Back when I started work at a Linux company, I had trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that an operating system could have more than one desktop. Finally, I asked what the difference between GNOME and KDE was.
"Oh, that's easy," another employee told me. "KDE is for people who are used to Windows, while GNOME is for those who like innovations."
Today, recommendations are much harder. For one thing, both GNOME and KDE have morphed out of all recognition, making that summary long obsolete. For another, at least half a dozen other desktops are clamoring for users' attention.
How do you summarize a desktop? Match desktops with personalities? With priorities? With work habits? At the risk of making sweeping generalizations and collapsing into caricatures, here are a few suggestions of how to answer these questions today:
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