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Best GUI Open Source OS?

  1. Nov 12, 2013 #1
    Any favorites guys? And have you developed any source code personally?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    I don't have a favorite GUI - though I currently use Gnome 3 standard I have been known to radically customize in the past.
    When I want to do serious work I just use a plain CLI.

    Did you have a particular requirement?
    What do you want to know for?

    Preferences tend to be personal - if slightly - when soliciting personal information it is good politics to supply some yourself as well.
  4. Nov 12, 2013 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Open source OS brings to mind Linux and all its flavors:
    - Ubuntu, Red Hat...
    - Android...

    Wikipedia has a list of Open Source OSes for comparison:


    Personally I write in Java using Swing as the GUI of choice as it can be ported easily between Linux, MacOSX and Windows. The development tool I use is Netbeans IDE, a common tool used within our group. Other groups use Eclipse IDE.
  5. Nov 12, 2013 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    Oh yes ... and for GUIs too:

    Then there is the obligatory "open source" is not the same as "free/libre software"
    ... so it really depends on what is important to the user.

    When we use computer models it is, in principle, a good idea for the entire software stack to be open to inspection ... just in case there is any suspicion that the modelled results could be from an artifact from somewhere in the computation process.

    Not so sure how the GUI is important for that - perhaps that it should allow the kind of access that makes the nuts-and-bolts apparent? Most GUIs are designed to hide a lot of the processes. But iirc pretty much every free-software GUI includes some sort of terminal emulation. Certainly every one that implements GNU.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  6. Nov 12, 2013 #5

    Ben Niehoff

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    I really liked Gnome 2, but I did not care for the attempt to re-make Gnome 2 as Mate. I don't really like Gnome 3. When Gnome 3 came out, I switched to XFCE.

    However, XFCE felt kinda like a step backwards. So I tried Unity, and I liked it for a while, but I'm not a fan of some recent changes. Right now I'm using KDE 4.10 (or 4.11? I forget), and it is pretty slick. I installed a Unity-like launcher as well. I also installed XFCE's terminal emulator, because I don't like Konsole.

    I wouldn't say any of these things are "best". What is "best" for you depends on how you like to use your computer, really. The nice thing about Open Source is that you can try them all and decide what you like, or even mix and match pieces like I did.
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