Newbie - KDE vs Gnome

Any quick links/info (advantages/disadvantages) about KDE vs Gnome? Is the choice a personal preference? Can both desktops be installed and switched at a later date?

I did see in the Newbie install thread for newbies not to use KDE4.

Getting ready to install v11.0



  • scottbrock wrote, On 06/30/2008 04:36 PM:
    > Any quick links/info (advantages/disadvantages) about KDE vs Gnome?

Google. 30% of discussions in the open source world deal with this topic. IMHO none of it is worth reading unless you’re really really bored.

> Is
> the choice a personal preference?


> Can both desktops be installed and
> switched at a later date?

Yes. You can install both and choose upon login

> I did see in the Newbie install thread for newbies not to use KDE4.

Yep. KDE4 would make your Opensuse 11 experience a bad one.


Well I’m probably post-newbie now, but still experimenting! Yes in the end it’s a question of personal taste, but you can install all of them and decide for yourself. At the login screen (bottom left) you can choose which one to use once they are installed.

Here are my impressions so far. Kde is more Windows-like (read bloated, eye-candy, rich with features - you will never use!) and for that reason is recommended if you are coming straight from Windows. (It also seems slightly easier to break than gnome - but that might just be me!) Kde4 is looking great but still has a lot of bugs which is why it isn’t recommended as a default desktop yet. Gnome is leaner and cleaner but takes a bit more getting used to.

Another thing to consider is the target user-base of the distro. Most of the help for eg Ubuntu seems aimed at gnome users whereas most of the help for openSuse seems aimed at kde users. So for that reason I tend to use gnome as default for Ubuntu and kde as default for openSuse, with a bit of cross-dressing when I get bored lol! So it isn’t really a question of eithr/or - go ahead and use both!

If you are completely new to opensuse these pages are a big help in setting it up,

Welcome to - openSUSE-Community

Getting Started with openSUSE - openSUSE

The second one says for 10.3 but most of it applies to 11.0 as well. And this page for one-click install of most software,

Bookmark them!

Btw buckesfeld your answer is partly the reason why so many more people are using Ubuntu than openSuse - friendly and helpful forums. The guy is just looking for some pointers/tips to get him started, not a “don’t ask silly questions” response. You basically told him his question wasn’t worth answering, but I wanted to know the same thing when I started with linux and I bet you did too!

Hi scott

Just to add my 2c, the two GUIs are very much a personal preference and this is what I love so much about linux, you’re given the opportunity to CHOOSE WHAT YOU LIKE THE BEST, not what some suit in a dark office at microsoft towers TELLS you to use. Give them both a whirl and see for yourself as you can select which one to use on startup.

I don’t think there is a pro/con list as each user will have their own individual pros and cons depending on which they prefer/use.

personally, i tried ubuntu and gnome, vomited all over myself and have used kde since then (and yes, the vomit line is a joke)

i have not used KDE4 yet, to be honest, 3.5 works fine for me and i go by the phrase “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”! but i am sure that others will come along and tell you how great k4 is.

Dxvid is right where he says kde is more like windows but i disagree that it is bloated and full of features you won’t use, perhaps you won’t use them yet but you might and you have the ability with linux to strip out the bits you don’t want or use (again, unlike winblows)

anyway, the most important thing about linux is ‘have a lot of fun’ :wink:

if you check novell survey, everytime kde is the most used desktop for their distribution

I’ll tell you why I prefer KDE, perhaps this might help you making your decision.

I prefer KDE because you can completely customize the appearance while Gnome settings are more in general, this can be good if you want to perform performance tweaks and leave out the unnecessary stuff.

Both come with a wide range of software choices but KDE is known to have more advanced software while Gnome software is mostly less advanced. This doesn’t really have to a disadvantage taken from Gnome’s side, in my case I prefer less advanced software most of the time because I hate to have several software installed that have the same features but you still need it for that small different feature. For example: Banshee music player has video support while I always use VLC for video, on KDE Amarok is just for music and VLC for video.

Software examples:

  • Burning:
    KDE: K3B (very popular), Gnome: Brasero (Kind of new but great)
  • Audio:
    KDE: Amarok (yet again very popular), Gnome: Banshee (I like this one but I hate that they’re also adding video support… VLC is my #1 for video. This software is also kind of new so it’s missing several amazing Amarok)
  • Video:
    KDE: VLC (Kaffeine included by default), Gnome: VLC (Totem included by default)
  • Webbrowser:
    KDE: Firefox or Opera (Konqueror included by default), Gnome: Firefox or Opera
  • Instant messenger:
    KDE: Kopete (default) or Pidgin , Gnome: Pidgin
  • Office:
    KDE: Koffice/OpenOffice, Gnome: OpenOffice
  • E-mail:
    KDE: Kmail (default) or Thunderbird, Gnome: Evolution (default) or Thunderbird

Note: Don’t start off with KDE4 because this will give you bad experience as it’s still very buggy, I suggest you start off with KDE3 or wait until a more stable version of KDE4 is out.

Both have amazing desktop effects and can be enabled or disabled when needed, and again KDE’s are more customizable.

I, myself am using Gnome in OpenSUSE 11 because the unstable KDE4 disappointed me so I’m waiting for the stable 4.1 release.

Hope this helped you out.

openoffice is not a gnome application, same thing for firefox…

I was a hardcore fan of KDE < v3.5
For me it is the perfect desktop for those who come from Windows it has a similar interface.

But I get tired of it. I wanted something a bit more different that is why I switched to Gnome. It was a bit hard to get used to it in the beginning but I manage to overcome those difficulties.

My recommendation try them and choose the one that makes you more comfortable.

Note: Please try to not install KDE and Gnome on the same machine or you will end up with conflicts on your desktop icons and other things.

I prefer KDE 4.0 Bad A??

I know and I was not trying to say that, what I meant is which great and commonly used applications are available for those desktops.

scottbrock wrote:
> Any quick links/info (advantages/disadvantages) about KDE vs Gnome? Is
> the choice a personal preference? Can both desktops be installed and
> switched at a later date?
> I did see in the Newbie install thread for newbies not to use KDE4.
> Getting ready to install v11.0
> Thanks,
> Scott
XFCE4 or Fluxbox, get rid of all the other cruft and then tweak one of
these to your liking.

Both KDE and Gnome are equally powerful DEs. You may also wish to have both gnome and KDE installed together and choose whichever session to boot into while logging in. Personally, I find gnome more customizable, but KDE apps like Amarok, Kaffeine, Konqueror are amazing! (Konqueror is amazingly lite but powerful) With KDE, you will have a choice between using Firefox or Konqueror.
PS: Donot go for KDE4 since it is still in testing phase and has numerous bugs which need workarounds.