My favourite DE has got to be Cinnamon, as much as I like KDE and XFCE, I prefer the simplicity of cinnamon where as in KDE has a bit too much of everything in the customization scene and XFCE I find a little tricky to get tiling working right.

Cinnamon to me is perfect as I easily transferred from Win 10 to Mint and soon Manjaro Cinnamon Edition.

What is your favourite DE and why? Tiling WM DE’s can be counted as well seeing as they have nifty navigation features.

  • @[email protected]
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    2 months ago

    I prefer KDE a lot, because:

    • the UI is simple, material-ish and beautiful
    • it doesnt sacrifice usability or waste screen space like GNOMEs minimalism. I especially like the buttons etc. of Qt apps, where GIMP is already struggling with the huge hugeness of GTK3.
    • it runs 100% on Wayland
    • it runs GNOME apps without modifying them a bit. There is an issue where Fedora doesnt want to use Adwaita icons, but a short autostart entry solves that. KDE Breeze dark/light can sync to adwaita dark/light
    • KDE has tons of legacy support features, have a look at my experiment where I explored many of them
    • it is modular and can be pretty minimal (I would like a more barebones version, without all the floating stuff etc)
    • all the settings are in the same app! This is a huge issue with all the small ones, where nontechnical users need to know the difference between “GTK settings” “lightDM settings”, etc.
    • Systemsettings are searchable, all settings pages are accessible from the global search, some pages are even shown when you use an alternative word, you can always search in english and your local language
    • it is very actively developed
    • it has tons of unique features.
    • it has the biggest most complex apps situated in a DE on Linux. Period. KDEnlive, digiKam, Krita, Kate, Dolphin, …
    • @[email protected]
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      2 months ago

      Yeah, I am comfortable with most DE’s, I’m flexible but I prefer KDE+Wayland.

      Dolphin is poorly threaded though. For example: If I drag a large file from a network share to the desktop I can not drag another one to the desktop until the first copy have completed. If I connect my VPN or just an away-from-home wifi, Dolphin freezes, probably because it can’t find the local SMB connections in the “Remotes” group.

      I’m also watching COSMIC, it has a very well thought out architecture though I suspect the first version will be too simplistic in terms of features - for example vs Dolphin.

      • @[email protected]
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        22 months ago

        Yes a lot.

        The network stuff sounds like some big issues.

        To my knowledge GNOME is better here?

        You should absolutely report these issues with good detail.

    • @[email protected]
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      2 months ago

      I like COSMIC too as a work in progress. It is damn elegant, minimalist, perfectionist.

      But I dont like the general desktop UI style, the overview, the menu.

      They are also just starting, but it has a big future I think.

      I am always testing it and it is pretty cool. Already better than many alternatives I would say, at least if you replace some apps.

      pcmanfm-qt from LXQt is actually the best filemanager next to KDE Dolphin, and has very few dependencies.

      Qt apps on COSMIC are currently pretty broken, but there may be some KDE people stepping up and this is likely also fixed. Different from… some other big desktop… where KDE apps are all broken.

  • @[email protected]
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    182 months ago

    I use KDE, because it runs perfectly on wayland and covers 100% of my needs.
    Budgie looks very promising now and I want to explore it further. Also LXQT is perfect for older devices or if you want a KDE, but simplier.

    • @0oWow
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      12 months ago

      KDE and associated KDE programs crash randomly all the time for me. I switched back to Windows for a few weeks and am patiently waiting for plasma 6.1 and Nvidia 555 drivers to go to stable.

  • @[email protected]
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    122 months ago

    Vanilla GNOME because simplicity, very modern look and stability. Cinnamon is nice too but it’s just not for me. Its workflow is slower in my use cases

  • Eugenia
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    112 months ago

    I like best Gnome with modifications, not vanilla. A permanent dock as per “Dash2Dock Animated”, and the “Hide Top Bar” extension, so when an app gets maximized, both the top bar and the dock get out of the way. Also, disabling tap-and-drag via dconf (I really don’t understand why this is enabled by default on most Linux DEs, it’s extremely bad for usability), and enabling the min/max/close buttons via Gnome Tweaks. Other tweaks I like is the Bibata Modern Ice mouse cursor, and the Faenza icon theme. The rest are ok by default for the most part. It’s better than MacOS for me.

    Second best gotta be Cinnamon, using the Cinnamenu menu extension, not the default menu. Overall, they’ve thought of almost everything building this DE and its settings. For those who want the best “Windows” could ever be, Cinnamon it is.

