Poll - Which desktop environment do you use? [CLOSED]

Welcome to the second ThinLinc #poll in the series. This time, we want to know which desktop environment you use with ThinLinc, and if you’d like to give a reason why, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.

This poll will run until 2021-05-24T23:59:00Z, and the results published on close.

Which desktop environment do you use with ThinLinc?
  • Gnome 3
  • KDE/Plasma
  • MATE
  • XFCE
  • Other (please comment below)

0 voters

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The results of our previous poll on preferred Linux distribution can be found below:

Poll - Which Linux distribution do you use? [CLOSED]

We use Gnome3/KDE in our environment with mixed results. Our transition to XFCE is still ongoing.
My personal favorite is i3wm. Unfortunately i3wm is not supported though it’s working best in our environment.

@thomas.doczkal glad to see someone mention #i3. I’m also a fan, and as far as I know it should work with ThinLinc.

Actually what I use locally is Sway WM, which is functionally identical to i3 but based on Wayland. So it won’t work in a ThinLinc session, since ThinLinc requires X11, but it works fine on my laptop.

One interesting feature of #swaywm is that it supports a VNC backend. So rather than have the compositor output to a physical display, you can connect to it with a VNC client. I got bored and experimented with this a year or so ago. Although I never got a #wayland session running in ThinLinc, I did manage to connect to a remote Sway session using TigerVNC, which is the flavour of VNC used in ThinLinc :slight_smile:

(yes that is a floating window, don’t judge :stuck_out_tongue:)

@aaron i3 works fine for us but my Support Ticket to add i3wm to the list of auto detected environments in Thinlinc got declined couple of month ago.

I also use i3, but the rest of the staff use XFCE. Would love to see full support for i3 as a lot of developers use this WM.

I see there has been a feature request made for i3 as a default profile in the Cendio bugzilla:


In the meantime, though, it should be pretty straightforward to add an i3 profile stanza in /opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/profiles.hconf manually. The parameters are described here.

Well, the results are in. The top two positions go to XFCE and MATE, which is no surprise, and second-equal place to Gnome 3, which kind of is. Our impression has always been that Gnome 3 - being a compositing desktop environment which either requires a GPU, or produces heavy CPU load by emulating one though llvmpipe - would be poorly suited to remote desktop environments. However it seems that people either have enough hardware to throw at the problem, or are managing to make good use of GPUs across multiple desktop sessions (perhaps using #virtualgl?). If you’re one of these people, it would be interesting to hear how you’re managing your hardware resources, and what the end-user experience is like. Feel free to comment below.

An honourable mention needs to go to i3, which wasn’t provided as a choice, but by the looks of it probably should have been. In any case, it’s good to see a wide range of desktop environments being used with ThinLinc; from the traditional desktop metaphor (on steroids!), to minimalist spatial designs, and everything in between. Thanks to everyone who took part, as always it’s been interesting to learn how people are using ThinLinc on the front lines.

One final tip: a recent #knowledge-base article addresses the subject of running multiple ThinLinc sessions as the same user, and the ability (or lack thereof) of desktop environments to handle it. Read more here:

Why does starting multiple ThinLinc sessions as the same user sometimes fail?

Stay tuned for the next poll!

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