Best Linux Desktop: KDE's Plasma: Page 2

KDE’s Plasma earns best Linux desktop honors due to its design, customization and innovation.
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Similarly, for those who regularly work on projects that require several different applications, you can use the Oxygen theme and group them together in different tabs of the same window. You no longer have to fumble through windows as you work, and can remain more focused on the task at hand.

Remember the difference that tabbed web browsers made for using the Internet? The same innovation is even more useful for productivity on the desktop.

However, by far the greatest innovation is Activities, a superset of virtual workspaces that offer fresh options for organizing the desktop. You could, for example, have different Activities for work, school, and home, each with its own layout and set of icons, widgets, and links. You might also opt for a separate Activity for each project or work account, or have one in which news links are arranged in newspaper-like column, or another in which all the hardware-monitoring widgets are always a mouse-click away.

Essentially, Activities open the possibility of no longer organizing the desktop by application, or even by documents. Instead, Activities make organization by context or by task easily available choices. They take some rethinking, but the possibilities are unique to KDE Plasma.

In fact, I know of nothing comparable to Activities or many of the other KDE innovations on other Linux desktop environments.

Doing Things My Way

KDE Plasma has its faults. The unfriendliness of the tools for configuring the personal information manager have to be seen to be despised, and KMail can be as flaky as fillo. In addition, Plasma has yet to include a convenient desktop tool for switching between Activities, while KDE's fondness for meaningless application levels and sub-systems sometimes adds a needless layer of complication as you try to remember -- for example, whether Akonadi or Phonon is the tool for managing personal information.

Still, I can live with a few shortcomings, and I know that other desktops have their own limitations.

What matters to me is that KDE gives me the tools to work the way that I prefer, and offers a Linux desktop that is both familiar and innovative. The truth is that, after several years of relying on Plasma's enhancements, I feel half-crippled whenever I attempt to be productive in another environment.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Tags: open source, Linux, Linux desktop, KDE, Best linux desktop

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