Rich Freeman on 15 Dec 2011 03:25:20 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] I have had time to consider and may now comfortably hate Unity.

On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 11:32 PM, Matt Murphy <> wrote:
> What are users of Gentoo and other distros seeing in their desktops these days?

Gentoo is desktop environment agnostic.  Generally speaking all of
them stay pretty close to upstream.

Right now I'm running KDE, and with USE=-semantic-desktop it no longer
gobbles CPU/disk trying to index everything I do in a way that would
make DHS proud.  Of course, I can't use kmail that way - maybe one of
these days I'll try that out again but try to reign in nepomuk via the
KDE control panel.  Overall I'm relatively happy with KDE, but I don't
really use much of it and I used to like it in the past until KDE4
first came out.

Gnome on Gentoo is currently on 2.32.1 for stable users, and is at
3.2.1 for testing users.  I'm going from memory but I do recall talk
of stabilizing it.  So, if you don't like Gnome 3 on Ubuntu I doubt
you'll like it a whole lot better on Gentoo, unless Ubuntu did
something to make it extra tablety or something.  Again, Gentoo tends
to stay close to upstream.

Xfce on Gentoo is at 4.8, and I've found that it works fine.  Being
minimalistic it basically is what it is.  If you have a command that
you need to run to fix your trackpad just stick it someplace that runs
after login.  I'm tempted to say /etc/X11/Xsession.d but I've never
tried that - ~/.xsession does work I know (if you use xdm/etc).

>From what I see lxde is at 0.5.5, but I've never tried it.  Openbox is
at 3.5.0, and again I've never tried it..

Normally I would have been hesitant to recommend Gentoo for a laptop,
but if I ever bought one that belonged to me I'd be sure to give it a
try.  I tried experimenting with a laptop-ish VM running Gentoo and I
found it didn't take much work to have it working with KDE and suspend
to disk.  I suspect it won't be quite as "just works" as Ubuntu -
there will be more user configuration required.  However, just
following the howto got it working with fairly little fuss.

Bottom line, however, is that on Gentoo you tend to get an experience
very close to upstream, and usually one that is relatively fresh for
most packages.  It is also desktop environment neutral, so it is
always a valid bug to point out that your favorite app doesn't install
a menu item on your favorite obscure desktop environment (though at
this point everybody should be following the freedesktop guidelines).
Out of the box Gentoo doesn't even install X - the system set is VERY
minimal and we're always trying to reduce it further.  However,
setting your profile to the desktop/kde profile and doing an emerge
kde-meta probably will get you there (maybe you need xorg-server too -
though perhaps it will get pulled in - or xorg-x11 if you want the
full x11 distribution).  Only kde and gnome have their own profiles,
but really they're the only ones that need profiles (a profile is a
large collection of default settings like packages to install, USE
flags to set, and so on).

If nothing else try installing it in a VM to see what it would be
like.  That doesn't really cost you much.

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