What kinds of desktop environments and shells are available?

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Mirror, mirror, on the wall, which is the best desktop environment of all?

While diversity is one of the best features of the Linux community, as users can try various options and find out which one suits the best for them, sometimes it can also create confusions. Especially if you’re new to Linux community, you can easily be overwhelmed by the number of choices you have. When it comes to Desktop Environments, there’s no exception. But trying out each and every desktop environments is a very time-consuming and tiring task.

Here, we’ve created a list of the best desktop environments available for Linux distros along with their pros and cons for you:

Best desktop environments for Linux

Just to mention, this is not the list for the best desktop environment for programming or any such specific purposes. Also, the list is not in any specific order.

KDE, rather than being only a desktop environment, is actually a collection of applications, one of...

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13 Linux Lightweight Desktop Environments

The word ‘Open Source‘ can be attributed to Linux community which brought it into existence along with introduction of Linux (successor of then existing Unix Operating System). Although ‘Linux‘ in itself came into existence only a base Kernel, but its open source nature attracted huge society of developers worldwide to contribute to its development.

This created a revolution worldwide and many people and communities started contributing towards making it a complete Operating System which could replace Unix. Then onwards, there has been no turning back with active development going on at a steady pace.

This led to introduction of distributions like: Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, Puppy, Red Hat, Arch, Debian, Linux Mint etc. which use Linux as their base kernel.

10 Top Most Popular Linux Distributions of 2015

20 Free Open Source Softwares I Found in Year 2015

With this aligned was the introduction of...

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Unity is a shell developed by Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, for their flagship distro. It runs on top of Gnome Desktop environment and uses all core Gnome applications.

Initially it was developed to run on netbooks to make better use of the screen real estate. But when Gnome decided to go its own way and supposedly didn’t accept some changes proposed by Ubuntu teams, Canonical went ahead and created its own shell, which suited its needs better.

With Unity, Canonical developed many technologies to improve the user experience such as HUD (inspired by the heads up display). They also introduced a new approach to search through a 'Scopes & Lenses' model. Scopes and Lenses allows developers to integrate different services with Unity so users can access them from within Dash -- a search overlay of Unity.

To improve the user experience with third party apps, Canonical works with projects like Firefox or Thunderbird to integrate those applications with the...

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Whether you're customizing your Linux install or choosing a distro to go with, one of your many options is the desktop environment you use. There are tons to choose from, all with different benefits and features. There may be no one single best, but this week we're looking at five of them, based on your nominations.

Earlier in the week we asked you to tell us which Linux desktop environment was your favorite—mind you, we're talking about DEs, not distributions—and you replied with tons of great options, from the useful to the hilarious. Let's take a look at the five nominees that rose to the top, thanks to your votes, in no particular order:


GNOME is one of the oldest Linux desktop environments, and certainly one of the most popular. GNOME—specifically GNOME Shell, the most recent iteration of the platform—has been designed to be easy to use, modern looking and attractive, and easy to customize and personalize. The break between GNOME 2...

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With so many different Linux desktop environments out there, it can be hard to choose one, especially if you’re a beginner or a user who is just switching from Windows. In case you’re unfamiliar with the desktop environment concept, it boils down to a set of libraries, toolkits, modules and applications that make the desktop visible and functional on the screen, and enable the user to “communicate” with the system.

A desktop environment includes components like the window manager, icons, toolbars, panel, widgets, wallpaper and screensaver, as well as a basic set of applications (file manager, browser, media player, text editor, image viewer…). It’s not such a foreign idea; after all, Windows also has a desktop environment. In versions 8 and 8.1 it’s called Metro, while Windows 7 had Aero, and XP had Luna.

A great thing about Linux is that you’re not limited to whichever desktop environment ships with the distribution you installed. If you dislike the default DE, just...

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Don’t know which Linux desktop environment is for you? From Gnome to KDE, from MATE to Unity, there’s a lot of choice out there. Where should you start?

Windows and Mac both basically offer one desktop interface: the default one. Linux is another beast entirely. You can choose whatever desktop interface you like. Overwhelmed? Here’s a list of the top ten desktop environments, to make it easy to compare.

Gnome is one of the two major desktop environments available, alongside KDE. It was the top dog during the heyday of Gnome 2, but its market share has declined since the introduction of Gnome 3. For users who enjoyed Gnome 2, some developers forked the old project into MATE – keep reading to learn more about that.

Gnome 3 features Gnome Shell, a new paradigm for a computer desktop GNOME 3 Beta - Welcome To Your New Linux Desktop . Most of the interaction with the desktop environment is hidden in the...

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This section describes how to install three popular desktop environments on a FreeBSD system. A desktop environment can range from a simple window manager to a complete suite of desktop applications. Over a hundred desktop environments are available in the x11-wm category of the Ports Collection.

GNOME is a user-friendly desktop environment. It includes a panel for starting applications and displaying status, a desktop, a set of tools and applications, and a set of conventions that make it easy for applications to cooperate and be consistent with each other. More information regarding GNOME on FreeBSD can be found at http://www.FreeBSD.org/gnome. That web site contains additional documentation about installing, configuring, and managing GNOME on FreeBSD.

This desktop environment can be installed from a package:


To instead build GNOME from ports, use the following command. GNOME is a large application and will take some time to compile, even on...

