Which desktop environment can satisfy (by default, configuration or maintained extensions) most of following requirements?

  • no double clicking required
  • bring existing window to front of a program by default instead starting new one
  • no multiple desktops
  • good visibility of windows behind front (taskbar as a minimum, ability to preview all windows)
  • hot-seat (keep to users logged in, allow each to shutdown with warning)
  • automatic suggestion of recent programs and documents
  • detect non-responding program, help user kill it (-9)
  • auto-mount USB storage, open with file manager or camera software, give permission for other users
  • search feature for documents by name and content (*.doc etc.)
  • file manager aids user in locating folders for documents, pictures
  • notifications pop-ups (connectivity etc.) but not requiring clicking to hide them
  • no hierarchical organization of programs, user documents (Internet Applications, System Applications etc.)
  • pre-associated programs with well-known files (*.doc, *.jpeg, *.pdf)
  • no keyboad input required (auto login, alt-tab optional etc.)
  • printer, scanner support (print queue, errors)
  • don't ask for installing software (java, flash etc.)
  • (if possible) don't ask for administrator privileges (connect printer, unmount usb)

This list is from my observations of Windows users spending 50 to 90 percent time on web and occasionally using office applications or photo albums.

1 Answer 1


Sounds pretty similar to the specification of KDE. It has multiple desktops, but you don't need to use them - you can just remove the 'applet' from the main bar.

KDE is more of a traditional desktop than say GNOME or Unity. It does have a hierarchical application structure on their 'Start' menu equivalent, but this can be modified rather easily if it's important.

The final point, regarding admin. privileges, is a system config. point, not really a desktop environment point.

That being said, you can configure GNOME (and others) to do all of the above also, but KDE will probably be more what you're after 'out of the box'.

If you're newer to the Linux crew, then Kubuntu may be a good option, or the Fedora KDE spin. If you've got more time on your hands, and are more comfortable with the Linux system, then Arch Linux with KDE offers more of a vanilla / pure KDE as the developers intended it.


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