If your Desktop Environment/Window Manager of choice disappeared

The thread on what distro you would move to if your current one disappeared has sparked some pretty interesting discussion. This lead to another thought in my head. Users can be just as passionate as they are with distros when it comes to interfaces. If your DE/WM suddenly disappeared, what would you use instead?

I recently started using Gnome 3 again, after installing Pop! OS. If Gnome 3 went away, I would go back to using KDE. If that went away, I would probably use Xfce or Openbox.

EDIT: Totally forgot about Mate! I can’t believe I did that considering I was a hard core Gnome 2 user back in the day. Mate would have to be my third choice, before going for Xfce.

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I prefer Cinnamon but if it went away I’d be perfectly happy with Mate or XFCE.

I would try something new like Budgie if I didn’t like it I would go back to Gnome

Probably MATE if Xfce was taken away from me

Of late, I was using Ubuntu MATE as my daily driver. If MATE disappeared, I would probably switch to XFCE because I enjoyed Endeavour’s setup of XFCE.

However, I will admit that I’m having a blast setting up and using Fluxbox. I ran Fluxbox years ago as my lightweight choice for my computers that were low resource. Except for a little bit of time in Antix’s version of Fluxbox. Currently, I’m running Fluxbox on Fedora 30, and I am rediscovering all the fun things that I enjoyed about this window manager: tabbed grouped windows, great defaults of keyboard shortcuts, readable config files. The only issue that I’m having is trying to have a consistency of theming for different GUI applications. lxappearance helps to create some consistency for app theming, but apparently it doesn’t work with all apps. Not everything takes on the Arc Dark theme that I have applied with lxappearance. You can see below Arc Dark on SpaceFM and a nice theme for my terminal Xterm too.

I’d probably finish setting up sway instead of just messing with it.

FYI, I run Solus.
Budgie is my main DE, but I am very impressed with their Plasma setup so would probably go with that.
Gnome and Mate have not really grabbed me.

I’m a huge fan of Xfce and it’s the only DE I use. Of course, I’ve also tried others, but Xfce is the one that works best for me.
So if Xfce disappeared, my first choice would be MATE, closely followed by Lxqt or Budgie.

I regularly switch between KDE and Cinnamon so if one were to disappear I would happily use the other.

If MATE went away I would likely go to Xfce tho there are parts of me that do like the Cinnamon DE.

If theShell ended up disappearing I would probably end up switching to Manokwari or over to Deepin. Yes, I know I like my odd desktop environments lol

Oh my god

GNOME is what I use BUT ONLY WITH extensions, so if it were to go away, remember that Zorin/Mate/Cinnamon Desktop wouldnt exist, or Pantheon, Budgie, or I think Manokwari.

I would first choose Deepin if possible if it can survive the extinction of GNOME.

I like LXQt (Basically improved LXDE), so that would work.

Otherwise I’d use Plasma, but that ends up with a last choice because it is literally the EXACT flip of GNOME.

Great question. Just as I said in the what if your distro went away thread, I need to mention that the answer depends on whether “child” desktops of a master desktop would disappear, or whether their code is by now independent. I’m not sure, as one poster here said, that mate would go away if gnome did, I think long ago they may have split off enough to be independent of current gnome code. But that is above my pay grade, so please correct me, anyone, if I’m wrong there.

Anyway, to answer the fun question, I use WindowMaker as my window manager. I know it’s not as robust as a desktop environment, but I fell iln love with the next/open/gnu/afterstep look long ago.

However, on my experimental laptop drives, I use mate as my basic desktop. My 2nd choice would be xfce4. Then cinnamon. I think someone else here said just what I did, in fact.

I actually like most DTE’s, for this or that or the other (or t’otherest, to quote Charles Dickens) feature. I could live in gnome or kde, and not be too too unhappy. But the choices listed above are what I’d do.

This question and the one about distros disappearing are great fun, thanks to both posters who came up with them. I love this place.

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I use i3 on all my computers regardless of distro because it’'s light fast and very configurable. If it was to disappear I think I’d switch to dwm or bspwm because I’ve been wanting to try those for a while now just to lazy to jump in it right now.

If openbox was taken from me i would probably go to something like mate or heavly custom gnome

Plasma <> xfce

KDE isn’t a desktop environment btw :wilted_flower:

@lymond6, @Maeglin, @bigpod you guys mentioned that you use Window Managers as your daily drivers. I’m just curious, what do you do to keep the theming consistent. Full DE’s like KDE, Gnome, MATE, Cinnamon, and XFCE all seem to have ways to keep GTK, QT and other GUI programs themed to match the DE. Are you using any programs to do the same with your Window Managers or do you just let the GUI programs have whatever default theme they come with?

I’m running Fluxbox and installed lxappearance to apply the Arc Dark theme to programs like SpaceFM, LibreOffice, and Geany, but sometimes other programs start up and they might be QT based and they are not using the Arc Dark theme.

Of course, Win10 apps can be even more all over the board so I guess I shouldn’t fuss over this too much. I’m really loving my Arc Dark Fluxbox theme so it is jarring when something opens that doesn’t match up.

Hi. You ask a very good question. I’m actually almost embarrassed by the answer I’m going to give you, since I know from conversations I’ve had with others that what I do is not what is recommended, nor liked. But it works for me, so I’ll tell you, but remember, as Patrick Swayze once famously said, “opinions vary”.

What you have to keep in mind about my setup first is that I use a window manager, but I always install about a dozen DTE’s. Yes, I like to desktop hop to play so I load up nearly every DTE on my daily driver. I use a window manager predominately, but I can switch to any DTE to play with it, test it, use it to do tech support for friends, etc.

Why does this matter to your question? Well, and again, I’ll probably be yelled at by a lot of guys here (if only they knew who they were yelling at, lol), because what I do is, to say the least, unorthodox.

I use what you do, lxappearance, as my main gtk theming device. But like you, sometimes I find other apps do not follow my theme. So I change the settings in many and several theming controls, and this has worked out for me to greatly increase the consistence of the look and feel of my desktop. I’ll tell you what DTE settings I invoke.

I use, as I said, lxappearance. Also mate-appearance-properties, xfce4-appearance settings, and systemsettings5 (kde’s tool), I used to also use cinnamon-settings themes tool, but I’ve not been able to see any effect it has if I don’t use it. So that’s a bit of work, and I change my themes weekly (I’m into variety, so sue me!). But it’s only a few settings in each tool, and it works. Mostly. Much more than not doing this. But if you don’t want to install multiple DTE’s, I fear I have no good advice for you.

One final tip. If you use systemsettings5 from kde, make sure the application style widget style tab’s dropdown is on gtk2. Oh, and in cases where the theme tool doesn’t have the same themes, what I do is just find the closest match to the look/scheme I’m using, is all.

This is a kludge, I know. If anyone thinks they know a better way, that’s super, I’m always open to learn. But telling me not to do this will fall on deaf ears, because I do what I like, and I like doing this. I won’t change my way, but I’m happy to find a better road to get to it.

I use lxappearance and obconf to deal with theming in openbox

I doubt that I will install multiple DE’s to fix this, but I will say that I enjoyed reading your answer. You made me laugh and smile and I needed to smile about something today, so thank you this was a great read.

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