What should I expect from CL Desktop

First, I want to thank intel for this wonderful distro. It is even faster than Windows on my laptop. I am a student. & For my current uses, I can get almost every apps I need on CL, either from swupd, flatpak or rpms. But how long this going to work. Is it as reliable ubuntu/fedora as a desktop os.

I know that it is not a general purpose userfriendly os like ubuntu.
What I want to know is,
What should I expect from CL? Is its desktop support going to improve in few years (like fedora).
Or Intel is just ignoring desktop use, focusing mainly on servers.

Like AUR for Arch, PPA for ubuntu, CL have 3rd-party bundle support, but it is of no use because of unavailability of apps.

I found few issues, which were reported long ago, but still not solved (chrome-gnome-shell not working, hp toolbox not starthing,etc)

Again I am asking, Is it a reliable desktop os?

You questions well-summarised a few points that annoys some users.

As declared early this year, the current direction of CL team is to focus (more) on non-desktop usage.

The 3rd-party repo is one potential way for dealing with some issues, especially for lack of non-free softwares.

Another possibility is to have a community-driven fork of CL.

But both of these two require more engagement from community members. It took a few years until some key contributers bring 3rd-party repository to Arch. And we’re still waiting for that to happen.


CL is a great distro for server workloads and mainstream cloud applications. Also bundles make it easy to get some basic things up and running on server or desktop without dependency version conflicts. It is a fine and powerful development/controller desktop for experienced devs sysadmins and power users or superuser hobbyists.

Things I would not recommend it for (currently):

  • Single system environment (such as single boot on user’s only laptop) for busy students, professionals and even programmers who need to configure once then get it out of the way.
  • A system for basic user/consumer or even technician that needs to interact with a lot of other end user consumer platforms (rdp, team viewer, car audio, home theater, control-my-phone etc)
  • Proprietary sofware support is needed.
  • Proprietary graphics drivers are needed.
  • Replace evergreen system like Fedora.

I haven been using it as my daily distro till a few month ago but to be honest Desktop was always a bit difficult. When I have heard that is not going to be better (focus on server and cloud) I have dropped it. For the future I hope the tide will turn, but for now CL is nice if you don’t have to use it every day (Desktop).
It is sad because it was just about to get enough Momentum in the Distroworld (Desktop).


I walked away from Clear Linux after they took away the desktop environment and switched to generic Gnome. There was so much I liked about CL, and it was really fast on my ThinkPad. But it just got too hard to use, and there isn’t any support for new Linux users. Ubuntu is easy on the eyes, and there are a lot more applications to use with it. I still check in here from time to time because I hope that the Clear Linux team will support the desktop again, but its probably a lost cause.

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@Apollo18 I can recommend PopOs it is basicly a Ubuntu Distro but no snaps but flatpak instead and has a really good working Hybrids Graphics Mode. Plus Autotilling on gnome.

@CochainComplex I never had any good experience with pop os. I tried pop os 19.10, 20.04, it sometimes freezes completely, and I can’t do anything about it except pressing the power button. Even tty do not work during that freeze. I never faced such problem in any other distro, even manjaro(rolling) seems more stable than pop os 20.04 lts.
It seems like system76 messed up ubuntu, while trying to improve it. Better go with original ubuntu and remove snap if you don’t like it.

Hi ObitoUchiha thank you for your answer. I have experienced the exact opposite. Running PopOS20.04 on 3 different machines.

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Although I am rather new to CL and not much familiar with Pop!_OS Ubuntu flavor, I just want to emphasize that from my understanding the relative lack of applications for CL is a side effect of the greatest strength of CL over other Linux distros, such as Ubuntu or Pop!-OS, namely separating system components from user components. Instead of perpetuating mess in typical Linux, such as Ubuntu, where system components are mixed up with user components in /etc, /usr, CL made a decisive shift to clean up this mess.
Perhaps typical Linux users playing with various desktops and apps do not care about underlying system architecture and reliability but I can definitely appreciate that among such architectural mess in Linux world Intel CL made this significant change to clean up - separate system from user, even if it makes it harder to install apps.
This is returning to fundamental system principles.

well it was not a criticism of the bundle system or the core structure of it at all. There are plenty of non system applications running and provided by bundles. And the reason why I had choosen CL was the underlying system. I’m a physicist and mostly I need Octave, several BLAS libraries and a bit of C++ and OpenMPI or CUDA stuff. As a performance enthusiast I really like to tune all the details.
But none the less we generally use a Desktop environment for our work- Nobody can tell me that he does not use any WM even from remote with tilling terminals… but if I have to fix every two weeks the nvidia driver and cuda (I know it is also nvidias fault) it is getting annoying and this is not just a corner case.
I always thought ok that is temporary but then the announcement no even less effort for that in the future…

The NVIDIA stuff is indeed annoying…


And you already did a great job with your scripts. Without them it would be worse. They really helped me a lot. Thx btw.


I wrote the script because I foresee that I need to battle with the driver repeatedly…


There is a reason why Linus Torvalds gave them the finger …