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Linux ADD: Part 1

February 20, 2009

This post started off on a completely different topic, but it morphed into the following rant.  Look for a post about applying themes in Gnome in the near future.

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Those of you who know me as a tech/linux geek, know that I can’t stick with one distribution or desktop environment for too long (never more than a month).  This has been my approach so far, but I see it as a way of spiraling around, hitting many facets of a Linux desktop, and slowly settling in on a configuration I feel works best for me.

As far as desktop environments go, I’ve always wanted to be a fan of KDE, but they keep screwing it up for themselves.  I appreciate that they are trying hard to make Linux very graphically pleasing, but through versions 3.x it has come off as…. cartoony or something.  Certainly it was not very professional.  With the new 4.x series, they’ve jumped their game up to a whole new level.  The look and feel of KDE4 is starting to compete with Windoze and Max.  The problem I now have is the instability I’ve experienced with it.  Most recently, KDE 4.2 kept crashing on me, and even specifying that the crash was KDE’s fault. (I also can’t stand that every KDE app starts with a ‘K’.  I know Gnome does it with a ‘g’ but it’s somehow less bothersome to me)

This brings us to the good ole Linux standby, Gnome.  It’s stable, it ‘just works’ how you would expect, and it’s the default for many distributions.  The problem historically has been … well … it was kinda ugly.  Rather than taking big leaps in interface like KDE though, it has slowly but surely been working on it’s A-game (graphically and “user-interfacely” speaking).  Now it has gotten to a point that I don’t think anyone objectively comparing it to Windoze would say one is better than the other.  They are just… different.  (folks comparing it to Max may think Gnome is not quite as nice, which would be an accurate assesment).

XFCE is certainly the “third wheel” when it comes to desktop environments, but it seems to be gaining steam.  It especially helps that it loads very quickly on netbooks and older hardware.  The first time I tried Xubuntu, I was very impressed with how ‘snappy’ my computer suddenly felt, and it still looked pretty good while doing it.  It still has several shortcomings it needs to figure out to be a contender with the Big Boys, but it has already found it’s place to shine (on the aforementioned netbooks and older computers).  I still actually like to have it on a computer as a secondary option.  It lets me have a different experience every now and then without having to reload the system with something new.

*edit*
I was getting ridiculous amounts of spam comments on this particular post, and I was having to clear out the spam queue every day, so I turned off comments.

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