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What’s on your Linux desktop?

Sep 15, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinux

* KDE is most popular Linux desktop environment, survey says

The last newsletter featured comments from readers on what their favorite Linux desktops are, and why. But if you want some hard numbers (or, as hard as numbers can be on a Web poll), has an extensive online survey running that shows the preferences of a large group of Linux users.

In addition to Linux desktop environments, the survey also gives an interesting snapshot of what other applications are running on Linux desktops.

According to a survey on, KDE was the most popular Linux desktop environment, among the 2,633 users who filled out the Web-based survey.

Over 63% of the respondents said KDE was their desktop of choice, while around 20% said they used GNOME. The rest was split among several other desktops, such as Enlightenment, WindowMaker and BlackBox.

There was more variation among various Linux browsers, according to the survey. While no single browser was in use by a majority of the respondents, the top two browsers were FireFox with 34% and Mozilla with 33%. But since Firefox is based on Mozilla code, this technically gives Mozilla the top spot. Other browsers in use were Konqueror – the KDE browser – with 17% and the multi-platform Opera with around 9%.

E-mail clients were also varied. The top application was Ximian’s Evolution client (now owned by Novell), which was used by almost a quarter of respondents. Next was the KDE-based Kmail with 23% followed by Thunderbird at 20% and Mozilla Mail at 15%.

Interestingly, the use of Windows emulation on Linux desktops is quite popular, according to the survey. Over 60% of respondents said they use, or want to use, Windows applications on their Linux desktops. To do this, Wine was the most-used Windows emulation environment, with 33% of respondents saying they used, or were considering using, this open source package to run Windows apps. Others in use were Crossover, VMWare and Win4Lin.

Check out the survey and voice your opinion: