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Which desktop environment do you like the best?

Displaying poll results.
  1973 votes / 9%
  3487 votes / 16%
  4727 votes / 22%
  621 votes / 3%
  1099 votes / 5%
  1204 votes / 5%
  3360 votes / 16%
Other (list in comments)
  4142 votes / 20%
20613 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Which desktop environment do you like the best?

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  • Windows (Score:5, Insightful)

    by J_Darnley (918721) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @07:47PM (#47103501)

    Windows. XP/2000 then perhaps 7, 95, 98.

    • I'm surprised you haven't been modded down yet. Win 7 > Win XP BTW (in my opinion).
      • by TWX (665546)
        Really very little has changed since Windows 95 OSR2 when IE was introduced into the equation. The change from original Windows 95 added a more "explore" like function to normal windows, adding a touch of web browser so that the same window browsed through multiple pages instead of opening a new one each time an icon was opened.

        The colors changed, some of the faux-3d effects were toned down and made more animated, and things have been moved around. Very few of these changes resulted in true increased f
      • Re:Windows (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xolvix (3649657) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @10:08PM (#47104379)

        Windows 7 is definitely nicer to use than XP, once you know and use the features that actually exist in Win 7 (e.g. Windows key search functionality, Aero snap/peek, etc).

        If you just use Windows 7 the same way you use XP without learning how to use the new features, you'll not only miss out on the benefits of the newer UI but also have an assumption that it's all glitz and bling, which it isn't entirely.

    • Windows 7 it is (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kimmo (52756)

      Unfortunately, Windows 7 turns out to be much more stable, consistent, faster and more productive in every way compared to the mess of Gnome, Unity etc encountered these days with Ubuntu.

      The stuff is just there, where expected, working as expected, seamlessly together. And the windows have nice thick borders to grab, wiggle, maximize vertically and what not. Go M$!

      This one brought to you by a daily Linux user since 1993.

      • by rubycodez (864176)

        Windows 7 UI is nice, I'll agree even as a rabid BSD and Linux freak. However, what does Microsoft put in its apps? that damn ribbon, which is just the same failed ideas as Win 8.x has. At least getting away from Gnome and Unity there are some very nice UI in the open source world.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      I would have to agree. Although I used to run real Unix operating systems (not linux), I have not heard of any of these desktop environments. Although there were desktop environments available back then, I largely used them for their ability to open multiple terminal sessions. Which is the same as I used to do with Windows and DOS sessions when Windows first came out. Of course now, I use Windows all day long and I haven't opened a DOS window since, oh, yesterday.
    • More or less the same, though 98 is better than 95 and NT4 is better than both.

      I preferred 2000 over XP but accepted XP once I configured it to be more like 2000. With time I considered XP to be marginally superior.

      I strongly resisted 7 over XP but accepted 7 once I configured it to be more like XP (thanks in large part to Classic Shell). With these changes I consider it markedly superior to XP but remain annoyed by some changes to infrequently used tasks such as the navigating the control panel. In most wa

  • xfce for now (Score:5, Interesting)

    by steak (145650) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @07:52PM (#47103517) Homepage Journal

    this lxqt thing looks nice. []

  • OS X (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @07:55PM (#47103531)

    Then Terminal if needed/when wanted.

    • Serious question.

      In your own mind, do you pronounce that as "Oh Ess Eks" or "Oh Ess Ten"?

      • Oh Ess Eks...although once they go to XI I think Eks will die out pretty quickly.

    • I'm also a Mac user - but the poll pretty obviously was only about Linux desktop environments. So...

      I picked "other" - I still prefer Enlightenment.

  • by solafide (845228) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @08:03PM (#47103565) Homepage
    • Re:Enlightenment (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @02:21AM (#47105513) Homepage Journal
      I used to run Enlightenment with an early Gnome (I think pre-gnome-2 days) as the desktop environment but lately I'm just running raw E17 and it's doing everything I need it to do. It also starts up in under a couple of seconds, which is very nice.

      Looks like it's about time to dust off and fork one of the old web browser source trees, since all the ones managed by other people seem to suck to various degrees. All the ones managed by other people also seem to evolve in the direction of sucking more, as well.

