Mike Angelo -- 17 August 2005 (C) -- Page 1
(If desktop metaphor is confusing, please see the Desktop Metaphor Unraveled sidebar on page 4.)
However, that's not so for new and inexperienced Linux users, or for Microsoft Windows users migrating to Linux. They pretty much are blessed, or stuck, with the default desktop metaphor and environment of the Linux distribution they choose to install -- and they are pretty much blessed, or stuck, with how the Linux distribution provider has implemented that desktop environment.
What Is Good Desktop Linux?
Previously in our pursuit to find good desktop Linux, we asked:
Additionally we defined the term desktop Linux to refer to:
The look, feel, and features of the actual desktop metaphor, or desktop environment if you like, running on top of the Linux operating system are a very important part of what makes a desktop Linux a good one. Face it. The desktop is the human, or user, interface.
With people, it is the human face that you know and with which you interact -- not the blood and guts of what is under that human face -- even though all the memory, personality, and processing are going under the face. Computer-wise, it is the user interface, the desktop, that most people see and know -- not the nuts and bolts of what is under the user interface.
Thus, much like a human face, it is just as important for Linux to put its best face forward as it is for a person to put his or her best face forward.
Using a computer in many ways is similar to using a car. Most car drivers and riders do not give a tinker's darn about what is under the hood or about stuff like overhead cams, displacements, rear-end ratios, and so forth.
All they care about is putting the key in the ignition and twisting it to start the engine, putting that lever thing into one of the numbered or lettered positions such as P, R, or D, and depressing the pedal to the metal to get where they want to go. In other words they are interested in performance and ease-of-use -- not the technical, structural, and architectural stuff.
Likewise, most computer users today do not give a tinker's darn about what is in the computer box -- stuff like the operating system, the CPU, megabytes and gigabytes of this, megahertz and gigahertz of that, and so forth. All they care about is turning the computer on, rolling the mouse around and clicking it, writing letters and other documents, doing their e-mail, surfing the Web, playing music, playing games, engaging in instant messaging, and so forth. Just as with their cars, they are interested in performance, speed, and ease of use -- not the technical, structural, and architectural stuff.
For several months now, we have been looking over the latest releases of five important GNU-Linux distributions, Fedora, Mandriva, Novell, SUSE, and Xandros. We compared them using our Pogo Linux Altura64 test system and using multi-boot technology. Some things we have been looking at are out-of-the-box ease-of-use and performance.
Previously in our Pursuit
Previously in our pursuit to find good desktop Linux, we found that:
However, for other reasons we found Mandriva to be in the lead for the spot of best desktop Linux, stating:
Today, we consider the look, feel, and features of the default desktop metaphor or environment running on each of these important GNU-Linux distributions. How each Linux distribution implements its default desktop environment is an important part of our consideration. More about implementation further on in this series.
So, let's see which distributions make the cut, out-of-the-box, for:
Compatibility with MS Windows desktop
Compatibility with MS Windows is not to be taken as an endorsement of the Microsoft Windows desktop. Rather, compatibility with the MS Windows desktop is a consideration because many people are migrating from Microsoft Windows and Microsoft applications to the Linux operating system, and to free and open source software (FOSS) too, these days.Actually, we believe that the Linux operating system (OS) and the Linux desktop are better than the MS Windows OS and desktop. That is an important reason that we strongly recommend that people switch from MS Windows to GNU-Linux.
KDE, KMail, and Konqueror Articles
KMail -- One of the Best E-Mail Clients (Editor's Choice)
Impact of the Mandrake-Conectiva Acquisition on the Linux Landscape
Getting Started with Wireless Network Technology
Is Netscape Losing the Browser Wars?