KDE: 2 weeks later


Jon says:

OK, so after our last podcast/open ballot, I felt that I'd been a bit hard on KDE. At the very least, I thought I should give it a decent run so that next time I complain about it, I've actually got reasonable grounds to do so! After the podcast, I moved both my work desktop and home laptop to KDE 4.7 (the latest in Fedora's repositories), and have used nothing but for 2 weeks now.

Immediately after installation, it didn't suit me perfectly, but tweaking it to fit my needs was quite easy. That is, so long as I worked through the massive settings dialogues in a methodical way, otherwise it was too easy to miss the particular setting I was looking for.

There are some things that I still haven't found a way to solve. I'd like, for instance, to make KWallet unlock itself when I login, so I don't have to type my password twice! But these are all pretty minor things.

The applications that come with KDE seem pretty nice on the whole, too. I've come to love Konsole - or at least, I like the pastel colour scheme :-), the games are fantastic (KNetwalk for the win!), while Firefox continues to be my browser of choice, and it doesn't feel at all out of place. That's about all I use in my day to day life, so pretty pleased on that front.

More importantly, I've found that KDE actually feels more 'out of my way' than Gnome Shell does. KRunner feels quicker than Gnome's Activity Overview, Nepomuk/Strigi do a great job of indexing my files - and making them available through KRunner, and I don't miss having to decide whether I need to use alt-tab or alt-` to get to the window I want.

The biggest things I missed about Gnome? Their calculator is better, IMHO, and I think their status icons are an improvement, too.

All things considered, I have no immediate plans to move back to Gnome. Both are good desktops that I've enjoyed using, but I'm just happier using KDE for now.

The moral of the story? Always give something a good try before giving up on it - and that I should think before I speak more! Oh, and Linux seems to have a plethora of fantastic desktops now, I only hope application developers pick up the charge in the near future and convince me to leave my browser for more things than text editing and the occasional game of KNetwalk.

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Your comments


That's very good of you Jon, to come back and admit you were essentially a FOOL before. :D

Graham had a similar experience when he was forced to try Gnome for a month for the mag, you should ask him about it!

Most importantly, I'm glad you've discovered another DE you can work with. I have my issues with KDE (I would also love to know how to auto-open my Kwallet!) but I still think it does the most things right out of all the big players. It's the integration wot does it for me, above all else.

Welcome to the Dark Side

Hi Jon

I think KDE sometimes seems to have a "bad" reputation, especially for users who are used to the Gnome way of doing things. When I switched from Windows, I was advised to use Mandriva, which used KDE as standard. Thus, I stayed away from Gnome for ages, fearing it might be somehow too difficult to get used to, but alas, I found it just as welcoming, albeit a bit different.

I still use and prefer KDE, but I also love Gnome 2 and Unity. My netbook forced me to go lightweight, so I've also learned LXDE and a bit of XFCE, although, I've struggled to find much Gnome Shell love.

I don't judge people on what DE they use, but I very much appreciate the positive review of KDE you've taken the time to provide. We're all about open source, but I think that should always go hand-in-hand with open minds.

Good on you, Jon

This is why I use Linux. One of the reasons I never got a Mac was the smug tone of all the Mac publications, with the exception of... no, it was all of them. In LXF and the FLOSS community generally, no-one pretends that it's perfect. Everyone wants to make it better and to play a part in that process, rather than wait for a God-like figure to bestow the 'perfect' desktop upon us, then keep telling us why it's our fault we don't like it.

Strangely enough, I've switched the other way, starting with KDE and now exclusively Gnome. But it's not perfect and I do miss my old desktop.

Well done Jon.

I love KDE

...my only bugbear is that no big distro that is Debian Based gives it pride of place. You have to have an rpm distro for that. It's a shame really.

Mint 12 KDE is nice, but I've gotten that used to MGSE that I might stay with it for a while. At least until Cinnamon becomes the main, then go KDE again.

You want a good

You want a good calculator?



Ta for that; looks interesting, I'm going to grab it now!

Jon - If you want KWallet

Jon - If you want KWallet NOT to ask for a password after you log in in needs to have been setup with a blank password. I do this on every KDE installation I have; login -> boom no prompt from kwallet.

Also as big a KDE fan as I am the settings dialogue is pretty bad to find your way around.

I'll try gnome

After seeing you give KDE a fair shot, as a long time (and happy) KDE user, I will give gnome a shot.

Gnome Calculator


If you want to use the gnome calculator under KDE, it's only an install away.

Frankly I feel that many Gnome users are simply too precious about whether the applications they use are 'real' Gnome apps.

That's one of the things I love about Linux - it really doesn't matter what toolkit an app is created with as long as it will run under the Linux distro one uses...

BTW, I much prefer the Gnome calculator (gcalctool) to the native KDE one and I've been a KDE user since 2005 (but only finally switched to KDE 4 at version 4.2)

BTW, congratulations on your willingness to really try out the KDE environment - not at all any easy step to take. And, finally welcome to the merry band of KDE users!


Thanks everyone :-) All I can say is, glad I tried it properly (and yes, Huw, I was a fool!)

And I'm definitely going to give speedcrunch a try...

KDE is Awesome!

Well done Jon :)

I've been a KDE fan ever since KDE 4 was being planned. When it was released, that's when I finally switched to Linux full-time. You see, I don't mind so much that there were some rough edges, it's just that there's a *huge* amount of potential in the building blocks of KDE these days. We've only seen the very surface of what's possible; I think some amazing things are going to come along in KDE in the next few years.

I've also been very impressed with the way the KDE community works. I've barely ever seen immaturity or FUD in KDE land. My impression of the Gnome community is not quite as good.

In the meantime, KDE still suffers from a lack of polish in certain areas. I think that's because a larger proportion of people that are attracted to KDE are developers or otherwise very technically adept, and are reasonably happy to work around the problems, or simply don't have an eye for aesthetic detail. I think Gnome has achieved a kind of critical mass that means it receives more attention.

Technically, there's no doubt in my mind that KDE is built on a more promising foundation. Qt ("cute") is pure downright awesome, and although Nepomuk and Akonadi receive a lot of criticism because they're still a little buggy, it seems clear to me that the KDE developers were right to choose that direction, and it will ultimately pay off.

Giving KDE a go

For years, I've preferred Gnome 2. With the recent changes with the accompanying frustrations, I decided to try out Mint KDE. I'm very pleased with it apart from Akonadi which I can't see the sense of. Like anything new, it just needed a bit of 'larning'. Of course, I look forward to the future with Cinnamon, but meanwhile, Mint KDE is perfectly useable. Netrunner looks cool, too.

Are you sure you're not still ratted on that cider?

Well done, Jon. It takes a big man to admit that he was wrong and an even bigger man to admit that to the Linux community.

I've been using Ubuntu since 9.04 and was happy until all this Unity hoop-la started. I've played with KDE, but have always gone back to Gnome for one reason or another, but after almost a year of flipping between Unity, Gnome 3 and Cinnamon, I've had enough and like you will give KDE a decent outing to see if I can live with it as a long term desktop of choice.

kwallet is a hard case

if you just need a password repository to make it easier by not typing everything then just use an empty password when you create a wallet. If, in the other hand, you really need a secure password repository then you have to setup pam(ouch. once done it's amazing but good luck finding some info)

Kwallet Solved

Seriously Newbs ;-)

All you need do is go to System Settings--> Account Details --> KDE Wallet

Then uncheck 'Enable the wallet subsystem'


Long live KDE Format!

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