Sorry State of The Linux DesktopThu 08 January 2009
After a holiday of installing/reinstalling, GNOME and KDE versions, trying so hard to get a working 64 bit Linux desktop with a proprietary 3d driver ; all I can say is don't install Linux if you plan on using an NVIDIA or ATI card right now. X and the drivers are a nightmare. Then to top it off KDE4 is quite a shock. After a few weeks I'm finding I like it more than KDE3. But there are some stunners. Some apps just aren't ready , they are still KDE3 apps and don't work properly. Like Digikam it can't delete files, even if you chmod 777 the file...
Kubuntu hides so much config of KDE it's intolerable. But then on Fedora even though they left in more , I can't find half the settings I want from KDE3. Like making a corner of the screen do something like popup the panel. And theres silly stuff half done, like if you have slideshow wallpaper you can't change the aspect ratio or scaling. But you can on static wallpaper WTF?
Thats not to say there aren't bright spots. Network manager on all of them works amazing now, pulse audio actually works. The desktop is slick , I can easily say the best looking of Crapple, WinDOS and unix is KDE 4. The latest GNOME isn't that much of a jump compared to KDE 4.
The current state of the ATI and NVIDIA drivers with this new X.org version really blows on 64-bit. It had been getting so stable. I hope they fix it in time to finally offer a decent replacement for MS' POS. They've probably got until XPs EOL.
I've ended up on Fedora 9 having to manually move around GL related 64 and 32 bit files depending on what application I need to run. It sucks but isn't too big of a headache, at least I don't have to use Windows or MacOS ;)