Linux Desktop Environments

SlowhandSlowhand Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
I have a question. . . and a newbie one, at that.

I'm just now really getting into using Linux professionally. Up until this point, I'd really only played around with it, done some basic projects in school, and never really looked at it in depth or really worked with it. This really means that I'm going to have to jump in with both feet, and I'm getting ready to do some MAJOR studying, (including just about all the CBT Nuggets on Linux, the Trainsignal videos, and the TestOut course on Linux+,) because I'm going to be using Linux a great deal for work. Given, I'm going to be trained on the particulars of the operating systems we'll be using, and I'm probably going to be well-prepared by the time I'm done with my home training, I still have a question that can really only be answered with experience.

From what I've seen, it used to be that every distro had it's own desktop environment, it's own settings, and had to be customized to death as it was installed. These days, it seems like Gnome and KDE are the main desktops used by most people. (I know there are still lots more, but from what I've seen, these two are very popular.) I wanted to hear from people who use Linux on a regular basis, work with it, and have taken certs on it, which desktop environment do you prefer?

I know there are lots of distros and they can make an impact on the general user experience, but I'd still like to know, on a platform-neutral basis as possible, what we think of KDE and Gnome. Which do yo use at work, which do you use at home? What are the pros and cons of each, what are features and benefits of each? Any information about each environment would be helpful, especially anything giving me an insight into what differences there are, if any, and which one I should begin working with as I'm starting out.

I plan on knowing each, inside and out, eventually, but I'm on a relatively fixed timetable and would like to know which would suit my needs. I'm also hoping to know the command-line like the back of my hand before long, but knowing the GUI's would be helpful, I'm sure. If it helps, at all, my purpose for studying Linux right now is that I'm about to be dropped into an environment that uses about half Linux and half Windows, with a little bit of Solaris thrown in for fun, working as a Network Engineer in training. I plan on taking Linux+, then probably moving off into the direction of SCSA, rather than RHCE or a SuSE/Novell cert.

Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
Free PowerShell Resources: Top PowerShell Blogs
Free DevOps/Azure Resources: Visual Studio Dev Essentials

Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.

Comments

  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Senior Member Member Posts: 1,506
    Linux+ from what I understand is a pretty entry-level OS exam. Kind of like 220-302 I guess...but on Linux.

    it's suppose to be vendor/distro neutral, but I think it's going to be mostly based on Red Hat/SuSe.

    It doesnt really matter which distribution you use...there is really only 2 desktop environment......Gnome and KDE......I havent used KDE in a LONG time....I dont think it's nearly as popular as it used to be....Gnome is pretty widely used and adopted now as the 'linux GUI'.....

    if you havent heard, ubuntu is a really good 'basic linux'...the standard package you download on a CD ISO is really the 'popular linux' that most people will ever need...you can use their package manager to install extra 'universe' components as you require them...

    if you prefer KDE, you can get their Kubuntu version which comes with KDE instead of Gnome...and on an older machine, you can download xubuntu instead, which is the lite-version of ubuntu tweaked for older systems....

    Try that out first and get familiar with the console...the various editors..and programming environments...and then you could move on to fedora or mandrake for a fuller linux experience.
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • SlowhandSlowhand Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    I have plenty of distros to work with, and lots of things to learn that are going to be specific to the job. I'm really more interested in hearing the ups and downs of Gnome and KDE for desktop environments.

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
    Free PowerShell Resources: Top PowerShell Blogs
    Free DevOps/Azure Resources: Visual Studio Dev Essentials

    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Senior Member Member Posts: 1,506
    Slowhand wrote:
    I have plenty of distros to work with, and lots of things to learn that are going to be specific to the job. I'm really more interested in hearing the ups and downs of Gnome and KDE for desktop environments.

    ooh...Sorry.... icon_sad.gif

    Gnome has more software available especially for software development.

    KDE has good compatibility with Windows, and it 'looks' more like the Windows environment.
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • SlowhandSlowhand Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    Gnome has more software available especially for software development.

    KDE has good compatibility with Windows, and it 'looks' more like the Windows environment.

    LOL, that's about the infomation I have, so far. I'll probably end up working with Gnome first, since that's what I have experience with, and KDE does seem more "Windows-like", and I probably wouldn't need as much practice with it. I'm just trying to find out as much in-depth information as I can, from people who've already been down this road. Thank you for the input, though, any and all information is always appreciated.

