9 reasons I use KDE

9 reasons to use KDE

Posted 14 Apr 2015 by 

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I really like the command line interface (CLI) in Linux. It bestows great power upon its users, and I spend a good deal of time availing myself of those powers. And yet without the GUI desktop I would still be limited. It is through the combination of the GUI and the command line that I find the power of Linux to be more fully realized.

As with many things in Linux, there are several choices available for desktops. A short list includes Xfce, MATE, Cinnamon, LXDE, GNOME, KDE, and for the kids, Sugar. I have tried all of these at various times over the years, and I always install all of them on my main workstation so that I can try out the latest versions of each. But despite the fact that all of these desktops have many good features, I always return to KDE.

KDE originally stood for Kool Desktop Environment, but is now known by many as the K Desktop Environment. KDE is powerful, flexible, and it can be fun. I think that "Kool" still applies.

  1. Integration. KDE is well integrated with many applications of all kinds. Applications do not have to be written specifically for KDE, and all of the applications that are typically part of the GNOME desktop also work just fine in KDE. Applications like the Thunderbird email application and the Firefox web browser work just as well on the KDE desktop as any other and can be specified as default applications for KDE.
  2. Looks. I like the many ways in which I can change the look of the KDE Plasma workspace. Sometimes I like to set colors and looks to suit my moods. Icons, widgets, fonts, pointers, the window decorations, and much more can also be changed, and I can download and install new ones if those already installed are not right for me. Window decorations define the look of the borders and buttons on the window frame. Widgets are the buttons, sliders, and general look of the applications within the windows. Color schemes and other styles can be saved and used later when my mood changes again.
  3. Flexibility. More importantly than just the way it looks, I can change the way KDE works. One or two clicks to open files and folders, Bluetooth and other connectivity can be configured easily, and power management can be adjusted. I also like the various configuration options for multiple monitors, which is very helpful when giving presentations using a projector. KDE allows me to define the functions of the mouse buttons, how windows behave, and how to deal with new devices that are plugged in such as whether to mount them if they are storage devices and which applications to open automatically.
  4. Konsole. Konsole is a kick-butt terminal emulator program for the desktop. Konsole is an excellent example of the Linux Philosophy's tenet, "Each program should do one thing and do it very well." It was written for KDE, but it can also run on other desktops. And here is where the GUI desktop combines with the CLI to enhance my admin-fu. The feature I find most useful is the fact that the Konsole window allows for multiple tabs with a separate terminal session in each tab. I can login to the local host as root in the terminal of one tab, a non-root user in another tab, different hosts for two or three other tabs, and switch between them by clicking on the desired tab. I usually have tabs open with sessions for root on my local host, a root session on my web and email server, and a local, non-root session for development—all in a single window.
  5. Widgets. There are widgets for almost anything and they can be added to the desktop and moved around to wherever you want them. There are widgets for monitoring various aspects of the system's health, the weather, various types of calculators, clocks, news feeds, messaging, and much more. These widgets can make the desktop a veritable sandbox of toys and useful information.
  6. Multiple desktops. We Virgos like to be organized, and a single desktop can become cluttered and disorganized rather quickly with many programs and windows open. I have been using multiple desktops for years with KDE and usually have one main desktop I use for typical user stuff like email, web browsing, and writing documents like this one. I use another desktop for development of new scripts and modification of old ones as well as testing them in virtual machines. This helps me keep things a bit separate and organized in a way that I can find things fairly easily. I have another desktop set aside for transient tasks that I want to be kept together but that do not fit the other desktops.
  7. Showing off. What is the point in having multiple desktops if you can't show off a bit when switching between them. I have my desktops configured so that they appear as if they were on a the faces of a cube and switching between them rotates the cube. This has no real practical value, but I do occasionally like to show off for my non-Linux friends. I could also choose a sphere or cylinder for this.
  8. Fun. KDE provides many desktop effects if you have an appropriate video adapter. Effects include things like "Wobbly Windows," where the windows jiggle like Jello when moved. Other effects include various animations like shattering, fading, and gliding when windows are opened, minimized, maximized, and closed.
  9. My way! I can have it my way—any way I want it. I don't use many of the advanced visual features of KDE very frequently, but sometimes I like to do so as much for fun as any other reason. And fun is an important part of the computer experience as well as life in general. However, other features are key to making the many hours I spend each day on my computer comfortable, efficient and easy. Multiple desktops, defining mouse button actions, the widgets on the KDE panel, and many of the other interactions I have with the user interface help to define the experience I have while I work and play.

