Microwave Biscuit

KDE and Gnome

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 15, 2007

Much has been written on the various reasons to use KDE over Gnome or vice versa. For most of my years using Linux I’ve been using KDE. I don’t recall ever making a conscious decision for any particular reason, I just found KDE was more to my liking over time. My first experiences with Ubuntu were in using Kubuntu. I used Kubuntu 5.10 and 6.06. However, I started feeling that Kubuntu was not as “tight” as Ubuntu was after seeing Ubuntu in action. Gnome is the desktop for Ubuntu and I personally felt the Kubuntu really had the feel of being a “fork”. So, with 6.10 I switched to Gnome to get the full Ubuntu experience. I’m sure that if you used the Gnome desktop on a KDE centered distribution you might feel the same way. In any case, there are a few things that I haven’t gotten used to in Gnome after several months of daily use.

  1. When browsing for certain things, it defaults to the home folder. This is annoying to me. Let’s say you want to have a log-on picture. In Gnome you go to System | Preferences | About Me. Then click on the blank area where the user picture is. It opens up the home folder. While some of us may have our own picture or whatever in the home folder, where are the defaults? In my case, I need to browse to /usr/share/pixmaps/faces/ to find some default/sample faces. From an end user perspective, how are you supposed to know to go there? It may be in some document somewhere but in KDE if you click on the login face area it brings up a mini-browser that has all of the defaults in it. From there you can choose “custom” and start browsing from your home folder but at least the defaults are right in front of you. This may seem very minor but I find the same type of thing in several different areas.
  2. Nautilus – Out of the box it didn’t work for me. I had to install extra scripts and such to get things working the way I wanted them to. I was very used to being a folder and right clicking – selecting open in terminal. I often browse to a folder and then drop into a terminal. This is available as a default in KDE.
  3. Gedit – I don’t think I’ll ever like Gedit as much as I like (LOVE!!) kate. The built-in terminal is one of the many reasons that I prefer it. I did download an add-on to Gedit that allows for a terminal but it’s not as neatly embedded as kate’s.
  4. Konsole and Gnome Terminal – I don’t know that I have a good explanation for my preference but I just seem to favor Konsole.
  5. Create New – by default Gnome doesn’t have anything listed in the right-click create new menu. You have to know to create empty shells of files in /home/yourname/Templates/ – I found this somewhere but in KDE out of the box it has create new stuff.

While none of these things has made it impossible to work in Gnome, they are just a handful of minor annoyances that I’ve found after years of using KDE. On the plus side, there are quite a few things too – don’t get me wrong – I’ve gotten everything set up the way I like in Gnome and I’ve learned to work around the annoyances. Some of the programs in Gnome I couldn’t live without – Liferea for one. I also like the panel applets better in Gnome.

Anyway, I’m certainly not trying to say KDE is superior to Gnome or the other way around. If I really felt that way I’d be using KDE not Gnome. Different things work better for different folks. These are just a handful of frustrations that I’ve had to get over.

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One Response

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  1. DeviantDragon said, on April 11, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    I also started with KDE, then later changed to GNOME, and also because of Ubuntu. Even though i’m a complete OpenSUSE fan, and don’t use Ubuntu, many people at my campus do, and it gave me the feeling that KDE was getting “discontinued” by GNOME. Anyways, I don’t really worry about those annoyances of yours. For example, if I am building an assembly or simple C project, I use Kate or kdevelop inside GNOME to work. If I am simply editing a text file, I go for gedit. about your Konsole vs. Gnome Terminal thing, doesn’t really bother me, they both end up doing the exact same stuff.

    Once I started using GNOME, I got that feeling that KDE interface felt awkward, and as of now I have been using GNOME for almost 8 months. And I used KDE before over 4 years long.

    Point is, many of KDE things work just as fine on GNOME. The tool I use the most on GNOME is the great program Amarok, and it’s a KDE program. So you see, all can be balanced 🙂


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