I have deployed a few Ubuntu 10.04 LTS systems for small business users. It uses Gnome 2 DE and users are happy with it. With upcoming new LTS release I have a problem - default DE Unity is not suitable for small business environment. Most work is done with LibreOffice programs, internet browser, email client and file manager. Current options are either Kubuntu or Xubuntu. Each option has its own drawbacks - KDE might be too complicated and have some desktop compositing problems on low end systems, while Xubuntu lacks some features as it is preconfigured with alternative, lighter, software. Are there any other options of stable and supported desktop environments?
closed as not constructive by Panther, Jorge Castro, fossfreedom♦, htorque, Bruno Pereira Feb 4 '12 at 0:45
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I'd strongly suggest going for Xubuntu. If the only concern is about the softwares installed, then you can remove and install the ones you like, provided the number of laptops are not much otherwise it'll be a tedious job.
If your users are used to Gnome 2 I would recommend opting for Ubuntu and then installing 'gnome-session', this will allow users to choose the Gnome 3 fall-back mode at login which is similar to Gnome 2 in appearance and functions with all Gnome applications.