29 Jul 2014

An unusual comparison of Desktop Environments

I created and published a series of videos few months ago, that show how to set up multiple keyboard layouts in different Desktop Environments.
Just to refresh your memory, here they are:

Statistics of the views is quite interesting. Here are just naked amounts:

Desktop Environment Views Months Views per month
GNOME 3 85 9 9.44
Unity 102 9 11.33
KDE 324 8 40.5
Cinnamon 366 8 45.75
MATE 223 8 27.88
Xfce 113 7 16.14
LXDE 121 6 20.1

(statistics collected on the 29th of July 2014)

What can we understand from that statistics?

I would say it is rather unexpected. Though I cannot argue that Cinnamon and KDE are "market leaders" nowadays, I can hardly explain why Unity, GNOME 3 and Xfce got so few views.

Maybe you have your explanations to this?


  1. Maybe:

    - to do thing which you explain in video is harder (less user friendly) in KDE and Cinnamon and vice verse: <..> is easier (more user friendly) in GNOME and Unity
    - KDE and Cinnamon users are less *-savvy than GNOME and Unity users
    - GNOME and Unity users doesn't use these things at all.
    - Maybe your audience (readers) prefer KDE and Cinnamon over GNOME and Unity (you could make a poll for your readers about which DE they prefer and then compare these poll stats with video viewers stats)

    Just Speculating

    1. I agree with you. The figures can be interpreted in multiple ways.

      The simplest deduction is that KDE and Cinnamon are more popular but I find that to be too simplistic.

      Maybe as you say Gnome and Unity are just easier to set up therefore less people need to view the videos for them.

      KDE is a beast and therefore some settings are hard to work out. Cinnamon is not so much of a beast but is fairly new as a desktop environment and therefore might need more research.

    2. Gary, out of whole bunch, Xfce no doubt has the most sophisticated and non-obvious process. Though, Xfce video is trailing the list. That's what I cannot understand.

  2. openSUSE KDE FTW!

  3. I think Xfce users are more likely to be experienced users of Linux who are accustomed to figuring things out for themselves.

    1. Emery,
      Do you mean that we have a 2-factor analysis here?
      1. Complexity of the DE itself, and
      2. Experience level of the average user who tries that DE.

    2. Maybe even one more: KDE is a highly visual desktop, where Xfce is more focused on the text word. Someone who likes visual presentations will use videos for learning, text people like me learn best from written material.

    3. That is probably a good analysis.

  4. Although I'm not that experienced in the use of Linux, I didn't find great difficulty in figuring out how to set up multiple keyboard layouts in the above-mentioned DEs. I had to admit, though, that it took me some while to find out how to do things in LXDE distros where the language indicator was not there in the panel. Once done, that helped me to figure things out in XFCE. The only hurdle now is how to implement the same setup in Openbox (without needing to resort to terminal evey time a user needs to switch layouts). Thank you.

  5. The discussion so far has been about whether setting up multiple keyboard layouts is "harder" or "easier" in one distro than another (i.e., whether or not it's so hard that video instruction is necessary, or easy enough that video help is not necessary). I think that's totally off the mark. I think the issue is simply whether readers who use (or might be considering using) KDE or Cinnamon are the kind of users who want to set up multiple keyboards at all, or whether those looking at Xfce and LXDE are simply those kinds of users who have less interest in a sophisticated solution like multiple keyboards. In general, I think it's clear that users who are interested in customization are drawn to KDE and perhaps Cinnamon, and users who want something simple and familiar that just works for them are drawn to Xfce and LXDE. If so, Xfce and LXDE users are less likely to even think about multiple keyboard layouts.

    1. Let me disagree. You confuse oranges and elephants, IMHO. Choice of DE depends on personal preferences of visual design and workflow. Choice of layouts depends on requirements to type in different languages. If you only write in English, it does not matter whether you use KDE or LXDE: you do not need layout switcher. If you live in Russia, you need to type in English and Russian both, whether you use KDE or LXDE.

    2. I was willing to accept this analysis up until the customisation bit because Xfce has to be the ultimate desktop environment for customisation

    3. On the contrary, i use LXDE more than any other DE and I need to deal with multiple keyboard layouts as I work in an enviroment where three, totally different, official languages are required.

  6. People often watch videos showing Desktops they have never try for themselves.

  7. Wow there are so many factors in this too that haven't been mentioned...

    - What your regular readers predominantly use
    - How the search engine rankings for those pages stack up (some may rank higher than others)
    - How many other articles have been written on those topics (which factors in to search engine ranking some as well)

    Major factors I can think of just off the top of my head... And the reason why I believe statistics and polls like this are completely unrepresentative of any kind of overall facts whatsoever.