A quick historical runthrough of all the Desktop Environments and Window Managers I've ever used
To be as brief as possible and still give some short explanation:
- 2010 ~ 2011: GNOME 2. Default of Ubuntu Linux, which was the first distribution I used seriosuly. GNOME2 + Compiz on Lucid Lynx were the days!
- 2011: short-lived stint of GNOME 3. I liked the idea of GNOME-shell more than the then-default Unity in Ubuntu 11.04, even if not perfect.
- 2012 ~ 2013: LXDE. 24MB total installation, fast as a rocket. Wow! This is where I got to know PCManFM, which remains my go-to file manager this day.
- 2014 ~ 2020: Xfce. Lightweightness + integrated tools and utilities = an awesome compact DE, which I stuck with for years to come. It was also during this period that I discovered tmux, which forever changed how I use the command-line.
- 2017 ~ 2018: another short stint with GNOME Shell as I experimented with a new machine. This was the last time I ever seriously used GNOME (went back to Xfce).
- 2020 ~ 2021: awesome-wm. My first - and only - tiling window manager I've ever used seriously. I still use it to this day, especially in multi-monitor setups. This also marks my split with Desktop Environments: awesome was the first time I used a standalone WM, and I've used them ever since.
- 2021 ~ 2022: fluxbox. I was inspired from ClaudioM's many screenshots of this beautiful and lightweight WM. Back to floating, ricing is fun again thanks to the many themes!
- 2023: Joe's Window Manager (JWM). Yes, I like Puppy Linux, so why not use it's WM when fluxbox's apparent lack of maintenance makes it prone to crashing? This is what's in my current tests.
Other honorable DE/WM I used but for very short times: Enlightenment (would try again, it was fun! And looks very nice in 2023), KDE (tried it in Kubuntu/PCLinuxOS, but never really liked it), Cinnamon (very shortly when I tried Manjaro way back).
What other DE/WM would you recommend me to try from now on? Let me know!
Maybe I should do with OSes next time