If you ask yourself: what should Linux bring to the desktop so that you can really work and live with it throughout? Based on our experience with the desktop and Linux, we have created a list that addresses these points.
Imagine you go into a candy store and have a choice of 30 kinds of almost identical strawberries, 25 kinds of almost identical lemons, 23 kinds of almost identical bananas, and so on. What do you choose?
Having choices isn’t a bad thing in itself, sure, but you have to stop believing that you need a separate distribution for each special case. Windows doesn’t need it, MacOS certainly doesn’t.
The statement should be: a few large systems with strong KDE and GNOME as an example, so that they are good enough for everyone. Behind that, you can of course further develop the many small distros for everyone who doesn’t want to do without them.
From our point of view, the principle should be something like Android, where you have a basic system that offers everything you need, and you can then put your own designs or surfaces on top of it. This has the advantage that at first you always work for the general public, first specifically for your own distro.
Since GNOME is the basis of many distributions, some things that have stood out over time are listed here and supplemented or ticked off.
GNOME 3 has had a somewhat peculiar direction from the start. The basic concept of operation has prevailed so far, but the focus seems strangely to be on touchscreens. Why? Nobody knows. Do many use this? Not really, although the few who use it are quite enthusiastic.
Therefore: What works for websites should also work for a desktop. At the moment you notice that the normal desktop often seems too big, but the view fits on laptops. But: First make the desktop tidy, then invest time in other devices. After all, this is where the main user group is located.
Free the dock!
Why does Ubuntu have to supply its own extensions when it comes to the dock? Because GNOME doesn’t deliver anything here.
Therefore: Add in the settings that you always want to show the dock and where you want it to be. On wide monitors, a dock at the bottom is often a huge waste of space and makes windows unnecessarily small.
Other distributions and also Ubuntu already provide it – but this function has to be in the basis.
Therefore: Accent colors are part of it today!
Not sure if GNOME developers use GNOME themselves. Because tray icons, i.e. the status icons in the upper right corner, are not included in the basis. In short, this is really nonsense, since many programs and apps depend on it and again Ubuntu and Co. are allowed to deliver extensions.
Therefore: You need tray icons to work and they belong in the GNOME basic package!
Do you know “click to mimimize”? Is it annoying if the monitor goes dark after 5 minutes? Isn’t it weird when a fresh install with GNOME doesn’t create any folders in the app launcher and just throws all the apps in a jumbled heap?
If we look at Linux systems and macOS, then we are on two sides. On the one hand, you want to give Linux users as much freedom as possible, Apple is less interested in that and they specify everything as far as possible. So kindly learn what we present to you.
Again, one can argue what the right way would be, but it should be clear that if you want to reach the mainstream, then you have to state things cleanly and in detail and, if you really want to, offer people an “opt-out”. Be more brave!
A fight that holds us all back. Package formats are relatively new with AppImage, Flatpak and Snap and should actually make our lives easier. What happened: Most rely on Flatpak, Canonical and Ubuntu are still trying to push through Snap. What the result is: Distributions and app formats differ from each other, not every store supports all formats, manufacturers and developers often only offer one format for their own apps. It should be clear by now: others have to die for someone to really come to life. Flatpak should also have won by now.
As before, folders located in the network are treated like USB sticks as an example. Again and again you have to reconnect these folders after a restart so that you can continue working on a file. This has to get better!
Multimonitor and HDMI
If you work with Linux on the desktop for a while and are used to a second monitor, you often come up against annoying limits. Most of the time, extending, mirroring, and switching between monitors works fine, but then you have to go to sleep, reboot, or unplug and plug in the cable. Or the monitor goes into standby.
Then it seems as if the system has completely forgotten what was going on before. Monitor split? Make new or switch. Audio over HDMI? Often in the settings to change again and again. Unfortunately, this is not a comfortable way of working.