I have tried many different desktop GUIs. KDE is the only one that I can configure to work in the specific ways that allow me to work in the manner that is most comfortable and efficient for me. I like to have a lot of choices, and KDE provides that. KDE can look and work like CDE on Solaris, like Windows, or something different entirely. For me, KDE is all about having the flexibility and the freedom to work any way I want, and to change that when necessary or or just on a whim.

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50 Comments

archuser

I hated KDE from the beginning, still don't like the way it looks, gnome has been my choice as i love the way gnome 3 looks and works, but though not perfect , it is best DE i have seen till date.

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dboth

Ok. That is why we have so many great choices available in Linux. So you can do things the way that works best for you.

Thanks for your comment!

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Peter87

>Applications like the Thunderbird email application and the Firefox web browser work just as >well on the KDE desktop

Not in plasma 5 anymore: status icons, which do not use appindicator/statusnotifier are not shown anymore.

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Luis Cespedes

KDE5 is not yet stable and there are many features that are not there yet. KDE4 is still the official production-ready/stable version at the moment. Please let developers iron the rough edges before criticizing or jumping to conclusions. It's new and shiny but still a work in progress. Remember the KDE3 to 4 transition was a pain and KDE got to be an awesome product. KDE4 to 5 transistion has been better and plasma looks awesome

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JD

It's based on QT a really Kool cross platform application framework. Hell, KDE even runs on windows and OS X. That was one of the first tasks when I was forced to work in a windows only environment for a long period of time: Installing kde apps I used on a daily basis.
Plus QT programming is fun.

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woodmaker

I would say it doesn't run, it just walks on Windows platform. So I have to use that static boring and uneffecient windows environment.

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Borg

Ok, I'm a KDE fanboi, but I really do have to say...

Tabs in the console? Multiple desktops? Wobbly windows? VIrtual desktop cube? Desktop effects? Having FIrefox and Thunderbird show properly?

How are any of these things KDE specific?

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pgmassey

Well, the desktop effects are implemented within KWin, rather then an external program...

Beyond that, most of those are standard across the board.

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Kurayami

I agree with Borg, none of the things you listed where actually KDE specific. You can do everything you talked about on other DEs (not to mention you can install Konsole on any Linux Distribution)... you also left out Unity on the list of DEs that are available, and since Ubuntu is probably the most used Linux Disto (and 2nd place on Distro Watch), I think it is a little weird to omit it from your list of DEs.

Also, you clearly haven't used KDE on Arch Linux, as it takes a bit of configuration for GNOME programs to look like they are supposed to on KDE (KDE does _not_ do this by default). Luckily, whatever distribution you are using does all of that work for you, but please, don't give KDE credit for that... I only wish that were true...

I really am interested in KDE (I have never got it to work the way I want, the users tend to be obsessed with the "traditional desktop", which to me just means a workstation from the 1990s, and I am more interested in modern technology, I tend to like the path Unity and gnome-shell have gone), Qt is clearly the better GUI toolkit (probably because it has commercial backing) so I was hopping your article would give some specific reasons on why KDE is awesome and I should use it, but in my opinion it failed to do so.

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baconandeggs

Yes, you can do many of those things in other environments, but not to the degree of detail and with the same level of ease, as in KDE. KDE gives you choices, tons of choices, and then comes the magic... it doesn't force you to use them. It gives you freedom.

I can hardly imagine someone loving KDE more than me, but KDE not long ago announced they will open their legs to take in systemd's allmighty penis. So, with heavy heart, I don't see KDE 5 in my future.

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gera

krunner... One of the features I badly miss when I have to use another DE/OS.

