The Linux distro poll is over and we’re crunching the numbers for an article to go up later today. However, first we want to introduce our second annual Desktop Environment poll.
It only seems fitting, somehow, that we would follow up our what’s-your-distro poll with a Linux desktop poll. After all, we see and interact with our desktop everyday — but we never “see” our operating systems — meaning most users actually have a better understanding of their desktop environment or window manager than they do with the underlying distro. So much so, that many users — especially outside of the *nix world, often think of their desktop environment as the operating system.
Take Windows, for example, where outside Windows 8, there’s pretty much been only one desktop environment since Windows 95, so Windows users can be excused for thinking that the user interface is the actual Windows operating system. The same could be said of the Apple ecosystem, where the OS X operating system is considered by most users as being one and the same with the OS X user interface.
This isn’t the case so much with Linux, because users can choose from a long list of desktop environments to install atop any distro, changing the entire look and feel of their system. You can have Mageia and PCLinuxOS both running KDE natively — but you also can run KDE as your desktop in Fedora, even though Fedora defaults to GNOME.
And although KDE is always KDE, meaning it’s pretty much the same no matter what the distro, there will be differences between the KDE experience across various distros. The same would be true of any other Linux desktop, from Enlightenment to Xfce.
So, what desktop do you use?
In our last desktop poll, which went up in January of last year, KDE won by a landslide, pulling in 372 out of a total of 529 votes — a whopping 70.3 percent. Second place wasn’t even close: GNOME 3 with 43 votes, or 8.1 percent. Third place honors went to Cinnamon, with 31 votes for a 5.9 percent showing.
This year’s poll asks the simple question, “What Linux desktop environment do you use most often?” A field of eight popular desktop environment are offered as choices, along with an “other” option, with a text box for typing in a name for a write-in vote. Those placing write-in votes should only write-in the name of one desktop. Write-in votes that include more than one desktop will not be counted. Users who prefer a simple window manager over a full blown DE should write-in the name of the window manager they most often use — we’re counting those too.
The poll went up on our front page a little after midnight this morning and will run through Wednesday night. Access to the poll is available either through this article, or on our front page.
We’re also interested in the reasons behind your desktop choice, so we’re asking you to let us know in the comment section below. We’ll fill you in on the results one week from today.