Desktops

Plasma 5 desktop on Kubuntu 15.04 beta

It is easy to crash in February 2015, as at this stage a lot of the older tools are still there and not working with the new interface,  but in April the stable version should be launched.

Plasma 5 is a big improvement as it will be both lighter and better looking: it might very well become the best Linux desktop.

Unity

My idea it is that it is not at all as bad as some say on the condition that it is tweaked a bit, but NOT too much. More on that HERE. It is an original looking desktop that has its own advantages and has to be taken and judged as such. The search tool is very powerful and fast. The desktop is maybe the best good looking in fact. I find it at least as sexy as eOS, much better looking than KDE/Kubuntu (Plasma 5 will be a different matter), and when considering this in the context of it being the main Ubuntu desktop and the only one really promoted by Canonical, it is easy to understand why so many people use it in spite of all the criticism.

Gnome Shell

It is the only desktop that really seemed to stress my CPU so that the fan became too loud. Close to Unity in the way of searching applications, it may be an alternative for those who love Gnome and want latest developments. I have always thought about Gnome as a minimalistic yet neat desktop. This is not at all minimalistic. Looks much more mobile/touch-orriented than even Unity. Not for me and sure not for my present CPU and fan.

LXDE/Lubuntu

The lightest I ever tried on an older computer that really needed it (but which was able to run Xfce very well too). It is able to resurrect very old computers. Otherwise, it is snappy, stable, to the point. Looks simple as it starts but it is ready to use in Lubuntu. With some effort it can look good too. It is easy to add new themes and icons.

Xfce

Might very well be the most appreciated desktop in the Linux world nowadays. It is very well supported and developed, a lot of distros take it as one of their main desktops (Ubuntu, Mint) if not as the main one (Manjaro). Infinitely configurable by most users, it is very good in most dimensions and all are developing fast. It looks good too, but not flashy, it is far more stable than other well known desktops. If it weren't  for the mobile aspect of Unity and KDE, Xfce might have become the main Ubuntu DE. Overall it is my favourite desktop, especially for the long term use, and if I take a look at other desktops it is just for the eye-candy aspect (that I expect to find in eOS, Unity and now Plasma 5).


Elementary OS Freya beta (own desktop) based on 14.04

It is said to look good and this should not be difficult when so many desktops look bad. It is clean. Fonts and windows margins do look better than in many distros. But this beta behaves bad, takes a lot of CPU and makes my fan louder than in Unity. Also it seems slow overall and it behaves especially bad in live session. Should be light but it doesn't feel like it. I will give it another try when stable, possibly in the second half of 2015.


Enlightenment in Bodhi Linux, beta 3.0 based on Ubuntu 14.04. 

It looks good, a bit kitzsch. An interesting base for eye-candying. The live version is odd. Help is needed to connect to the internet: left click on the desktop (Menu), go to Settings>Modules>System>Connection Manager. -- After a while I gave up. All is completely different and a lot is pointless. And all this for very little.
Maybe I'll give it another try with the stable 3.0.

Evolve OS (own desktop)

Many Linux desktops look rather bad, and this one looks good. It has clear and well proportioned fonts and nicely designed window frames, just like in Elementary OS, but otherwise it is intended to resemble Chrome OS. The problem is that it is at an early stage of development and we'll have to wait.


LXQt

It is the Qt port and the upcoming version of LXDE, the Lightweight Desktop Environment. It is made to look better than LXDE. Installed separately it is very poor for the moment though.


Cinnamon

On of the main desktops used and supported by Linux Mint. Loved it. Light and neat, looks more beautiful than Xfce and has similar advantages. -- Only that the Mint editions that I used they all resulted in a severe bug that freezes the boot process. - This seems to be limited to certain GPU and laptops. Had to leave it aside.

Mate

Somewhere between LXDE and Xfce considering the lightness, it has the benefit of the long gnome 2 experience and of the Linux Mint support. Maybe an alternative to LXDE, but not to Xfce, which looks better and is as light.

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