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RHEL is deprecating KDE (jriddell.org)
312 points by trasz 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 337 comments



Does anyone have insights into the possible motivation behind this? I'm an industry outsider, but I've been a bit baffled by the way that Canonical, Purism, and now Red Hat are seemingly doubling-down on Gnome and shifting away from KDE Plasma at precisely the moment that (going by the discourse within my Linux infosphere, at least) Gnome is approaching a crisis point, stripping away features as the debt comes due for bad design decisions made (and good, if painful, design fixes not implemented) years ago, whereas KDE Plasma is cruising, constantly adding refinements onto an already good foundation.

Or to put it differently: all the Linux experts I read and listen to (many of whom actually work at Canonical or Red Hat) are talking about how great KDE Plasma is, and how troubled Gnome Shell is, yet all the companies are rejecting KDE for Gnome.

What gives? Is this just part of the growing "corporatization" of Linux -- i.e. an investment of resources into a more corporate-controlled project, with an eye on the bottom-line and optimizing business-consumer support, rather than into one that's more decentralized in its development and individual-user targeted (and that would just draw resources from the former)?


I don't know, it's always sort of been like this for KDE. Even going back to some of the earlier releases, it was always "That one DE with the funny library license". Qt was eventually moved to LGPL, but when stuff (desktop Linux) was starting to take off, KDE 4 came out and it was awful at first release. I vaguely remember Linus dumping on how bad it was which sure didn't help things.

Then Ubuntu came out (well, before KDE 4, but during the funny licensing thing), which used Gnome because Debian used Gnome. Debian used Gnome because Qt had the QPL licensing: https://wiki.debian.org/DFSGLicenses#Q_Public_License_.28QPL...

Ubuntu got popular super quick, which got the DE popular, and the entire community just sort of got behind it.

If you're creating productivity tools for your customers, you probably don't want to channel money into multiple projects that compete with each other. So, it's not too surprising that RH wants to focus on just Gnome.


Ubuntu came long after the "funny licensing thing" - Qt was licensed under GPL for the first time in v2.2, which was in 2000. So the switch happened in KDE 2.x timeframe. And then KDE 3.x (which was arguably the pinnacle of the "classic" KDE series - the one that was competing against Gnome 2.x) was GPL from the get go, and that was 2002. The initial release of Ubuntu was in 2004.


You're right. Ubuntu warty shipped with libqt3. However if you remember back when, there was still an axe hanging over the KDE team in the form of Trolltech. The fear was that if Qt free stopped existing one day (or if Trolltech wanted to stop licensing as GPL), the community would be up a creek.

The clarifying agreement: (https://dot.kde.org/2004/07/24/trolltech-and-kde-free-qt-fou...) finally fixed things in a way to where if Trolltech got bought out or stopped releasing the free version, it would immediately become BSD licensed. This agreement still exists to day as far as I know.

As far as I remember discussions going back then, people did not trust Trolltech much, and knew the license situation was "weird" - even after the GPL licensing. I don't have anything I can cite specifically, only old discussions that I vaguely remember.


I don't remember licensing being an issue in 2002, when I first started seriously experimenting with desktop Linux. Qt being dual-licensed under GPL was generally seen as good enough, since it meant that KDE could fork it if they needed to. There were several major distros running KDE 3.x out of the box - notably, SuSE and Mandrake.

I think Ubuntu went with Gnome because back then it was perceived as the less configurable and flashy, but also less confusing of the two. KDE 3 was for those who wanted to configure everything - the "power user" crowd. Gnome 2 was more spartan (and became more so over time - I remember the outcry when they replaced the path textbox with breadcrumbs!), but mostly "just worked" in ways that people coming from Windows or OS X could readily understand. And Ubuntu was supposed to be the Linux distro for casual users...


Ubuntu was intentionally based on GNOME – before Ubuntu and Canonical even had names – because of the GNOME community's attitude towards usability and integration. (I was there.)


Don't forget the C vs C++ wars, which were also a factor on the whole GNOME vs KDE discussions.


It's funny that people object to C++ while having no problem with GObject model which is a bit like doing the work of Cfront manually. The worst of both worlds and I am saying this as someone who generally prefers C to C++.


As someone on the C++ side of the fence I once did something similar.

Our data structures second term required a medium size project in C for a DB management system based on B-Tree and low level i-node manipulation.

I decided to go with anonymous structs, using pointer fields as methods, so something like GObject. Additionally each translation unit played the role of a poor man's module.

While it was an interesting experience, it isn't something I ever considered doing again.


Make MATE default!!1!


I survived the Gnome 3 transition in Gentoo by masking it and staying on 2.4 until Mate was ready. Throughout it all I've been able to keep my wobbly windows and window decoration with compiz and emerald, too.

Mate doesn't need to be the default, but it does need to be easily installable. I never understood the "Kubuntu", "Xubuntu" etc. line of distros when the alternate DEs were easily available in stock Ubuntu. Similarly RHEL ought to make sure KDE is easily installable no matter what is their default... (Though is it common to even run a DE on Redhat?)


