Ranging from “just a different browser” to “Complete Frankensystem”.
Personally I tend to be quite “pure”, I just shift out minor things. On Xfce I tend to replace stock apps with;
Ristretto out, Viewnior in.
System monitor out, Htop in.
Xfce print screen app out, Gnome print screen app in
Mousepad with Leafpad
Video player (whatsitscalled?) with MPV. Never saw a need for anything but pure MPV, have a good config for it saved.
I am on the fence of using Nemo with Xfce.
My biggest frankensystem ever was a short time I built my own Xfce - BSPWM mashup. It worked great, but theming was a hassle.
For me that depends…
when I’m running KDE I stick to the Qt-Apps mostly. Only exception: Firefox.
when I’m trying to assemble an i3-environment it’s automatically some kind of frankensystem cause i3’s only a WM, not a complete DE.
I don’t need much apps… no libreoffice, no mailclient, no video editing. Just Firefox, VLC or whatever videoplayer is installed and sometimes a RDP-Client for work.
Gnome is the most "all or nothing " DE. Deepin is probably second and Plasma third but Gnome is specifically trying to stop you from using apps you prefer instead of Gnome apps*. Plasma and Deepin is more aesthetic reasons.
*to the point of the devs giving the official reply that Gnome isn’t meant for people who want to install their own terminal app.
I have only used a little i3 but I know what you mean. WMs are by default Frankenstsystems but also properly modular DEs work well.
Plasma is actually heading that way, they are actively trying to make it more modular.
I don’t want to be the one with the negative vibe here, but we have to wait and see, because this collaboration has been in the works for years now.
It would be great if this idea really comes off the ground, because Linux certainly needs more unity.
I’ve never been a fan of Thunar, and I don’t have ANY kind words for it. The first time I encountered it was back in the #! days. (Statler & Waldorf) So, now my routine habit when installing an Xfce distro, install PCManFM and set it as “preferred”. The only time I open Thunar is at the beginning to uncheck “mount removable …automatically”
I first encontered PCManFm on Lubuntu 11.04. Ever since then, gotta-have-it. Lubuntu went downhill starting with 12.04, leading to my discovery of #!
Sort of the same scenario today. Ubuntu/CANONICAL …(grrrr)
So, here I am. I have Xubuntu on my laptop and like it A LOT, but I just don’t like the changes I’ve read about coming to the Ubuntu family in the future. I’ve been looking at Arch for a few months now, ran some live distros, and finally dove-in the other day when I saw the post on Distrowatch about EndeavourOS.
And now that I have EndeavourOS, I can sum it up with the last three words of the last Harry Potter novel. “All was well.”