Try out the Jade desktop environment

Jade for Jaded Users

© Lead Image © Thammanoon Praphakamol,

© Lead Image © Thammanoon Praphakamol,

Article from Issue 227/2019

This new desktop environment strives to offer something different, and while the design isn't for everyone, it does introduce a couple of interesting features.

2019 is not a year for innovation in the desktop environment. Ever since the desktop revolts over KDE 4, Gnome 3, and Unity in 2008-2012, developers have been cautious about innovation and alienating users with too much change. Any innovations have been incremental or minor. Under these circumstances, Jade [1] (which stands for Just Another Desktop Environment) is a welcome development. Although it suffers from a lack of layout knowledge, at least Jade tries and manages one or two promising features along the way.

Jade was started by Vitor Lopes and developed within the Manjaro distribution. To date, Jade is unavailable in any other distribution, but, since it was developed using standard web-technologies like HTML5, CSS, JavaScript and Python, porting it should be a trivial task, and only a matter of time. On the Manjaro forum [2], it was announced in 2017 as "a completely different DE [desktop environment] concept, that changes the way you interact with your desktop, is made to be easy to use, independently of your computer skill." According to Lopes, he began the product to "learn Python" and to "keep my coding skills sharp."

Currently, Jade is available in the Manjaro Webdad Preview [3] version 17.1.11-stable. The preview runs in VirtualBox as an Other Linux – and not as a version of Arch Linux, as you might expect if you know the origins of Manjaro. In fact, if you try to install it as an Arch variant, the installation may stall, even if you use the fallback theme as suggested. The installer appears to be a modified version of Ubuntu's installer, with the addition of usefully verbose online instructions. The only oddity is that, when allotted 15GB for the installation, the automatic partitioning creates a SAP file of 15GB, which seems excessive.


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