Favorite Linux Desktop?

Forum Forums New users New Users and General Questions Favorite Linux Desktop?

  • This topic has 70 replies, 28 voices, and was last updated Apr 12-1:10 am by Mynaardt.
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  • #13802

    The one that is installed OOTB on install.

    Plain and simple, no need for bells and whistles or eye candy.


    Icewm on antix and xfce on mx linux.

    dell d610-2gb and d830-4gb with antix
    A10-16gb tower with mx linux

    Normal == 🙂
    depends on the surrounding crowd ?!


    Anti, I’ll download a fresh 17.2_x64-full and do a default install with it on my favorite old HP laptop and add the Lumina desktop to see what it’s like and how it runs.


    I also created another partition and tried installing the LXDE desktop, which includes/runs off OpenBox. That might be of interest to some folks.

    …And I figured out how to make my own Package Installer package list, which will enable me to make a list of all the packages I like that aren’t installed by default, and use the Package Installer to install all of them in one fell swoop! So that means if I create my own little package of tweaks, I can install all my mods a group at a time by adding the tweak packages to the Package Installer list…


    Cinnamon (Mint)
    Cinnamon (Mint)
    Cinnamon (Mint)
    Cinnamon (Mint)

    Cinnamon (Mint)
    Unity (†Ubuntu 12.04 – 16.04)
    Gnome 3 (anywhere but, default! –> “empty”)

    IceWM (antiX)
    XFCE (Mint; NOT MX — worst XFCE ever)
    i3 (anywhere)


    no matter what “Qt” or “k…”


    IMHO Fluxbox hands down. More precisely Space Fluxbox…
    As previously mentioned:

    In most distros fluxbox isn’t available in a usable form. Yes the package is there but you need to do quite a bit of work to get it to a usable form. In AntiX it’s complete. You can modify it if you want to but you don’t need to.


    I tried many DEs with many distros and personally I do not see what material and useful functionality they bring along (aside from resource toll) in comparison to Fluxbox. In AntiX it is well integrated and functional. In addition Fluxbox menus have good quality fonts (which cannot be said about AntiX desktop fonts…).
    In my experience Fluxbox would be a significant asset for other distros if it were readily available and well integrated as it is in AntiX.


    I tried Cinnamon. It looks real nice but is slower and used 500 mb of memory with nothing else running. For a fast machine with plenty of memory, it would be nice. I loaded the antiX version of it via the package installer last night onto a fresh 64 bit 17.2 partition.

    I will give i3 a try when I get a chance. I’m always looking for better things or ways to improve what I have. For my older machines I still like IceWM best. It gives tremendous performance on the older machines.


    Imagine a pair of twin sisters. They obviously look the same. Then, one pimps herself and another one not.
    The one looking better at the end, is obviously the one using more resources. 😉

    That said, like I wrote in Cromebook post, it all depends also on how much time you wanna spend on pimping.

    Also, there is much more behind the memory management then just reading the naked numbers.

    Can you tell me, which XFCE uses more memory, MX or Modicia, if they read 400 MB for MX, 1.6 GB for Modicia?

    Well, they are using exactly the same amount of memory for the same things, on the same HW. The difference is only, that Modicia is highly optimized and it preloads everything you might want to use but, are not using just yet. This makes it much more responsive then MX.

    Can you say how much memory I use right now from the screenshots at the bottom? 2,3 GB right? Wrong.



    Myself, I try to use the same yardstick to measure with, and lean towards the ones that are simplest, provide details (showing why to some degree) and widely available on any Linux. That puts ps_mem.py and top and free (matched top totals) in the running for me, as far as how to come up with a number to compare.

    As far as responsiveness, I haven’t seen many distro/desktops that have larger memory footprints that are caused by tuning for improved responsiveness, but you make a good point there, especially in this browser oriented era, where how responsive the browser is a large portion of what makes the system useful or not. I want snappy menus and desktop or file manager icons, and a quick browser, even with lots of tabs open. I want the ability to resize windows or groups of windows, or move windows easily at least with my mouse, and optimally also with the keyboard (and moved used keys shortcuts shown for easy memorization).

    I tried i3 by loading Arco last night. It has a very pretty wallpaper, but Thunar comes up full screen, so you can’t see the keyboard shortcuts to run i3 until you close Thunar. I was lost the first time, but the 2nd time got a terminal open. The mouse was able to adjust the split between windows after I figured out how to open more apps. I didn’t see ways to use it for window move/iconify/maximize/rollup/down/close). That probably is normal for i3 it seems. You would expect it to be lightweight, but it was using over 400 mb (according to the conky), or 372 (according to top and free) with nothing running, and it doesn’t have snappy performance in Thunar or the Alternate menu. I then installed i3 on a clean antiX system. I got it to run fine, switching to it from Desktops on the menu, but couldn’t remember the keystrokes to work it and the mouse isn’t usable under antiX for normal desktop maintenance tasks, either. It is obvious that it is tricky to try to learn to do almost everything from the keyboard. I will go retest antiX i3 and see how it does if I can get it to open a terminal.

