“‘It’s like starting another operating system,’ a colleague
complained recently when he switched from the GNOME to the KDE
desktop. He was exaggerating, but the impression is accurate.
Unlike Windows or OS X, where the desktop and the window
manager–the program that controls how programs open–are fixed, in
GNU/Linux, you have dozens of choices for a graphical interface,
each one with its own look, tradition, and utilities.
“The result is unparalleled choice–but equally unparalleled
confusion among new users. How do you decide which desktop to use?
To help you decide, here are the pros and cons of some of the most
popular alternatives, together with an assessment of their intended