      • by SharpFang (651121)

        I truly found Enlightenment - at least the early version - ridiculously cumbersome.
        Imagine this: you stop your mouse cursor over any UI element and a tooltip about that element appears. Reasonable? Not quite. the desktop is considered an UI element, and if you leave the cursor anywhere over it, it opens a tooltip. With rich borders and description of every single action you can perform by clicking, right-clicking, shift-clicking etc - the tooltip was the size of your average terminal window, and "always on

  • by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @08:06PM (#47103589)
    This site started off by discussing linux in general and the enlightenment window manager specificly do to Rob Malda's interest in it.
    I vote for E17.
  • Where's f.e. Aqua/OS X, Explorer/Windows, or Haiku's WM?
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday May 30, 2014 @12:36AM (#47126489)

      Disappointingly computer-centric too. My favorite desktop environment consists of a pencil, a paperweight, and a stapler.

      And I can put my head on it for a nap whenever I think that will increase productivity.

      (As for the survey, I voted, but I'm not sure it's correct to identify one as my favorite when I haven't actually tried all of them.)

  • Straightforward commands. Case insensitive. Gets the job done. All words limited to six characters, because that's the longest word a person should have to type.
    • Running on a VT-100. If you needed another "window" you just commandeered another VT-100.


    • tops-20 for me

  • Awesome (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AceJohnny (253840) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `eyatnegralj'> on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @08:50PM (#47103901) Journal

    I used the SEO-deoptimized Awesome [] window manager. It is a tiling window-manager in the tradition of XMonad and Ion.

    Since I started using it, I discovered how moronic is the concept of traditional window manager that allows overlapping windows: Either I want an app displayed, or I don't, and I certainly want an app to use as much screen space available automatically. I understand though that the traditional windowing approach is simpler to understand and see its point for the plebes ;)

    I love its concept of "tags" instead of desktops, which gives me a powerful interface to mix and match which windows I want to display. I like that its "configuration" is actually a Lua program that allows me to precisely control how it behaves. I love that I can control it entirely through the keyboard. But I hate its stupid default keybindings: what's wrong with alt-tab nowadays?

    • by WillKemp (1338605)

      I discovered how moronic is the concept of traditional window manager that allows overlapping windows: Either I want an app displayed, or I don't, and I certainly want an app to use as much screen space available automatically

      I like overlapping windows when i have to switch back and forwards between apps frequently. And i don't want most apps to use all the available screen space - pdfs, for example, often display better when they're not the whole screen width. Thunderbird certainly doesn't need the whole screen width, and i usually keep the web browser a bit smaller than screen width too.

      • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Boltronics (180064) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @06:15AM (#47106459) Homepage

        I'll add to that. Often I'll have an xterm open and maximised. This allows me to enter long commands or view long lines in log files, in addition to seeing lots of command or log history. However, most of the time all that space isn't required. Often the most important terminal screen space is shaped like an L - vertical to the left (so I can see commands and directory history, if a bit truncated), as well as horizontal along the bottom where I enter commands.

        Because of this, traditional window managers give me options to make more effective use of my screen than a tiling window-manager would be able to. One approach would be to have the xterm semi-transparent so I can see the window easily behind it. An even better approach is to use sloppy mouse focus to position a smaller window using the free space in the top-right foreground. AFAIK, most tiling window managers don't provide windows the option to overlap in this way, which would mean that I'm often effectively wasting ~1/4 of my total screen.

        Lastly, I'll point out that you can assign wmctrl commands to achieve most of the good stuff that a tiling window manager is capable of. eg. to move a focused window to the right side of the screen (assuming a 1920x___ res), assign a shortcutl to:

        wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -e 1,960,-1,960,-1

        To move a focused window to the left:

        wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -e 1,0,-1,960,-1

        etc. Sure this approach will only allow for a predetermined number of window arrangements, but I'm probably never going to put more than 2 windows on a single screen at the same time anyway. You can also easily do the same kinds of things that tags let you do - and because wmctrl is a command line program, you aren't limited to scripting in Lua. :)

  • its all you really need

  • by The_Rook (136658) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @09:01PM (#47103971)

    large, flat, a couple of nice drawers, place to keep pens, pencils, a stapler, my kneadable eraser, and room for a teevee, good loudspeakers, and a nice computer. and a comfortable chair. now that's a nice desktop environment.