I have to run a wm for our LDAP servers but apart from that, we don't install it on any of out Servers.


i ran xfce on centos for a while.

we were running centos on the server, so figured i'd use it for my dev vm as well.


KDE is the 2000s model of window management, reminiscent of Vista with its gaudy transparency and compositing. The modern way is tablet-oriented UIs like Windows 10 Metro UI, which Gnome copied pretty well. Also Gnome is now scriptable with JavaScript. JavaScript for UIs is where the future has been headed for a while.


Tablet oriented UIs only work if you're solely consuming material. They really don't work for producing it. That's why Windows had to bring back the start menu, and many larger applications still don't use Metro.


NAILED IT.

Touchscreen UIs are not for creating. They're for taking what you're given, pecking at giant canned buttons in a dumbed-down UI.

A pigeon can peck the colored button to get a food pellet. That's tablet UI.


> The modern way is tablet-oriented UIs like Windows 10 Metro UI, which Gnome copied pretty well.

Gnome 3.0 was released in June 2011.[1] Windows 10 was released in July 2015.[2] Perhaps your assertion is incorrect.

[1] https://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/gn... [2] https://www.lifewire.com/windows-10-2626217


Metro ui dates back to Windows 8, though that is still later than 2011, as it was released in 2012.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Good thing that there are other options - for those of us who are not thrilled about such Metro-esque futures where everything is either a tablet, or ignored. Just as "old=good" is a fallacy, so is "new=good".

(Tbh I don't give a damn about transparency or fancy effects, either)


I'm not sure what you mean by that. With its default settings, KDE is as "tablet-oriented" as it gets -- the UI of the shell and application are pretty similar to Windows 10's. Also, the whole thing is very scriptable in JavaScript -- KWin is at the point where, if I had the free time for it, I could make it do things that even FVWM couldn't do easily.


Plasma's frontend is entirely written in QML, which is JavaScript.


And it shows on CPU usage!

After Ubuntu dropped Unity I am seriously considering switch back to KDE or a plain old window manager even if I dislike them.

Never thought GNOME performance was that bad.


I've been using KDE (via Kubuntu) for the past few months now on my work and personal computers. I liked Unity except for its occasional crashing. I would definitely recommend KDE or Xfce because they feel more like GNOME 2 or Windows.


And what's wrong with that? If it works, why mess with it?


> all the Linux experts I read and listen to (many of whom actually work at Canonical or Red Hat) are talking about how great KDE Plasma is, and how troubled Gnome Shell is

People who are happy about the current primary/default environment don't often go out of their way to talk about it. People who are happy about a non-default environment, or who are not happy with the default environment, talk about it more. It's a form of selection bias.


Just go on the GNOME subreddit and you will see there actual GNOME users complaining, you will see mostly this:

- how I get tray icons working (tray icons were removed)

- GNOME won't start (an extension incompatibility can make the DE crash)

- lag when some animation happens

- how can I make the theme to use less padding (some devs are considering removing theming support completely )

This are complaints for actual GNOME users that update to latest version and have unpleasantness surprises.


I'm sad to say this, but today's GNOME is a complete shitshow.

Fedora's default gnome is completely unusable.

It's like if GNOME developers wake up in the morning and wonder: "how can we prevent our users from doing their jobs today? What useful feature can we drop this month? What fully functional application can we replace with a half-assed 200 LOCs one?"

I am not surprised though: has anyone tried learning gtk programming recently? Unless you learn to use the C library first (and before that, the GObjext library), it's nearly impossible. There's, for example, a nice python 3 tutorial and it covers the basics nicely. However it fails completely to answer the question "how do I continue on my own from here?".

The most important issue however is that it's been like this for years and GNOME developers don't even acknowledge this. GNOME 3 is so bad that people took the effort to revive, update and keep using GNOME 2 in the form of Mate Desktop. And Mate Desktop is a major player in the DE space.


> Fedora's default gnome is completely unusable.

I've been using Fedora's default gnome for years and never, ever had issues with it nor have I ever felt the need to figure out how one even goes about changing the defaults --well, other than the last update where they totally borked the touchpad to make it more applesque or something and I had to fix that so I could actually use the damn thing.

Though they do seem to like to remove things a lot, the footer at the bottom of the file window thingie comes to mind as it annoys me the most since the "modal popup file info" covers up the filenames often, but mostly I find the changes to be trivial.

So, yeah, once in a while they get a hair up their ass and do something wonky but on the whole I'm a happy gnome user.


You never ever had issues and then go on to list two major complaints. I see this a lot about major software packages people get attached to. Sunken cost fallacy?


I've used gnome 3 everyday for several years. I browse and code in it. What am I missing? What are the problems? I have seen few.


This is essentially a meaningless question.

Whatever issues other people conflict with, they are by definition already known to be no problem for you. It's either things you don't want or care about, and so never tried to do, and you wouldn't think it was important when descibed, or it's things that work fine for you, by your happy good luck of not having whatever combination of configs or hardware or usage pattern or sunspots etc where it fails.

I don't blame you for wondering. It's just that I think it's almost automatically impossible to answer the question and have any other result than you say "oh, that's all?" It's even fine for you to have that reaction, it's just that, what's the point if there is no possible other reaction? That's what I mean by meaningless question.

