29 Aug 2013

My favourite is KDE. Why? I'm not sure

I'm not sure I have a favourite distribution. The first disto I used (1999) was Debian. So I'm used to thinking first in terms of "apt-get/dpkg" rather than "yum/zypper/rpm/...".

My favourite distro tends to change every 9-18 months, butat times  it's been Debian, SuSE, Ubuntu, Mint and Fedora. The longest as my favorite would be openSuSE

Ubuntu, Debian and Mint seem to have the best variety in default software repositories, and I prefer Debian on my 7 rack servers, though  ~half of them (3) are CentOS, because Red Hat coded 'modules/drivers' were better for some prolinear/poweredge servers. I love how Ubuntu/Mint auto-play movies and mp3 music without having to load codecs separately.

If you want a distro to be reliable, I have found openSuSE the best for desktops, and I would recommend it for  workstations. My choice for servers is Debian, though as stated some server hardware is easier with CentOS. Fedora is not unlike openSuSE, with more English software choices in default repositories.

I LOVE GRUB. It lets me select a different distro each day, and I can pick according to my mood, or whatever I need to do that day. On most machines I have three distros installed, storing all data on servers.

As I write this, I have OpenSuSE, Fedora, Ubuntu on this machine. Local drive stores only OS and programs.

I use many machines. Some are old Pentium II/III/4 with 512Mb which are best with LXDE (light desktop). Puppy is best on prehistoric P-II/III machines, even coping with original PCI sound-blaster AWE-64 cards that other distros won't use. Sure KDE/GNOME runs on them, but is slow with software loaded. XFCE has a little more eye candy; but on these older machines I'm mainly using text based tty's and virtual-terminals. Cutting/pasting text is the most sophisticated use of GUI I'll use there.

My better workstations are where I do GUI based work, with >3Gb RAM. I love the idea of Cairo-dock, but it takes too much screen real-estate bottom centre. I like Unity shoving it left of screen on widescreens, but get annoyed with the menu in Gnome 3, so prefer classic-SuSE, Mate/Cinnamon/LXDE/Xfce - or better yet sticking to my beloved KDE.

Yes, my favourite desktop environment is KDE.

Why? Sorry, I'm not sure, but believe it's the ability to put widgets on the desktop clock, cartoons, weather). It just suits me. I love multiple virtual desktops and the way KDE does it. I love KDE's menu system, desktop configuration options (decorations/etc) and the Dolphin file manager.

Today I mostly used KDE as I did yesterday. My wallpaper is auto-changed every two minutes from a directory of my favourites. Cartoons flip every 24 minutes, even if usually covered by real work. Its there if I need a few seconds break!

Tomorrow my desktop choice could be something different. I'll select at login prompt after selecting a distro at the GRUB menu. Isn't Linux great!! Choices+!!

This article by Chris Guiver won the prize in the Desktop Environment articles contest which Linux notes from DarkDuck ran together with BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk site.


  1. My favorite KDE is Kubuntu LTS as it comes with long term support with kubuntu backports ppa added. The other good KDE I have used is Chakra which is quite close to pure KDE.

  2. Ubuntu should use KDE as default desktop environment. I tried gnome, cinnamon, MATE, XFCE, they are no match to KDE.
    KDE has richest set of features, best applications(dolphin, kate, k3b ...), it is most configurable . In my experience, only XFCE performed faster then KDE. Gnome, MATE, Cinnamon were slower on my machine. KDE is little greedier on RAM comparing to others but if you have 4G or more this becomes irrelevant. So IMO, for newer machines, KDE is just the best choice.

  3. Given I mentioned openSuSE as a good desktop; I'll mention an mildly annoying feature. It's security (use of root password).

    Note i'm not first; Linus himself ranted on google+ over a year ago ...


    but in my opinion openSuSE has got worse, not better since Linus' comments.

    On logging off GUI to shutdown, I'm required to give a root password to shutdown/restart.

    This to me, makes sense for larger multi-user computers, but not a PC. I've gotten in habit of logging out of GUI, and 'sudo shutdown -h now' from text tty.

    Despite this, I still think openSuSE is a good choice for a work intended desktop. If this will annoy you too much, use Fedora or another alternative (prior comments like (K)ubuntu).

    1. Weeks/Months later & I finally KNOW why SuSE requires a ROOT password to shutdown.

      Saw on G+ discussion on how easy it was to from user level; cause a system to 'shutdown'; thru system call available to C/Perl & even BASH shell.. By requiring root level security to shutdown; SuSE can't have a system shutdown by a bad program/shell/browser unlike possibly (if unlikely) other distros.....

    2. I am still to see such a script or program :)

  4. My favorite _was_ KDE, that is, KDE3.

    So I use Trinity-DE. http://www.trinitydesktop.org/

  5. Yep was a long time Gnome user. And one that spread outdated FUD about KDE being a bloated and resource hog. Farther from the truth.

    Need a DE that gave me what I need without all that extra tinkering adding things and modifying and editing things adding 3rd party repo's.

    Now Mint Cinnamon is great and all but lacking. So went with KDE specifically because KDE has built in for apps remembering their size and position. On a Dual 22" displays with 3 Virtual workspaces and having 6-8 apps open at a time is crucial to my workflow. And none seem to do that but KDE. Couple that with problem free desktop effects and other bells & whistles makes for a Great Desktop. Tho do agree the bloat feeling from all the overwhelming array of settings is a big turn off.

    But wanted a rolling release based on Debian so no need to clean install every 6 months. So went with SolydK.

    Everything worked out of the box and now being rolling with tested update packs no need to do complete re-installs every 6 months.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I was surfing the web trying to find a KDE based distro to test because at first i hated KDE but then tried Porteus KDE and liked it but wanted a more serious KDE distro based on Debian and thanks to your comment i'll check out SolydK and will test it. I need to make peace with KDE! :)

    2. Thank you for reference to solydK.

      Finally tested it, and just installed as one of distros on my main workstation.