by Dietrich Schmitz
With all of the insane decision making that has taken place at Canonical with Unity and The Gnome Project with Gnome 3.8 just out, it can make a grown Man cry in despair.
But fear not. Hope is on the horizon. You do fortunately have Desktop alternatives to avoid the madness and chaos that looms.
I'll cover a few of them here so at least you are apprised of your options.
XfceXfce is that it uses GTk2 libaries and will take you back to a Gnome 2.x experience albeit with a slice of Xf playing into the mix. It really does the job of giving you what you want and a large degree of flexibility in configuration options. Best of all, its memory footprint is meager and you'll discover that it breathes life back into your rig as screens snap up crisply with no delay. Add a few nice themes and fonts and enable the built-in compositor and, presto change-o, you have the essential ingredients for a truly efficient but pleasant Desktop Environment. Having dependencies on GTk2 means that there is no reliance upon Gnome whatsoever, which should be in your best interests and incorporated into your strategy for avoiding pain.
LXDELXDE brings a somewhat spartan GUI experience but really gets the job done. It isn't sexy by any means but for the minimalists, having the DE sip ram reigns supreme. LXDE does that exceedingly well.
MATEMATE and Cinnamon is that both suffer from falling behind on code maintenance, especially MATE. Still, if you long for the good old days and miss Gnome 2.3x, then, by all means, jump on MATE and feel immediate relief as the nostalgia sets in. [Edit: MATE released version 1.6 on 4/3/2013, so that's a plus; also I have been advised that Clem forked Cinnamon, not MATE see the comments directly below from +Maik Adamietz who clarified the issue on my private LA G+ community site. ]
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KDE Plasma WorkspacesKDE? +Aaron Seigo, I take my hat off to you and the KDE Team. This is the true benchmark for all other Linux Desktop Environments to be measured by. I won't equivocate and will simply say that if your PC has 4GB ram, go straight to KDE and enjoy the luxury and prestige of running a DE replete with eye candy and an unparalleled feature set. KDE truly is the champion Desktop Environment, bar none.
Well, +Aaron Seigo and Team are at it again. They've got a new lightweight KDE desktop in the works. It's not soup yet, but it will be only a matter of time before we can sink our teeth into this DE. I for one am looking forward to giving it a spin. Aaron give me a heads up when you have something, yes?
[Edit: 4/28/2013 19:33 GMT-5 Someone gave me a heads up in the comments section, I forgot Enlightenment E17. Eeeek. Major blunder and effusive apologies.]
Other Desktop Window Managers (WMs)
Tiling Window Managers
Stacking Window Managers
- Window Maker