I am always curious to hear about what desktops people use and the why. So for me, I tend to usually use Plasma, though my workstation uses one called theShell, and if I am ever in the Gnome end of the pool I usually use a DE called Manokwari that is found in the BlankOn Linux distro, and Enlightenment is always a fun trip down memory lane.
Wait… is there another Desktop Environment outside of Plasma?
Outside of Plasma, because I can continually change and modify it to suit my needs, my second DE of choice is Xfce. It is the best GTK based desktop I have used. It makes sense, runs very well with little resource footprint.
My personal favorite comes down to Plasma. It’s overall flexibility is just amazing. I can make it into what I want and have that “perfect” desktop for me.
As for getting ready to go quickly and getting out of the way? I’ve really warmed up to GNOME-Shell over the last few years. I use GNOME 3.28 on my work laptop and it just works really well for that use case. I’ve also found that a lot of the GNOME/Gtk applications tend to feel more polished, although that may just be the headerbars playing tricks on me.
I will also give very solid votes of confidence towards MATE, Budgie, and Xfce. All really great options that may fit people’s needs.
Personally I have warmed up to Mate. I like a desktop to just give me access to a GUI and get the heck out of the way. I don’t really care for all the widgets and wizbangs… I never look at the desktop anyway. If I have 2 monitors or 4 they are all aways covered and I can’t see anything under them. So maybe not tied just to Mate I could probably live just fine on XFCE or LXQT.
I’m partial to Gnome, but with the caveat that I need a lot of extensions to give it all the functionality that I want out of it. It’s my favorite because it’s neither like Mac or Windows. It’s its own thing. I never liked the start menu paradigm established by Windows 95, and I always found it curious that so many Linux DEs seek to replicate it in one way or another. Gnome is the furthest removed from it, and for that reason among others it’s my favorite. I’ve tried to get on board with Plasma because I like the idea that you can make it over in your own image and likeness, so to speak, but it’s always been a bit fiddly for me and given to misbehaving. It would be nice if Plasma didn’t try to replicate the Windows 95, etc. so closely out of the box, if it gave a more Unity-like experience, but as it is, it’s just SO close to Windows, and there are so many things that need to be changed to get it to an enjoyable state for me that I usually just wind up giving up before I get things working. But I’m not saying I dislike it. I love its malleability and hope to give it a proper chance at some point.
I think I might be a bit biased to say that Unity8 is the best desktop environment in the world…
However, practicality dictates that I’m currently using MATE. I really like the prebuilt layouts and the speed of the whole thing. I’m pretty okay with anything DE though, really. I was on GNOME on my laptop for the longest time, Budgie on my desktop.
Haven’t use a tiling WM yet, though.
Except for using Mate alongside Xfce for a short few months once, I have only ever used Xfce. It is hard to imagine ever moving away from it. It has every feature I need or want. Life is too short to wait for window animations and all that stuff. I want my machine to be as fast as possible.
I have a small preference for Plasma but I can find things I like in every Desktop Environment (DE) and also many things I don’t like about Plasma . . . but still Plasma.
I’ve tried several over the few years that I’ve been using Linux. The one that has worked best in my machines and for my work flow has definitely been Plasma. It has been top notch with multiple screen support and all the settings to make sure windows open where I want them (and in the size I need them).
I bounce between Plasma and Cinnamon. Both are excellent for my needs and very comfortable and convenient to use. There are similarities but they are different enough to be refreshing to change between them.
Initially XFCE was my favorite but since the beginning of the year Plasma has been my go to.
I like Plasma & MATE . But miss Unity a lot.
I like minimal efficient desktops like openbox, where you can configure it how you want from the ground up. Also been experimenting with tiling window managers like Qtile, Xmonad, Spectrwm, etc. Just recently tried KDE, building from scratch, and made it surprisingly light compared to what you get from a full-fledged distro.
KDE has improved greatly since the last time I used it, which was several years ago.
I use Cinnamon because I need a low-resource desktop. I used to use XFCE or icewm, but I think that Cinnamon makes it far easier to do everything I need it to, and also provide a classic desktop look.
yeah its called GNOME, the best of the best! http://www.gnome.org
Gnome because I like the workflow and it runs fine on my hardware.
Sway because I like to tinker.
I don’t know why, I have never really got to like KDE/Plasma from the beginning, way back in the SuSE (pre the Open) days. It works, I can use it, but I don’t enjoy using it.
Way back then Gnome (before the Gah-nome nonsense) was better for me and that’s what I opted for whenever I could until…
Ubuntu came up with Unity, I liked that very quickly, even when they did the daft thing of moving the min/max/kill buttons to the left where it was too easy with a careless click to close things when going for the menu.
Along the way I tried the Mint distro with their early menu and rejected it. I disliked the Gnome 3 menu options and it was after I was looking for a replacement for Ubuntu I was trying different distros I tried Mint MATE and Mint Xfce, I liked both but I preferred Xfce as it seemed cleaner, quicker and did everything I needed without getting in the way. Since then I always go for Xfce if I can, even down to installing it from the repositories on a distro that only offered LXQt
Xfce is my preferred, where I feel comfortable and not bothered by things I don’t need, it works, I’ve never thought (or worried about) it looked ugly or out of date - it JUST WORKS.
As for “the others”, Cinnamon, Deepin, etc. I can use them but not enjoy using them. MATE isn’t bad, but I prefer (or did the last time I tried it) the Mint implementation to the Ubuntu-MATE but I’m always relieved to get back to Xfce.
I can’t seem to settle on one DE. Currently running Arch with XFCE, Gnome, Mate, i3, and Plasma. Currently Plasma would be my favorite, but all have their pros and cons!
- Cinnamon - Old faithful, almost as flexible as plasma, but GTK
- Pantheon - May goto this one forever once they implement a dark mode.
- Gnome - Currently Running this one.