[ubuntu-studio-devel] availability of alternate DEs

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Sun Oct 7 20:22:08 UTC 2018

On Sun, 2018-10-07 at 15:48 -0400, lukefromdc at hushmail.com wrote:
> The main issue I have seen is having to tweak startup prograns from a session's
> control panel to keep multiple copies of the desktop icons from being displayed
> by multiple file managers. I have MATE, GNOME, and Cinnamon installed and 
> can configure any one of them at a time to properly show the desktop, but not 
> seamlessly session switch without having to either start or kill a file manager
> from the alt-F2 dialog. So trivial for me I think little of it but yeah this could 
> flummox a new user.

In my first reply I ignored the underlying WM, lets ignore it now, too,
but handling of a "desktop", resp. the way ~/Desktop is displayed, is a
serious issue for inexperienced users, let alone of e.g. panels that
might be replaced after using a file manager of another desktop
environment. Usually such issues don't happen, but very seldom, still
way too often, they could happen.

There are more geekish pitfalls, such as using a GTK based environment,
such as e.g. Xfce, that by default does ship with GVFS, but also allow
usage without GVFS. Once you e.g. run k3b, you could run into issues
caused by the KDE replacement of GVFS, even while you explicitly use
Xfce without GVFS, to avoid killing of external green drives.

Desktop environments could ship with a lot of crap that even could
damage hardware, like e.g. GVFS does, but users don't notice it.

If you fix one WM and DE to your needs, it doesn't mean that just
because you don't notice an issue while installing an additional WM and
DE or even software that belongs to another DE, couldn't launch software
that could be dangerous.

Continually spinning down and up external green drives are caused by
GVFS. If you are using Xfce, you could remove GVFS without a trick, to
remove it for GNOME, Mate and Cinnamon, you at least need to build a
dummy packge, that fakes to fulfill the completely unneeded dependency
to GVFS. Once you launched a KDE app, some KDE thingy likely makes your
external green drive spin down and up again and again.

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