The perfect desktop would be the one you design yourself. Failing that, which of the main Linux desktops is right for you?
A few months ago, this question came to a choice between GNOME and KDE. Now, with the introduction of GNOME 3 and Ubuntu's Unity, the question has become more complex.
Should you accept the latest innovation, or go with a desktop that proves itself? A simple desktop, or a complex one with all sorts of customization? One that doesn't change, regardless of whether you are using a mobile device or a workstation, or one that changes to fit the limitations or advantages of each computing device?
To help you decide, here are some of the major pros and cons for the four leading desktops that vie for your attention. Go directly to the review of each Linux desktop:
Officially, the GNOME 2 release series is yesterday's news. But it's still very much alive in distros like Debian that are slow to update or choose to wait for GNOME 3 to mature more.
Just as importantly, if your video drivers don't support hardware acceleration, then GNOME 3 defaults to Fallback Mode and Unity to Ubuntu Classic, both of which are essentially GNOME 2 desktops with a few minor differences. For instance, Fallback Mode lacks the System menu, while Ubuntu Classic includes the app indicators and other tweaks found in earlier Ubuntu releases.
Go directly to the review of each Linux desktop:
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