What DE do you prefer for Trisquel 8?

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lap4fsf
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Hi all,

Mine is an old computer, ageing back to 2007 or so. The GNOME Fallback is indeed, heavy and eats up quite a lot of memory; Obviously it is *not* in my wish-list.

My personal preference is MATE and Cinnamon; But I heard Xfce is lightweight and fast. LXDE, the default DE in Trisquel Mini offers somewhat comparable performance. (I may be wrong here!)

So who is your protagonist for Trisquel 8?
MATE? Cinnamon? Xfce? LXDE? or something ELSE?

Gnu
Gnu
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Noone| only the window manager
OPENBOX is best for me
^_^

Gheorghe Zugravu
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Joined: 05/21/2013

You should think about Mate, I am currently using it on an IBM Thinkpad
T42 and it works fine. Its the old good Gnome 2 look and higly
customizable. For a 2007 machine it should work fine.

XFCE is also lightweight, maybe even more than Mate. In the end its
about your personal taste. So I would recommend this two.

regards,
/gheorghe

On Fri, 6 Nov 2015 07:15:50 +0100 (CET)
name at domain wrote:

> Noone| only the window manager
> OPENBOX is best for me
> ^_^

Aforrado
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I'm in IBM THINKPAD T42 too. And still use Puppy Linux, because y don't have time to make a net installation with open box. And use Trisquel Mini with "forcepae" to use specifics programs like: youtube-dl (install python in Puppy Slacko is a pain in the ass) and Freac. Anyway is good to know about someona who has Trisquel in the same machine.

Magic Banana

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Check http://librepup.info out (more freedom inside).

dadix
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Mate desktop or Deepin desktop. There is a version of Manjaro with this desktop. Look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TiuI3bsNm4

tomlukeywood
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Joined: 12/05/2014

if Depin DE is free software looks awesome

what DE is it based on?

commodore256
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It's based on Gnome. I'd have to say, the Manjaro implementation looks amazing! It looks like what Windows 10 should have been.

Allanitomwesh
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I like Cinnamon,if only for its straightforwardness.
I think XFCE would be fine though.

onpon4
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I would prefer GNOME Shell. I know it's a bit heavy, but it's much nicer than GNOME Flashback or MATE.

I'm pretty sure Cinnamon would be out of the question because of hardware requirements, and I think Xfce and LXDE may also be out of the question for the main distribution because of a lack of accessibility support (Ruben goes to lengths to ensure that Trisquel is as accessible as possible).

Dave_Hunt

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Last time I triede them, LXDE and XFCE panels and desktops were inaccessible, though their menus are. If Trisquel 8 is to have a desktop like this GNOME Fallback, Mate is the way to go. It is very accessible in Debian and Ubuntu. Last time I tried installing Mate in Trisquel 7, I could not get the applets to show up; may try again, following instructions more carefully.

Magic Banana

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A thread where we will see one more time that every single advanced user has his/her own favorite desktop... what does not help the choice of a default. Anyway, those advanced users know how to change the default. And non-advanced users have not tested enough options to make an educated choice.

I would like to see GNOME Shell as Trisquel's default. Because it is both "nice and simple" (hence good for newcomers, imho) and "extensible and productive" (see respectively http://extensions.gnome.org and http://wiki.gnome.org/GnomeShell/CheatSheet for justifications).

MATE probably is a good choice for Trisquel Mini. It is accessible and light for today's standard. Xfce may be an option too. I am not sure: I have not used it in years.

hack and hack
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Joined: 04/02/2015

Agreed, asking for the best default DE for the next version and asking for your favorite setup is really not the same.

For weaker machines, there's Trisquel Mini. Or a minimal netinstall.
Accessibility must be there for both the default and Mini version I suppose.
From there, there's the 3D accel thing. Maybe there's a way to detect if it's supported, and go on with the install accordingly.
The default is supposed to cover as much groud as possible while being as user-friendly as it gets.

