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  1. #1

    What DE to get for my needs?

    Hello guys.

    I'm doing my research to migrate to Linux (yes, I'm still a Windows user) and, as you know, there is a lot of research you have to do before choosing the right distro to start the journey.

    With the help of the web I have a somewhat clear picture about the distros, but still don't decide myself with the DE.

    I have a fairly new Laptop (not a year old yet) with very good resources (for a person who only needs to surf the web, watch movies and write some tex files): 3 GB in ram, intel i3 processor, and 300 GB of storage. The thing is that I don't want to abuse my machine. I don't want to use a 3d desktop with all the graphic effects available and all that. I want my machine to run fast and smooth, and don't mind sacrificing some good looks in my desktop.

    So the question is, being undecided between KDE, XFCE and LXDE what I want to know is:

    I have heard some pretty good things about KDE, but will it be more resource-hungry than the Windows Desktop? should I choose instead one of the lightweight DE? or KDE should be fine with my machine and my expectations?

    Again, thanks for the help guys!

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Virginia, USA
    Xfce and lxde would be better choices than kde for a machine that has lower resources.

    If you pick a larger distro such as Mint or Fedora, you could easily install both of them (you'll have the option to switch at the login screen).

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Harrow, UK
    Another option would be to use a simple window manager rather than a desktop environment like lxde or xfce. A lot of people here use openbox, fluxbox or icewm. The last two include a task bar. By itself, a window manager won't give you desktop icons, but you can use the rox file manager to display them.

    This kind of desktop is very economical; the main disadvantage is that you have to configure it manually.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    If you must have a full DE, xfce and lxde as recommended by mizzle are very good. Otherwise, hazel's recommendation of a WM only is the way to go, and is my own favorite way to setup machines, even when they have more than enough power to run any of the DEs. Let us know what you end up going with...

  6. #5
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    3GB RAM? Use a Gnome 2.x distribution. I run that with my Scientific Linux (RHEL clone) 6.3 systems very happily, including virtual machines with only 2GB of ram, and have no problems at all. It is a good, full-featured GUI/desktop and works very well for me.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  7. #6
    Mate might be a good DE as its a fork of Gnome 2. However if you know what you need to do your job honestly KDE , XFCE, Gnome2 and LXDE would all work on a laptop with that spec. I have a laptop with a 1ghz amd single core processor 2gb of ram and 160gb hard drive and I have tested distributions with full KDE desktops Gnome2 Desktops as well as my current XFCE/Gnome2 hybrid and the windowing system all worked fine with little tearing or distortions and generally idling at about 10 - 20% of cpu usage.

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