One of the great things about Linux is that you have a range of Desktop Environments to choose from. There is the new age Gnome 3, the unique KDE, the more traditional Xfce or the basic provided by any of the *box options and many others. Over the years I have been using Linux I’ve tried several of them including Gnome 2 and Enlightment.
Regular readers of this blog will know I am a fan of KDE. I run the latest 4.7.4 on Kororaa on a couple of machines. What many people may not know is that I also have Xfce 4.8 installed on both of those systems. These are 2 very different environments but I find both work well for me.
This is my Xfce desktop (larger size click here)and despite its performance advantages it clearly can be a good looking desktop.
So which one do I prefer? If you asked I would answer KDE without hesitation. It is the easier to configure, has more powerful options and some fancy effects. However if you asked which one I use the most I would have to say it differs from time to time but lately it has been Xfce. Why? Well it does have a performance advantage especially on my older laptop. It also feels more stable. For all KDE’s attractions it does have the occasional glitch, rarely the same one though. It locks up occasionally but there is no pattern to it so nothing I can report a bug on.
Xfce doesn’t lose much in appearance. It does have a little inconsistency on some screens. It is a little more difficult to configure, more editing of text files. E.g. there is no menu editor. But it has improved a lot over the last few versions. And it is very stable, probably an advantage of the slower update timetable.
I still use the same applications, mainly KDE, on both desktops and KDE apps run well perhaps even better than on KDE. It doesn’t affect my workflow at all as I have similar keyboard shortcuts set up.
Occasionally I try other environments but I always come back to these 2.