Which desktop environment?

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Which desktop environment?

Cinnamon
34
37%
Mate
18
20%
KDE
8
9%
XFCE
21
23%
LXDE
3
3%
Unity
1
1%
Gnome Shell
3
3%
Other
3
3%
 
Total votes: 91

Arpee78
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Which desktop environment?

Post by Arpee78 »

The most important criteria is the easy of use(for ex Windows users) and the stability.

Secondly, the speed and resource usage. I think high CPU usage worse than high RAM usage, I have enough RAM, 2-4GB.

Visual appearance the least important, of course nicer is better, but not at the cost of the previous criteria.

Some customization isnt problem.

BigEasy
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by BigEasy »

Unique vote is not correct. In fact there is several desktops satisfied your criterias:
LXDE, XFCE, MATE. Even Cinnamon, but better to check by yourself. Lightweightest is LXDE, then XFCE, then almost equal to XFCE - MATE, then Cinnamon.
Every DE (LXDE, XFCE, MATE, Cinnamon) appearing close to classic Windows desktop. Some has little less "bells and whistles", Some hase little more.
Last edited by BigEasy on Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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karlchen
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by karlchen »

Hello, Arpee78.

What is the intention of your poll? What actually is the complete question? "Which desktop environment?" could have more than one meaning:
(1) Which desktop environments should Linux Mint offer?
(2) Which desktop environments should Linux Mint drop from its list of supported desktop environments?
(3) Which desktop environment do you (each reader of your post) use?
(4) Which desktop environment will be the best desktop environment for Windows converts?

I suspect that it is (4) which you have in mind. If this is true, then there is no simple answer.
From a technical point of view the answer depends on the resources which the (Windows) machine has got.
From a personal point of view it all depends on the user's personal point of view and preferences.
In the end the best desktop environment will be the one which you like personally and which does not exhaust the available (graphical) resources of your machine.

Telling from the past 12 months, in particular ex-Windows-XP users seem to think that their machines which often are 10 years old or older are pure racing machines and that they should run Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop without problems. Unlikely. Machines that came with Windows XP pre-installed are - from a technical point of view - dinosaurs. More often than not, they come with a single core CPU, little RAM (< 1 GB) and with very weak graphics cards. So their owners will be lucky if their equipment can be persuaded to run any Linux Mint at all. And if it can, it will be Linux Mint xfce.

In case, however, the Windows convert uses a machine which came with Windows 7 pre-installed, these machines may be really powerful and run Linux Mint 17.1 x64 Cinnamon without trouble.

And finally, in case the Windows convert is a Windows 8.x user, it is not unlikely that his machine is brand new, comes with EFI boot instead of Bios, and with 2 graphics cards instead of just one. These Windows converts will face totally different challenges when switching to Lnux Mint. Basically their machines will often be powerful to run anything. Yet, they may find it difficult to find the right drivers for their brand new hardware.

So what is the intention of your poll, please?

Cheers,
Karl
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Arpee78
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by Arpee78 »

In my family I am the "home admin". Usually my job to buy and install new computers. We have mix of old and new computers, the old ones maybe replaced soon. I have some Linux experience, In the past I tried the most DEs, but LXDE become my favourite, and did not pay much attention to others. On old computers I installed LXDE (replaced Cinnamon in Linux Mint) or install Lubuntu.

Nowadays I tried other DEs again. XFCE seems nicer than the customized LXDE and dont need much powerful maschine. I know how much resource they need.
Because Windows similarity is an important factor I think LXDE, XFCE, Mate, Cinnamon, KDE are good options. Five DE and I just know LXDE better. I dont know how easy to use them.

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jahid
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by jahid »

Definitely XFCE, you can customize almost everything you set your eyes on...
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coffee412
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by coffee412 »

I swear, When you run linux as an operating system its like walking into a candy store! This is really true for the desktop enviroments too!

Im using Mate as my desktop because I have to be productive on my computer and Im an old *art that likes traditional menus. However, I have used LXde in the past and liked it - Except for the filemanager. I really have not played around with cinnamon though or KDE. I did load up FXce but missed the 'warm and fuzzy' feel of mate.

There all great DE's especially when they run on Mint. :)

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raptir
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by raptir »

Desktop environment has always been a tough decision for me. They all have their pros and cons at this point. For ease of setup and use I would usually recommend using one of the desktop environments that has a pre-built "spin" for your distribution of choice. In the past I have run into issues when I have installed a second DE. You can build up from a command line install, but that's much more time consuming if you are supporting multiple computers.