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Dorothy Zbornak

Because it helps me organize in a million ways. Nothing can replace simple folder views, window manager tabs and using Konqueror + kio slaves for most of my connectivity needs. Love Korganizer and baloo, not so much for being innovative but for being straightforward to use and access, including its more potent capabilities. Activities I don't use so much as I could, but being more canvases for widgets I can totally appreciate their power for organizing serious multitaskers. Above all, after using it for some time it just feels so straightforward to hit alt-f2 and gsc: blah to find research papers, to then use a table selection and pass the results to libreoffice, and then press my self-assigned shortcuts to open cantor for Octave, qgis and kwrite. Snappy and just hit meta-f__ for a new canvas.

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Caleb Cushing

you're about 6 years behind https://dot.kde.org/2009/11/24/repositioning-kde-brand it is no longer known as the K Desktop Environment, but more simply just KDE, or KDE Software Compilation (SC)

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shadowsurfer

Even though I use KDE for several years (on an Arch Linux Machine), I am far away from beeing excited. Primarily because they developed so many superfluous things (PIM for example), but are not able to make one thing reallly perfect. KMail for example if you compare it with Thunderbird or Evolution, not even mention Outlook. But that is something KDE should do: making Kmail better than Outlook, so that more people do no longer know why they really should prefer Windows. Is there one example for such an outstanding program?
There we are! What really makes me wonder is the poor quality of KDE!! We can start with the "main applications" such as office, mail, webbrowser. I prefer libreoffice and not calligra, Thunderbird instead of KMail. Konqueror? No way. I love Firefox, Chromium or Seamonkey. If we continue and look for example to the systemtools, I use gnome-programs all the way (for example gparted) and not a single KDE-Program. Other applications? Amarok for example? It's crap. Using Kodi instead.
Their are only two reasons, why I prefer at the moment KDE (and not Gnome, Unity, XFCE, Enlightenment...). First: KDE is a well-integrated desktop, which means that whatever I need in the background to get things work (i.e. install new software), it is already there. This makes a lot of things a lot easier. Second: KDE has some features that are great. Dolphin for example is a great file manager, much better than Thunar or Nautilus. The desktop as such is kind of a perfect "classic" desktop, where everything works just the way I like it (panels, widgets, colors, symbols, everyday management of audio, network etc). That is why I don't like Unity.
Finally, I see know reason to share your excitement even though I am a KDE-User. They should really do their homework.

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Alan Hodgson

kmail is the best reason to run KDE. It's so much better than other mail clients.

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Eddie G.

I have tried KDE in the past and most recently, and I still cannot get things to where they "just work" for me. I am by no means a fan boy, as I use Ubuntu-Linux Mint-Fedora-Scientific Linux-and Debian all of them with various DE's from MATE and Cinnamon to Unity and Gnome. I have tried KDE and it just seems "cluttered" to me, I prefer things to be as simple as possible with very little time needed to configure things. Gnome does this for me, XFCE does this for me as well, but when I try KDE it seems nothing is easy to work with, and I have no time to dabble with effects or cute animations. So I can only say thank goodness there are choices in the world of Open Source and that none of us are locked into using one DE (like that OTHER company forces you to do!) If they were to ever "simplify" KDE I might give it another go, but for now....Gnome is my DE of choice for my main PC.

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Fenris1

I feel most at home with KDE but some times I whisper "I wish they had finished this before releasing the next version" - for example here is an excerpt from KBackup help text: >> The current implementation features only the backup step. To restore data back into your system, you currently have to use e.g. konqueror to open the TAR backup files and drag/drop the files back to your file system.<<

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Torin Doyle

I always preferred Gnome2, then MATE and Xfce.

I may give KDE another try on my second PC.

Nice article.

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Sum Yung Gai

Over time, I've switched desktops depending on which best did what I wanted. Back in the day, that was GNOME v1.x. When KDE 3 came out, I absolutely loved it and switched to it. Initially, I despised KDE 4 and went to GNOME 2. It took KDE 4 some time to become useable, but the improvements did come, and it's pretty well full-featured now. I am comfortable with GNOME 3 as well, thanks to using Ubuntu GNOME (Trusty Tahr 14.04). It's a good desktop, and the Tweak Took helps a lot. But my favoured desktop as a power-user type is again KDE.