My favorite setup ?
I like i3wm : very fast, light, and plain text configuration files (easy to modify).
And Openbox the way Crunchbang sets it up is light, nice and fast for a more classic appearance/use.

Dave_Hunt

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Yes, accessibility should be in the default and mini, though, I'd also like to see it in the net install. Debian has offered this for quite a while.

hack and hack
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I see several persons asking for a way to remove the accessibility icon in gnome shell, so I assume it's there by default. I don't know about Trisquel mini (whether it's Mate or XFCE).
I didn't use it for long, but I'd vote for GNOME Shell as well (recap of what I've read here):
- the most attractive and modern (appeal matters for new users)
- the most user-friendly/simple (harder to break, just works)
- The 3D accel isn't an issue anymore
- Touchscreen-friendly, for those who- modern want it (maybe an accessibility bonus, in a way).

The cons?
- Flexible, but not as much as the more experienced wish (so what, they're not the target, they can build it the way they want themselves, just like I did).
- A bit on the heavy side (that's why the other versions exist. BTW, the netinstall version didn't work for me on Libreboot. I had to make a netinstall from the liveCD).
- "not the DE or WM I prefer". Again, if you know about that stuff, you can build it yourself easily from the liveCD.

Mate seems fine, but it certainly looks dated. Not the best feature to attract new users.
Also, higher configurability means higher chances of breaking things up.

Magic Banana

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The accessibility icon used to be present by default with Trisquel 6's GNOME Shell. There was an extension to remove it. With Trisquel 7, the icon is not present by default. At least I do not have it and I do not remember to have done anything special.

onpon4
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Indeed, that icon is no longer present. It's not just disabled by default, it's been completely removed. You would have to use an extension to add it back in.

hack and hack
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Then I assume that the accessibility programs are still there (which is what I was trying to say, but it wasn't very clear/properly worded).

JadedCtrl
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lap4fsf, if GNOME flashback is heavy for your PC, you're running a potato and should be using Trisquel Mini.

I think GNOME shell would be a good choice (with the option of flahsback if the user lacks 3D acceleration)-- it's simple, user-friendly, modern, and is touch-screen-friendly. Touch-screens are all the rage now. Or was that a couple years ago?

vita_cell
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Joined: 07/19/2015

XFCE4 + Compiz + cairo-dock + Macintosh Theme

SuperTramp83

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>The GNOME Fallback is indeed, heavy and eats up quite a lot of memory

I ran TRisquel default iso with gnome fallback or flashback whatever it is called on an atom with 1 gb ram. It was fast and smooth. Indeed I reckon it is my third favorite DE after the perfect Xfce and the awesome Mate.

It did have some issues though on that atom with integrated Intel GPU and video acceleration. I experienced weird screen flashing on the top and left border of the screen while viewing photos in eye of the gnome (I think that was the application) and the gthumb and others I tried. I recommend you purge compton if your lappy is very slow.

a_slacker_here
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The modified gnome-fallback desktop Trisquel is using is very good. It is compatible with unity indicators which provides extra functionality and low resources are necessary to its functionality.

Sansonetto
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Gnome Shell

alimiracle
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for me MATE
its tru Gnome 2

dadix
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@tomlukeywood Deepin desktop is a html5 tehnologie and is not based on other desktop. It is from Linux Deepin distribution.

lloydsmart

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I like Gnome 3 Shell. It looks very modern, and has software rendering for those who can't run free GPU drivers.

onpon4
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I do want to chime in and say that I seriously doubt GNOME Flashback is in any substantial way slower than, say, LXDE. I actually set up my mother's computer with Trisquel Mini for a brief period to see if it made her system run smoother, and she didn't notice a difference, so I changed it back. That computer has an Intel Pentium 4 with some ATI integrated graphics controller (no hardware acceleration whatsoever). I don't know how much RAM it has, but I want to say it's either 1 GB or 2 GB.