If you are happy in a Prius, because it does everything you want, then what do you care if I say it can't drive over curbs or be pop-started?

It's like when anyone else asks why you run linux instead of windows or mac, or why you root your android phone. Whatever you tell them, none of them ever thinks it adds up or makes any sense.

What am I missing on Windows? "On linux you can do whatever you want." But what else would I want to do? "Anything. I have no idea. Probably nothing by the sound of it."


It is great that you can use Gnome without issue, the problem is that Gnome developers and a big part of teh community had this attitude and ignored the complaints about lag and memory leaks until Ubuntu switched to Gnome and a big number of people were "forced" into Gnome and the problems could not be blamed on drivers or extensions.

If you are using terminals a lot you should try Konsole, see how customizable it is(tabs, you can have multiple profiles, set a profile per tab) the app is made to help you do your job better, same with Dolphin. Gnome apps are optimized for an ideal new users, a user that is so "special" that power options will make his brain collapse, the apps are made by designers and not by user feedback.


You can set profile per tab with gnome shell.

But I do recall serious difficulty getting konsole to look like anything but an eyesore.


I am glad to hear that there are still advanced features in Gnome but I do not understand how can a terminal application look bad, is just fonts on a background, you chose the fonts you chose the background, can you tell me I am very curious


> I'm sad to say this, but today's GNOME is a complete shitshow. [] And Mate Desktop is a major player in the DE space.

There's not just the Mate Desktop. Look at Budgie, built atop GTK3, and it's pretty nice and usable and uses the old paradigms of GTK2.


Unity, Cinnamon, and Elementary (all built on top of GTK3) as well. You know you're going in the wrong direction when a significant portion of your userbase leaves to form a myriad of competitors.

On the one hand choice is good, but on the other hand it would be nice if the Linux ecosystem were less fragmented. I feel like a lot of the blame for this fragmentation lies with both technical and design issues in Gnome 3.


That's one of the reasons that I use Linux Mint. It's Gnome-based, but with a curated UX, and being stable for 2 years means that I can just do my work without this kind of nasty surprises.


Has Mint improved sec-wise?

I remember that they used to "achieve" stability by not updating (apt pinning) important packages like kernel, xorg etc and did strange stuff like copying deb packages from ubuntu/debian verbatim into their repos.

Edit: I wouldnt touch Mint with a 10ft pole. Seems like they still have no sec advisaries, still ship a remix of debian/ubuntu packages and so on:

2013:

https://web.archive.org/web/20140214063150/https://lists.ubu...

2016:

https://lwn.net/Articles/676664/


>"Has Mint improved sec-wise?"

Yes, markedly.

They basically follow the latest Ubuntu LTS closely, and I get the latest Firefox etc. a couple of days after the official release.

I'm still considering KDE Neon, but that's mostly a personal preference for KDE.


I've now been running KDE Neon on my laptop (X220) for a little while, and I highly recommend trying it out. It's literally Ubuntu LTS with an almost rolling-release KDE repo, and a bit of extra polish here and there.

It has been even more "it just works" than Mint, which is already stupendously easy to install.


I truly do love Cinnamon and I recommend anyone to give it a try.


I collaborated with Gtkmm in the early days.

Nowadays it seems Gtk and GNOME documentation lacks updates and is full of broken links.


dont let you scare that off fedora though, LXDE is a great fedora spin :). People say good things about xfce also.


I've been using XFCE for about 3 or 4 years, and I really can't complain, it simply doesn't get in my way, it doesn't force me to relearn the UI, it even works with my old 800mhz EeePC, and the theme used with Xubuntu doesn't look as ancient as people say.

I remember trying Mate in the past, but I also remember I had issues running GTK3 software and I didn't feel motivated enough to dig for a solution. What I wanted was a hassle-free DE, and XFCE was the one for me.


I've been on XFCE for over 10 years. Old style menu, never gets in my way, runs GTK and QT apps, easy to exetend, four monitors, etc. So simple and stable. I've avoided so much yak-shaving that other desktop Linux users I know have been stuck in, more than once.

Cheers to XFCE team!!


The last time I tried XFCE I found that HiDPI support was pretty much absent, has this improved?


I use XFCE on a 4k UHD 40" samsung TV at 3840 × 2160 for my work machine. It seems to work just fine.


I was just trying Xubuntu. There's a setting to switch to 2x scale. Didn't seem to affect It apps. The window decorations stayed small, but there's a theme with larger ones. The cursor stayed small but can be adjusted.


Replying since I can't edit: it should read "didn't affect Qt apps".


It's not great, even in 4.13. Price I pay for stable is that "new" features take a while.


Yeh I love xfce as well. LXDE or XFCE and I am a happy camper. I even use them on powerful computers as well.


I picked up gtk and made my first gui app in an evening using Glade. It's not as hard as you try to claim. It even runs fine in Windows.


