Tuesday, 21 August 2007


One of the most common preconceptions I've noticed about Linux is that people think it's a very basic, DOS-like environment where you have use the command line for everything, when in fact that couldn't be further from the truth.
I started using Linux in February, trying out a few distros, before eventually settling on Kubuntu when Feisty Fawn was released in April.

To give you an idea just how nice your average Kubuntu desktop is, here is one of my four virtual desktops (I think the background picture is of Mumbai during the monsoon). Nice, isn't it? Not what you expected to see perhaps? Maybe you were thinking it might be a few lines of text. The fact is, these days Linux can easily match Windows in terms of how pretty the desktop is, and it even gives Macs a run for their money. The only reason the command line is used a lot in Linux is that it's a lot better than it's counterpart in Windows. These days it's possible to do virtually anything you want to in Linux without using the command line, it's just generally a lot easier to do it from there.

I think that part of this is due to competition. You see, there are two main desktops available for Linux - GNOME and KDE. I've tried GNOME, and it's a good desktop, resembling the Mac's one, but for me KDE was the winner. Partly because it's laid out similarly to Windows, so it was easy to get used to, but also because it is more configurable, and the native applications for it are more powerful. But with two competing desktops, they're constantly striving to outdo the other. I think this has helped them develop faster than they would have otherwise.

But, believe me, you ain't seen nothing yet. In October, KDE 4 will be released, and so far it looks amazing.
Check this link for a picture. The best part is that it's also going to be available for Windows and Mac, so if you like it, you can have it too! And, it includes Amarok, a music player that beats the crap out of iTunes or Windows Media Player.

Those of you who have Windows Vista may be thinking "Yeah, it looks good, but it doesn't have the fancy effects that Vista has". You wait till you see Compiz Fusion KDE. It blows Vista's GUI out of the water.

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