I've seen an analysis of some kind that found that out of MATE, LXDE, and Xfce, Xfce used the most RAM, followed by LXDE, followed by MATE. Given this and the fact that LXDE isn't noticeably faster than GNOME Fallback on my mother's computer, I tend to suspect that the common belief in LXDE and Xfce being better for lower-end hardware than GNOME Flashback or MATE is a myth.

One more point which has already been made elsewhere, but is worth repeating: GNOME Shell does not require hardware acceleration to run. Hardware acceleration is definitely beneficial, but if it's unavailable, it can run entirely in software thanks to some work by the Fedora developers. I haven't tried it, personally, but I tend to suspect that most multi-core CPUs would handle the load reasonably well.

SuperTramp83

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Onpon: I used both Xfce and MATE on three different laptops. Xfce uses less ram than MATE. That's a fact.

GNUser
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I vote "using the exact same DE we have in Trisquel 7". It works splendidly and is not too much heavy (I have a single core CPU, no 3d acceleration and still get a nice performance out of it).
If it is not an option, I hope MATE but Nautilus should replace Caja. C'mon, we have dozens of plugins in Nautilus ready to be installed in synaptic, we can using those do everything in nautilus with a single right click. Caja is still very much behind in that department.

moxalt
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> If it is not an option, I hope MATE but Nautilus should replace Caja. C'mon,
> we have dozens of plugins in Nautilus ready to be installed in synaptic, we
> can using those do everything in nautilus with a single right click. Caja is
> still very much behind in that department.

Nautilus is slow and GTK3-based. Caja is still reasonably fast- or is that only
because it is being launched from within MATE, which is just generally faster?

Anyway, the whole 'not enough plugins' issue doesn't seem that bad from my
experience of Caja under MATE. Installing mate-desktop-environment-extras
installs a whole bunch of Caja plugins which are nice to have- like opening
terminals, etc. What is lacking exactly?

onpon4
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I don't know about Caja being faster than Nautilus, but it is the file manager of MATE, so if MATE is used, it would make sense to use it for the sake of cohesion.

davidnotcoulthard
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Cinnamon.....panels never disappear when I have Impress start a presentation (at least with presenter view on)
MATE.....I can't get shadows to appear under MATE's panel, but it's otherwise OK
Trisquel-6-&-7 GNOME.....I wouldn't mind it if I couldn't debootstrap
GNOME Classic as provided by GNOME.......it'd be a bit of a revamp compared to previous Trisquel editions, but would that be such a bad thing?
Red Hat GNOME......that'd be lovely judjing by the screenshots I've seen of it. I've never tried it though.
KDE4....Too heavy
KDE5.....I heard it's lighter than KDE4?
Trinity......People will call you mad - it's otherwise an OK Desktop.

Personally I think it should be Red Hat style GNOME, or exact same as previous editions with Red Hat style Start button (forgive me for calling it that).
And maybe IceWM for mini (or Moksha)? :)

Alij
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;)

GNUsercn
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I like XFCE, definitely!on my debian.

Larissa

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Maybe we could make a more multimedia friendly version.
Directly start kodi, maybe a very simple DE underneath.
There isn´t a free multimedia distri out there.

moxalt
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-- Concerning Defaults --

I would replace Trisquel's current GNOME fallback-based desktop with MATE.
Trisquel tries to present an accessible, traditional, and user-friendly desktop
experience, and I still think that GNOME 2 itself is the way to do it, rather
than having to fight GNOME 3 into shape. GNOME fallback (at least in my
experience) has always performed a *lot* slower than MATE, which performs
almost as snappily and lightly as Xfce. Not only is MATE reasonably lightweight
and responsive (like Xfce) it is very integrated and newbie-friendly (unlike
Xfce, which has clear influences from its 'geek' heritage). It is truly the
perfect combination of speed and functionality- ideal for a distribution such
as Trisquel.

