How many run Rocky as desktop environment?

RHEL is typically touted as a server environment. That is good. I just recently started running Rocky as a desktop environment. XFCE as my DM.

I am curious how many others run Rocky as a DE. Daily driver? Not VM.

As RHEL is catering to the stable environment, I understand it is not cutting edge. There are a few packages I wish were a little newer (GIMP, Inkscape… you know).


If not, what do you run as daily driver?

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All of my computers (servers, laptops, desktops, even my little Acer netbook) run on Centos and (now) Rocky. I also have a few clients who I set up Centos/now Rocky desktops and laptops for since they also choose to avoid Microsoft Windows. (I used to use DOS, then switched to Microsoft Windows 98 for about two months when it became apparent that DOS wasn’t going to cut it in the brave new world of the Internet; decided I’m not a fan of the Windows programming toolset and way of getting things done – switched to Red Hat Linux and have been here ever since.

Since then I have migrated through Red Hat (when it was free), through Centos, now to Rocky.

I use Mate Desktop.

Cutting edge is not my thing. I want to sit down in front of something that looks and works the same way it did the last time I looked at it. Rocky fits the bill nicely. :slight_smile:

Similar to @FrankCox we had RHL as desktop (and servers were initially IRIX), then shifted to Fedora Core, and from that to CentOS. (Re)install of Fedora Core at least once a year was too much hassle.

In CentOS 6 desktops we had mainly XFCE, in CentOS 7 MATE – some of our applications do not run with Gnome 3. Our next platform will be based on RHEL 9; I see no point in porting applications to 8 at this point. Myself, I use Gnome, but my main “applications” are bash, Emacs, and Firefox that really do not care what DE there is any more than I do.

I am happily using Rocky as my home and work OS since Oct 2021.
I was using Fedora but got sick of the upgrading of versions each 6 months. The last upgrade bricked Fedora itself.
I am happy not using cutting edge software - for my personal needs, software that is 2 years old has enough features for me.
If you would like cutting edge packages you can go to and install any of those, such as Flathub—An app store and build service for Linux

I am okay with older software. Hey… it has been tested more, right?

When I wishing for some stuff to be newer, it was a BTW… it by no means was a complaint. I am a newer “full time” Linux user. I am retiring my old Win7 machine.

As the title of the topic is and the first comment I originally made, RHEL is not in some circles thought of as a Desktop distro.

Not a computer scientist at all, beyond stability, I paradoxically use Rocky for his relaxing aesthetic (Gnome office, Green Black Blue). how beautiful!

Ever since Flatpak is a thing, there’s no real reason not to use distros like Rocky.
I’m trying to do a full switch because it’s the best distro for Autodesk Maya compatibility and it works pretty well. For all the newer software I need I use flatpak and it works really nice.

I’ve been running OpenSUSE Leap with KDE as my main distribution on workstations and laptops, but I’m currently moving everything to Rocky Linux with KDE from EPEL. Here’s my bone-headed shell script that turns a minimal Rocky Linux installation into a full-blown Linux desktop with bells and whistles.

Hummmmm. Prior to Rocky Linux, I ran: CentOS (5,6,7, and 8 (up to 8.3)); before that Fedora; and before that Red Hat (NOT RHEL); plus various spinoffs including Mandrake Linux. Regardless I have always run whichever distro as a Linux Desktop, using KDE (3,4, and now God Awful 5.x, now at 5.25).

Yes I know the standard rap that Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS (and now Rocky Linux, Alma, et al.) and RHEL are ONLY suppose to be “Server ONLY” OS’s to which I reply: Horse Hockey Pucks! (I’m trying hard to keep my language clean!). IF RHEL (and its bug-for-bug spinoffs including Rocky Linux) become Sever ONLY, distros, vacating the true Desktop Market, Red Hat will quickly become an “Also Ran” distro. Why?? Simply because there are way too many excellent distros out there that would simply LOVE to chow down on a vast portion of Red Hat’s user base.

Even IF Red Hat became a “Sever ONLY” distro there are not enough people out there who will want to pay for a RHEL Lic. to keep them afloat given that are bug-for-bug copies of RHEL out there such as Rocky Linux, Alma Linux, out that can be had for FREE, then all they need to pay for – or better yet hire someone for a position that has RHEL skill sets in addition to the job’s general description – is someone knowledgeable enough to maintain their severs. Red Hat could then up their Lic. Fees, but then they would lose even more of their Sever Base.

