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What different DE's and shells are available?

Which desktop environments are better to install in a laptop? . I'm looking for customisation, high performance, good use of space, ...

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The word Best, suggests an opinion, which there is no answer for, because everyone has there own. –  Alvar Mar 15 '12 at 6:04
    
When I refer to good use of space is in case of laptops with a small screen. For example, the windows distribution is essential in a laptop and must have a good way for no waste space. –  Brallan Aguilar Mar 15 '12 at 6:04
    
As it is, this question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate and extended discussion. As such, I'm going to close as a duplicate of the one above, since thats about as much help we can give you. –  jrg Mar 15 '12 at 12:14
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marked as duplicate by Jacob Johan Edwards, Uri Herrera, jrg Mar 15 '12 at 12:15

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I'd say, it depends on the Specs of the Laptop and how you intent to interact with it, and that the "Best" is a subjective thing derived from the experience you will have with these Environments.

  • Customization: All of the DEs are customizable. Unity, Gnome Shell, KDE, XFCE, LXDE, Openbox, FLuxbox, Razor-qt, Awesome WM, E17, Mate, Cinnamon.. all of them are. You can add Panels, launchers, applets, indicators, you have a notification area, etc.
  • High performance: LXDE, XFCE, Awesome, E17, Fluxbox, Openbox & Razor-qt are the lightest. LXDE uses ~180Mb of RAM and so does E17. the less fancier they are the lighter they are.
  • Good use of space: I've no idea what you mean by that. Since pretty much all of them use Panels, you can Hide and auto hide said panels.
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