If your desktop lives in an MS infrastructure, use Gnome!

This is not another gnome vs kde post as you might know it.
It is just a summary of my experience with OSS 11.2 (both gnome and KDE) and a Microsoft environment.

For my daily work I use a linux desktop registered to a Windows 2003 Active Directory and a Microsoft exchange 2003.
So when OSS 11.2 came out I decided to re-install my desktop and use the default window-manager KDE.

After a while I switched back to gnome because KDE has some issues (bugs, missing features, less integrated)

These are the items where KDE needs more work for a more pleasant user experience

  • Networkmanager
    winbindd does not always respond very well to changing network parameters (connect/disconnect or changing ip addresses)
    I have a fixed IP address but with the default Knetworkmanager you cannot set the system eth0 settings and the preferred network profile does not autoconnect.
    So when you boot, you get a DHCP address and when you then change the network profile, winbindd sometimes hangs.
    Gnome does not have this problem so much because there you can change the system eth0 using the gui.
    These issues are known Re: [opensuse] 11.2 + winbind + NetworkManager
  • Evolution
    When you start evolution in KDE you can instantly see that not all the icons are shown correctly.
    Apparently, the oxygen iconset does not contain the icons for the send/receive button and the flag status buttons.
    When you set the default iconset (using the kde control panel) from oxygen to gnome, evolution icons are complete but the rest of the desktop doesn’t look pretty.
    Eventually i fixed this by copying the gnome iconset to the evolution icons folder.
    [SOLVED] Evolution: missing icons from toolbar - Ubuntu Forums](http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1319158)
  • Calendar integration
    Evolution is the default PIM for gnome. So when you open the clock on the taskbar in gnome you see the dates in bold where there are appointments (even when evolution is not running) and the tasks.
    This is very handy and is not available in KDE.
  • Keyring
    The evolution password does not get saved in the KDE keyring app but always in the gnome keyring app. So you always have to enter the keyring password the first time you start evolution.
    This issue is not seen when using Gnome
  • Login Manager
    The first time you logon, you have to enter you username and password.
    From then on, you can select your username from the list in GDM but KDM does not remember winbind usernames. You always have to retype.

The combination gnome-evolution is very well integrated and works very well for users that logon to Active Directory, have their mailbox on an Exchange 2003 server and have to sync with windows file shares.
For me, it’s even better then the osx-entourage2008 combination.
The KDE-evolution combination comes third but has potential. Most of the above issues have workaround but maybe it is better to keep working on fixing these issues and keeping a better user experience in mind.

A lot of work has been made by Novell/Opensuse community to make KDE a better desktop (firefox integration, openoffice integration,…) and it looks very well with lots of powerful features for the daily desktop user (like okular, the default PDF reader that allows to make annotations, beats evince) and I understand why KDE has been chosen as the default desktop for 11.2

Linux is about choice, and mine is running oss 11.2 gnome on a macbook pro and connecting to an MS network.
Perhaps KDE will be a better choice in the future…

A happy OSS user

Who in their right mind uses Evolution? Even our GNOME users prefer to run Outlook via Wine rather than touch that… awful monstrosity.

I don’t think Outlook runs in Wine. It doesn’t even run fully in Virtualbox (well it does but try to use Activesync with a USB connection, won’t play). Yes, Evolution is clunky, slow (with IMAP at least), and has some annoying shortcoming (can’t reorder folder in Mail, for example) but it is, as the post above suggests, the best option for Windows/Exchange interopreability. I use it myself at work with openSUSE 11.1 (and KDE4), although at home I prefer other solutions.
Agree with most of the original poster’s comments, especially the keyring annoyance.


This is one thing I prefer about KDE, if someone wants to log on they have to know the username/password pair rather than just guess the password.

I also think the KDM login screen looks much better than GDM.

You’re right Linux is about choice, and if you prefer the GNOME applications, I think GNOME is the best choice for you.

I don’t use any of these and generally prefer KDE, but it is very close.


> I don’t think Outlook runs in Wine. It doesn’t even run fully in
> Virtualbox

last i heard, it dosn’t even run well in Windows, which is why they
call it Outhouse! :wink:


This is why I don’t use Outlook too much (I have it installed in a Virtualbox though)

As with many companies we have a quota on our mailbox so you have to archive your mails.
As you may know, outlook uses the PST format for this.
The built-in search is very slow.

