Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

In search of the Linux desktop

Filed under
Linux

KDE and GNOME are the mainstream desktop environments for GNU/Linux. There are lightweight options that use fewer resources, such as Xfce or Fluxbox, but new users are more likely to encounter KDE or GNOME, which most closely follow the familiar desktop metaphors common to Windows or Mac.

The historic challenge for the KDE and GNOME developers has been to reproduce the functionality available to users of other operating systems, and a bit more besides. But in recent times the developers have begun to look towards a future that might take the desktop further beyond the accepted conventions.

As the KDE developers have expressed it: "Desktop computing has changed radically in the last 20 years, yet our desktops are essentially the same as they were in 1984. It's time the desktop caught up with us."

The point and click desktop as we know it has been around since monitors had flickering green screens, although the average laptop has disk, RAM and graphics capacity that was undreamt of a few short years ago.

The approach of both GNOME and KDE developers is to find ways of taking full advantage of both the expanding technology and the limited spacial characteristics of the modern computer screen. In doing this they have to satisfy the conflicting demands of users.

The 'interface Nazis'




More in Tux Machines

LinuxCon & 25 Years, New Slack Live, Gentoo's Demise

All the talk of the last couple of days has been about Linux and LinuxCon. As Linux celebrates 25 years, big names gather to remember the past and plan for the future. Even Microsoft is getting in on the act. Elsewhere, Eric Hameleers released a new Slackware Live based on the latest Slackware-current and Jack Germain said Slackware 14.2 "doesn't cut newbies any Slack." Jim Lynch picked up on a conversation discussing the slow but steady demise of Gentoo as the community said farewell to a passing friend. Distrowatch.com carried a review of Gentoo 20160514 Live and Mint 18 KDE Beta was released. Read more

Linux Kernel 3.2.82 LTS Is Out with Btrfs and x86 Improvements, Updated Drivers

Linux kernel developer Ben Hutchings announced the availability of a new maintenance update for the long-term supported Linux 3.2 kernel series, version 3.2.82. Read more

NGINX’s Plan to Create a $1 Billion Business from its Open Source Software

NGINX Inc. has a set an ambitious goal for itself: To become a $1 billion company within the next eight to 10 years. It will not be an easy task, especially given that its biggest competitor may be its own well-engineered open source software. For NGINX, the key to success will be to successfully get customers from additional markets. The open source NGINX project, which began in 2002, is a widely-used high-performance web server and reverse proxy. However, the commercial company, NGINX Inc., created to support the open source project, was founded much later, in 2011, with the first commercial product in 2013. Read more

In Memory of Jonathan “avenj” Portnoy

The Gentoo project mourns the loss of Jonathan Portnoy, better known amongst us as Jon, or avenj. Jon was an active member of the International Gentoo community, almost since its founding in 1999. He was still active until his last day. His passing has struck us deeply and with disbelief. We all remember him as a vivid and enjoyable person, easy to reach out to and energetic in all his endeavors. On behalf of the entire Gentoo Community, all over the world, we would like to convey our deepest sympathy for his family and friends. As per his wishes, the Gentoo Foundation has made a donation in his memory to the Perl Foundation. Please join the community in remembering Jon on our forums. Read more