5 Tips For Getting Used To Desktop Environments

Gnomie Plaszer from our chat room writes:

Hey, Chris! I’ve been using Ubuntu for almost a year and I have learned how to use all three of the most popular desktop environments (GNOME, KDE, and XFCE), and I’ve decided to spread some of my knowledge on how to choose and get used to a desktop environment.

  1. Don’t go into Linux assuming that your desktop environment of choice won’t matter. Every desktop environment developer has different views on how things should work. When it comes to ease of use, KDE and GNOME are on equal ground, but KDE is far easier to customize than GNOME.
  2. Before choosing your desktop environment, assess your needs and knowledge. If you’re from the Windows world, KDE will make you feel fairly comfortable, while Mac users may feel more comfortable in GNOME.
  3. Don’t switch your desktop environment unless you’ve given it a fair chance. If you switch your desktop environment before giving it a fair chance — you’ll probably wind up hating the next desktop environment you choose.
  4. Don’t think of desktop utilities as alien concepts. Desktop utilities exist in every OS’s UI. To illustrate this concept more clearly, If you have used Windows and are now using KDE as your desktop in Linux, don’t think of Dolphin as “Dolphin.” If you think of Dolphin as Explorer, you’ll be completely fine and will be less hesitant to use Dolphin.
  5. Explore your desktop environment. Doing simple things like changing your background or desktop theme never destroyed your system on Windows or the Mac. There’s no reason it should do so on GNOME, KDE, or XFCE. Take a look around.

Linux+Linus+Gnome = Users Are Idiots Mentality

It seems that the father of the Linux operating system, Linus Torvalds, has fired a shot across the bow of the Gnome developers saying that they “treat users as idiots”. After a verbal exchange, Torvalds decided to issue his own patch fixing what he didn’t like about Gnome, then told the world he had done it in less than 2 hours.

If you are not familiar with Gnome, it is a GUI [they call it a Desktop Environment ]that sits on top of Linux and adds usability to the system. It’s counter part, KDE, is more similar to what Windows user would expect. And depending on which distribution you choose, you could get Gnome or KDE or a choice of using either.

Which brings up some more questions in the debate over Linux, and it’s direction in the world.

  • If Linux is Open Source, and supposed to be Free, than why would it’s creator allow it to be sold by companies such as Novell?
  • And how could Novell enter into a agreement with Microsoft, if they don’t own something that is Free?
  • If Linux is Open Source, how can Linus Torvald tell the Gnome developers what he likes or doesn’t like? From my understanding this is supposed to be the beauty of Linux. Anyone can play with it and change it any way they like.

And I still stand by my original statement that there are to many distributions. It would be like taking a five year old to Baskin Robbins. But instead of 31 flavors to choose from, you have 310 flavors. Each flavor may taste a little different, but when you get right down to the basics, they are all ice cream.

Comments welcome.

[tags]linux, gnome, kde, disagreement, [/tags]