If you're sticking with Linux Mint, there are fewer differences between the "look and feel" of the four default desktop environments. They all have the "traditional" single panel at the bottom with the menu button at the bottom left which will be familiar for Windows XP/7 users. The menus themselves are all fairly similar as well, all offering type-to-search and favorites "pinning." This is in contrast to other distros, where MATE offers a two-panel design with the menu at the top left, Xfce offers a single panel at the top with a faux "dock" at the bottom, etc... Cinnamon's menu is the most similar to Windows 7, but none of them should be too hard for someone to pick up.

In terms of resources, from heaviest to lightest:

Cinnamon/KDE
MATE
Xfce

Cinnamon's window manager (muffin) is slightly heavier than KDE's (kwin), but KDE has more services that run in the background all the time. In the end I would say they're about the same weight. Lxde is lighter than Xfce, but if you're planning on running even Firefox/Chrome the difference in resources between the two is negligible. All of that said, I have Mint Cinnamon installed on a sandy bridge ULV i3 laptop with 4GB of RAM and integrated graphics and it runs perfectly smoothly. The only DE that doesn't run well is Gnome 3 which isn't even an option for Mint.


Now, recommendation time. If you're an lxde user, I would recommend against KDE. Not that I think it's bad, but since it is built on qt instead of GTK the system administration tools are going to be very different. Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce would all be solid options. I would actually recommend Cinnamon or MATE. Cinnamon, as I said, is going to be the easiest transition for Windows users and unless you have really old and low-end hardware it should run fine. If some of your hardware can't handle Cinnamon, go with MATE. The major advantage I see there is that it bundles both marco and compiz as window managers, with marco being the default. But on the higher spec laptops, you can easily switch to compiz with a single toggle to get features like scale, expo, etc...

Hoser Rob
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by Hoser Rob »

Arpee78 wrote:The most important criteria is the easy of use(for ex Windows users) and the stability.
I'm not convinced that making it look too much like windows will be less confusing. You can make it look like windows but it doesn't act like windows. That could be worse.
Secondly, the speed and resource usage. I think high CPU usage worse than high RAM usage, I have enough RAM, 2-4GB.
You need to find out more about Linux memory management. Having a lot of RAM in linux is a big advantage because unlike windows it doesn't just leave memory unused. It's much more sophisticated.
Visual appearance the least important, of course nicer is better, but not at the cost of the previous criteria.

Some customization isnt problem.
Somehow that doesn't surprise me from an LXDE fan. I relate ... though LXDE is the most unstable DE I've ever used.

KDE is the most configurable.

And, like others, I utterly fail to see why a poll would answer your questions without knowing what and who you want it for.

BigEasy
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by BigEasy »

I think poll is about what DE allow to access docements and run programs with simple and familiar way. And not be resource hungry to do that 2 things.
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raptir
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by raptir »

I played around with Mint Xfce 17.1 and saw that they added the easy Xfwm/compiz switch to that as well, so that's not a difference between Xfce and MATE.

Another thing to consider is that Xfce has a very, very slow development cycle and has not seen an update in nearly three years. MATE doesn't have a strict release schedule but seems to have settled into a 9-12 month release period.

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NChewie
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by NChewie »

I voted in answer to "What do I currently run?" i.e. Cinnamon, because it has worked out of the box for me on my daily use laptop with full support for all my peripherals and I feel it will get the most "love" from the Mint developers.

I could have voted for XFCE, as I have installed it twice for old desktops and it works really well. One case was for a non-techy relative who had to migrate from XP and was able to run with it instantly without any worries. She has been using it daily since Qiana was released without any need for "support" calls, mainly for web access and some light document drafting on libreoffice. I plan to talk her through upgrading to 17.1 via Update Manager next weekend.
The other was to resurrect my own old custom PC which has some dodgy hardware, which had died on Windows 7. It's defunct as I have become dependant on the portability of a laptop! Cinnamon would not run the graphics card out of the box on that one and at the time I had no way to connect to the internet to try alternative drivers. Since then I have got a micro wifi plugin that will allow me to experiment with Cinnamon 17.1, when time permits.
Toshiba Satellite Pro C650-191 LM19.2 Cinnamon

Kreuger
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by Kreuger »

I prefer LXDE for it's lightweight and simplistic look and feel.

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leadwtZ
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by leadwtZ »

Hi,

I have used Kubuntu for a number of years but have recently moved to LM Mate.

So why? Well I began to find that Kubuntu (the Ubuntu version of KDE) was getting too 'busy' i.e. too many options!

However KDE apps such as Krusader and Digikam are far better than what LM Mate currently has on offer (IMO) so my KDE favourites are included in my Mate set-up.

But that is the beauty of Linux 'mix and match' and overall I like what I perceive to be the cleaner, neater and faster distribution that is LM Mate.