If GNOME was replaced with MATE as Trisquel's official DE, I would get rid of
Trisquel Mini- MATE is light enough for older hardware anyway, and the
continuous maintenance of a separate distribution is just duplication of
effort- Trisquel Mini is buggy all over as it is. All effort should be
concentrated on the new Trisquel 8 MATE.

I would continue to provide only two separate variants of installation ISO- a
minimal network installation ISO, and an 'official' variant for newbies with
MATE preloaded.

-- Concerning the installer --

This is more for me than anyone else (since everyone else seems to be gushing
with praise for it)- but I absolutely hate the graphical installer. Not because
it's graphical, necessarily (the Debian graphical installer I think is
excellent) but more because I don't like the way it doesn't offer much choice
and has its options strewn all over the place. I think it is far better (and I
daresay more user-friendly) to have an installation procedure that is
step-by-step and asks one question at a time.

For the Trisquel installer, I would use the Debian text-mode installer as
currently offered on the netinstall CD. If graphical prettiness is *absolutely*
necessary, then I *suppose* the Debian graphical installer could be offered
too, which IMHO has a far nicer layout than the current Trisquel graphical
installer. Just replace the Debian banner with a Trisquel one, and job done.

-- Concerning the actual OP --

I use Xfce, since my computer is quite slow. I also just generally prefer Xfce,
followed closely by MATE.

B50D
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mate for the standard iso and lxde for trisquel mini

jbar
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My favourite DE is xfce, but I think trisquel should use GNOME Shell as default. It's modern, beautiful and good in accesibility.

Maybe developers try to mimic windows layout in order to make easier the change from windows to trisquel, but Trisquel default desktop should not be less attractive than debian's.

Alexander Stephen Thomas Ross
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gnome-shell please :D.

strypey
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>> if GNOME flashback is heavy for your PC, you're running a potato and should be using Trisquel Mini. <<

As I've said in other threads, this kind of comment ignores the fact that owning hardware newer than 5 years old is a privilege, not the norm. Most people have to make do with the hardware they have until it can no longer be made to work, rather than upgrading every year or two. If making fully libre computing more accessible to more people is a priority (and this is Trisquel's reason for being), then the default install should work smoothly, without any special configuration, on five year old computer like mine. Rather than having a "Mini" option, I would create a "Maxi" option for new users with computers 1-2 years old, featuring a DE that can make use of all the potential of their hardware, and give them all the eye candy I presume they expect.

GNOME Fallback doesn't run on this PC without throwing me into swap hell, and GNOME Shell is likely to be worse. Enlightenment is performing much better in this respect, and has rendered my Trisquel system usable again (and much prettier). IMHO a DE less demanding than Fallback, but just as user friendly, is required for the default install. A hard ask I know, but I would put forward E16 or E17 as a candidate.

That said, the configuration, although flexible, is quite a learning curve, and there are some weird bugs, possibly created by installing Enlightenment onto a system configured for GNOME (eg Transmission-GTK instead of a BitTorrent client optimized for Enlightenment). Creating an Enlightenment-based Trisquel would require a lot of tidying up, but I think it would be thoroughly worth it.

onpon4
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> owning hardware newer than 5 years old is a privilege, not the norm

GNOME Shell ran fine on my old laptop with 2 GB of RAM. This was a budget laptop (only a couple hundred dollars when it was bought) from 2007. That's 8 years old. Of course, it had an Intel GPU which could do hardware acceleration, but that's only relevant to whether it can run GNOME Shell well; a similar computer with a Radeon GPU would run GNOME Flashback or MATE just fine.

> Rather than having a "Mini" option, I would create a "Maxi" option for new users with computers 1-2 years old, featuring a DE that can make use of all the potential of their hardware, and give them all the eye candy I presume they expect.

I think you are misunderstanding the purpose of GNOME 3's design. It's not "eye candy". In fact, GNOME Shell doesn't have a whole lot of eye candy. Its purpose is to make it easy to pick up and use the system without having to learn how to use it. I think it accomplishes this goal quite well.

