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

Events: SREcon19 Americas, Scale, FudCon and Snapcraft Summit Montreal

  • SREcon19 Americas Talk Resources
    At SREcon19 Americas, I gave a talk called "Operating within Normal Parameters: Monitoring Kubernetes". Here's some links and resources related to my talk, for your reference.
  • Participating at #Scale17x
    Everytime somebody asks me about Scale I can only think of the same: Scale is the most important community lead conference in North America and it only gets better by the years. This year it celebrated its seventeenth edition and it just struck me: with me being there this year, there have been more Scales I have attended than I have not. This is my nineth conference out of 17. The first time that I attended it was 2011, it was the edition followed by FudCon Tempe 2010 which happened to be my first Fedora conference and it was also the first time I got to meet some contributors that I had previously collaborated with, many of which I still consider my brothers. As for this time, I almost didn’t make it as my visa renewal was resolved on Friday’s noon, one day after the conference started. I recovered it that same day and book a flight in the night. I couldn’t find anything to LAX -as I regularly fly- so I had to fly to Tijuana and from there I borrowed a cart to Pasadena. Long story short: I arrived around 1:30 AM on Saturday.
  • Snapcraft Summit Montreal
    Snapcraft is the universal app store for Linux that reaches millions of users and devices and serves millions of app installs a month. The Snapcraft Summit is a forward-thinking software workshop attended by major software vendors, community contributors and Snapcraft engineers working at every level of the stack.

today's howtos

Draw On Your Screen with this Neat GNOME Shell Extension

Ever wish you could draw on the Linux desktop or write on the screen? Well, there’s a new GNOME Shell extension that lets you do exactly that: draw on the Linux desktop. You may want to point out a bug, highlight a feature, or provide some guidance to someone else by sending them an annotated screenshot. In this short post we’ll show you how to install the add-on and how to use it. Read more

Fedora 31 Preparing To Start Removing Packages Depending Upon Python 2

Python 2 support will formally reach end-of-life on 1 January 2020 and Fedora 31 is preparing for that by working to drop packages (or parts of packages) that depend upon Python 2. Fedora has been pushing for a Python 2 to Python 3 migration for many cycles now -- as most Linux distributions have -- while with Fedora 31 they are planning a "mass Python 2 package removal" if necessary. They are planning to closely track the state of packages depending upon Python 2 to either drop the packages or allow packagers to easily abandon Python 2 parts of programs. Read more