Author Topic: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features  (Read 374 times)

Offline Jason Wallwork

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1885
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« on: February 08, 2019, 12:17:56 am »
I could be totally wrong about this but I think we choose a desktop environment based on aesthetics and if it has particular features that we like.

I was going to start a topic on what our favorite DE is and why but I changed my mind. Instead of saying just what our favorite desktop environment is, mention your favorite feature or features about that desktop environment or even several if they have that feature. This might be a good way to expose to others what features your DE has of which others might not be aware.

What feature or features do you pretty much have to have in a DE for it to be productive and friendly for you?
You don't have to mention them all in one post and maybe you can't even think of many so just start with one if you want.
Primary: Desktop w/ Win10Pro/Ubuntu Budgie  on i5-3.2 GHz w/ 12 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD boot & 2x2 TB RAID 10 array for extra storage

Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Win10/Kali Linux  (i3-1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SDD)

Phone: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra w/ Android Oreo 8.0

Offline Jason Wallwork

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1885
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 12:36:46 am »
One of my favorite features is program/taskbar preview that is available in the following desktop environments of which I'm aware: Plasma, Gnome and Cinnamon.

When I have several programs open, I find it handy sometimes not just to see their names but what is actually going on in the windows. This is particularly useful when watching progress bars. In Plasma and Cinnamon, by default, it's on the taskbar at the bottom. You just hover over a program and it pops up a box showing a small preview of what is happening in the actual program window. I think in Gnome, you can get something similar by bring up the task switcher.

Another feature I really like in Plasma is the checksum tab in the File Properties window. Right-click on a file in the Dolphin file manager and choose the checksums tab and you can get checksums for ISO for other downloads easily and compare them to a checksum that you paste in. It's shown below. I don't know if this is built into any other DEs but likely you can get an program that does this for you graphically if it's not.
Primary: Desktop w/ Win10Pro/Ubuntu Budgie  on i5-3.2 GHz w/ 12 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD boot & 2x2 TB RAID 10 array for extra storage

Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Win10/Kali Linux  (i3-1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SDD)

Phone: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra w/ Android Oreo 8.0

Offline ssfc72

  • Posting Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 941
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 12:53:01 am »

On my Mint 18.3 Cinnamon,  I don't get that, checksum tab menu.
When I right click on an iso file, in the default file manager (I don't know if the file manager is Dolphin) I get a menu which has a menu item, "check sha256".  Clicking on the menu item, just starts a process that calculates the sha256 number of the iso.





One of my favorite features is program/taskbar preview that is available in the following desktop environments of which I'm aware: Plasma, Gnome and Cinnamon.

When I have several programs open, I find it handy sometimes not just to see their names but what is actually going on in the windows. This is particularly useful when watching progress bars. In Plasma and Cinnamon, by default, it's on the taskbar at the bottom. You just hover over a program and it pops up a box showing a small preview of what is happening in the actual program window. I think in Gnome, you can get something similar by bring up the task switcher.

Another feature I really like in Plasma is the checksum tab in the File Properties window. Right-click on a file in the Dolphin file manager and choose the checksums tab and you can get checksums for ISO for other downloads easily and compare them to a checksum that you paste in. It's shown below. I don't know if this is built into any other DEs but likely you can get an program that does this for you graphically if it's not.
Mint 18.3 on an HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook
Tried Mint 19, but too many bugs. Went back to Mint 18.3
Cellphone ZTE Axon 7 Mini, PCMobile pay as you go

Offline Jason Wallwork

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1885
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 01:43:55 am »
Dolphin is the file manager only for Plasma, I believe. I think the file manager in Cinnamon is called Nemo and was forked from Gnome's file manager, Nautilus. Cinnamon and MATE are heavily modified forks of Gnome.

That's cool that there is even that graphical way of checking sha256 sums which are the most common anyway. When I was using LM Cinnamon, I would just do in the terminal.
Primary: Desktop w/ Win10Pro/Ubuntu Budgie  on i5-3.2 GHz w/ 12 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD boot & 2x2 TB RAID 10 array for extra storage

Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Win10/Kali Linux  (i3-1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SDD)

Phone: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra w/ Android Oreo 8.0

Offline Jason Wallwork

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1885
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2019, 08:27:34 pm »
I guess from this response nobody has favorite features in their desktop that they want to share. Oh well, I tried, right?
Primary: Desktop w/ Win10Pro/Ubuntu Budgie  on i5-3.2 GHz w/ 12 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD boot & 2x2 TB RAID 10 array for extra storage

Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Win10/Kali Linux  (i3-1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SDD)

Phone: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra w/ Android Oreo 8.0

Offline buster

  • Posting Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 567
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2019, 08:52:21 pm »
Split view in filemanager - Plasma, Mint Cinnamon.