Making simple apps is simple, probably is much harder to do advanced apps

Wireshark changed from GTK to Qt https://blog.wireshark.org/2013/10/switching-to-qt/

Linus Torwald, a C fan and c++ hater , decided to port from GTK to Qt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON0A1dsQOV0

If you make a simple GUI like for a python script GTK is enough


> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON0A1dsQOV0

Thank you for posting this, it's nice to see that someone already had most of my feelings.


If you're making a simple GUI in Python, Tkinter is probably enough too.


I've been trying to use KDE on and off, but it just randomly freezes on me for several seconds on anything other than an Intel GPU. I was excited to try it with the new open-source AMD drivers, but it still does that.

GNOME doesn't have this problem, so for all its problems, it works for me.


I never hear of this issue, if you want to try again open a bug or ask for help on reddit or support sites/forums. Most issues related to graphics are flickering and artifacts and KWin has many options you can try, including not using 3d effects. (Wayland is still not ready)


I'll definitely try to isolate this more and file a bug report, I currently only use KDE actively on my Intel GPU laptop, but I like the DE itself very much and would like to switch to it everywhere, potentially, in the future.


I would first try to set kwin rendering backend 1to Xrender, this uses the CPU and not OpenGL/GP so you can see if the OpenGL drivers are the issue. For me on NVIDIA control panel app I have more options for OpenGl and those helped me.

This page has some variables that let's you set some things and bypass kwin autodetection https://community.kde.org/KWin/Environment_Variables

I know it sucks that it does not work out of the box, at least you don't have Nvidia.


Would agree with that. Just used Ubuntu gnome for a product demo and its a usability nightmare.

- How to create a shortcut for a command -> use the command line.

- Modify group permission in nautilus? -> No use the command line.

- Switching users -> bug, doesn't work half of the time

- Functionality is hidden in the window title bar (debatable)

- Window close button is too close to the logout button

Is Gnome so simple to use because you don't have any option to do something? :-p

The Ubuntu theme is especially bad:

- No window borders -> overlapping terminals become indistinguishable.

- Window title bars and top menu bar are almost indistinguishable...

In contrast, we used an KDE app in the demo and a couple of times we thought, can you configure xy? would simplify things. Yes! you can do xy. Is there a keyboard shortcut for xy? no but you can configure one, Great!


KDE tailors to windows users, it has familiar conventions. GNOME is a linux DE for linux users. The problems you had are not really 'problems' for anyone moderately versed with linux.


KDE is somewhat similar to Windows, because that general UI layout works well, and has worked well since Windows 95, ie. for literally 23 years. Other systems have used similar GUIs, including OS/2 Warp.

We are now at a point where KDE is vastly superior at this type of UI than Windows 10 is. They've been doing it for almost as long as MS (KDE 1.0 was released in 1998). The settings UIs alone are so vastly superior, it's kind of embarrassing for Microsoft.

So why has KDE stuck doggedly to this UI style? Because it works. MS spend countless millions and hours on UI research for Win95. It's a very pragmatic decision, and they've made progressions based on the original design, rather than throwing everything out the window and trying to re-invent the wheel, like the Gnome devs did.

As a result, KDE is focused, straight-forward and doesn't get in your way. It simply lets you get on with what you actually want to do. Yet it is also extremely flexible, perhaps even more so than famously customizable UIs like FVWM.

The problems czei002 mentioned are absolutely problems with Gnome. Some of them are specifically Ubuntu problems, but generally they are inherent to bad UI choices from the Gnome devs. Not being able to change permissions in Nautilus? User switching not working? Not being able to create shortcuts from the UI? These are all signs of a bad UI.

You can't even set focus to "follows mouse" without raising windows when clicking inside them. I want focus to follow the mouse, and I only want windows to raise if I click the frame or title bar. KDE lets me do this right in the settings UI, with just a couple of clicks. In Gnome (or Cinnamon), you have to alter gconf settings, akin to registry fiddling in Windows. That's not cool.


By that you mean people who stay in one terminal? Why have a window manager at all then?


Yeah, I upgraded to the latest Ubuntu on my Linux box and immediately experienced a large amount of lag every time I opened the app launcher, that combined with the sheer bulkiness of everything made the desktop feel almost entirely unusable. Unity was miles better than the new Gnome (and the old Gnome miles better than Unity ever was). I migrated to KDE after discovering they fixed the majority of issues I had early on in the KDE4 release.

Quite disappointing to see it becoming unsupported by a major distro.


> Unity was miles better than the new Gnome (and the old Gnome miles better than Unity ever was).

Yeah, I had to stop using Gnome when everyone was manhandled into Unity / Gnome 3. I have no idea what anyone was thinking.

I now use xubuntu, which doesn't seem to have suffered. XFCE beat out KDE on the strength of... similarity to Gnome 2. I like having the two bars.


> I like having the two bars.

You can add bars in KDE.


I couldn't handle the extra screen area all of the Gnome menu bars took on my laptop. I tried a load of extensions to fix it and then gave up and installed Kubuntu.

KDE is much better for me. No problems at all


I just upgraded to Fedora 29. Text scaling slider is gone, now you can only pick between 100% and 200% scaling. Cant understand what would drive this "simplification"


It works on iOS where Apple picks which screen resolutions exist, so it should work fine on Linux too!

