Choosing the Best Linux Desktop: KDE, Unity, GNOME : Page 2

Pros and cons of the KDE, Unity, GNOME 2, and GNOME 3 Linux desktops.
(Page 2 of 4)

Go directly to the review of each Linux desktop:

GNOME 2

GNOME 3

KDE

Unity

GNOME 3

GNOME 3 was released in April 2011 after two years of work. It features a major cleanup of the GNOME code, and a division between the main desktop and the overview mode that contains a menu and a view of virtual workspaces.

So far, Fedora is the only major distribution that uses GNOME 3. However, that should gradually change as new releases are published and subsequent releases refine GNOME 3 and add features.

Pro

 

  1. GNOME 3 brings virtual desktops into the main workflow, greatly improving their display and partly automating their use. If you haven't used virtual desktops in the base, GNOME 3 is a painless way to learn about them. If you do use them, then you might appreciate how easy using them has become.
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  3. For years, GNOME 2 dumped administrative tools into the System menu, where they might be placed under Preferences or Administration, according to the whim of the distribution. GNOME 3's new System Setting window categorizes tools, producing a display more like that of other free and proprietary desktops, and making them easier to find.
  4.  

  5. You can change to a messaging window without the current window losing focus. This is an unmitigated blessing, particularly if you habitually work with a dozen windows open.

 

Con

 

  1. The panel only supports a few basic applets, like a calendar, apparently on the grounds that few people used applets anyway. In fact, from what I've observed, it might be more accurate to say that most people only used a few applets, but that selection varied widely. At any rate, if you're used to having easily accessible applets, GNOME 3 can feel like a step back in functionality.
  2.  

  3. Creating an overview is supposed to allow you to focus on your work without having to look at a lot of icons. That might be useful as you settle down to work, but as you are setting up, the overview means that you are doing a lot of switching back and forth.

    Learning shortcut keys increases your efficiency and prevents repetitive stress, but doesn't reduce the switching back and forth. The amount of switching might pass unnoticed on a phone, but on a laptop or a workstation, it feels needlessly complicated.

  4.  

  5. GNOME 3's designers seem convinced that Linux usability studies can tell what's best for you. Want icons on the desktop? Panel applets? Title bar buttons? Sorry -- GNOME 3 knows a better way to do things, and will force you into conformity.

Go directly to the review of each Linux desktop:

GNOME 2

GNOME 3

KDE

Unity


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Tags: Linux, Ubuntu, Gnome, KDE, Unity


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