Saturday, December 13, 2008

Giving KDE a second chance

When I first started using Linux about 6 years ago, I did not even use any GUI. I preferred to run my Linux as a headless server providing web and other service and connecting from my Windows box via SSH. About 2 years ago, however, I started tying to use Linux as my main desktop. I started using Red Hat, then switched to Debian, tried several other versions along the way, and eventually ended up using Ubuntu. Somewhere along the way KDE fell out of favor with me and I became a Gnome user. It was not love at first site with Gnome, it was something that transpired over several different versions of Linux OS loads. I just kind of liked the simple feel of Gnome.

Now just I am definitely an adventurous person and I like to try new things. I regularly download several different versions of Linux and try each one in a VM just to see what the latest and greatest is in the Linux world. Along the way I have run into a few KDE desktops and usually load the Kubuntu desktop packages on my Ubuntu machines. But I never really got a good feeling for KDE, that is, until yesterday.

I have been reading alot on the Internet about the problems with KDE 4.0 and that 4.1 and now 4.2 made great improvements so I deciede to give KDE a second chance. Since I use Ubuntu I just loaded the kubuntu-desktop packages and switched sessions. I do a lot of photography and I have a saying that I can look at a picture I have taken for about 1-2 seconds and tell if it is a keeper or not. I just clear my mind, look at the picture, and see if it affects me in anyway or tells me a story. I used the same technique with the KDE 4.1 desktop and to my surprise is past the test. I really like the layout of the desktop and the feel of the whole setup from the icons to the color schemes. I have not had a chance to play with all of the customizable functions of the desktop yet but I find the choices available be very appealing.

The only problem that I found so far is that Firefox, my preferred browser, do not look to good in KDE. I did some research and found a couple of fixes that make the browser look a little better but it will do for now.

I think I am going to give KDE a go for a while and see what happens.


tmb_ayebe said...

I feel the same way. I have come to love gnome but I recently downloaded the kde-nightly package on ubuntu. It lets you try KDE 4.2.

It runs a little slow on my EeePC 701 but is surprisingly usable. The split screen view on dolphin is a boon for the Eee's small screen.

I am still using gnome as my main desktop for now, but I anticipate switching to KDE more and more.

tuxt0r said...

Goodo. I like KDE but am unfortunately still using 3.5. I'll switch to 4.1/4.2 when openSUSE comes out, I didn't before because 4.0 was buggy.

Mind you, soon, the desktop will be replaced by the web....haha


Anonymous said...

I've used KDE 4 since 4 KDE 4.0.85 and the desktop itself is more than good enough for the average user. Both looks and backends are easy to configure.

BUT it is not Gnome, not KDE 3, not XP, not Vista and not OSX. Consequently things are done differently and there IS a learningcurve. Not major, but it's there.

KDE 4.2 Beta 1 is running smoothly on OpenSuse 11.1 and I use that setup for daily use.

The goodies of KDE 4 is really behind the scenes (Akonadi and so on), but the looks is a great bonus.

To test the configuration of looks in KDE 4.2 - download Skulpture theme and use it in combination with the oxygene theme. Then download a few plasmathemes and combine some of those for the different elements on the desktop (it's under advanced in systemsettings).

Keep in mind that Amarok 2 is not yet as feature-rich as the old one (what's there is working fine though), and Koffice is not yeat ready. DigiKam improves frequently (beta 5), and Kontact is working great - although syncing with mobiles is not perfect.

Those apps are not KDE 4 though, it's separate projects and should be treated as such by reviewers.

It it important to note that there are bugs affecting KDE 4 specificly in e.g some of the Nvidia propietary drivers. Using Nvidia 180.06 or .08 should sort that out. 180.11 and 180.16 are smooth, but have other drawbacks.

In my book KDE 4 should be the desktop of the year, and next year it will. ;o)

Anonymous said...




Kubuntuは、KDE Distroの中で、かなり安定していないものであります。



Anonymous said...

Well, I try to live with kde 4.1 for about a month now ... after disabling the gui effects, it is usable. But still slower than kde 3.5, for instance when switching screens. And some problems occur also... bu I am not sure if it is problem of the Xorg or the KDE (mouse starts moving by itself sometimes, sometimes the caps-lock inverses its funcion...)