Alternative desktop environments

Desktop Environments are not full Operating Systems; they provide a graphical interface to the applications (usually with both a window manager and desktop manager of some kind), and a consistent look and feel to all the applications running within the environment.

An alternate Desktop Environment can replace the Hildon Desktop of the Maemo OS, while still allowing Maemo applications to run on the alternate desktop. Some hacking may be necessary to make Maemo applications look correct, and some desktops are more suited to the small, high-resolution touchscreen hardware of the tablets than others.

Each of the following desktop environments has a list of tablet-compatible distributions that currently have a version of that desktop.


[edit] KDE

Distros: Maemo, Debian, Ubuntu, Mer?

KDE was one of the first full "Desktop Environments" available under Linux. A version of the KDE 3 environment to replace the Hildon Desktop was released by Penguinbait. To find the latest information on running KDE 3.5.8 within Maemo, please visit the Active forum thread or Penguinbait's blog site

Penguinbait's KDE 3.5.8 for Maemo

[edit] FVWM

Distros: Maemo, Debian, Ubuntu, Mer

A very simple, stripped-down desktop environment, and the ancestor to many modern desktops, including Enlightenment.

[edit] LXDE

Distros: Debian, Ubuntu, Mer

A new desktop environment that focuses on being fast and lightweight, LXDE is ideal for devices with limited resources. It is based on the GTK+ toolkit, making it very compatible with Maemo applications.

[edit] GNOME

Distros: Debian, Ubuntu

GNOME is the full-featured big brother to Maemo. It doesn't run very quickly on the tablets, but it is very familiar to many people who have used it on their home and work computers.

[edit] Enlightenment (E17)

Distros: None, must be compiled from source

The Illume desktop in E17 is the most tablet friendly.