… is also the Beauty of Linux! Its modability, customizablity and “rice”ability. 😉 So we see already the alleged problem is nothing but the users’ unfamiliarity with so much choice and self-determination. You are used to get exactly one desktop environment, or let’s say two. The Windows and the Apple one. 🙂 And now let’s – for example – have a look at a standard Linux Desktop Environment; in this case my fave DE MATE:
As you can see in the two screenshot it’s a rather traditional, oldfashioned desktop, right? No problem for any Windows or Mac user to figure out how to work this environment. That’s why Orca loves it so much. Everything is as she’s used to it since the early 90s, when she got her first PC, a used Windows 3.1 machine. You clicker with a mouse and push your files from one window to another. Simples. It werkz.
And this is were the beauty – and confusion – starts for many of us, depending on mindset and experience. Nobody, really nofuckingbody, uses the desktop as it’s visible in the pictures! Every Linux user fiddles with the standard environment at least a tiny little bit, as I show you on my example. So there is no standard desktop in Linux, neither is there a standard user.
As you can see the “standard” MATE desktop features two panels, top and bottom. But Orca is such a simple girl, two panels make her noggin assplode, so she deleted the lower one and pulled the top one down. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. No geeky skills needed as it’s all manageable via the panel menu, point and click operation.
This is Orca’s actual MATE desktop, captured just 5 minutes ago:
See how the top panel is missing and the bottom panel is loaded with stuff? Wanna have a peek what it all is?
The first green MATE icon opens a menu with all the softwares that are installed on my system. The next three words are the main menu categories, Applications (the programs), Locations (drives and folders), System (where you tweak your desktop).
They are followed by icons I use to start my most-used applications without having to dive into the menu. I use this trick because I’m a lazy girl. Here I have the icons for graphic programs Krita and Gimp, multimedia stuff like Pitivi video editor (that’s still waiting for me to finally use it), my MP3 player Banshee and the famous VLC video player. Also the qBittorrent pirate tool. =^.^= Of course the Libre Office Writer module, a calculator, yellow post-it stickers, the Pluma text editor, sound volume regulators, a tool to create bootable software on USB-sticks, the mighty GParted harddrive partitioner and formatter, Firefox browser and Thunderbird email … and some stuffs to show how my system temps are and processor usage. And of course, last but by no means least, the Terminal! Oh … and the starter for my Singularity SL viewer can’t be missing from that collection!!! On the right side the panel shows open software, right now it’s only this blog, nothing else.
This is the right side of the panel with the usual stuff as you can find it in almost every Linux distro: Workspace switcher (usually 4 desktops you can use for different tasks), which I never ever use, the star-like thing that turns red when new updates are available, a loudness thing, an icon to show that I’m online and of course time and date, from where I can open a graphical calendar. On the far right is my OFF-switch. And that’s it.
Do you need all that stuff? Of course not. I don’t need most of it neither on a daily basis. But if I need to “burn” a Linux ISO to a USB stick the icon is there, waiting for my click. That’s my workflow. Pretty traditional and oldfashioned, right? I don’t have any of the newfangled stuff all the youngsters adorn their desktops with; no wobbly windows, no super effects, no real-time weather report on my screen, nothing that’s screaming for attention. Really, apart from my personal extravaganza with all the program icons in the panel, this is the most basic and boring desktop you’ve ever seen. Ok, I amuse myself with daily changing wallpapers (I have around 700 so far) but that’s it … more or less. But as you can see even most of the programs I use are well-known in the Windows world as well. Libre Office, Firefox, Thunderbird, VLC, Gimp are all multi-platform applications and in so far should be easy to use for any Linux n00b.
Why did I show you that boring stuff? Why can’t I at least show off a fancy modern desktop with all the bells and whistles? Because, honestly, I always hear that Linux is so fukn complex and you must spend the whole day, typing enigmatic commands into a terminal and it’s unusable for normal human beings. Hmm, tell you what, I am a normal human being, as ungeeky as they come … and my whole desktop and it’s operation is a point and click affair. I wouldn’t need to use the terminal at all. I just do it sometimes because after a while on Linux you pick up the one or other trick and clever command line. And you’ll notice that many things are better and more elegantly done in terminal than by mousyclick operation. But it’s not necessary.
Looks familiar? Mhm, window operation follows the same syntax and modus operandi as we know it from 30 years on Windows. Not saying you can’t have it totally different, in ways you never dared dreaming about. But Orca uses only shit she knows and is used to since 1,000 years. Actually she’s the last person anyone should expect on a Linux system. And yet, there she is!
And now, dears, hop hop, download your Linux Mint LMDE ISO, install the shit on your grandma’s laptop and join the light side. 🙂