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New to Linux--choosing a DE?

post #1 of 16
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I'm planning to install Linux for the first time. I was thinking of going with Linux Mint, but I'm rather lost on deciding which desktop version to use--MATE, Cinnamon, KDE, or Xfce.
Are there any really notable differences between them, or will it not matter much?
post #2 of 16

They all look vastly different, it's mainly just personal preference.  You can still accomplish everything you should need to do with any of them.  Xfce is lightweight compared to at least two of the ones you listed, so if you're on older hardware I would recommend that.  With anything recent, I would say just pick whichever one you like best.

post #3 of 16
I personally like XFCE or GNOME WITHOUT unity. *shudders*
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post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebiale View Post

I'm planning to install Linux for the first time. I was thinking of going with Linux Mint, but I'm rather lost on deciding which desktop version to use--MATE, Cinnamon, KDE, or Xfce.
Are there any really notable differences between them, or will it not matter much?

for first time? try MATE or cinnamon. You can install others along side those desktops and try them later. MATE and Cinnamon are the ones most commonly used with LM.
post #5 of 16
+1 for Cinnamon. I tried it once, and liked that it brought back the traditional desktop environment while still using the latest Gnome software. However, it felt somewhat patchwork when I used it. It felt like they took software from Gnome and didn't integrate it completely. Mate is good, but is essentially obselete. XFCE has its own flavor really, you like it or you don't. I don't like it as my primary desktop environment.

Window managers are great too, although they require more configuring to act like a desktop environment. I used to use Fluxbox, but it is too old really, no new themes out for it. Openbox would be the way to go, with tint2 panel.
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post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rothen View Post

+1 for Cinnamon. I tried it once, and liked that it brought back the traditional desktop environment while still using the latest Gnome software. However, it felt somewhat patchwork when I used it. It felt like they took software from Gnome and didn't integrate it completely. Mate is good, but is essentially obselete. XFCE has its own flavor really, you like it or you don't. I don't like it as my primary desktop environment.

Window managers are great too, although they require more configuring to act like a desktop environment. I used to use Fluxbox, but it is too old really, no new themes out for it. Openbox would be the way to go, with tint2 panel.

hmm. some of your statments make me kind of uneasy. Cinnamon is just a shell and a modified WM on gnome.. it uses all the same software (i.e. gedit, settings, themeimg, services, etc.) I don't really get what you mean by by 'patchwork'

MATE is not 'obsolete'. it's not gnome 2. It's a continuation of gnome 2, so it's not outdated, just moving in a different direction them the gnome is now. The one thing that could be said to be outdated is the use of gtk2 over 3, but that's just the widget set and has real real relation to performance or functionality. The fact that Mint and other distro are picking it up and using it either as default or have it in their repos mean that it's now a standard DE and will likely continue to be so.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebiale View Post

I'm planning to install Linux for the first time. I was thinking of going with Linux Mint, but I'm rather lost on deciding which desktop version to use--MATE, Cinnamon, KDE, or Xfce.
Are there any really notable differences between them, or will it not matter much?

Go over to the Show your Linux thread and see some of the DEs shown there. They won't matter too much but anything GTK based will work better in appearance by default for most programs because that just seems to be the norm. However, KDE and E17 are nice but E17 will require a bit getting used.
     
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post #8 of 16
Personally I prefer KDE - but then the only thing I like about Windows is (or rather was) it's desktop environment (start menu, taskbar, etc).
But as the others have said, it doesn't really make a whole lot of difference what you choose as others can be installed as and when.
post #9 of 16
Personally I use mythbuntu on my media PCs- it's Ubuntu with the XFCE (rat face) desktop. When I was starting out, almost all tutorials and guides I found for my hardware used Ubuntu/Debian as the OS so I found it the easiest way to get everything running and ive seen no reason to change since then. Their forums are pretty extensive and I think it has the largest user base which is useful when you run into issues.

I haven't used the current unity desktop much, but I thought it was quite nice when I did. Didn't see what was wrong with gnome but maybe I'm just getting old!

Fedora and mandiva are also pretty polished and well supported. I'd advise going with the default desktop manager for each distro though (eg unity for Ubuntu, gnome for fedora and kde for Mandriva) as the majority of people using these distros use the default so if you need support its simpler that way.

Most have a live cd so you can run it direct without having to install to see how you like it. Recommend you try some of those
 
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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

Personally I prefer KDE - but then the only thing I like about Windows is (or rather was) it's desktop environment (start menu, taskbar, etc).
But as the others have said, it doesn't really make a whole lot of difference what you choose as others can be installed as and when.

really? personally I find it horrid. No customization, requires 3rd party software to do anything, doesn't even have workspaces, etc.
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