I run Rocky Linux as a a Linux DESKTOP, to replace the God Awful Windows and its mandatory Windows Lic., which you pay through the nose for. This is a full fledged Research Workstation, which includes Desktop Publishing, Office, Statistics and Mathematics Packages such as R, a few “Games” such as chess, Music functions, Virtual Machines, and other things I can’t think of right this minute, as well a Servers, such as Print and Time… and of course, Internet and email. I have a total of 10 - 20 Virtual Desktops (10 on a single monitor and 20 if double monitors). I run 4 machines on a 4 position switch, plus an isolated “Kitty Litter Box” (a Sand Box just in case you are unfamiliar with my sense of humor) . If I get a visitor who “needs a computer”, depending on what I’ve got literally spread across those various 20 Virtual Desktops, I can put them on my backup workstation, or if I get a “visitation” from a friend who has trouble with basic cell phones and elemental Windows, I’ll simply kick her into the Kitty Litter Box – a place where she can do very little damage to my network.

As to Desktop Environments… My particular poison of choice is KDE, but I also have GNOME, Xfce, Cinnamon, Mate, and LXDE and I think there might be 1or 2 more). I run these just in case KDE goes into the weeds or as a check against KDE.

I suppose in 10 years when I turn 80 – if I live that long – I could possibly set up ocelot as a central server and run everything else inside a single Virtual Machine. “Computer: Beam me up!” But I’m not there. There is no way I could do half of what I do on a Windows based machine. I have a SINGLE machine in which I can spread up to 20 different activities, with each different Virtual Desktop having its own set of widgets and functions and data while I’m off in a different Virtual Desktop doing a different thing that relates to the whole. Best of all there is NO CROWDING on the desktop! I pick up one Virtual desktop, and then simply let my fingers do the walking to the panel and switch to the different Virtual Desktop that I need.

Make no mistake: This workstation uses a DESKTOP ENVIRONMENT primarily and foremost, but it also has a FEW server functions as well; it compresses what would require 10-20 separate computers into a SINGLE computer. Maybe in the next 10-20 years instead of Desktop PC’s every home will have a Central Computer Server into which you will talk and give commands, and the computer will carry out the task requested. In the meantime I’ll be content to watch re-runs of the various Star Trek series.

“Computer: Engage!!”

Your reply shows your passion…

I love it.

Thank you!!!

Yes, we are not Windows fans and we do not want to subscribe to that infrastructure.

Hi Microlinux. I am the “Official Test Guinea Pig” for a 2 person LUG (Hehhehehe). My buddy is a Research Statistician …Computer Guru. He uses his computer even if he off the clock; me? I am a RETIRED Research Scientist, who now for “FUN” tracks newly emerging infectious diseases. My buddy helped me with the statistics involved in my dissertation, and we have been friends ever since and share a lot of common interests.

With the sudden closure of CentOS 8, I got handed the job of trying to evaluate the replacement for CentOS. He had used openSUSE, but I got the joy of kicking the tires. While we have been True RED (Hat) belivers, having stuck with one of Red Hat’s many derivatives and know our way around it pretty well on that side of the Linux Tree, our 1st pick was to go with Rocky Linux /Alma Linux/et. al. openSUSE 13.5 Leap was to be our secondary OS – the OS we would default to if we lost our primary OS. But having wrestled openSUSE into the mud and discovered it many quirks, it now looks as though openSUSE 15.3 Leap KDE is going to become our Primary OS while Rocky Linux 8.5 will become our secondary OS. While CentOS 7.9 has all the bells and whistles we like – like multiple DE’s, desktop publishing, and on and on, RHEL 8 and its many derivatives, seems to lack them, but they are found in openSUSE 15.3 Leap KDE.

For the most part by CentOS 7.4 all the goodies we already present, and the OS simply got better and better, refined and polished. OTOH CentOS 8 has been a DOG, up to and including 8.4. A good music player such as either Amarok or Clementine is still missing; a good Desktop Publishing program such as Scribus is missing, while kmod nvidia works, I have had hit or miss with it, likewise with KDE which i suspect is because RH got rid of support for KDE a while back, plus they have screwed up grub2 by going with the /boot/loader/entries format just about the time as everyone else has gotten use to grub2.

Now is Red Hat intentionally trying to make RHEL / Rocky Linux / Alma Linux /et. al. as hard as possible to use as a DESKTOP OS and driving RHEL et al. to being a SERVER ONLY OS, is hard to say – surely you have heard as well as I, that Rocky Linux is intended to be a Server Only OS, not a Desktop OS as well. Indeed there is this misbegotten idea that Linux was created primarily to be an OS that was intended to be run as an OS to be run on “Big Iron” and in Server Farms, not as a Desktop Replacement for Windows. Hopefully this will NOT be the case, and RHEL 8.x is simply going through some growing pains, but if that is NOT the case maybe there should be some discussion about making Rocky Linux et. al. not only a bug-for-bug COPY of RHEL, but a bug-for-bug copy PLUS, the PLUS being adding apps that are far more USER Friendly for those of us who grew up using Red Hat and its many derivatives as a Desktop OS, in ADDITION to more traditional Server function – there is absolutely no good reason I can think of WHY an OS can not be both.