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
    Free PowerShell Resources: Top PowerShell Blogs
    Free DevOps/Azure Resources: Visual Studio Dev Essentials

    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • blackzoneblackzone Member Member Posts: 82 ■■□□□□□□□□
    The only few things you do without using the CLI is probably surfing the web or listen to music.

    So I don't think it matters much.

    p.s. Solaris is Unix not Linux. It is very different.
  • SlowhandSlowhand Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    blackzone wrote:
    p.s. Solaris is Unix not Linux.

    It sure is, but the company I'm going to work for uses it pretty regularly, and I am more interested in pursuing Unix certification, in the long run, than I am in Linux.

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
    Free PowerShell Resources: Top PowerShell Blogs
    Free DevOps/Azure Resources: Visual Studio Dev Essentials

    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • rcooprcoop Senior Member Member Posts: 183
    blackzone wrote:
    It is very different.

    Although Solaris (and other UNIX, whether Berkeley or System V based) are different... I'm not so sure I would agree with the "very" part.

    What is the base shell for both? What is the most popular shell on both? What editor do you use? For all of my productivity and command line applications... including standard daemons (lpr, samba, etc...) and utilities (grep, vi, perl, etc...), I have found that I can create an almost identical work environment for myself and often forget which OS I'm actually in... although the GUI (Java Desktop Environment ::cough:: gnome ::cough::) in Solaris 10 is new (shiny, yea!), you'd be hard pressed to think that using Solaris and Linux in a desktop environment is all that different.

    Now Solaris in a highly available server environment, now using Solaris clustering, especially on Sun SPARC servers, can put the Linux x86 desktop user in a bit of hot water.

    So, if you are looking for a desktop environment, especially to study for the SCSA test, you will find the test covers a lot of the same stuff on a LPI or Linux+ exam... even the AIX Administration exam covers the vi editor and commands. So using Linux and studying for the Linux+ will be valuable when you transition over to Solaris... but its also not a bad thing to remember that one is UNIX and one is GNU/Linux... the minor differences can throw you for fits, especially when trying to figure out why one regex statement works on one, and not on another.

    Good luck, and keep us informed as you study your way through Linux+ and then SCSA.

    As a side note, VMWare Workstation 5.0 and 5.5 support ('experimentally'?) Solaris, and I've managed to get v10 running in a VM that I use. I can't say enough good things about VMWare.

    Take Care,
    RCoop
    Working on MCTS:SQL Server 2005 (70-431) & Server+
  • TeslTesl Member Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Gnome has more software available especially for software development.

    I'm curious about this. Exactly what software have you come across that is unique to Gnome or unique to KDE? I can't think of anything. Some applications are written with QT and could be considered more KDE-esq, and others are written using GTK and could be considered more Gnome like. However, I can't think of any piece of software I've ever used that worked on one but not the other.

    And, thats especially for software development ;)

    Software Dev wise I tend to use the GTK libraries, I prefer the licensing and like that I can also use it for commercial work. The environment I'm using right now for developing graphical applications is absolutely the best ever IMO

    Glade for Creating all my GUI's
    KDevelop for scripting Python
    PyGTK and Libglade for manipulating the GUI from within Python

    For any application developers out there, this is by *far* the most productive environment I've ever had for writing GUI applications (that includes any GUI builder I used in Windows)
    KDE has good compatibility with Windows, and it 'looks' more like the Windows environment.

    errr, again, what compatibility does KDE have with Windows? It's a WM built on X, as far as I know it provides nothing extra for Windows compatibility (Linux - Windows is usually accomplished using Samba)

    Gnome is pretty widely used and adopted now as the 'linux GUI'.....

    I'm not sure I'm even close to agreeing to that. Hell, it was fairly recently that Linus Torvalds himself had a bit of a flame war with the Gnome developers, and was telling people they should use KDE instead.


    [quot"bighornsheep"]Try that out first and get familiar with the console...the various editors..and programming environments...and then you could move on to fedora or mandrake for a fuller linux experience.[/quote]

    I don't understand this at all. How are Fedora and Mandrake (Now Mandriva) in anyway a "Fuller Linux Experience" than Ubuntu? And yes, I have used all three quite extensively.

    I'd understand more if you were suggesting Slackware/Gentoo/LFS for a "Fuller linux experience", but even then I'd probably still object slightly.

    This post was meant in no way an attack on you personally, You've just said a few too many things there that appear grossly inaccurate to me.
Sign In or Register to comment.