This website has some awesome screen-shots of old Linux desktops from 1999. This really takes me back, Linux and UNIX desktops in the olden days looked a lot different than they do now, it is good news that the Common Desktop Environment or CDE is now available for Debian. I just wish that there were packages available for Linux Mint and Ubuntu so that it was easier to install. That is one desktop I really want to try out. Afterstep is a very old desktop environment. This one has a good looking desktop layout with the wharf on the right and beautiful themes. The screen-shot of the Gnome desktop with Enlightenment as the window manager looks like Gnome 1.0. That is a very old Linux desktop environment. Nowadays we have Mutter and Gnome Shell. But the old desktop environments were so customisable and configurable. Now in 2002, we see a progression to the newer KDE and Gnome desktops. These are starting to resemble the modern Linux desktops that we use today. Fast forward again to 2009 and we see even more modern styled Linux desktops. This website is indeed a portal into the past allowing us to actually see the natural progression of the Linux desktop. Going back to 2001, we see a tendency towards Nextstep styled desktops using the Windowmaker WM. Windowmaker is very fast on a modern computer and works very well with dual monitors.
Check this website out though, it is a very good way to look into the past and get some inspiration on how to style your desktop environment to make it your own. I like this screen-shot. KDE and Vmware workstation: https://www.linux.org.ru/gallery/bigJwD381.gif. The KDE desktop looked just like Gnome in the old days. Now KDE is looking more like Windows 8.1.