More seriously, I dealt with this trying to run a Linux VM on a Surface Pro a couple of years ago. I don't remember which distro, but 100% and 200% were the only UI scale options.

Surface Pro's native scale in Windows is 150%, and the solution to match that in Linux ended up being to scale it to 200% and then set up xrandr to scale it back down to 75% of that.

Not exactly a clean way to handle it. I'm pretty sad to hear that's still the state of things.


Having multiple resolutions on a mobile device doesn't really make sense, but in iOS one can adjust the size of UI elements and text. There is a text size slider under display & brightness


I mean in terms of native hardware resolution, everything started with 1x assets, and eventually changed to 2x.

Though they did eventually do a fractional scaling thing with 3x scaled down, which still feels clunky to me but at least you don't have to configure it yourself in two different places one of which is a command line.


In Gnome Tweak you can adjust the text scaling to any factor you want, to the decimal. You can also choose whether or not you want sub-pixel hinting and if you want anti-aliasing. I'm using Fedora 29 right now for the record.


I know of Gnome Tweak. I am talking about the "Displays" tool which I believe is the default.


Yeah that's HiDPI scaling (for the whole screen) and I agree it's silly that the options are only 100% or 200%. In their defence, most screens are either 1080 or 4K, not a ton of resolutions in between for desktops or laptops.


1440p is getting pretty popular on desktop.


Here's a post on the GNOME blog aggregator about the issues of themes and adjustable sizing of elements: https://blogs.gnome.org/tbernard/2018/10/15/restyling-apps-a...


This is a self inflicted issue. Theming existed prior to CSS, and developers decided that CSS was the way to implement theming rather than support an explicit theming api. Now the argument is being made the CSS has too wide a surface area.


In my perspective? Arrogance by the devs that they know their users without knowing their users.

Like, okay, make an easy mode the default. But allow for that complexity to exist without completely writing full extensions for basic functionality.


In addition to themes they also want to get rid of extensions.


some devs are considering removing theming support completely

In other words, they're trying to copy Windows and Microsoft's aggressive feature removals from it? That's horrible, when for the longest time one of the biggest advantages of running desktop Linux was its easier and wider customisation.


The GNOME devs are actively closing the software as much as possible; their software philosophy is probably as closed as you can get while being formally open source.

There are many interesting informations around to get a picture of how they think; this article has interesting concepts:

https://igurublog.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/gnome-et-al-rotti...

and this is the most relevant part:

  I think one of the most important cases against applets (as they are currently defined
  in GNOME) is that they are extremely detrimental to the Identity of the product or 
  platform. [...]
 
  Let’s say that we are trying to define either a product or a product platform. I don’t
  think it is possible to do this without some “brand” coherence. And it is arguably
  impossible to do this effectively with such an ad-hoc/individually-customized design
  identity.


Wow, WTF. I could sort of see that type of thinking from a commercial product marketing manager, but it's puzzling coming from an open-source developer. All that flufftalk of "brand" or "identity" --- whatever happened to just designing products that your users want to use!?

It is particularly perplexing since Windows before 8.x was far more customisable and themable, which probably lead to its success.


Windows was not successful due to its customisability or themability. Windows was successful because in the early days it was the best (cheap + capable + commodity hardware) choice, it built an ecosystem of apps, and then it ruthlessly preserved as much backward compatibility as possible to carry the advantage forward.

The lesson of backward compatibility is slowly getting lost across the whole industry.


When GNOME 3 came out, it felt like they had this vision of a Better way to Do Things and didn't see why all their users wouldn't be excited to change their workflow. How they responded to criticism definitely makes sense given those thoughts about Identity.


And Apple's un-customizability.

I gave a try to KDE at the beginning of 2014. I used it for a few months but everything was painful: twice as many clicks to get things done than I used to in Gnome. It reminded me of Windows.

I installed Gnome Flashback and stayed there. I'm customizing Gnome Shell to look like the old Gnome 2 now. I have to sort out a couple of problems with the Nvidia driver (flickering unless I use a strange 40 Hz refresh rate) and I'll be there for the next few years on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. If there won't be themes anymore by then, I'll switch to something else because the Gnome developers and I have two really different ideas of the desktop. Ironically I'm closer to KDE but it was really unusable.


You really should give KDE another go. KDE5/Plasma is the most coherent UI available on Linux, by a long way.

KDE Neon is a KDE-focused distribution, using Ubuntu LTS as its base, with a pleasingly minimal default install. Every Ubuntu PPA I've tried works just like on base Ubuntu. Similar to Linux Mint and others, it works as a live distro so you can check it out before you commit.

KDE4 made me switch away too (I chose Linux Mint), it simply felt too much like a transitional release cycle. KDE5 brought me back, big time.


And when Brise actually makes Gnome extremely beautiful for me. I find adwaita dull, as well as the tango icon set.

Anyway, for consistency, I hope using the Brise theme and the corresponding icon set on gtk apps in KDE remains possible. Adwaita would probably not work really well on KDE apps.

More generally, theming gtk apps is needed for nice integration in many non gnome environment.