It also doesn't "make use of all the potential" of your hardware. That would be a terrible design for a desktop environment; you have to use the hardware for other things, too. Even KDE doesn't do that, and that DE is known to be extremely heavy.

Advertising GNOME Shell as if it's an extremely power-hungry DE only suitable for those who have very recent hardware would not only be wrong, it would turn off pretty much everyone, including those who would benefit from GNOME Shell's easier design.

> GNOME Fallback doesn't run on this PC without throwing me into swap hell

How much RAM do you have? 2 GB of RAM was low-end in 2007, and my system is currently using about 1.4 GiB (that's with a Web browser and several other things open on top of GNOME Flashback).

I looked for a report on RAM usage of desktop environments, and this was the best report I could find, from 2013:

https://l3net.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/a-memory-comparison-of-light-linux-desktops/

Even KDE, the heaviest RAM user of all of the DEs tested, used only 201 MB by itself. GNOME 3 (with GNOME Shell) used 155 MB by itself. That's enough to cause a problem with real usage (you have to run other programs, after all), but not to the extent you seem to be implying unless your RAM is incredibly tiny.

In fact, I can speak on this from personal experience: I once accidentally left one of the RAM cards in that old laptop I mentioned partly dislodged, reducing the available RAM to 1 GB. I was always using GNOME Shell at the time. I did notice a performance hit, but not from running GNOME at all. The performance hit happened when I opened a few programs that used a substantial amount of RAM, on top of GNOME Shell.

strypey
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>> It also doesn't "make use of all the potential" of your hardware. That would be a terrible design for a desktop environment; you have to use the hardware for other things, too. <<

You misunderstand. Perhaps I should have said "make all the potential of your hardware *available*. I'm talking about things like 16GB RAM, or support for 64bit, or desktops with powerful graphics cards. Extra facilities like these enable support for visual effects that old computers can't keep up with, at least not without sacrificing usability and/or stability. All I'm saying is that offering a fully free desktop designed to take advantage of newer/ more powerful hardware, and compare favourable with the latest version of proprietary OS, is something that would be helpful is luring more users away from Windows or MacOSX. But if that's the default, then it risks excluding the majority of users who have older/ less powerful hardware.

Would it be possible to make a choice of desktops available during install, with recommended minimum specs for each to help the user choose one suitable for their PC?

BTW in the memory comparison link you shared (thanks for that), GNOME 3 is the third most resource-hungry desktop (using 4 times the RAM of E17), topped in its memory consumption only by KDE and Unity. There are 10 desktops that use more RAM than E17, including LXDE, Mate, XFCE, and Cinammon. Yet E17 offers a more flexible and attractive desktop environment than most of these. So it seems to me that E17 would be a good choice for Trisquel 8 Mini, with some work put into a solid integration.

I still maintain that E17 would make a good default, with a Maxi version running something like Cinammon or GNOME 3 for those with flasher hardware. The reason is that the default is what most people will choose, so it should be the version that will work on every PC possible, using the minimum necessary resources to achieve a user-friendly GUI. Default would work for those who have newer/ flasher hardware, but they can use Maxi if they want the extra features of a more resource-intensive desktop.

onpon4
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> Perhaps I should have said "make all the potential of your hardware *available*. I'm talking about things like 16GB RAM, or support for 64bit, or desktops with powerful graphics cards.

No, the DE has nothing to do with availability of RAM, the GPU, or "support for 64bit". I don't know why you seem to think features like these are only available if you use a modern desktop environment. On the contrary, using a lightweight desktop environment means these resources can be allocated more to other programs (like games). This used to be really important in the 1990s; that's why a lot of games at the time were designed to be run in DOS. It's not so important nowadays because the reduction in performance is negligible.