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opethfan89
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by opethfan89 »

If, like stated above, you're looking for an opinion post under criteria (4), then I'd agree that Cinnamon is the most "Windows-like" DE for Windows Vista/7 users. I came off of Windows 7 having used it exclusively for the past 6 years and the Cinnamon desktop is very reminiscent of Windows 7 --- the menu is similar, the built-in search is just damn useful and the layout looks familiar enough for a Windows user to pick up on it without much issue. I've used Linux in the past, mainly Ubuntu, and the change to Unity caused me to search out another distribution. Mint/Cinnamon has filled that role wonderfully :)

The other issue I can see, is most people will only use their computers for light tasks --- strictly web-browser based tasks, which could just as easily be run off of a Chromebook. But a good portion of Linux users tend to have very specific requirements --- for instance, I have PyCharm for programming, a VM to run some windows-only software, SSH, IRC and FTP software, etc. A vast majority of users don't know about/care about all these different technologies, so the biggest thing for them is to have a desktop with SOME type of "start menu", with a taskbar along the bottom and a familiar web browser.

It can, sadly, boil down to whether a not a user can load Facebook and Youtube or not. If they can, they won't know the difference. If they can't, you'll hear complaints. It's a sweeping generalization to make, but this is purely from my experience and observations.

chrisonmint
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by chrisonmint »

Arpee78 wrote:The most important criteria is the easy of use(for ex Windows users) and the stability.
Secondly, the speed and resource usage. I think high CPU usage worse than high RAM usage, I have enough RAM, 2-4GB.
Visual appearance the least important, of course nicer is better, but not at the cost of the previous criteria.
Some customization isnt problem.
My vote is for Xfce:
- speed and resources are good, but still offers a fully functional DE
- customisation options are huge. make it look like windows 98, if you like, or more like OSX by adding Docky

I run Xfce on an i5 laptop from 2010 with 4GB of RAM. Very stable, reliable (so far!) and looks great since I switched over to using Compiz
My login looks like a gnome2/MATE style setup (very little changed from the standard xfce in mint)
My wife has it set up like OSX with the dock.
Kids have their xfce panel stretched up huge to make it easy to choose apps to run, as a simple launcher.

Everyone is happy!

ps. I have tried MATE, which was a little sluggish compared to xfce. I did like LXDE which is very quick, although a bit more basic compared to xfce etc. I havent run KDE since v3, so I have no idea what that is like.

chrisonmint
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by chrisonmint »

opethfan89 wrote: It can, sadly, boil down to whether a not a user can load Facebook and Youtube or not. If they can, they won't know the difference. If they can't, you'll hear complaints. It's a sweeping generalization to make, but this is purely from my experience and observations.
Agreed. The popularity of smart phones and tablets shows that what people REALLY want is a simple, reliable way to get to facebook/amazon/netflix etc.

In fact linux distros like peppermint have even swapped out real applications for web apps:
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/peppermint ... pps-linux/

doing this for Gmail, so there is a "gmail" app icon to click on does make sense for migrating people over from the established desktops (windows and osx). doing this for facebook and similar could really improve the usability of linux (at least, to a particular group of noobs)

chrisonmint
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by chrisonmint »

Arpee78 wrote: Secondly, the speed and resource usage. I think high CPU usage worse than high RAM usage, I have enough RAM, 2-4GB.
I saw this interesting comparison of the DE's and plain window managers. Data is a little old, but the graph below might be of interest:

https://l3net.files.wordpress.com/2014/ ... =828&h=818
Image

Full article here:
https://l3net.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/ ... -desktops/

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MartyMint
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by MartyMint »

Why do we need another poll on "What's Your Favourite DE?".

chrisonmint
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by chrisonmint »

MartyMint wrote:Why do we need another poll on "What's Your Favourite DE?".

Because we all want to know? At least, I do!

...off to play with E17 on my test machine...

Hoser Rob
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Re: Which desktop environment?

Post by Hoser Rob »

Arpee78 wrote:... I have enough RAM, 2-4GB...
Enough for what?

I wouldn't run cinnamon in 2Gb RAM unless the video card had a Gb.

I'd run KDE in 2Gb if I used Openbox as the WM.

Besides, this only voting for one makes no sense whatsoever.

This netbook is a single boot Mint 17/Mate install. I installed lxde on it and that's what I'm using right now. In fact I don't expect to boot into Mate unless I have a problem. I.e. I don't intend to remove Mate ... it's a separate /home partition install so I'm not worried about allocation issues.

Since there is no Mint 17 LXDE spin, I can't vote for lxde.

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