--SYG

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Kevin Benko

My first desktop installation was in 1998, and my first desktop was KDE, version 1. Now, while I use other desktops today, my primary desktop is, and alway has been, KDE. The other desktops I use are XFCE and Fluxbox, which I use for development. I have tried to use, and like, Gnome, but I, personally, dislike it's look and feel.

On my older systems, KDE is a bit of a dog, but I still used it. However, my current computer is extremely high end, and it runs perfect for me.

Just saying...

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Hans HB Thogersen

I agree with Kevin.
I switched to Kubuntu 3 years ago (from ms windows) and have never looked back.
I use XFCE regulary and tried Unity but none of them works for me.
Is KDE the best ever? Maybe not but I haven't been able to find anything better.
So if you like widgets, desktop slide shows and desktop themes then KDE is for you.
Anyway I totally agree with David and could also give 1 more very good reason.
Dolphin the greatest file manager that have everything I missed in Explorer.

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dboth

For those of you who mentioned file managers like Konqueror or Dolphin, I have an article that should be published here next week comparing a few of them. And I will be submitting articles on two or three of my favorite file managers that will go into far more detail than an article that compares several in only a couple thousand words.

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dgrb

"KDE originally stood for Kool Desktop Environment"

Really? I started using KDE with the second beta release last century. At the time it was said that the "K" "doesn't stand for anything".

It may have internally stood for "kool" (though why not "C" for "cool"?) but, if that was the case, then the original KDE developers were aware of the difference between what works internally and what seems totally unprofessional in public.

Anyone who ever used the old CP-V/CP-6 operating systems will know exaactly what I'm talking about.

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dgrb

Thinking this over, there was already a CDE (the Common Desktop Environment) dating back to 1993, so I'm wondering now if the "K" internally stood for "Kommon".

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pgmassey

Nope - it was orignally Kool - see announcement from 1996 at https://www.kde.org/announcements/announcement.php

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Rich gregory

KDE needs one bootstrap O/S command to configure video cards via xorg.conf in CentOS 6.

In CentOS 5 it was system-config-display. That is gone in CentOS 6 and when my video card died and I replaced it, I was stuck. Bad stuck.

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dboth

Yes, for better or for worse, Xorg is gone - replaced by D-Bus and UDEV and a plethora of automation for configuring video cards and displays (and much else) on the fly at boot time.

I am finding that some of the older things that used to work, like both of my printers, are no longer supported. I have managed to get one to work but not all of its features and the other is a total loss. Of course they are both pretty old - but still working.

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James M Doherty

David,

I spend most everyday programming, I enjoy the minimal approach to desktops for this reason I use XFCE4 with Konsole installed. Have you ever done a review on XFCE ? I did not see it in your list.

Jim

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dboth

Jim, I have not reviewed the Xtra Fine Computing Environment (XFCE), but I have used it on occasion. I think it works well and is especially suited for computers with very small resources. I have a very old laptop that I have been thinking about installing it on.

But the article about KDE is not a review. Rather it is just a fun article that is intended to also convey the vast amount of flexibility available to users of KDE. It would actually take an entire book to do that in any depth.

Thanks!

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LongTimeWantabeUser

The reason David Both felt compelled to write this article is the reason Linux is used by only a handful of users - nothing really works well right out of the box.

I've been trying to make Linux my desktop OS for 20 years, and I ALWAYS find too many things just too hard to make work. I need to get work done, not play around.

Now, if all you Linux programmers out there would focus on making ONE version work REALLY WELL, you might have a shot at being mainstream instead of an afterthought.

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dragonbite

When I started my Linux journey in 2003, I gave myself a mission to "do everything I do in Windows, except on Linux" and somewhere between 2008 and 2010 I was able to say I achieved that. Modern distributions make it so easy, but it helps to know what it is you actually do with the system to know how to make it work with Linux.

As for "one version", that misses the point of Linux, the community and the goal.