    Third is XFce. It’s overall good, but it has some things that trigger me: no user admin app, no ability to turn off tap-and-drag (it just doesn’t turn off no matter what you try), and on Debian at least, the machine doesn’t go to sleep without asking for password (requires a policy-kit manual change). Its biggest advantage is that it’s lightweight and I use it as lot for old machines.

    I find the rest under-par. I don’t like KDE, and I have thought long and hard why I don’t. It’s not how KDE is structured or works. KDE in fact is fine as a DE! Very powerful. It’s the Qt toolkit that bothers me. When an app loads, it kind of loads in chunks. It doesn’t blast everything rendered in the screen to feel smooth and modern, it kind of renders it as it reads it. And this just bothers me in a UI more than anything. Another thing I dislike is the long right-click menu on the desktop (same for Cinnamon btw).

    MATE is nice but it’s just buggy. You setup your panels one way, you logout, you login back again, and the items have changed position. Fully reproducible for me under many different distros. Very, very annoying.

    LXDE/LXQT, Budgie, etc, are not as developed as I liked them to be.

    • @[email protected]
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      42 months ago

      I recently switched to KDE. What tweaks do you recommend (other than finding a theme you like)?

    • @[email protected]
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      32 months ago

      " Simple by defauly, Powerful when needed" is exactly what KDE is. Just try pressing function keys(F1-F12) and see how it expands its features. Oh and the edit mode!

  • @TheGrandNagus
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    2 months ago

    Gnome.

    • The workflow is amazing once it “clicks” (but in the few days it takes before that happens, man it’s annoying. You end up asking yourself time and again why don’t they just copy Windows like everybody else)

    • With the exception of ElementaryOS, Gnome seems to be the only DE that really cares about design, especially in terms of consistency. Random bits of text in different sizes, different fonts in different places, inconsistent padding, improper handling of rounded corners, etc all really bug me. Most people don’t seem to notice or care (probably because MS has trained us not to care about UX consistency lol), but for me it wears me out and makes me hate using PCs. Gnome is a polished UX and it feels like everything was designed very purposely, with a lot of thought.

    • There’s a good ecosystem of GTK4/Libadwaita apps.

    • Probably have the best accessibility features.

    • It’s really stable for being a modern DE.

    • I respect the devs for having a vision and sticking to it, despite getting hate/death threats for it. It’s led to a different and very functional DE, unshackled from the traditional Win95 UX paradigm.

    E: just because it’s not your DE of choice doesn’t mean you need to downvote me or send me DMs calling me names lmao. Some people in the Linux community are completely unhinged lol

    • Possibly linux
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      22 months ago

      Gnome devs are getting death threats? If so that’s terrible but not surprising as the community can be really distasteful at time.

      • @TheGrandNagus
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        22 months ago

        I doubt it’s happening anymore. But it did happen for a while after the change to Gnome 3

  • @[email protected]
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    92 months ago

    KDE Plasma because I can bend it to my workflow. When I try Xfce and especially Gnome, I feel I have to bend to their workflows.

  • Dariusmiles2123
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    82 months ago

    I love Gnome even if the fact that I have to add 2-3 extensions to make it work to my taste bothers me a little bit.

    It should have a bit more options by default, while still retaining the beautiful UI.

    I’m trying KDE in a virtual machine a little bit, but I guess I’ll never really explore its capabilities if I don’t daily drive it.

    By the way, could someone explain what’s the difference between a WM and a DE?

    • @[email protected]
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      62 months ago

      WMs typically do not include stuff like a custom GUI for system settings and do not have a suite of GUI software associated with it (think Kate, Konsole, Dolphin etc) - it is just a piece of software for managing windows, you have to put the rest of the desktop together yourself.

      • Dariusmiles2123
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        12 months ago

        Thanks for the answer. But then it means that people get a distro with a DE and install a WM on top of it? Or do you have distros coming with just a WM? What’s the advantage of a WM compared to a DE?

        • @[email protected]
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          2 months ago

          Some distros have editions with a WM (usually i3) as a default, yes. These editions tend to come with some basic config so it’s more usable out of the box. But you can also install WMs side by side with DEs and then switch in the login manager (GDM, SDDM), just the same as you can install multiple DEs on a system. You could also install a headless version of a distro first and then install only the WM and whatever other tools you want on top of that. Basically all system settings can be changed through config files or CLI programs, for some things like audio and bluetooth there are good DE-independent settings programs like pavucontrol.

