Jade, A new Linux Desktop That Looks Cool.


Linux FormatSummer 2018

Version: 0.6.1 Web: https://github.com/codesardine/Jadesktop

We love bringing innovative and ground-breaking Linux desktop environments to your attention. When Jade popped on to our radar, we were interested to see if it looked and felt different from Gnome, KDE or any other ‘lighter’ desktop.

Jade is a HTML5, CSS and Python-based desktop that has its own layout, menu system and some cool extras, such as speaking menus and titles, as well as a customised selection of some more traditional GTK3 and Qt5 programs.

The placement of its desktop widgets and indicators is certainly original, although in most cases you can’t rearrange them. The top-centre Applications button activates the grid view of available applications, which are grouped into categories. We tested Jade using the Manjaro WebDad spin and therefore some programs may be specific to the distribution, but there are links to the web versions of the Microsoft Office programs and Skype, the V4L testing utility for webcams, the Kvantum-style themer and some other compact utilities.

The bottom part of the screen hosts the dock-like panel with programs, folders and indicators. Some items are groups that expand as stacks with a jaunty curve effect, much like Apple’s stack folders.

The overall experience in Jade is a little controversial, but it’s definitely a fresh approach for interacting with files and programs. Very few desktop components can be changed, so you should accept it ‘as is’. For some users the suggested design will be a hit and a perfect match to their desired dream desktop, where every little thing is placed precisely where it should be. The desktop works speedily once you have accelerated video in place. If you run it on something like Llvmpipe, you’ll most likely be frustrated. That’s why we strongly recommend running Jade natively, perhaps from a live USB media, and not in a virtual machine.

Exploring the Jade desktop…

1 Find your applications

This centred menu leads to a neat and thoughtfully organised dashboard.

2 Indicators and clock

This is similar to a system tray, and contains a clock, calendar and disk usage meter.

3 More useful items within reach

The Jade desktop isn’t empty – it features handy shortcuts and frequently used items.

4 A dock-like panel

We liked the nicely curved stacks and keybindings for rapid program launching.

5 Stylish backgrounds

Different viewing modes and sections have their own custom wallpapers, defined by Jade’s developers.

Leave a Reply