The Great KDExperiment

Well, I basically failed in my efforts to find a iTunes replacement for Linux, or at least one that was Gnome-based. However, Amarok is pretty often hailed as the best Linux music player there is, so I’m just going to bite the bullet and move to Kubuntu.

However, Amarok is not the only reason I’m seriously considering the move. I have two much bigger problems with Gnome:

  1. Gnome masks too much functionality from me.
  2. Gnome as a whole is not very well integrated.

Although #2 may be fixed at some point, #1 is likely never going to be fixed. I’d really rather deal with the complexity of KDE than the limitations of Gnome. KDE has its own problems, though:

  1. KDE has abandoned the desktop metaphor for pure widgetry.
  2. KDE is slower than even Gnome, and is on average slightly more unstable.
  3. KDE is much harder to re-theme than Gnome (this may have changed since my experiences with KDE 3.5, though).

KDE’s sins are at least more forgivable since they’re still recovering from a major codebase revision/rewrite (e.g., weird quirks like Dolphin’s rating/comments system and the desktop-as-a-widget model). Beyond that, I see KDE as being way cooler in a year’s time than Gnome will be.

So what does that mean for me? Time to reinstall Linux on Limited Edition! I’ll let you know if/how much I like KDE once I get it up and running. (I also welcome the chance to try a separate ext2-formatted /boot partition, and see how that will affect my boot time.)


3 thoughts on “The Great KDExperiment

  1. Manja

    # KDE has abandoned the desktop metaphor for pure widgetry.
    Hm I don’t think that’s the case. They just changed the way desktop is built. Instead of providing a fixed desktop, they now provide a desktop that everyone can build as they like. Instead of widgets just being the addons they have become the basic building block out of which you build up your desktop (or as is mostly the case, each Linuc distro can build the desktop as they want). This means that it has become more flexible and customizable. So you can in effec take these widgets and build a desktop that looks like GNOME, Windows or old KDE or something completely different. Think of this as LEGO bricks system, just for desktops.

    # KDE is slower than even Gnome, and is on average slightly more unstable.
    Well this is understandable, KDE desktop offers quite a lot more features than GNOME which is quite limited. Great looks also comes at a cost. In fact when i switched I was quite surprised that considering how much more KDE offers the increase in memory and other resource usage was quite small. And if you turn off all the added features of KDE so that it matches GNOME, KDE is actually even more efficient.

    # KDE is much harder to re-theme than Gnome (this may have changed since my experiences with KDE 3.5, though).
    I never used KDE 3.5, but with KDE 4.4 I use now I can say it is even easier to retheme. You can simply create some SVG images and retheme the desktop theme. There is also an SVG engine for retheming window decorations (look for Aurorare in settings). And in addition what i like is how there are more options in KDE to fine-tune the looks of everything.

    Well these were my thoughts on your points with KDE. I’m sure you will also enjoy it as I did when i switched from GNOME to KDE. Oh and one word of warning. Kubuntu may not be the best distribution if you go with KDE. It gave me more problems than others I tried. I would recommend you take a look at Linux Mint KDE, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS or openSUSE. they provide a much more solid KDE experience.

    P.S. Sorry for the long reply. Hope it helps.

    1. bgbraithwaite Post author

      Thank you for your comment. I have had much more contact with Gnome than KDE, so I was sure I’d be off in at least one point, and I appreciate your views as a day-in-day-out KDE user.

      Kubuntu actually wouldn’t boot after installation, so I eyed over your recommendations and picked KDE Mint because it seemed the nicest and was .deb based, and boy am I ever happy! It will take some getting used to, but I really like the slickness of it all.

  2. Pingback: I Love KDE! « Becoming A Glider

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