Quickness in vm - xfce.
"With all due respect John I am head of IT and I have it on good authority if you type 'Google' into Google you can break the internet, so please no one try it, even for a joke." ( Jen on 'The IT Crowd' )

Offline Jason Wallwork

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1885
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 09:35:35 pm »
Thanks for posting, Buster. I like split-view in Plasma, too. Didn't know there was one for Cinnamon's file manager, too (or I just forgot :).
Primary: Desktop w/ Win10Pro/Ubuntu Budgie  on i5-3.2 GHz w/ 12 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD boot & 2x2 TB RAID 10 array for extra storage

Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Win10/Kali Linux  (i3-1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SDD)

Phone: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra w/ Android Oreo 8.0

Offline fox

  • Posting Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1087
  • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2019, 12:05:42 pm »
In Gnome, I like the gnome shell extensions, which can be added and activated online (gnome-shell-extensions website) or through gnome-tweaks. One in particular that I find useful is force-quit. You select it from the menubar and it changes the cursor to an "X". Click that cursor on a stuck window and it force-quits.

This is something in gnome that someone like Buster (folks who are allergic to the command line) should really appreciate, and Plasma doesn't have it. I just ran into a situation where it would have come in handy in openSUSE Leap Plasma where an update app got stuck and I couldn't force-quit it. See my posting here.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 12:22:47 pm by fox »
Ubuntu 19.04 and openSUSE Leap on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 19.2 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 19.04 and 18.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline Jason Wallwork

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1885
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2019, 12:46:11 pm »
Is this the same extension? Just realized it's an extension to xkill. I'm using Kubuntu and I can enable that with Ctrl-Alt-Esc, no need for an extension. But I believe that's available in every X-based desktop though maybe it doesn't use the same key combo to activate or is disabled in some desktops. I freaking love xkill. Didn't even realize until today honestly that you could enable it with a key combo. I always just typed 'xkill &' in the terminal.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 12:48:17 pm by Jason Wallwork »
Primary: Desktop w/ Win10Pro/Ubuntu Budgie  on i5-3.2 GHz w/ 12 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD boot & 2x2 TB RAID 10 array for extra storage

Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Win10/Kali Linux  (i3-1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SDD)

Phone: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra w/ Android Oreo 8.0

Offline ssfc72

  • Posting Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 941
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2019, 01:38:28 pm »
My number 1 desktop requirement is a 1 mouse click, distro shutdown.
Lubuntu takes 2 mouse clicks, which is better than the 3 mouse clicks needed to shut down Mint Linux.
There is a command line routine, to set up a 1 mouse click shutdown, for Mint, which i make to my Mint Distro.
Mint 18.3 on an HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook
Tried Mint 19, but too many bugs. Went back to Mint 18.3
Cellphone ZTE Axon 7 Mini, PCMobile pay as you go

Offline Jason Wallwork

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1885
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2019, 07:49:17 pm »
To keep this topic on message, the discussion about xkill/kill has been continued in a new topic.
Primary: Desktop w/ Win10Pro/Ubuntu Budgie  on i5-3.2 GHz w/ 12 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD boot & 2x2 TB RAID 10 array for extra storage

Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Win10/Kali Linux  (i3-1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SDD)

Phone: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra w/ Android Oreo 8.0

Offline Jason Wallwork

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1885
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Linux Desktop Environments: Favorite features
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2019, 08:25:16 pm »
My number 1 desktop requirement is a 1 mouse click, distro shutdown.
Is there a desktop environment with this feature already? I think all desktops are going to prompt you to make sure before they shutdown in case of an accidental click. But you could make a desktop shortcut to the shutdown command or halt which is probably the trick you're talking about.
Primary: Desktop w/ Win10Pro/Ubuntu Budgie  on i5-3.2 GHz w/ 12 GB RAM, 480 GB SSD boot & 2x2 TB RAID 10 array for extra storage

Secondary/Test: Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook Z830-00K w/ Win10/Kali Linux  (i3-1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SDD)

Phone: Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra w/ Android Oreo 8.0