Ahoy Dudettes and Duderinos!
You find a lot of Linux-ish content in this blog, a little here and a little there, but hardly ever any distro- or desktop reviews anymore. The reasons are plenty and I’ve told you already that with the steady stabilization and evolution of Linux distros, the whole infrastructure has reached a level of maturity and prime-timeiness that makes many Linux distros completely usable, right out of the box and without any further ado. Just install and enjoy right away!
But that’s not my personal main reason for not testing and reviewing distributions anymore. With me it’s like with most human beings, I’m getting bored after a while when doing the same shit over and over again. In the course of the last few years I’ve established a remarkably short list of recommended Linux distros for you to use. Linux Mint for when you totally stupid n00b, and Namib GNU/Linux if you’re a bit more advanced. I stick to those recomendations … since years already, and will do so in the forseeable future. If you trust my recomendation or not is your business.
One aspect – for me the most important aspect of any Linux distro – the desktop always comes up a bit short in all my tests. As with the basic distros, Mint (Ubuntu) and Namib (Arch), so I’ve decided for the best desktop also a long time ago.
But here, with this choice, we’re leaving the almost purely technical side of Linux distros and enter the confusing realm of usage scenarios and … uhm, personal taste. 😮
As I’ve told you often enough Orca’s a rather oldfashioned desktop user. I’m sitting indeed mostly in my comfy office chair, at my office desk, using desktop computers and staring into monitors, mounted on said desk. I know that makes me a small minority these days, an oldfashioned outdated freak of nature.
Today’s computer users are more like smartphone users – an area Linux is rapidly gaining in – and maybe some tablet users as well. I can’t really understand why people prefer to peek at small cellphone screens they have to hold in their hands and live with non-existent keyboards, rather than computing in peace and quiet and the comforts of a small home office/studio.
But anyway, let’s forget these radical mobilists for a second and talk about desktop enviroments, like real desktop environments. The choice there is also much greater than Orca’s favourite old-peoples-desktop Mate. Also greater than her second and third fave Cinnamon and Xfce, and KDE/Plasma. Without entering the world of Window Managers (please let’s not) there are some cool and clever and some really really stupid and clunky and hardly usable, and often bereft of any functionality (hello Gnome3) desktops to have.
But see, this is all a question of taste, of personal preferences and needs. And Orca’s needs are very simple and oldfashioned, as she doesn’t sync her desktops with a calendar or a smartphone. I fact she doesn’t even have a home network. But since probably 99.999% of you clever people are doing so, Orca’s neglecting your needs almost criminally, and paints an image of Linux as an operation system that fell out of time and has no place in the modern world.
But that isn’t true! Fact is that Linux is very modern, and that reflects in some more modern desktops as well. Please believe me when I tell you that some Linux desktops get you on par with Windows 10 or the latest MacOS or Android developments. Easily. Of course you can’t get all the new shit on Mate but some desktops, shining example being Budgie, are up to scratch with modern tech and modern ways of operation.
For us Arch fraggles, yes Budgie is avalable from Manjaro and Namib as well as there is a Ubuntu version, for those people. Choice galore, and I’m really asking myself why I don’t recommend this newer desktop more often. Of course it’s hardly customizable, but nobody got time for such individual frivolities anymore, right? But Budgie comes with all the amenities you youngsters need to sync your Linux system with your tablet and smartphone.
And after watching Tom’s latest review from just today I’ve decided to include the Budgie desktop in my list of recommendations. 😉
I like the modern/trad blend of this desktop. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll most probably never use it as I love my personal freedom and am out of the workforce and not always connected. But for all the wage slaves, the smartphone and tablet users among you Budgie could be a near perfect solution for all your computing needs.