> one of the biggest advantages of running desktop Linux was its easier and wider customisation.

The fact that GNOME is less configurable does not mean that the Linux desktop is. Gnome is not compulsory, you can easily run whatever window manager or desktop environment you fancy, and still run--or not--Gnome programs.


Microsoft used to cut products that didn't get support questions. People asking about edge cases/complaining about problems is a sign of noobie uptake.


> Microsoft used to cut products that didn't get support questions.

That's a great way to encourage product teams to produce inadequate documentation.


I've read that Microsoft used to bill a product's support costs to the product's engineering team to encourage them to ship products with fewer bugs.


So, you've got to design your product to have just enough support calls to not get canceled, but beyond that minimize them for budget reasons.


Or you just forget about trying to game your employer and just make a good product, satisfied that you're being paid an industry-leading salary and that you and your coworkers' stock options are going to make all of you into multi-millionaires.


- how is everything so slow (aka JS engine GC not working as it should)

- how to place files on the desktop

- how to configure virtual desktops in all directions

Does the JS engine even have a JIT?


I've been using GNOME 3 for almost two years now and I haven't experienced any of those issues. GNOMEs actually been really easy to use. Never had difficulty with theming or ricing my setup.

Just wanted to provide some counter anecdata. I see a lot distaste for it but as an everyday user I've had no issues.


> Just go on the X subreddit and you will see there actual X users complaining [...] This are complaints for actual X users that update to latest version and have unpleasantness surprises.

this is true for every software

> how I get tray icons working (tray icons were removed)

They explained the change, they have their reasons, they proposed alternatives to people who wanted to keep them around. What do you need more?

https://blogs.gnome.org/aday/2017/08/31/status-icons-and-gno...


You are impling the posts on the gnome subreddit are made only by the people that are unhappy, you should also check the answers to the posts, those are regular users and not one time posters, some of them are developers, developers of extensions or themes and they alo have complains, plus the plans for Gnome4 admint most of the technical issues mentioned.


No, the GP isn't assuming any astro-turfing campaign; they're just talking about the known effect where every time e.g. Facebook's UX changes, a million people come out against the change, and how they liked it better the way it was. Yet, those same people were often against "the way it was" when it was new, too!

People just hate change (esp. change that requires them to change how their own stuff works to accomodate it—such as devs when their platform changes), regardless of whether the given makes for a more or less coherent experience; and regardless of whether the person complaining would have liked the system more or less if it was already like that in the first place.


This is a bad excuse to ignore the bugs and issues reported on reddit and forums.

Also is a bad excuse to ignore feedback, like you seen in latest release the developers are still moving thing around like the app menu, if a user would have complained about it an year ago you all would have defended Gnome design , now the devs said it was useless and not used and is a great design to remove it. The solution is to do more usability tests and not rely on what some "expert" thinks an UI should be.


Frequently these complaints are in response to changes enacted because of usability testing. Are you suggesting that that kind of feedback shouldn't be ignored? What would you have the developers do, at that point?

Sometimes, the problem is simply that some users really are using your software wrong. Not compared to how you think they should be using it—compared to how everyone else is using it, and so (via usability tests) how you're building it to be used.

Or, to put that another way: https://xkcd.com/1172/

Before you rebut: I'm not saying that that's true in this case. (I'm not saying it's not, either; I don't know enough about this case to judge.) I'm just clarifying the reasoning behind the general principle. People hate change no matter how justified and evidence-based it is. So inevitably, in a project, there's going to be some number of bug/issues filed where the underlying motivation comes down to "the user wanted to whine because they had to learn something new." It's not an excuse to ignore all user-filed bugs/issues; it's just an argument against people who insist that 100% of user complaints should be taken seriously. There is a "malingering quotient"—a certain percentage of complaints (different for each project) that comes down to people trying to avoid the work of coping with change.

See also, the Lizardman quotient: http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/04/12/noisy-poll-results-and-...


I researched the usability testing Gnome made, and I found only 1 related to Gnome3 but if you can point me to the study where they found that removing system tray is a good idea I really want to see how this study was made.

The truth is one more more Gnome3 designers that had the vision on how Gnome should look, that branding should be non optional, they did not know what XFCE is.


This.


> this is true for every software

That doesn't happen in the emacs subreddit.

Your argument is invalid.


I have been a interested onlooker for > 10 years. As a programmer, KDE always seemed and still seems awesome and ahead of GNOME, API wise.

As a user, KDE always felt like an annoying blinkenlight kitchensink where everything could be modified. Gnome started out a little bit like that (with config files) but settled into a mediocre but unsurprising and thus stable and useful environment.


This has been true for me as well. KDE always looks awesome from afar. For a long time, I would get pretty excited about the fanfare for its next release, thinking this will be the one that hooks me, for sure.

Then I actually use it, and its a giant, sloppy mess. I always appreciate the gnome team's drive to simplify and reduce, after I try KDE (though I agree with many, in that they go too far sometimes).


Exactly my experience.


How do you feel about Plasma? I used to feel this way prior but now I feel like Plasma is just way ahead in default UX.