In spite of its squirrelliness, openSUSE 15.3 Leap KDE far easier to use to RHEL 8 and it offshoots – and it has everything I need… just like I have in CentOS 7.9.

I plan to look into your "bone-headed shell script that turns a minimal Rocky Linux installation into a full-blown Linux desktop with bells and whistles. "

Thanks for your post.


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Are there REALLY that many of us that can can trace our beginnings back to IBM/MS-DOS (My buddy ran UNIX machines for IBM) followed by a jump into RHL?? That’s bloody SCARY!!!

D’ Cat

Don’t let M$ hear you, they might want to assimilate you!

Unlike most of your respondents, I continue to use Microsoft products, including Windows XP, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows 11. I continue to have a deep and abiding kinship with Microsoft, mostly because, just like me, they’ve pretty much failed at everything they’ve attempted to do in life. (It’s sort of a love-hate relationship.)
Anyhow, the Draconian hardware requirement of Window 11 orphaned a number of my machines. I’m running Rocky on a couple of those machines including an Asus/Xeon based tower unit that I run sans GUI and control remotely with cockpit. The other (more interesting) Rocky unit I have is and old ThinkPad Helix hybrid laptop/tablet that I run with KDE Plasma 5. I am surprised at how well this unit works in a configuration not normally associated with Rocky (which is usually thought of as a Gnome distribution).

HUMMMMM. M$ is a DISASTER waiting to happen. Do yourself a BIG favor and nuke the M$ completely!! If you MUST run M$ OS’s run them as Virtual Machines… Especially if you are running Windows XP (Windows XP?? REALLY?) If a hacker gets in you will be totally OWNED, with a VM you can at least nuke the damn thing. And YES Windows 11 is a resource hog. If I must run Windoze (I provide tech support for my sister who loves :heart_eyes: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: her (first it was Windows 7 install, and now after vowing she would NEVER run Windows 10, is now in LOVE :heart_eyes: with Windows 10 – go figure!! – then I run whichever version of Windoze she is running as a VM ONLY!!

Windows: The ONLY OS that Bill Gates could love.

D’ Cat

Windows XP because REASONS. I have an expensive thermal wax sublimation dye printer that prints very nice color glossy photos in up to 8x10 size. There are family pictures in frames all over the house that were printed by that unit. I bought it from Olympus in 2003. It still runs off of a USB v1 interface and uses drivers that were written for Windows XP. Olympus never updated the drivers and is, I think, now out-of-business (kaput). To keep the printer alive (sort of like a zombie), I purchased a used ThinkPad X230 for cheap off of eBay (latest model for which Lenovo still had XP drivers). I use that unit to drive the photo printer and also to drive an old Epson scanner whose drivers (likewise) don’t run under Windows 11. Thus, I ONLY turn it on when I need to print a photo or scan something. I presume that this sort of “planned obsolescence” is something that Microsoft learned from the American automotive industry who have been do the same thing to us since before Elvis Presley was a household name.

Hummmmmmm. Now I sort-of understand. Windows XP as a standalone Print Server, so long as it is NOT connected to the Internet is probably safe; however IF you need to have it connected to the internet… not so great. You would be far better off to to get WinXP OFF your network and use “Sneaker Net” to print those photos. Now would be an excellent time to start experimenting with Virtual Machines. Creating a Virtual Win XP that could be connected to your printer would be an excellent solution: You fire it up when you need to print something then kill it after the job is done. That would be preferable to actually running Win XP natively. Windows XP is a security nightmare.

Hi Gary910,

I run Rocky Linux 8.5 as my daily development platform (with GUI on virtualbox) and so far so good.


BTW, I would be interested to hear any insights that you have regarding your experiences with virtualization. I played around with Microsoft Hyper-V on-and-off for a number of years (while I had a developer’s network subscription). I ALWAYS found their (M$) offerings on this to be disappointing. In particular, the lack of support for USB devices was the most disappointing aspect of those experiences. More recently, I started using Oracle VirtualBox. I’m still in the “experimental/learning” mode on with this product, but I have been duly impressed by how much better it is than Micrsoft’s offerings. Currently, I am running the product in two different places, viz. on an old Windows 2012 R2 server and on a second unit the runs a Debian Bullseye variant. I’ve run the same 32-bit virtual machine instances on both units including 1) Windows 2000 server, 2) Windows XP, 3) Windows 8.1. I’ve also played around with some Linux VMs mostly Debian variants like Neptune, Sparky, and Q4OS, and Kali. After all this experimentation, I’ve come to the conclusion that VirtualBox works acceptably on both Windows and Linux, but IMHO it seems to run a bit better on Linux.
I haven’t tried VMWare. I’ve always assumed that I couldn’t afford it. What say you?

Why not use KVM/QEMU ? it’s free with RL and near native speed and has USB passthrough so you could run ur xp vm with no internet while connected to ur printer. All with a handy GUI in VMM.