Warning: DE and Linux Rant Ahead

Picks up pieces from the broken desk he just flipped

Ohai, didn't see you there! I was just cleaning up from latest rage session.

In this instance: Desktop Environments.

Seriously, for me, DEs on Linux are a lot like browsers, they all suck! The closest one I feel is acceptable out of the box is Xfce and that incorporates some gnome stuff (sorry gnome users!). Say whatever you want about Microsoft and Windows, for me, Windows 7 got the GUI almost perfect and the only distro like it is bundled with unnecessary stuff for my use-case. Honestly, its gotten to the point where I am seriously considering using the CLI exclusively in Linux and do GUI-related tasks on Windows like I do with games.

Yes, you read that right: A Windows user who up until a year ago never touched a CLI is now considering going exclusively CLI.

Has anyone else had this experience or is it just me?

Background for those interested:
This past week, I challenged myself to install the almighty Arch Linux since it was known for its high-flexibility and stability (that and I used Manjaro in the past). Despite being slightly intimidated the install went perfectly with no problems whatsoever and I learned a heck of a lot about the CLI. The second I started trying out DEs, the only one even remotely satisfying was Xfce (which was also ironically in Manjaro) and that was mostly due to the Thunar file manager and the configuration utilities being somewhat cohesive.

I have used Windows for most of my twenty years on this planet and honestly aside from rot that occurs every six months or so, I never have issues. I have found Linux solves that particular problem, but trades it for having seriously inconsistent and dated GUIs without substantial tweaks which I frankly don't have the patience for (a problem all my own I realize).


The thing is, that you most likely could stitch the DE you seem to accept .. from your link onto Arch; If nothing that is supplied by someone else you always can do it yourself - that's the miracle with oss.

And to invalidate my point for you .. yes I use gnome - and I actually grew to like it.

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If you haven't tried cinnamon that's the one I like most (yes I know it's a gnome base)

Then don't use a DE, just use a Window Manager like i3, awesome, openbox, etc. There are lots of them and can be customized to you liking. i3 and awesome are tiling and openbox is floating so I would try both of them out. i3 would be the easiest to start out with on the tiling side, openbox is also pretty easy.


I think I like deepin the most. Just a dock and thats it. No big menu's in the way, all the system settings are in one page in a side bar, and with it and arch/manjaro I feel comfortable knowing what I installed so I rarely open Rocket Launcher.

I took a look at Deepin, it's interesting, but I'm not a fan of the whole "dock" thing.

I agree about keep the desktop clean, though. Even on Windows I rarely have to use the taskbar thanks to autohotkey and bat files to make things faster and such.

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I actually did not know it was possible to use a window manager independently - oops!

Gonna go look into i3 and awesome, thanks for the suggestion!

I've been using Openbox for 4 years now, since Gnome 2 went out of commission. You don't need a DE.

I'm using it in tiling mode, works great :D

I beg to differ, Although this is a opinion of sorts, So many DE's to try, i3 has a learning curve but can be very productive, while the "traditional" DE's like Mate, Cinnamon, XFCE are too Windows-Like for my taste. Gnome 3 is my home, and i3 will be a future sidekick

i'm afraid i'm going to have to be that guy. terribly sorry.
at first, i raced down to post a warning to NOT USE ARCH IF YOU'RE NEW TO LINUX, as i see tons of people almost cramming Arch down people's throats, and it doesn't end well. but then i noticed you got it installed, so fair enough.

the question is, are you setting yourself up for frustration? you say "all" DE's suck. all. as in you've not found one you liked after presumably going through them all. all. okay, i'll bypass the hyperbole and focus on the fact that you've used Windows almost exclusively [like i have]. are you going to be okay with a CLI-only install? what about installing things? fixing things that will go wrong? if you think you can get by with that, then more power to you.

but we've all seen people who proclaim they're going to do something Linux related, can't quite get it to work for them [even though anyone here will help you with whatever you need], and come back loudly declaring that "linux sucks" and storm back off.

Window managers are an option. Mixing and matching your DE is sort of possible too.

I run Antergos, which is basically just Arch, with Gnome 3 installed. However I really don't like Nautilus, so I switched it out for Nemo, the default file manager in Cinnamon. I really liked Cinnamon except I couldn't find a menu I liked. XFCE was a bit more bare bones to what I liked, however great on systems where resources are scarce. KDE seemed a bit overkill, so Gnome it is.

I was never actually pressured to install anything, I gravitated Arch because I am very much a DIY person. More importantly I wanted to learn more about inner-workings of Linux without going into something too insane like Gentoo or LFS because I don't think I'm quite ready for that yet (although I do plan to try it some time).

It was intended to be hyperbole :P. No, I haven't actually tried them all. My real problem is my lack of motivation to fiddle with the GUI to get it just right; even on Windows now I don't use actually use my mouse for navigation much anymore anyway.

As for installing things and fixing problems, they can easily be resolved by doing research. Can things go wrong? Sure, they totally can and they totally will. And that's OK.

I'm not saying "Linux sucks", quite the opposite in fact and I am certainly not going to storm off. I am sort of the pragmatic mindset that there are some tools better at doing tasks than others. Linux is great for most of my day-to-day computation, maybe not so much at games, but who knows that might change at some point. That's where Windows comes in and fills the gap.

I didn't actually expect anyone to take this post 100% literally, but perhaps I need to brush up on my satirical hyperbole.

If you like using the keyboard to do things (like using shortcuts, ...) there are plenty of tiling window managers, like i3 that have a CLI look and feel, plus there are a pletora of CLI programs for pretty much everything: vim or emacs as a texteditor, ranger as file manager, mpd + ncmpcpp as an audio player, ...

I haven't fully decided yet on whether to use i3 or awesome yet, they both look interesting. Just out of interest, have you used Zsh before?

i3, awesome, bspwn, ... whatever you like :D

No, I didn't have the time to dive into it. People keep reccomending it. Why do you ask?

I was just curious. iirc, that's what Arch uses for the installation process and I have been doing some research into it and it looks amazing (and it's bash compatible!). I've been considering using it over bash. :)

Add xmonad on top of those tiling wm recommendations. Mostly for people who like Haskell though.

Yeah, zsh is good but for now bash suits my needs.

Oh xmonad too. I actually use xmobar as a system monitor kinda bar.

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i'm glad you didn't take it as an attack. good luck to you, then.

You didn't specify why they suck.
Running your chosen window manager with xfce4-session is quite an good option imo.