Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

In search of the Linux desktop

Filed under
Linux

KDE and GNOME are the mainstream desktop environments for GNU/Linux. There are lightweight options that use fewer resources, such as Xfce or Fluxbox, but new users are more likely to encounter KDE or GNOME, which most closely follow the familiar desktop metaphors common to Windows or Mac.

The historic challenge for the KDE and GNOME developers has been to reproduce the functionality available to users of other operating systems, and a bit more besides. But in recent times the developers have begun to look towards a future that might take the desktop further beyond the accepted conventions.

As the KDE developers have expressed it: "Desktop computing has changed radically in the last 20 years, yet our desktops are essentially the same as they were in 1984. It's time the desktop caught up with us."

The point and click desktop as we know it has been around since monitors had flickering green screens, although the average laptop has disk, RAM and graphics capacity that was undreamt of a few short years ago.

The approach of both GNOME and KDE developers is to find ways of taking full advantage of both the expanding technology and the limited spacial characteristics of the modern computer screen. In doing this they have to satisfy the conflicting demands of users.

The 'interface Nazis'




More in Tux Machines

Arch Linux – Kde Plasma 5.3 stable is finally available for installation

Great news for Arch Linux users! From a few minutes, Kde Plasma 5.3 stable packages are officially available on Arch Linux repositories. In fact, after running the pacman -Syu command I finally noticed, listed on my terminal, the new packages of Plasma 5.3.0 with all the relative dependencies. Read more

Linux 4.1-rc2

So the -rc2's have lately been pretty small - looking more like late -rc's than early ones. It *used* to be that I couldn't even post the shortlog, because it was just too big. That's not been the case for the last few releases. I think people tend to take a breather after the merge window, because the -rc3's tend to then be a bit bigger again. But it may just also be that I've just gotten much better at saying "the merge window is over, I'm not taking random stragglers", or that people are just getting better at keeping to the merge window. Whatever the reason, the time of huge -rc2's seems to be happily behind us. Read more

GNOME 3.17.1 released

Hi GNOMErs! The development of the next GNOME release, 3.17, has started, and the first snapshot, 3.17.1, is now available. To compile GNOME 3.17.1, you can use the jhbuild [1] modulesets [2] (which use the exact tarball versions from the official release). [1] http://library.gnome.org/devel/jhbuild/ [2] http://download.gnome.org/teams/releng/3.17.1/ The release notes that describe the changes between 3.16.1 and 3.17.1 are available. Go read them to learn what's new in this release: core - http://download.gnome.org/core/3.17/3.17.1/NEWS apps - http://download.gnome.org/apps/3.17/3.17.1/NEWS The GNOME 3.17.1 release is available here: core sources - http://download.gnome.org/core/3.17/3.17.1 apps sources - http://download.gnome.org/apps/3.17/3.17.1 Read more