    Oh well… One thing you mentioned that sounded like a great innovation was to use the available memory to preload the things you typically use to improve responsiveness. It sounds like a good idea that I should look into.

    Edit: retried Arco i3 and got multiple windows working and resizing by moving the split, and memory usage from free and top. I found no bug type problems loading or running Arco i3, btw.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by BobC.

    Second proposal for cleaned up version 17.2.1

    i3 is not Herbstluft. 😉

    i3 can do. 😉

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Why I stopped using it … you go to a customer, you need to connect SOMETHING … am I supposed to do some Monitor configurations over the text files now??? Whaaaaaaaat? 🙂

    We´re writing (almost) 2020, Ánno Dómini. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Win Dows. Amen. 🙂

    My “workhorse” Laptop has 32 GB RAM …


    I am posting this from antiX 17.2 using i3 as the window manager installed normally with some other programs recommended or suggested onto antiX-Full. It does work fine and the memory footprint is 136 mb per free and top. Arco had Xfce running underneath I think, hence the large footprint. The Dmenu does work, but the Alt Menus from Arco don’t work, because they are really from Xfce, I think. The mouse does work to move the splits, and Tabbed or Tiled windows both work. Sorely needed would be making the keyboard shortcuts hints visible, and making the conky, which is on top, currently in Tabbed mode, Configurably visible or behind. An alternate menu like Arco has would be real nice for when you don’t remember the name of the program you want to run. LOL, I don’t know how to exit…

    Back on IceWM… Exiting i3 took me out of X-Windows back to the login instead of bringing up the desktop session exit window, probably a configuration issue. Probably the way to get a good easy menu would be to use one of the ones that is already installed on antiX by default, like Arco did with their Xfce menu.

    After figuring it out, I would say i3 would be a good fit as another window manager to front end antiX as another desktop option, as would Openbox, and neither are space hogs. Looking at the download counts for versions of Linux with these window managers on other distros, I think they are the ones most likely being looked for by potential users looking for high performance out of older hardware or stellar performance out of the newer high end machines.

    Something that really should be considered is an automatic display of keyboard shortcuts with or and a link to the user manual for the desktop that is active so that the unfamiliar users can try a different one and know what keys are available and have an easy way to go get help/info.


    Try those 2 files from the attachment.

    “config” belongs in ~/.config/i3/config

    “i3status.conf” goes in ~/.i3status.conf

    (Note the dot — you must rename it)

    First one makes some shortcut changes like for example “exit” (logout) with mod+shift+e (mod == windows button).
    It also changes Dmenu a little bit.

    i3status makes status bar little bit prettier.

    For details, you can read the file itself and i3 and ArchWiki websites.


    Modicia didn’t install. I got close, got it running live, then tried to install, and got 90% copied, then get an error and it aborts. Tried downloading and creating from Windows and Linux with same results. 2 separate downloads same mismatch from ISO to USB. Trying a 3rd time with a different flashdrive. Same exact error with 2nd flashdrive. Gotta give up on that one. Not much left I can do.

    dd if=MODICIA_OS_light_181206.iso of=/dev/sdc && sync
    4272128+0 records in
    4272128+0 records out
    2187329536 bytes (2.2 GB, 2.0 GiB) copied, 1390.99 s, 1.6 MB/s
    cmp -n <code>stat -c '%s' MODICIA_OS_light_181206.iso</code> MODICIA_OS_light_181206.iso /dev/sdc
    MODICIA_OS_light_181206.iso /dev/sdc differ: byte 208934, line 390

    Even if I don’t get Modicia to load, I do like the concept of it being faster due to compression and better utilizing the ram, but its not apparent when running from USB. I think some of the later Puppy Linux’s uses that as well. I wonder if antiX would benefit from that as well?????

    I will try your i3 configs when I get a little time. Was that for if I install i3 on antiX?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by BobC.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by BobC.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by BobC.

    Was that for if I install i3 on antiX?

    If you install i3 … you need to install i3wm / dmenu / sucless tools.

    Modicia OS is made for Swiss Schools and looks awfull … “bubble gum, pseudo mac like” look.
    They tried hard but result is s..t, like all Distros out there, with exception of Mint, RHEL and Salix.
    Developers do some hard work, it’s undeniable but, there’s either no concept behind or they try to make it suitable for all.
    Both doesn’t work.

    Here a couple of screenshots. Errors and some other mistakes included.


    They took some time to customize the apps to.

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