    • by sootman (158191)

      Agree 100%. Also: rounded front edge so it doesn't dig into your wrists. Strong enough to stand on.

    • by Skewray (896393)

      large, flat, a couple of nice drawers, place to keep pens, pencils, a stapler, my kneadable eraser, and room for a teevee, good loudspeakers, and a nice computer. and a comfortable chair. now that's a nice desktop environment.

      Don't forget a motorized standing desk. Who wants to sit all day?

  • by JeepFanatic (993244) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @09:10PM (#47104019)
    Right now I'm loving Openbox + Tint2 (for now) ... does what I absolutely need and keeps the system resources available for actual software.
    • by evilviper (135110)

      Yeah, the lack of *box (Open, Black, Flux, Hacked, etc.) options is probably the main reason the "Other" catch-all is about 1/4 of all votes.

      I'm using Fluxbox, but configured to work as much like Openbox2 as possible, and I've been quite happy with it for a lot of years now.

    • Another *box user here. Fluxbox on Gentoo.

    • Fluxbox on CRUX [] and TSS [] here. Not keen on "desktop environments" and how much they slow every single thing down or screw up when some stupid D-BUS/HAL/whatever thing that's impossible to figure out isn't exactly right.
    • by folderol (1965326)
      Agree totally. Openbox on the very thinnest layer of X, and ROX as the filer.
  • by gukin (14148) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @09:11PM (#47104027)

    Fluffy light weight and plays nice with 256 colors. There are lots of things that used to expect 256 colors for the flashy stuff (seriously, LONG before the /flash tag) icewm takes a nice second place but how many of us old timers are still expected to make things work with 256 colors (vnc cc=3)?

  • by crow (16139) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @09:20PM (#47104087) Homepage Journal

    I don't want a "desktop environment." I just want a window manager. I still use twm because it does everything that I need and then gets out of the way.

    I have found a few minor things I don't like about it, but I've written patches to correct them. (And I submitted them, but I doubt that much of anything will be accepted at this point.)

    • Re:twm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SumDog (466607) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @01:37AM (#47105343) Homepage Journal

      TWM is the reference implementation. It consumes A LOT of CPU and is pretty shit.

      I'd recomended a tiling window manager if you want minimilisim: i3, awesome or xmonad

      • by dargaud (518470)
        I briefly tried awesome... but there were no instructions at all and no default config. It was also impossible to _search_ for help on google with a name like 'awesome' (just imagine the kind of results you get). I was supposed to start writing config files for all my windowing needs without even knowing what it _could_ look like since there was no default. And I had to memorize a whole bunch of keypresses in order to do anything from the very beginning. Needless to say I found this philosophy stupid and de
      • by crow (16139)

        I can accept that twm is ugly, but I really like how it works.

        I can configure any mouse button to do whatever I want. The only icons I see are from windows that I have minimized. There's no always-present status bar or extra junk. (If I want a status bar, I'll find an application that provides one.)

        A tiling window manager is too restrictive. I use overlapping windows all the time.

        The source code for twm is very simple. I'm currently running with four different patches that I've written: dynamic config

  • by geoskd (321194) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @10:05PM (#47104367)
    FVWM-Crystal Enough said
  • Rockin it old school. Simple, elegant, unobtrusive.
  • I just need something simple that gives me virtual desktops and the ability to launch xterms.
    • by WillKemp (1338605)

      I just need something simple that gives me virtual desktops and the ability to launch xterms.

      Try the Linux console!

  • Just a WM (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @11:25PM (#47104843)

    Was a GNOME user since its infancy. We are talking pre-GTK+2 days. Think my first GNOME was 1.4.

    GNOME 3 made me abandon 10+ years of muscle memory. Let me take this moment to pause and give a big FUCK YOU to the IDIOTS who TOTALLY RUINED the GNOME project. YOU SUCK.