I fell to the dark side. (Mac.) Haven't tried it all.


You should give KDE Neon a go. It's Ubuntu LTS with the latest KDE, so you've got a stable base with a current UI on top. KDE4 drove me over to Cinnamon (Linux Mint) for a while, but I'm back on KDE5/Plasma, and I've realized I should have gone back earlier.

It's tight, streamlined and has a pleasantly small base install that doesn't get in your way with badly chosen default apps.


Before switching to MacOS I used Linux on my desktop for a decade.

KDE has always been the one with the better foundation, except that ... it never worked ok.

Every time I tried it, it had a ton of issues that would make me go into this rabbit hole, trying to fix it via endless configuration options and it never worked. And the migration from KDE 3 to KDE 4 was a complete clusterfuck.

Whereas Gnome always lacked configuration options, people always complained about its state, but it kept compatibility and it worked well out of the box.

The Linux desktop never took off due to immaturity. Microsoft did not abandon Windows, they didn’t rewrite from scratch, every release is basically an iteration of the previous one and Windows 10 for example is simply an iteration of Windows 7, which was XP with some lipstick on it. Same can be said of MacOS.

In open source however people just want to work on the new shiny all the time. As soon as something with more sex appeal comes along, people move to it.

The desktop Linux is freaking horrible and obviously what people have been doing in the last two decades doesn’t work. So yes, let’s corporatize it, let’s make it boring and reliable. Because people want a working desktop, not freaking widgets.

Speaking of desktop widgets, this is yet another example of immaturity. Do you know how many times per week I see my MacOS desktop? Never. My apps are always on and I restart my laptop like once per month, otherwise it’s in standby all the time. Such reliably is unheard of with the Linux desktop.


> My apps are always on and I restart my laptop like once per month, otherwise it’s in standby all the time. Such reliably is unheard of with the Linux desktop.

Bullshit. I'm at 42 days on a ThinkPad running Void Linux.

> 19:19:22 up 42 days, 19:53, 1 user, load average: 2.37, 0.98, 0.56


So do you not use FDE? I'd think that to protect data at rest, especially on a laptop, it's good practice to power down whenever you're away. Otherwise keys are just sitting there in memory.


It's actually possible to suspend io to the encrypted data and remove the keys from ram and prompt for the passphrase at resume to unlock.

Check out go-luks-suspend


Since we're whipping out our uptimes for all to see:

> 20:41:21 up 58 days, 57 min, 2 users, load average: 0.25, 0.36, 0.38

Fedora 28 - Thinkpad T420


That's completely counter to my experience.

I run my KDE desktop 24/7 in very much the way you are describing and it works very reliably.


Same with my GNOME 3. All I ever see is the gdm login screen.


KDE has never worked fantastically on Ubuntu especially its long term support release. Ubuntu persistently ships out of date libraries with bugs that have in fact already been fixed in newer versions that wont be updated for months/years until the next long term stable release. KDE's releass aren't delivered in sync with ubuntu's calendars so it has always worked better with a more up to date distro.

Widgets on the desktop seem to be a pointless dead end that we keep revisiting in lots of different environments. Maybe faddish stuff like that is more interesting to work on than spit and polish. That said

"Microsoft did not abandon Windows, they didn’t rewrite from scratch,"

They actually did this more than once in more ways than one that you believe this is so is more of an indication of their obsessive focus on backwards compatiability. Fro example Windows started out as an app running on dos, windows NT/XP was a completely different OS from 95 98. The underlying layers used to build the windows experience have changed multiple times. The ui has been given a substantial overhaul with vista/8. The way drivers worked changed a lot with vista.

"The desktop Linux is freaking horrible and obviously what people have been doing in the last two decades doesn’t work. So yes, let’s corporatize it, let’s make it boring and reliable. Because people want a working desktop, not freaking widgets."

As someone who has been using desktop linux for 15 years now I'm a little confused. KDE 3 was quite usable. KDE 4 was kind of annoying to use 4.0 - 4.3 which was about the begining of 08 through mid 09 but at the time kde + compiz was a thing and was honestly much better.

There are now actually a variety of simple and complete environments all of which work well. Of the ones I have currently sampled. Cinnamon, Plasma, i3wm, bspwm, mate all work well. I have 3 different linux distributions running in my house right now. All work well. The only one that was work to install or maintain is a derivative of gentoo which honestly has been less effort than running windows. What's horrible? We have an embarassment of riches. We have too many aweesome things to choose from.


The Linux desktop never took off because it lacked preinstalls. This could be due to immaturity, but at the time Microsoft was strong-arming OEMs, so it was unlikely to happen either way. Now it's too late.


I'd always had the same kind of buggy KDE experience whenever I experimented with it, so I used Gnome for years. And then I tried KDE Plasma... it works fantastically, at least for me, on the latest stable Ubuntu. So it's sad to see RH moving away. Gnome is such a dumpster fire right now (and has been since the inception of Gnome 3)


My Ubuntu Mate 16.04 often gets up into the several months of uptime before I find some reason to reboot, and none of that has something to do with Gnome/Mate


Red Hat (as a company) is a massive contributor to Gnome.

