Which is Better Gnome or KDE?

Which is better for openSUSE, Gnome or KDE? I have been a long time Ubuntu user; and the one thing I have noticed about KDE is that the apps are FAR more feature rich and well integrated than the Gnome apps. However, I have always used Gnome because it was the default desktop in Ubuntu, untill unity, it was easier to understand as a novice and supported Compiz, which provided the 3D desktop-cube, which I have only recently, reluctantly, accepted as pase. I still think Gnome is better looking for some reason.

Better for what?

It depends on how you use the computer. Choose the one that works best for you and the way you use your system.

Or install both, and switch back and forth between them.


If you want to get the job done: GNOME
If you want to get the job done but also want things on your own way (desktop things): KDE.

I use KDE and always have been a KDE lover, but i came to realize that for most people on my workplace GNOME is the way (KDE lets you customize toooooo much)

Thanks good answer,

I’ve tried both Leap and Tumbleweed with Gnome; but after about 15 TWEAK extensions Gnome crashes; and DESTROYS the Appstream (gnome-software) metadata in the process. This looks like a buffer-overflow, or a reserved memory issue. Anyway Gnome, which I like alot, is broken for the forseeable future; I’m guessing about six months. Is KDE less-broken at present? It’s a big learning curve; but I need this distro to work out-of box.


KDE on LEAP is very, very, very stable. I have good experiences running KDE on Tumbleweed as well. Eventhough KDE and GNOME are equally supported on openSUSE the majority of users are using KDE (from what I know), so you have a better change of bugs being found and corrected there. Remember to update your system, the initial version KDE plasma for LEAP wasn’t that stable, but updates has been made to fix it.


There is no “better or bad”.
Both works good in openSUSE.
It is a personal choice.
Like suggested, install them both and see what works for you best.

To “Qt” or not to “Qt”? That is the question . . .
The big difference between KDE and Gnome is the underlying Framework: the KDE environment uses “Qt” (a C++ Framework) whereas the Gnome environment uses GTK+ (a C Framework)
With respect to KDE, a big difference between Qt4 (KDE4 Plasma) and Qt5 (KDE Plasma 5 {Leap 42.1}) is the number of (programming) Language Bindings supported: Qt5 doesn’t support the number of programming languages that Qt4 did or, the number that GTK+ does . . .

  • This means that the KDE move from Qt4 to Qt5 was, is and will remain, a major porting (programming) effort . . .

Let me list the main applications that I use, given that I much prefer KDE over Gnome:

  • KMail (KDE4 absolutely wonderful; KDE5 (Leap) – initially a pain, but the current migration status is IMHO 99.9%)
  • Firefox (GTK+)
  • LibreOffice (GTK+)
  • DigiKam (Qt4 – porting effort to Qt5 {KDE Plasma 5} not quite complete)
  • Gimp (GTK+)
  • KDevelop (Qt4 and Qt5 – see my KMail comment)
  • Oracle VirtualBox (Qt – no idea if it uses Qt4 or Qt5 – I run VirtualBox on a 13.2 KDE4 {AMD 64-bit 4-Core} machine)

DigiKam: yes, feature rich.
Firfox, LibreOffice, Gimp: also feature rich

  • Can’t really say if application feature sets and usability are Framework dependent.

When 3D Desktop effects began KDE also supported Compiz [originally a Novell (SuSE) product], but only until KWin also began to support compositing (3D Desktop effects).

  • Readers: Please distinguish between “Window Manager” and “Display Manager”:
  • KDE Plasma 5 uses KWin 5.x as the Window Manager
    and SDDM as the Display Manager.

passé: “the past”; “formerly”; “antecedent”; “yesterday”
Is compositing “old fashioned”? As someone who is not young, I would say that people such as me who have been using compositing since the very beginning consider it to be far from “old fashioned” – we were using it long before other (major) Desktop system vendors realised that it existed!!
And the future? Who knows? – Virtual Reality + 3D effects == n-Dimensional Desktops . . . Who knows? :wink:

Eye-Candy; fashion; “the eye of the beholder”.
KDE with Oxygen is my preferred Desktop “look and feel”.
KDE with Breeze is not my “flavour of the month”!!!

I don’t know if any alternative will solve your app issues, it really depends on the fundamental cause of those problems.
Especially if you’re talking about openSUSE you can run those exact same apps in other Desktops (even KDE) and might still have the same problem if the underlying cause(s) isn’t identified and addressed.

But, if you’re looking at alternative Desktops (and each will probably offer a substitute for common apps which might solve your problem)
If you like Gnome’s look and feel,
Try XFCE as an alternative, unlike other distros openSUSE “themes” the Desktop with similar to Gnome. Under the hood, apps will still use an architecture that’s somewhat similar to Gnome.
You can try LXDE, although openSUSE “themes” it to look and feel somewhat like KDE, under the hood it’s more similar to XFCE and Gnome.


I’ve used Gnome and KDE on Tumbleweed and they are both pretty nice. I found them stable (KDE maybe slightly more stable) but actually prefer Xfce for performance and customization purposes.

You could try listing the applications that you prefer and marking them in one of 3 categories:

  • Qt / KDE orientated (Kmail, DigiKam, etc.)
  • GTK / Gnome orientated (Evolution, Shotwell, etc.)
  • Neither (Firefox, Thunderbird, Chromium, etc.)

If most of your applications are in one category or the other and you pick the other you’ll know you will probably look for their equivalent to try out.

If most of your applications are in one, and you aren’t so interested in learning the other, then stick with who has most of your applications.

Or there’s the “dartboard method”

On thing I noticed when I went from Ubuntu w/Unity to openSUSE w/Gnome (and only Gnome) is that the buttons remained on the left side from the Unity install, and I could not figure out how to move them back.

Otherwise I find openSUSE stable with any of the environments.

Have tried both and am currently using KDE. It does seem to work smoother and be easier to use than Gnome, where you have to enlarge your window every time you switch desktops. Far more easier customisations than Gnome, where you have to go online to add any extensions and I could not get Chrome or Firefox to integrate and install extensions.

a lot depends on personal preference. I like Gnome better but many people like KDE.
Mates a good alternative also. All depends how you work and play :slight_smile:
either way enjoy checking the all out. You’ll gravitate to the one that suits you best eventually.