Never used it personally, but I've heard good things.
KDE is a great desktop though, especially Mint 13 Maya w/ KDE.

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:07 am
by EmpireITtech
Oh, btw http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2244 is the newest KDE for Mint 14

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:54 am
by axel668
XFCE !!

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:45 pm
by EmpireITtech
axel668 wrote:XFCE !!


Lol, they have the Xfce desktop for 14 Nadia too =]

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:51 am
by cwwgateway
I would go with Xfce because it's IMO the most feature rich of the lightweight desktops, and the only lightweight desktop Mint offers. I'd say MATE would be the next lightest. You can get KDE to run fairly well, but IMHO Xfce will probably be faster. Also, I'd use Mint 13 because it's an LTS

However, I think the best plan is to try all of these for yourself and see which one runs fastest.

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:40 pm
by xenopeek
Cinnamon should run fine on a N450 I think, and 1 GiB RAM may be constrained but if you lower your swappiness it shouldn't be a drag. Cinnamon in fact uses less memory than MATE, so making that choice a bit of a no-brainer. I'm running Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon 64 bit, and having a pile of programs open (browser, music player, feed reader, bunch of terminals, editor) now I'm just using 880 MiB RAM. You can expect that to drop between 620-750 MiB RAM when running 32 bit (as it uses 15-30% less memory per process).

A comparison of the various desktop environments and their resource needs is compiled here: http://www.renewablepcs.com/about-linux ... me-or-xfce. Scroll down to the section titled "A Comparison Desktop Environment / Window Manager RAM and CPU Usage", which has the information collected in a table (and note that Cinnamon on Linux Mint 14 has been significantly slimmed down to reduce CPU and RAM usage; the table has information for the previous Cinnamon version). Of course, comparing apples & oranges a bit as this doesn't account for the footprint of the applications you would be using on those environments. So see it as a rough indicator.

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:29 pm
by EmpireITtech
xenopeek wrote:Cinnamon should run fine on a N450 I think, and 1 GiB RAM may be constrained but if you lower your swappiness it shouldn't be a drag. Cinnamon in fact uses less memory than MATE, so making that choice a bit of a no-brainer. I'm running Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon 64 bit, and having a pile of programs open (browser, music player, feed reader, bunch of terminals, editor) now I'm just using 880 MiB RAM. You can expect that to drop between 620-750 MiB RAM when running 32 bit (as it uses 15-30% less memory per process).

A comparison of the various desktop environments and their resource needs is compiled here: http://www.renewablepcs.com/about-linux ... me-or-xfce. Scroll down to the section titled "A Comparison Desktop Environment / Window Manager RAM and CPU Usage", which has the information collected in a table (and note that Cinnamon on Linux Mint 14 has been significantly slimmed down to reduce CPU and RAM usage; the table has information for the previous Cinnamon version). Of course, comparing apples & oranges a bit as this doesn't account for the footprint of the applications you would be using on those environments. So see it as a rough indicator.


Nice link, thanks for that!
Yea, plus Mint 14 w/ Cinnamon is just elegantly beautiful imo :mrgreen:

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:08 pm
by caerolle
If you want lots of effects and flexibility, but not a lot of overhead, I would recommend Enlightenment. However, last time I tried the e17 package in the Mint repo with my Mint 13 (Maya) install, it reliably seg-faulted every time I tried to do anything past logging in. It could have been an issue with my proprietary graphics driver, but I didn't try it without the driver installed, as I need it for one of my programs. I don't know if they have updated the e17 package to something more stable now (I am currently using a different distro, focuses on Enlightenment, and have no issues with stability, but that is even farther astray of your question).

Re: MATE vs CINNAMON vs KDE

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:15 pm
by cwwgateway
caerolle wrote:If you want lots of effects and flexibility, but not a lot of overhead, I would recommend Enlightenment. However, last time I tried the e17 package in the Mint repo with my Mint 13 (Maya) install, it reliably seg-faulted every time I tried to do anything past logging in. It could have been an issue with my proprietary graphics driver, but I didn't try it without the driver installed, as I need it for one of my programs. I don't know if they have updated the e17 package to something more stable now (I am currently using a different distro, focuses on Enlightenment, and have no issues with stability, but that is even farther astray of your question).

I love E17, but there aren't too many distros with it (just like Razor QT, which is actually another option). SnowLinux has a Debian Testing based E17 edition, which I really like. Bhodi is my favorite Ubuntu-based distro with E17, but it only does new releases based on LTS releases.

I don't know of any distros with great Razor QT versions. Siduction has a Razor QT version, but it is very bland and default-ish. It is very cool and pretty lightweight, though, and when customized it can look very good.