Which Linux Desktop Environment is the Best?

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Which Linux Desktop Environment is the Best? (tomshardware.com)



from the gitchy-gitchy-GUI dept.

Tom’s Hardware “put five of the most popular desktop environments up against each other in a no-holds-barred, seven-round face-off. We’ve rated GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, Awesome and Regolith on a 10-point scale based on Installation, Applications, User Experience, User Documentation, Performance, Extensions and Configurability.”

It’s a good read, with a detailed and thoughtful 3,700-word analysis, especially about memory performance:

When you use the standard desktops, Gnome and KDE, you will likely notice that you are using a lot of memory… If you haven’t noticed yet, try running htop in a separate window while you try out your choices. You should see a substantial difference with Awesome, i3 and, if you are elite, dwm. The difference in memory footprint is staggering when you start measuring. GNOME starts with somewhere in the region of 3GB at boot. This can be trimmed down by serious tweaking, but not very much. In comparison, the Awesome window manager weighs in at around 600MB… You can put a lot of eye candy and daemons before you weigh down your system as much as the others…

Getting the advantage comes at a cost, though: you need to learn a few new habits to use Awesome desktop environment.

Among GNOME, KDE, and Cinnamon, the article ultimately calls KDE “the most polished… decorative and versatile of the bunch. This comes at a cost, though.”

Cinnamon has the best balance between extensions and ease of use, while it is also fast and responsive. At the same time, it is not that heavy on resources. You can also add a wide range of extensions in the shape of widgets that send you ongoing and updated information.

Regolith requires a bit more training, but it does set itself up for you so you can continue as you did with GNOME. Adding extensions and other gadgets is a bit more tricky, however… With Awesome you have to set up and practice to use it! It’s easily the hardest in the group to get started with. When you are up and running, Awesome does deliver the most benefits from a resource point of view…

Overall Winner: Cinnamon…because of its strong combination of user experience, performance and customization.

Click through to read reactions and share your own thoughts. (And to see a short list of some of the article’s other highlights.)

A few more excerpts from Hot Hardware’s analysis:

  • Cinnamon has replaced Gnome packages with its own, making the install small.
  • KDE has the most robust extension ecosystem, but GNOME and Cinnamon aren’t far behind.
  • GNOME has the most through documentation of any Linux desktop environment.
  • GNOME has a lot of nice eye candy and its extensions serve you with the weather, mail notifications and, almost anything you need from the internet.
  • GNOME, Cinnamon and KDE all score 9 out of 10 for user experience.
  • The three largest Linux desktop environments (GNOME, KDE and Cinnamon) all have strong application support.

fortune: not found


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