It's the kernel that's responsible for making all the features of your hardware available. Whether or not 64-bit support is enabled on x86-64 CPUs depends on how you boot it (whether you boot it in "long mode" or "legacy mode").

strypey
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>> It's the kernel that's responsible for making all the features of your hardware available. <<

*sigh* Yes, I know that. But there's no point having all those resources available at the kernel level if none of the user-facing software makes use of it. The choice of DE determines to what degree extra features are made available to the user by leveraging these "extra" resources (by which I mean anything above what the user with the weakest working hardware has). KDE, Unity, and GNOME 3 don't use more than 4 times the RAM (for example) Enlightenment does because they are only a quarter as efficient. They use those extra resources because they provide extra functions, and yes, this includes a certain amount of eye candy, particularly in KDE and Unity. If you deny this obvious fact, then I can only conclude you are being contrary for the sake of it, and there's no point trying to continue a discussion with you.

onpon4
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> *sigh* Yes, I know that. But there's no point having all those resources available at the kernel level if none of the user-facing software makes use of it.

Like... games? Web browsers? These are the types of programs that fully utilize the capabilities of your hardware. No DE worth its salt makes extensive use of any hardware capabilities. Even the most heavy DEs use only a few hundred megabytes of RAM, and the use of hardware acceleration is minimal. And then there's the matter of the CPU itself, which any good DE barely has an impact on at all.

> They use those extra resources because they provide extra functions, and yes, this includes a certain amount of eye candy, particularly in KDE and Unity. If you deny this obvious fact, then I can only conclude you are being contrary for the sake of it, and there's no point trying to continue a discussion with you.

Yes, but you're making an absurdly weak justification for describing GNOME as "a DE that can make use of all the potential of their hardware". It can't, and if it could, it would not be good as a desktop environment. This description, and the name "Maxi", makes GNOME, KDE, Unity, and Cinnamon sound like unnecessarily bloated environments whose sole purpose is to look pretty at the expense of usability. That is not even close to true.

You are also putting emphasis where it doesn't belong. I wouldn't buy a lightbulb because it "can make use of all the potential of your electrical system", i.e. uses as much energy as my electrical system is capable of outputting. That would be an absurd thing for me to look for. I would buy a lightbulb because it's bright enough for my use-case. Looking at energy usage, I would consider more to be a downside, not a benefit!

The exact same thing is true of desktop environments making use of RAM and other resources. No sane user picks a desktop environment because it uses more resources. They pick a desktop environment because it works for them better, and if two DEs are equivalent in that regard, the one that consumes less resources is always the better choice.

JadedCtrl
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When I said he was using a potato, I meant it.
I'm using full Trisquel on a ten-year-old desktop, and it works well enough.
It's a Dell Dimension (something-something)-- it doesn't even have USB ports.
If your computer can't do what this desktop can do, your computer is a potato.
Most computers (even older than five years) can run regular Trisquel.
Only a small amount of computers require Trisquel Mini, hence why it's a secondary option.

SuperTramp83

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Jaded is right - I ran it on an absolutely crappy atom with 1gb ram (full ISO, not mini). It had a freshly installed (by the dude who sold it to me for 50 bucks) Windows 7 Starter ed. and that took 4 minutes to boot and 600 mb RAM on boot. Unusable. I installed Trisquel fallback and it ran flawlessly. Laptops from 2005 can run it just as good if not better.

strypey
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The first thing I want to make clear is that my intention here is not to attack Trisquel, the Trisquel community, or fully free distros in general. I speak as a member of this community, committed to the cause of software freedom, and sharing my experiences with Trisquel in the hopes that this will be helpful.

The laptop you describe sounds very similar to the laptop I'm running. 1GB RAM, 1.6GB Atom processor (click on my username to see ful specs of both my laptops), originally sold with XP. Trisquel 6 with Fallback worked well on that laptop when I first installed it, but I have been having hanging and freezing problems for years, which were only solved when I switched to Enlightenment. I just installed Mini today, and it's running well so far, although there are a few issues, especially with Midori (fullscreen behaves weirdly, no WebRTC support etc).

