I started using Ubuntu heavily about 3 years ago and I’ve been using the default interface known as GNOME. Lacking an expansion of the technical differences, here’s a picture of what GNOME looks like:
I’m not going to go into the technical differences. All I want to say is that I liked this interface because it felt like a good blend of the interface between what you find in a default Windows install (a task bar on the bottom used for switching between open applications/show the desktop/house the trashcan). It also had an upper task bar that reminds me of the classic Mac OS (upper panel with application/places/system menus/clock/sound controls, both panels are completely customizable). But there’s another interface called KDE, which is more like Windows than GNOME or Mac OS. Here’s a screenshot I just took from my laptop after installing the kubuntu-desktop package (Click to see full size):
It’s something very nice to play with and try out if you have some free time. (EDIT: Don’t try this on a production machine. Do it on a machine that you can tinker with in case something goes wrong). If you’re runing GNOME right now and you’d like to try this out, do this following:
1. Click Applications>Accessories>Terminal
- sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
After it’s finished, log off.
When the login screen appears, click on the “Options” button in the lower left and then click “Change Session”. Here you’ll be shown a list of the different “Front End” (Interfaces, such as KDE, GNOME and others) that you can use with Ubuntu. KDE should be in the list. Select it, and then click OK.
Proceed to login with your username and password. It will then ask you if you want to make KDE the default, or if you want to just use it once for now, and revert back to GNOME at the next login.
If you’ve never used KDE on your PC before, it will take some time to load all the way to the desktop on the very first run. I believe it sets up all the menus and shortcuts for all the installed software. If you log off and log back into KDE, all the logins (and the splash screen) will load a lot faster
I’m experimenting with this interface just for fun and to become acquainted with it. I’m not going to criticize it, although there are tiny things about it that I don’t like. That happens to everybody who tries a new GUI. But other than the minor things, I’m liking it a LOT.
Monday, December 22nd, 2008