Does Linux really want to be "mainstream"? Depends on your definition of "mainstream". Does Android count as "mainstream"? Does Linux being sold installed on major OEM hardware (Dell) count as "mainstream"? Is Linux computers being sold in brick-and-mortar stores prominently (not tucked away in the back corner) count as "mainstream"? Does the Internet and cloud computer being dominated by Linux considered "mainstream"? How do you define "mainstream"?

It also misses the point that out of all of the desktop environments (KDE, Gnome, Unity, Xfce, Lxde, Mate, etc.), each one is focused for a reason.

Have you tried running Windows 7 on a Pentium III? Probably not, but I could take Lxde or even a Windows manager alone and try to make it into some sort of kiosk or cheap beat-on computer.

Not to mention, do you remember the massive speed of updates and new features coming out of Windows XP pre-2002? No? Because there wasn't much and it wasn't really the fault of Microsoft completely. There was no competition so why innovate and threaten to destabilize what you have?

With multiple desktops you get a built-in, friendly competition where each can try to improve themselves while at the same time take ideas, points and counter-points from the other environments. Find Gnome or KDE too bloated, then counter it with a lighter, snappier environment. KDE offer too many choices to user, counter with simplicity.

Competition, even friendly competition, is good for the situation and with open source it isn't only "one" that wins... we ALL win!

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brosenau

I tend to agree with your position. If a system or part of a system doesn't work correctly, then there's no sense in allowing it to contend. With over 1000 different distributions and variants out there, it's just easier to adopt one that works well. I typically run everything on older hardware, so I don't care about UFEI (or other acronyms) requirements. I've never been able to get Gnome 3 to work out of the box either. That left me with either Gnome 2 or KDE(mixing apples and veggies). KDE always came packed with apps...and I used most of them...never to delete those I didn't use just in case. Biggest challenges to date is getting the right drivers for video support...and having the system run correctly (and shut down without freezing/stalling). When I finally end up with something that works, I just stuck with it.

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Teun

I'm an old time KDE user and can't imagine it any other way.
I experiment with alternatives but am usually surprised by the lack of integration and options they offer.

One exception, an old 600MHz PII PC with 192MB RAM, it runs the LXDE with a couple KDE apps like Dolphin and KRadio.

My original reason to go KDE was other DE's like Gnome did not allow Copy&Paste between different applications, duh!
OK, it's a few years ago :)

I'm not a big CLI user, when it is available I prefer point&click.
Spending many hours on a PC makes it worth to have an agreeable theme and well thought out environment.

KDE5 is a work in progress, the biggest issue I have with it is there are still many widgets waiting to be converted to it.

Two KDE applications I really like a lot are Gwenview and Showfoto, no not digikam as it forces a particular file structure that I don't like.

For Firefox there is firefox-kde-support, this is a helper application that allows Mozilla Firefox to use KDE file dialogues, file associations, protocol handlers and other KDE integration features.

And then there is KDEConnect to connect your Android devises, brilliant!

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JHBrewer

I used to hate GNOME more than KDE so I used KDE. Then KDE forced the unwanted and unneeded Plasma widgets on us, so now I hate them both equally.

Oh, and by the way, KDE was called KDE originally because it was copied from DEC's CDE (Common Desktop Environment) but they couldn't call it that for copyright or trademark reasons. Now it should (following the GNU example) stand for "KDE Desktop Environment".

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John L. Ries

KDE is definitely acceptable (and very pretty), but I find KDE 4 to be slow on older hardware or over RDP. So XFCE remains my preferred poison; but I'll switch back and forth between it and MATE depending on my mood/whim.

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Karl Mattas

I used KDE exclusively before version 4; the 4 series looks more like a rather bloaty operating system than a desktop environment. I don't like the amount of bundled applications with KDE, I much prefer to to install the just the basic desktop and then add only the applications I need.
I agree that KDE has a lot of superb applications such as K3b and Konsole, just to mention a few.
If it was possible to install just the bare bones desktop and to add only the necessary applications without all the extra bells and whistles I'd return to KDE immediately. Maybe such a version already exists in which case I stand corrected and will return to KDE straight away....

