Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

KDE vs. GNOME: Is One Better?

Filed under
KDE

One of the hardest things for users of other platform to understand is that GNU/Linux does not have a single graphical display. Instead, there are dozens, ranging from basic window managers that control the look and positioning of windows in the X Window system, to complete desktop environments with a wide variety of utilities and specially designed applications.

However, for most users, the choice comes down to either GNOME or KDE, the two most polished and popular choices.

Which is right for you? In this two-part article, we'll make a close comparison of the two desktops, trying to get away from the holy wars that often obscured this topic. The goal is to discuss the differences as dispassionately as possible.

In Part 1, we'll discuss where the KDE and GNOME desktops come from. We'll also discuss the basic features that distinguish them from desktops on other platforms and their customization options.

In Part 2, we'll discuss the utilities, administration tools and desktop-specific applications of each.

History

In the mid-1990s, desktop options for GNUI/Linux and other UNIX-like systems were limited by lack of functionality, or by philosophical freedom – or both.

Full Story.

KDE vs GNOME

Although I've use both interfaces I have always preferred KDE over Gnome. KDE seems to be easier and more flexible to configure to my likings. Konqueror alone is another deciding factor. The "K" names at times are annoying however.

So many new linux users, Ubuntu for example, must assume that Gnome is superior to KDE or why else would the developers have used it. This, IMHO, will keep a large number of persons from experiencing how great KDE is.

Rich D.
Linux User 297743
Linuxified Oct 2000
I was a gopher before www.* was cool.

re: KDE vs GNOME

"This, IMHO, will keep a large number of persons from experiencing how great KDE is."

what the heck are you talking about? KDE users are estimated 65% of linux desktop users, gnome only takes up to 25% or something, KDE is well overrated, but it remains a matter of opinion, i never did like kde, but that's just ME!

More about style than about function

I have to admit that I grew familiar with KDE before GNOME became popular, so by the time I got much air time with GNOME, I already had a number of KDE habits. Coming from a prior DECWindows/Motif and CDE background on Digital UNIX workstations, at first, KDE was easier for me to get adjusted to.

Over the years, those adjustments were less necessary. It was the Novell SLED 10 implementation that really showed me a lot of what is possible with GNOME, even though the SLED implementation is spartan compared to many other implementations. It told me that GNOME could do the job very well.

Ubuntu, UbuntuCE, Fedora, and Mandriva are among the other distributions that have shown me that a GNOME desktop is a perfectly viable one, and I would not steer anyone away from using it, and I would gladly help anyone wishing for assistance in using the GNOME based applications or the desktop itself.

Given my background and interests, I am still partial to the window and desktop managers that feel, either like the original X with its spartan window managers, or like the old CDE with better functionality and appearance. Given that, I probably still use KDE the most, followed by XFCE, IceWM, and Fluxbox. I also use LXDE, Openbox, and JWM on some small, light distributions, and I won't hesitate to use GNOME when it is the featured desktop manager on the distribution that I am using or testing.

As Bruce Byfield suggests in his article, why not have both desktops around and use the best features from each of them, and experiment every now and then? That is what I do. I'll still have my own personal biases, and I suspect nearly every reader will have their own. What I like in the matter is that we all have the opportunity to choose, and all of the choices have quite a bit to offer.

Brian Masinick

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

FLOSSophobia

I have seen it many times. "Linux is a cancer". "Open sauce". "Linuxtard". I even remember the teacher who did not bring a laptop for her presentation and, when I offered her my Linux netbook, she rejected it as if I had presented her something illegal. She tried to use an old Windows computer instead but, when the computer failed, she ended up displaying her presentation with my Linux netbook. Clearly, this teacher's position was not based on ignorance or lack of expertise because she knew Linux existed and all she had to do was to display slides. Her refusal was due to indoctrination: she had learned that Linux and non-Microsoft office suites had to be rejected. Read more

Today in Techrights

Hands on With elementary OS Powered Centurion Nano Laptop by Alpha Store

If you want to buy a new laptop, no doubt you should consider the Centurion line. It will be a good choice for you, Linux aficionado. As well as for your Windows-addicted husband/wife/employees. The Centurion Nano is certainly not a “gamer” laptop. However, besides that particular use case, and for an interesting price, you will get a very competent computer, 100% compatible with Linux and usable for a broad range of tasks. Read more

Tryton and Python Deprecation Warnings

  • Trying Tryton
    The quest to find a free-software replacement for the QuickBooks accounting tool continues. In this episode, your editor does his best to put Tryton through its paces. Running Tryton proved to be a trying experience, though; this would not appear to be the accounting tool we are searching for. Tryton is a Python 3 application distributed under the GPLv3 license. Its home page mentions that it is based on PostgreSQL, but there is support for MySQL and SQLite as well. Tryton, it is said, is "a three-tier high-level general purpose application platform" that is "the core base of a complete business solution providing modularity, scalability and security". The "core base" part of that claim is relevant: Tryton may well be a solid base for the creation of a small-business accounting system, but it is not, out of the box, such a system itself.
  • Who should see Python deprecation warnings?
    As all Python developers discover sooner or later, Python is a rapidly evolving language whose community occasionally makes changes that can break existing programs. The switch to Python 3 is the most prominent example, but minor releases can include significant changes as well. The CPython interpreter can emit warnings for upcoming incompatible changes, giving developers time to prepare their code, but those warnings are suppressed and invisible by default. Work is afoot to make them visible, but doing so is not as straightforward as it might seem. In early November, one sub-thread of a big discussion on preparing for the Python 3.7 release focused on the await and async identifiers. They will become keywords in 3.7, meaning that any code using those names for any other purpose will break. Nick Coghlan observed that Python 3.6 does not warn about the use of those names, calling it "a fairly major oversight/bug". In truth, though, Python 3.6 does emit warnings in that case — but users rarely see them.