People talk about how the Linux desktop is coming along. I don't really give a shit about Linux's viability as a desktop OS, or attempts to give it general appeal. In my opinion, that just introduces hits in performance and flexibility. It's a great desktop because I know what I'm doing. I want that. That doesn't have great appeal, but I don't care. Gnome, Unity, KDE, and Cinnamon are user friendly, but heavy as fuck.

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    I find Gnome has comparable performances as Windows, but it way more customizable than Windows. And while KDE is a little bit heavier, boy o boy! It is so customizable and useful. And anyway xfce is so lightweight, (2 cores allocated on a vm and it was 0% cpu usage, and Windows never get that with more cores) and still super cool
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    Use Xfce, a balance between lightweight and nice user interface.
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    I've found xfce to be satisfyingly minimalist, but buggy. Same with MATE. Interestingly, though, I have never seen bugs when using either DE on a laptop. Only on a powerful tower desktop with multiple displays have I seen signs of instability.

    That said, I'm a big fan of lxde/openbox. That's what I've been using at home for about two years, since I got rid of Windows. I went through all these options before landing on lxde, and I've been delighted with it since then.
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    @bahua yup xfce is quite buggy but given I can install pleasant themes like arc without screwing somewhere I think I can bear with it for now. Currently switching between xfce and lxde as my laptop is so incredibly slow for other heavy DEs. Probably will go back to i3 if needed too.
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    I mean, that's really fine with me. It's great for me because I literally use Linux for a living. I really have no interest in evangelizing it to anyone else.
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