Cheers to everyone on this great Forum,
Karl Mattas

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sethkenlon

Great article. As some other people point out, a lot of these features are no longer unique to KDE, but a lot of praise for computers tends to end that way. You fall in love with a feature, you use it for years, and one day you wake up and realise that everyone else has developed, essentially, the same thing. Ultimately, the thing that you love is *how* you feature is implemented, not necessarily just the fact that the feature exists.

And I'm solidly in the camp that loves the way KDE features are implemented. They work, they work really well, they are integrated with one another, and they flow fluidly into each other in a sensible and configurable way.

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dboth

Well said!

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dragonbite

I've been using KDE lately and find myself keep coming back for a number of reasons:

First, it looks and feels like a solid, cohesive environment with spit-and-polish like any of the non-FREE environments. This gives me a strong feeling of confidence when using it that it isn't going to get in the way and does provide everything I'll need, especially when I am using it in front of non-Linux users.

Since Gnome moved to 3 (shell) and Unity came out, neither of them are as customizable as KDE even with the growing list of extensions. Just try to make the wallpaper auto-change causes you to hunt for an extension (which BackSlide needed users to add ver. 3.14 manually and it still didn't work fully) or extra programs (WallCH works, in Ubuntu at least). Meanwhile KDE (and Xfce) includes it with the environment. Or change the panel's background to transparent. I find KDE enables the users, while the others require a Tweaks tool, or customized theme.

There is a difference in the overall philosophy for KDE and Gnome. While Gnome gives users choices, but tries to make it streamlined and not-overwhelming, KDE provides options for just about everything to let the user decide. Most of the time, I like the choices but sometimes it is overwhelming.

The Apps I find in KDE are very powerful and while I know I can install the Gtk apps in KDE, I prefer to try the environment's apps first. I've been falling more and more in love with DigiKam as I find out what it can do.

I also was surpised by KDE's flexibility, to run on a very low-end Netbook my brother gave me. Of course Desktop effects were turned off, but KDE handled that and was usable (Gnome just never wanted to work on the device without siezures). I have since tried Mate, which is much lighter than KDE or Gnome and seems to work alright.

I look forward to trying Plasma5, but am not rushing into things. I'll probably wait for the next release of openSUSE to upgrade.

I've tried Gnome shell, Unity, Xfce and Lxde on a number of devices but when I want something that just works, looks good and is stable I find myself being drawn to KDE.

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cirrus

try xmonad or i3 or dwm

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Embedded

I Really liked Kde as found in openSuSE 11.X and I really wished it had survived! Better than windows 7 Quite frankly plasma just can be a little too pretty and not as good for programming like Gnome 2 and KDE 3 which just worked!

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Felix Miata

My most liked and used DE is KDE 3.5.10, on openSUSE 13.1.

KDE3, which openSUSE 11.X had, did survive; is still alive in openSUSE 13.2. It's just not included in the installation ISO, which can't fit even half what the distro has to offer. KDE3 has further evolved in the form of a fork called TDE (Trinity Desktop Environment), which can be had for several popular distros including Fedora, Debian, *buntu and openSUSE. KDE3 and TDE have everything upstream KDE had when it abandoned KDE3 to create KDE4 from scratch. Dejavu now with KDE4 scheduled to go EOL in a matter of weeks, while Tumbleweed, Kubuntu 15.04 and Fedora 22 users have to contend with such problems as repeated crashing, settings not migrated, disappearing text, missing session restore, and ISO 8601 neither discoverable nor selectable in Locale settings (due to promised but absent functionality from upstream QT5). All these and more are found in not KDE5, because there is no such thing as KDE5 - now upstream KDE provides distinct components*, rather than integration, in the form of:

Plasma 5 (5.3.1 latest)
KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5 5.10.0 latest)
KDE Applications (15.04.1 latest)

It takes a special kind of user to be happy with what KDE has become, but lucky for Linux users, FOSS keeps their DE choices far more abundant than for users of proprietary kernels.

* http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-factory/2015-05/msg01672.html and https://www.kde.org/

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Traveller

KDE5 and it's complete lack of support for ISO 8601 date/time is currently keeping me from upgrading to Kubuntu 15.04. The upgrade on my test system was problematic. The OS is stable but Plasma 5 is not ready for prime-time.

