March 2, 2012

Desktop Linux

Linux has been my primary OS for about eight years. I am very fond of it and have often made the analogy that sitting down to a Windows box feels as clumsy as having your thumbs removed.

I used Redhat, then Fedora, then Ubuntu. It really annoyed me when they hid the kernel boot messages to be more noob friendly or stylish or whatever. My Linux boxes are workstations damn it; show me the bogomips.

Then Ubuntu gets stupid. Shuttleworth decides we need windows controls on the wrong side to prepare us for ... something. So I spend a year feeling like an American driving in Britain when using Linux and a Brit driving in the US when using Windows.

And that something turns out to be Unity.

And Unity sucks.

And my escape route is gone because my beloved Gnome had become Gnome 3 aka Gnome Shell aka Hunt the Wumpus but I give it a shot for a few weeks because it has the wonderful quality of not being Unity until it strikes me, this sucks too. So I spend an entire weekend trying different distros -- then going back to Ubuntu. Then spending the next weekend forcing XFCE into dressing up as Gnome 2. Which was close but what a weird the-opposite-of-forward step to make?

Pretty-please someone fork Gnome 2 and save the Linux desktop.


Joe said...

It looks like lot of people have migrated from KDE 3, to Gnome 2, to XFCE.

But with Windows 8 going the same direction as KDE 4 and Gnome 3, I'm kind of wondering if there's something I'm missing, like maybe there's this shiny new world out there and my preferences just froze when I hit puberty with 98se.

Jim said...

I know what you mean, Joe.

There was a moment using Gnome Shell when I felt like "ok, I'm starting to see it ... no wait, I don't."

I read a comment today that summed it up well. The new desktops are app centric where the old ones where task centric. I don't use an IDE -- I assemble my own by arranging terminals and folders and editors across multiple desktops. What was easy under Gnome 2 has become a pain under Unity and Gnome Shell.