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Figure 7: Unity on Ubuntu 14.04

Ubuntu’s Unity desktop is probably familiar to anyone who has gotten into Linux over the last couple years; it’s typically the first stop for new Linux users. Unity takes inspiration from OSX, with its dock and global menus, while maintaining a few unique features of its own. It builds on GNOME technologies and borrows the majority of default applications from the GNOME ecosystem.

The move to Unity was controversial, and stirred up strong feelings both for and against. Proponents say that it is aesthetic, ergonomic, and very easy to use. It can be very keyboard-driven and has some unique bits like the HUD (a search-driven interface to application menus) and the Dash (a search-driven, Internet-aware, pluggable application menu).

Critics would say that Unity lacks configurability, is somewhat heavy on older systems, and ships with some unappealing commercial elements (such as Amazon search integration in the Dash). Some...

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Awesome is a desktop environment which masquerades as a window manager. By default, it comes with a basic top panel with a systray that can hold your favorite applets from Gnome, Xfce, etc. There are several well-known "widget" libraries which extend Awesome's basic functionality.

Awesome is a tiling window manager, which means that it can automatically arrange windows without overlapping and so that they fill up the screen. Windows can also be made to "float" (the standard behavior in Windows, OS X, etc.)

Awesome's tiling features have the following benefits:

No wasted screen space. You don't have to fiddle around with the mouse/trackpad to arrange windows in a desired arrangement. Built-in tiling layouts cover frequent scenarios that arise. Tiling arrangements are easily scripted and can be invoked dynamically through keybindings. Mouse support is built-in throughout. For those that rely heavily on a mouse, this may help ease the...
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I'm new to Ubuntu (and Linux in general). Sometimes when looking at programs in the Ubuntu Software Center, I see things about the programs being 'for the GTK+ environment', or 'for GNOME', or a whole lot of other things. All I know is that I've got Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and what I'm seeing through my monitor appears to be the controversial Unity interface.

What are these other things I see mentioned in the descriptions of programs (such as KDE, GTK, QT, GNOME, GNOME 'shell', etc.)? Are they Linux GUIs that are alternatives to Unity? Are they dependencies that I need to have?

I've spent the last several months getting used to Ubuntu in its present form (though I confess, I have played around with Compiz, which is fun as hell). Will these other things completely turn my world upside down if I use...

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If you wish to keep your Desktop so "Minimal" in order to focus in productivity or something, keeping graphical items away from your desktop but preserving Desktop functionality thus saving resources which can be efficiently used for productivity, maybe what you need is a Lightweight Desktop Environment. Preferably a hybrid one.

They can be, anyway, too austere for a graphic desktop user, but pretty useful for focusing in productivity without losing the fancy things of Ubuntu.

I suggest you to try i3 Desktop Environment, this will not harm anything in your Ubuntu System but will add a new Desktop Environment which can be chosen from the list of available Desktop Environments at the login screen (a small circle beside your user name). To install type sudo apt-get install i3 in a terminal, hit ENTER, provide your user password and wait for the install to finish, then log out in order to go to the Login screen and choose the proper i3 DE from the list.


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In computing, a hidden folder (sometimes hidden directory) or hidden file is a folder or file which filesystem utilities do not display by default when showing a directory listing. They are commonly used for storing user preferences or preserving the state of a utility, and are frequently created implicitly by using various utilities. They are not a security mechanism because access is not restricted - usually the intent is simply not "clutter" the display of the contents of a directory listing with files the user did not directly create.[1][2][3][4]

Unix and Unix-like environments[edit]

In Unix-like operating systems, any file or folder that starts with a dot character (for example, /home/user/.config), commonly called a dot file or dotfile, is to be treated as hidden – that is, the ls command does not display them unless the -a flag (ls -a) is used. In most command-line shells, wildcards will not match files whose names start with . unless the wildcard itself...

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Here you go. Just click on the link to download...


64 Bit: http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/10.04.4/ubuntu-10.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso

32 Bit: http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/10.04.4/ubuntu-10.04.4-desktop-i386.iso


64 Bit: http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04.3-desktop-amd64.iso

32 Bit: http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04.3-desktop-i386.iso


64 Bit: http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04.2-desktop-amd64.iso

32 Bit: http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04.2-desktop-i386.iso


64 Bit: http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso

32 Bit: http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04.1-desktop-i386.iso


64 Bit: http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-desktop-amd64.iso

32 Bit:...

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Iometer, a performance test tool for tuning Windows environments, can also be used to tune performance in iSCSI SANs.

Iometer lets you simulate a SAN's performance by setting many of the parameters and running tests. Repeated runs...

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with different parameters such as block sizes will let you tune your system.

Since Iometer tests many parameters of the storage network as well as the storage array, you need to isolate iSCSI performance from the array performance when running tests. The best way to do this is to set the parameters to optimize storage array...

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An X window manager is a window manager which runs on top of the X Window System, a windowing system mainly used on Unix-like systems.

Unlike the Mac OS (Apple Macintosh) and Microsoft Windows platforms (excepting Microsoft Windows explorer.exe shell replacements) which have historically provided a vendor-controlled, fixed set of ways to control how windows and panes display on a screen, and how the user may interact with them, window management for the X Window System was deliberately kept separate from the software providing the graphical display. The user can choose between various third-party window managers, which differ from one another in several ways, including:

customizability of appearance and functionality: consumption of memory and other system resources degree of integration with a desktop environment, which provides a more complete interface to the operating system, and provides a range of integrated utilities and applications.

How X window managers...

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