Since this was reported months ago without any effort to fix. I will be working through new DE until I find one that works.

BTW, I moved to KDE because of Unity.

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Fred McKinney

Mandrake, along with the KDE desktop, was my first introduction to Linux in 2004. I refused to even consider using anything else until KDE 4 came out in early 2008, at which point I left KDE for GNOME, then Xfce, then, as of last year, LXDE. I was considering a return to KDE now that version 4.x has matured until I discovered that -- and I'm NOT kidding here -- I could not set the panel weather applet to display the conditions for where I live. It's like it INSISTED on second-guessing me with everything I tried (it kept putting in the same town name but different state, and in one case, some place in another country entirely), including neighboring towns. That was a deal-breaker for me, as I ended up going back to LXDE in spite of having 4GB of RAM, which could, of course, run KDE comfortably. KDE needs to get its act together in that department.

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AUser

I have been an windows user for years and really wanted to switch to Linux. When I slowly started doing it , I have been through many desktops, but now, no body can beat the feel of KDE Plasma. I would say its the best desktops ever. Even Gnome3 is nothing for me compared to the feel when I use KDE Plasma.

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Dawid

If tabs make Konsole a kick-ass terminal emulator for you, check out Terminator. It can do way more than just tabs: you can have multiple terminal sessions open in each tab, as you can split terminals horizontally and vertically, so you can create a grid o terminals. You can also group terminals together which allows you to type commands in multiple terminals at once (oh, how that helps managing servers!).

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dboth

I have just installed Terminator and will be giving it a workout. Based on what I see in a very short play - er, testing - session, I think I will like it a lot. Thanks very much for the tip.

Two of the things I really like about Open Source software are that there are many really great options for almost any type of software and that there are so many really smart people who are willing to help - like yourself.

It would be really cool if you would write a short article about using Terminator.

Thanks again for the tip.

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dboth

OK, so after 24 hours using terminator I am hooked. Konsole does have the ability to split the screen multiple times, but only in one orientation, either horizontal or vertical. terminator is much more flexible in this, allowing a nice combination of horizontal an vertical splits within the same window. And it does have tabs, as well as a nice banner in each terminal frame that provides information about that terminal session including the host and directory.

I have found terminator to be very flexible and helpful when doing development. It is very powerful when used with multiple terminal frames in combination with the screen program.

Thanks so much for making me aware of this really elegant terminal program. Perhaps others who read this will find it useful as well.

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Mark Chisholm

Great article showing what KDE can actually do but sorry its not enough to make me switch. I have an FTP server I use with Gnome3 and the desktop sharing via VNC while not the best runs better than when I tried it with KDE. I used KDE on Wheezy before switching to Jessie and Gnome3 I wasn't expecting much in terms of performance increase but its quite surprising how clunky a desktop environment can be.

KDE is a good example of what 'can' be done and if your a regular user with the hardware to run KDE by all means try it, chances are you'll love it. I personally prefer to get on and be productive with my Linux system(s). If I had KDE with all the compiz effects and cubes I'd probably spend more time admiring that than getting on with the tasks at hand.

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dboth

I agree that KDE takes a significant amount of system resources. Plasma 5 takes significant resources without even running any programs. Feature bloat has made most software from the kernel on up into resource hogs. The GNU utilities are not part of this bloat as they mostly follow the Linux Philosophy.

But I do like the extreme flexibility I have with KDE to configure the desktop to work the way I want it, even though I do not use over 90% of the bling that it offers.

And I certainly appreciate the choices we have for desktops. We all work in different ways and different desktops meet different needs and preferences.

Thanks for your comment.

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David Both is a Linux and Open Source advocate who resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has been in the IT industry for over forty years and taught OS/2 for IBM where he worked for over 20 years. While at IBM, he wrote the first training course for the original IBM PC in 1981. He has taught RHCE classes for Red Hat and has worked at MCI Worldcom, Cisco, and the State of North Carolina. He has been working with Linux and Open Source Software for almost 20 years. David has written articles