Desktop For Newbies

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I’m about to set up a non-root user on a CentOS=7 server that I
control for a friend. It is in his home, so access is local. He’s a refugee from the latest Windows 10 Upgrade. I’d like a suggestion as to which of the several possible graphical desktops to suggest to him and set up for him as his default.

My aim is:
– Allow him to try out Linux as an end-user
– Let him start to feel comfortable with the desktop
– Learn the new idioms for familiar programs and functions

And later
– Give him his own system with root privileges.



15 thoughts on - Desktop For Newbies

  • For a newbie KDE is pretty Windows-like. However, once you’re used to it, the earlier comments about Gnome3 versus Mate also apply to KDE versus Trinity. Both of the major Desktops seem to be too “oh let’s see what we can do with this radically new idea” oriented. Might want to consider Trinity.

    —– Original Message —

  • My vote is still for KDE

    It’s got a similar feel to Windows before it went pear shaped at Win8. It’s fairly easy to use. He should be able to do most stuff as a user.

  • I would agree, unhappy Windows 10 user will be pleased by KDE, or latest GNOME that is installed by default on CentOS 7. I also would add mate, so if user still have mental ability to categorize things, he/she may be happier to stick with menus arranged by category, instead of being forced to stop using brain and use search instead as latest KDE and Gnome make you (someone said they only make happy the “iPad generation” of people ;-)

    Just my $0.02


    Valeri Galtsev Sr System Administrator Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics University of Chicago Phone: 773-702-4247

  • control which of for

    IMHO whatever DE (eg Gnome2, Mate or KDE) should work except for the thinnest ones (eg xfce), which are are likely to be scary for a former Windows refugee.

    The most important thing to not forget though, is to add and apply the Redmond theme!

  • I didn’t know there was such a thing. I’ve gone into

    System Settings -> Workspace Theme -> Desktop Theme

    but I can’t find it anywhere. What am I doing wrong?

  • Come to think of it, I last used it on CentOS 5 (IIRC) when I transferred my mother to linux from Windows some time ago.

    It might not be available as a default theme anymore. 8-/

  • I’ll have a look, but one of the reasons I’m hoping to get some people onto Linux is because they hate Windows 8 / Windows 10

  • I have a lot of friends / users who use Windows 7 and are happy enough. This means I have to support Windows 7.

    I get annoyed when I have to use Win8 or Win10 because of the *improvements*
    that MS have made to the UI.

    A large number of my friends / users are in the same boat, and they’re used to MS Windows 100% of the time, whereas I only use it when I have to.

    I was hoping for a KDE theme that would be as close as possible to Win7 in look and feel.

    BTW, I tried the CNet link but it didn’t work. Thanks tho.

  • –fXg2qO3fcCaGI7CUe98k4Ri5axIpvQiSR
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

    Well, I would set up standard (not classic) GNOME3 and a normal user and give him root privs via sudo. And tell him the root password as well.

    If you turn on the extensions for Applications (top menu) and show windows at the bottom, GNOME 3 is close enough from a desktop standpoint that Windows users can figure everything out as a user.

    If you tell him the root password and also setup sudo access .. he can control everything like users, etc. via the GUI (will ask for the root password) .. and as he becomes more comfortable with the CLI, he can use sudo to start things as root from there.

    I initially used the Classic skin for gnome3 (and even Mate and/or Cinnamon for a gnome2 desktop) .. but for me, eventually, the ‘Windows Button’ with app search by default in the standard GNOME3 desktop was the easiest platform for me to use.

    Thanks, Johnny Hughes