Evolution uses the mbox format and searches very quickly.
The beagle alternative is also good.
But the best mbox search is the new thunderbird search (almost like qlikview)

So for e-mail archiving I always use evolution or entourage…

I’m a big KDE fan, but I’m playing with openSUSE-11.2 gnome now on a Sandbox PC. I have a dual boot (gnome and KDE-4.3.4) on that Sandbox PC, which is neat for comparisons. Of course any comments/views do tend to come thru the coloured filter of a KDE fan. Still, the same can be said for the views of Gnome fans who post.

I like the simple clean aspect to the gnome desktop. So much I went and tuned the KDE-4.3.4 desktop on my hot-backup PC to look very similar to the gnome interface. Its so similar, I have difficulty based on the screen (but not on the insides) in telling if its the gnome PC or the KDE4 backcup PC. KDE is nice in that one can tune it that way. However I can NOT tune gnome to look like KDE. The gnome developers must have figured all users MUST use a limited style/look/feel variance. The KDE developers decided instead to give users a choice as to the style/look/feel with many more possibilities.

Gnome Problems:

  • Software Management
    : I found the gnome software management implementation in YaST severely lacking. A number of important features are simply missing in the Gnome YaST software implementation. For example, I could not find in Gnome the capability to switch to “the system packages” all in one repos. Its EASY to find in KDE. Does it even exist in Gnome? Its easier when scanning available packages in KDE to see which are packman (the pm in the version number is displayed). To find that in Gnome I have to click on a package which is slower. … various other aspects, … and I would have to do a back and forth compare by comparison to list them … and this is VERY and unpleasantly time consuming in Gnome. - second class sound implementation
    . The integration of sound on Gnome, from my user’s initial impression, is really really BAD in comparison to KDE4. Just plain bad. When I first started Gnome, the speaker was muted. When I unmuted it I got a horribly loud squeak. I installed smplayer, xine and vlc. They all played with HORRIBLE static. In each case I had to go into their properties and for smplayer change from “alsa” to "alsa(0.0-VIA-8233A), for xine change from “alsa” to “oss”, and for vlc change also to “oss”. Changing to OSS in Gnome means the desktop can no long play simultaneous sound from multiple audio apps at the same time. In KDE4, this “just works” on my PC hardware (where the hardware is important) and I can play audio from multiple applications at the same time. In KDE none of this changing output audio mode to eliminate scratching. There is a ‘sound preferences’ speaker in the lower right corner of the Gnome desktop but no mixer like Kmix that I have in KDE4. No default running Gnome mixer? Come on! I don’t like this Gnome limitation. Again, not so good. - graphic driver harder to configure
    . Another negative aspect I encountered with Gnome was in configuring the proprietary driver. After installing the nVidia .run file “the hardway”, I ran “nvidia-xconfig” to create the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. After a reboot Gnome just hung at a black screen and mouse arrow, for over a minute. In the end I just pressed < ctrl > < alt > < f2 >, logged on to a terminal and rebooted from there. Back at run level 3, I deleted the xorg.conf, and ran “sax2 -r -m 0=vesa”, which worked. Note this proprietary nVidia driver “just worked” in KDE. I also note that the gnome desktop gives less feedback (than KDE) when booting X , which I do not like in Gnome. It has caused me a few times to think the PC has frozen, before it suddenly comes alive. NOT nice. - SOLVED.
    Mouse double click. The gnome default for the mouse came up as a double click. This was incredibly irritating, and if it had not been for someone on our forum showing me how to change that to single click, I would have long since left gnome on that sandbox PC.

Still, despite the negative aspects that I posted, the FONTS in Gnome are great. The style of the windows is very good. I significantly prefer this default Gnome setup over my current KDE setup in terms of a basic look (that is until I tuned my KDE to look closer to Gnome’s appearance), and fortunately KDE4 has a degree of configurability that I can not (yet) find in Gnome.

Still, I would not hesitate to recommend Gnome to new openSUSE users. The aspects that I find important (and irritating) would not irritate everyone.

I “finally” got totem working in 11.2 Gnome. I had to try a number of different configurations in “gstreamer-properties” sound configuration application before I could finally get it to function. But totem is working good now for most audio/video codecs :slight_smile: (I also installed the Packman packaged gstreamer apps before I spent some time tuning gstreamer’s properties).

I have this working now. There was an update to the xorg-x11-driver-video which I installed, and then used that as an excuse to re-install the proprietary nvidia driver ‘the hardway’. … This time, after typing nvidia-xconfig the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file that was created worked with gnome.

That’s one of the more polite things I’ve heard it called…