    I resigned to the fact that I'd have to re-learn my desktop environment (MATE project had not come along yet) and decided to check out a tiler. Played around with a few and settled on i3. It is awesome. I'd still be on GNOME if it wasn't for the idiocy they introduced in 3.0, but thanks to the dipshit UI people who have completely infiltrated the GNOME project, I'm using something much better now.

  • by Bleek II (878455)
    Because the early 90s nailed it. Excuse me while I work on an edgy new hip-hop mix tape and some screen prints. []
  • by kirkc99 (2882627)
    Having spent many years deeply entrenched in Linux, I got sick of keeping up with the forks, design shifts, and general flux of the desktop environment. I migrated to Mac and haven't looked back. Well, I guess I have looked back. I occasionally run new Linux distro releases in VMWare to see how things are shaping up...only to have my move to OS X validated.
    • by tuffy (10202)

      I go back and forth between OS X and Linux daily and a lot of OS X's window management is still sub-par. Its virtual desktop management still needs work, sloppy focus is never going to be an option, and hacks for tiling window management are about as terrible as one would expect.

      It has its good points, but its double-buffered windows and nice aesthetics aren't enough to make me want to use OS X full-time while Linux environments do things better.

  • by sgunhouse (1050564) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @03:48AM (#47105901)
    Favorite? KDE (though the old version was slightly better) Second? Enlightenment.

    When I look for a desktop, I expect a basic set of tools to come with it, and design consistency between said tools. KDE seems best in terms of tools (aka desktop accessories if you prefer). Gnome's tools seem like they are chosen by committee, rather than actually designed for that environment.

    And yes, desktop environments should include Windows and Macintosh OSX as options.
    • I feel the same way about the "desktop accessories". I've tried switching to Windowmaker a couple of times, but I always end up missing KWallet, KMixer, Dolphin and a bunch of other KDE applications or accessories, not to mention the integration between them.

      Some of it is admittedly shit (Strigi/Nepomuk/Akonadi in particular), but thankfully those bits can be disabled or simply not installed. And the rest of the desktop is damn solid.

  • Seriously. I use a DOS shell on Windows [XP | 7 | 8] for doing a lot of tasks.
  • Polished mahogany.
  • by Sadsfae (242195) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @05:36AM (#47106325)

    Used almost every DE since 1998 or so, flopped between KDE and GNOME.
    Moved to blackbox, then fluxbox for several years, back to KDE 3.x
    Moved back to XFCE around the 4.6.x days and never left.

    Occasionally I'll go back and try new things but nothing seems to fit as well as XFCE.
    Fast, stable, stays out of my way with little changes over time - only small feature enhancements and bug fixes.
    I prefer a "classic" experience, but it still needs to be functional and look decent. I've found XFCE + Compiz + Emerald Window Decorator
    the trinity for me.

  • ... with the room for me to lay out my paints and canvas allowing me plenty of room to do my Art thing. ;)

  • by rlp (11898)

    Because I really like the idea of a desktop UI attached to a tablet UI with bungee cords (not).

  • For my netbook (first gen/2008 Acer AspireOne), LXDE (formerly Xfce in a prev. ubuntu netbook distro).
    For my VM on my gaming rig, Unity or GNOME. Largely this is due to not being particular about what's running and why. I'll admit that I wasn't a fan of Unity initially, but I've grown to appreciate it (read: not care about its issues or style difference).

  • It's clean, fast, and it mostly stays out of my way. Being highly customizable helps too.
  • 1. Having to go to that weird app if I want a keyboard shortcut not included in the default list.

    2. Not being able to change the name of a file or delete a file from a File > Save As dialog box

    3. Having to do major hacking to make Monday the first day of the week in the calendar applet.

  • To not include Windows or OS X is just kinda silly.

  • Really, no Mac option? I don't even know what half of the names are, and I haven't used the rest, at least as far as I know.

  • I prefer KDE, but not what KDE4/5/plasma are.

    I still use KDE 3.5.10, the sanest, the most customizable, and the most convenient KDE that has ever existed. XFCE is my second favourite (the only sane option in new distros).

  • by danbuter (2019760) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @10:02PM (#47115937)
    Xfce is my favorite linux DE. Does everything I want and is easy to use. Enlightenment 17 is also really good.

"One Architecture, One OS" also translates as "One Egg, One Basket".


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