          You can also replace the WM built into KDE (kwin) with i3, for example, but that’s pretty messy, IMO.

          As for advantages, WMs are usually very keyboard driven, you pretty much never have to touch the mouse. They also tend to be fairly light weight and use little RAM. My favourite i3 feature is that workspaces are per-monitor, so I could easily move multiple windows between monitors and not lose the way they are set up.

          As for disadvantages, changing any system settings tends to be a research project, because there is no centralized solution, it’s even worse than Windows in this regard. Personally this is the main reason I switched back to KDE from i3. I could also never get theming to work quite right.

          • Dariusmiles2123
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            22 months ago

            Thanks for the really good and helpful explanation!

            To be honest it’s often difficult to understand every Linux subtilities, but the community is really great and compensate the lack of information you’re getting inside your distribution.

  • Mallory
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    82 months ago

    GNOME. Won’t say I don’t hate it sometimes but every time after a few weeks using anything else I’m back to gnome. The polish and smoothness are unparalleled, and I don’t really customize a lot. I did used the Plasma 6 beta and seemed great even if it’s not my preference of design language, but haven’t tried since. I should give it another go.

  • z3rOR0ne
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    2 months ago

    I’ve been on BSPWM for nearly 2 years now. Custom scripts and keybindings all over the place. My workflow is so customized and keyboard centric with this TWM. Vim bindings in the terminal, Vimium in the browser, and a heavily customized Neovim Text Editor with Espanso Text expander global keybindings every where… Not to mention a 55 key split Ortholinear Keyboard with custom firmware…yeah… My hands almost never touch my mouse except to game.

    • @[email protected]
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      32 months ago

      I’ve had this type of itch to keyboardize my workflow more. I learned about colemak keyboard mods, and started following the rabbit hole haha. Did you design your keyboard pcb too? or just wrote custom firmware?

      • z3rOR0ne
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        Nah, didn’t go that far (yet), just heavily edited a qmk_firmware configuration. So yeah, I’ll admit I didn’t exactly write my own keyboard firmware.

        I have the soldering tools ready for when I have time to learn. Sadly I only have time for software lately, and hardware/firmware has had to take a back seat.

        Customizing your workflow around the keyboard is a helluva drug though! If it weren’t for Vim being configured for QWERTY out of the box, I’d probably configure a COLEMAK or DVORAK setup as well.

        I’d encourage you to go as far down the rabbit hole as you’re comfortable, the learning curve can slow you down initially, but the dividends pay off in the long run imho.

        Here’s a pic of my current setup. The keyboard is prebuilt (Voyager ZSA), just with custom firmware. Couple clamps keep it vertical for ergonomics.

        • @[email protected]
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          22 months ago

          Woahh thats so cool!!

          I think your QMK config counts (for now;)) What are some useful things you’ve changed?

          Yeah, im a bit worried about vim binds for alternative layouts as well. I think some people use a layer mod to keep normal mode as QWERTY (or a “normal mode” layer) but insert mode uses their regular layout. Others apparently use their non-qwerty layout for everything (but i guess change hjkl). Apparently it’s not too bad… but probably depends on the person.

          The clamps lol, i love it!

          • z3rOR0ne
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            12 months ago

            Honestly my first olkb was the Planck from DROP. A 40% keyboard where the numbers and symbols are each on their own separate layer. The defaults on the Voyager were very clunky IMHO, so I simply switched them to the defaults of the Planck, including moving the home row up one whole row. This left a few spare keys as the Voyager is a 55 key, so I simply added two Super keys instead of one as well as a few other duplicates.

            I’ve also heard of some interesting workarounds for using Vim with Colemack/Dvorak. It is funny, when I first discovered OLKBs, I kept encouraging people to use them, and I still do. Same with Vim. But ultimately I get why people don’t. I’m so used to this workflow now, going back to a standard keyboard feels clunky and slow, and I’d imagine my setup feels awkward and alien to most if not all other people.

            But it’s uniquely mine and I can type 100wpm if I am on a roll with his setup.

            The clamps are a hilarious accident that happened to work for me. I was experimenting with different ways to get that near 90° angle shoulder width apart, and this was the3 soluuon I haphazardly stumbled on.

            Glad you like it/find it entertaining! I wish you well in finding what works for you! ✌️

          • z3rOR0ne
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            12 months ago

            Lol, yeah I know it’s definitely not for everybody.

    • @[email protected]
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      32 months ago

      I second this. There’s just so many more useful features! KDE Connect has to be one of my favourites.