Obviously the age of the computer is not the only variable in performance. Desktops often have higher specs than laptops sold the same year, and there has been a huge increase in the range of specs being sold at any given time, with cheaper computers having lower specs. Clearly its not only RAM size and processor speed that affect the performance of graphical desktops either. There are also specs like cache size and speed, the size and speed of processors/ RAM in graphics chipsets and how well the free code driver supports them, frontside bus speed, hard drive seek time etc etc.

My point is that an OS that will support the oldest, least powerful PC will also support any PC that is newer or more powerful. If we want to make fully free software a real possibility for the maximum number of users, surely this is what we should be aiming for? Calling the PC I have a "potato" is funny, but not particularly helpful. Imagine I was a newcomer here, with no ability to afford any other hardware, seeking advice on how to run a fully free OS. Supporting me to achieve that would be a win for software freedom. Patronising me so I go looking for a more user-friendly distro and more welcoming community, even if that distro includes non-free components, would be a loss. Just think about it.

onpon4
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> My point is that an OS that will support the oldest, least powerful PC will also support any PC that is newer or more powerful.

Yes, but that doesn't mean we should be presenting the absolute most lightweight DE we can find to everyone.

> Supporting me to achieve that would be a win for software freedom. Patronising me so I go looking for a more user-friendly distro and more welcoming community, even if that distro includes non-free components, would be a loss. Just think about it.

What are you talking about? Trisquel already has an unusually lightweight DE for a modern GNU/Linux distro as it is. And how is having a "mini" version designed for people with old or weak hardware equivalent to, as you call it, "patronising" them?

This is approximately the conversation that would happen with pretty much any reasonable person if GNOME Shell was Trisquel's default:

New user: "Trisquel is really slow on my computer. Is there any way I can speed it up?"

Us: "Try Trisquel Mini. It's designed for slower hardware. Here's how to install it..."

New user: "Thanks! I've switched to Trisquel Mini and it runs much smoother."

strypey
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>> Yes, but that doesn't mean we should be presenting the absolute most lightweight DE we can find to everyone. <<

Whyever not? As you say yourself in another comment, the less hardware resources the DE uses, the more of them are available to run applications.

>> What are you talking about? Trisquel already has an unusually lightweight DE for a modern GNU/Linux distro as it is. <<

We're going to have to agree to disagree on that. I have a "netbook" style laptop I bought 5 years ago. There is nothing wrong with the hardware and it runs smoothly with Enlightenment. Running it with GNOME fallback makes it crash regularly. These are the facts, and no amount of repeating your claim that Fallback is "unusually lightweight" (relative to what? KDE? Unity?) changes them.

>> And how is having a "mini" version designed for people with old or weak hardware equivalent to, as you call it, "patronising" them? <<

Now I think you are intentionally misinterpreting my comments. What I was referring to as "patronising" was calling my perfectly functional computer a "potato" because it doesn't run GNOME Fallback well.

As for your model conversation, all that wasted time and frustration for that user, especially if they're new to GNU/Linux, could be avoided by making "Mini" the default, for reasons I've given elsewhere, and summed up in the my first sentence above. A user with hardware capable of getting benefits out of a "Maxi" version would get awesome performance out of default, and could choose a more resource-hungry Maxi if they wanted the extra bells and whistles.

Magic Banana

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I believe onpon4 was referring to Trisquel Mini's LXDE when he wrote about Trisquel's "unusually lightweight DE".

As for choosing the most lightweight environment (to save RAM for programs), you should not use any graphical environments. Only terminals. If you don't, then you understand that heavier alternatives can bring additional features too. Sure, some of them are eye-candy. But they are features anyway. E.g., do you use a file manager? Managing files in a terminal (with 'ls', 'cd', 'mv', 'cp', 'rm', 'mkdir', 'chown', 'chmod', etc.) is far more efficient both in terms of memory-efficiency and in terms of productivity (thanks to auto-completion, mainly)!