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Red_Hat_contributions#GNOME_d...

(interesting to compare with their KDE developers just below).

The whole reason everybody got stuck with systemd is because Gnome wouldn't run without it. Every distribution had a choice of getting rid of Gnome or moving to systemd.

I actually gave up Gnome several years ago when they decided to make it so that every window shared an IME. That would mean that I couldn't have a window that had Japanese input and a window that had Roman input at the same time. Red Hat developers were busy making patches to every IME that existed so that it would follow the grand vision of what they had decided for Gnome. The only hold out was FCITX. I think they eventually saw reason but there was a good year or so where Red Hat was bent on breaking my computer just because that's what the Gnome developers had decided was best for everybody.

Red Hat doubled down on Gnome a long time ago. They aren't interested in anything else.

Edit: Also of note - https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Red_Hat_contributions#Desktop...

Go down the list a bit and notice: "GNOME Shell - Primary development by Owen Taylor and many Red Hat developers and interaction designers" among many other core Gnome infrastructure.


> The whole reason everybody got stuck with systemd is because Gnome wouldn't run without it. Every distribution had a choice of getting rid of Gnome or moving to systemd.

They haven't made it easy to run GNOME Shell without systemd, but people have got it working in Gentoo, Void etc., see, for instance: https://dm.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/66ass2/update_void_li...

(That said, I don't run GNOME Shell on any of my machines.)


I've always found it interesting that, in my opinion, Gnome has always felt better to use as a user, but KDE had consistently and vastly better user applications than the Gnome counterparts.

That said, I've come to love the layout of Gnome 3 (with many extensions, by default it's nearly unusable). However, its performance is awful. While it's better than it used to be, it's still a leaky mess. I for one hope KDE continues to exist and be supported for no reason other than having a viable alternative when I finally become tired of performance.

As a developer who looked into the two a few years back, I chose QT as it was much easier to work with than GTK. This was before QML, however, so I don't know if it still holds true.


QML is not a replacement for the QWidget system, so the classic widgets are still there.

I do not understand how GNOME feels different since you can setup KDE to behave like you want,


I understand that, but it doesn't seem to be a -default-. I used to be very involved in open source, tinkering, performance tuning, etc. Now I just want something that's usable out of the box. The default KDEs I've seen look more like Windows did, and I'm just not a fan of menu driven navigation...


I do not understand what do you mean that QWidgets are not the default, KDE apps do not use QML, the Plasma widgets use those(toolbar,start menu,clock etc)

You prefer Andoid/iOS like interfaces on your desktop ? I did not check all apps in KDE but Konsole and Dolphin let you hide the menus(if you need those pixels) also KDE apps let you hide or customize your toolbar so if you nver use the back/forward buttons you can hide them


Apologies, I was replying only specifically to the second point - feel of the desktop as a user. As a user, the default Gnome 3 look(top bar only, search driven application launch) feels much better than the default KDE look to me.


I keep the taskbar on the left side(Unity like) I do not see why taskbar on top is superior and the fact that KDE let's me put things as I need is very important.

let me give an example how options are better for me, my right eye is much worse then my left eye so I have the taskbar and notifications on the left, if it was reverse I would move them to the right.


Actually it is.

New Qt features are mostly implemented in QML with the high performance parts in C++.

Widgets are mainly for desktop deployments, with QML being pushed for embedded devices and mobile.


We agree, QML is not a replacement for desktop widgets, with my comment I tried to tell people that introduction of QML did not means that all Qt desktop apps are now looking like mobile apps.


In my experience using both for years, Gnome has always been more stable. Multi-monitor, Hi-Dpi support, in particular, is properly broken in KDE (while it's only half broken on Gnome).

As for features, the titlebar integration used by a few applications (ala MacOS) is a nice touch.

Otherwise it's true that the KDE experience, especially around customization, seems more thought out. Gnome's UX is nonsensical in more than a few places. The problem with KDE has always been stability and reliability. Having to reboot your machine due to crashes even once a week is enough to justify putting up with Gnome's overall worst UX.


> Hi-Dpi support, in particular, is properly broken in KDE

Not true. I use KDE everyday on my primary computer (an HP Envy 17t laptop), and have so since June this year. It works excellently on my 4K display. (You even get to pick a non-integer scaling factor.)

Just FYI, I run Arch Linux, and am (consequently) always on the latest version of KDE.

Everything worked out of the box with KDE. Including my laptop’s various hot keys, sleep/wake, networking, etc.

KDE was quite incredible compared to the 1 kLOC xmonad that I’d been using in my previously laptop. Zero configuration. Everything working perfectly with no headache.


Does multi-monitor mixed-DPI work in Gnome? Because that's the only thing that I couldn't get working in KDE about 2 years ago. (The problem was most easily solved with a new monitor.)

I restart perhaps every six months due to some problem that could be KDE; I find it very reliable both at home and at work. Granted, both machines are desktops, I use a laptop so rarely that I usually shut it down after use.

> titlebar integration

This is personal preference, but that's a showstopper for me ever using Gnome (or Mac OS) for anything beyond web browsing. I use focus-follows-mouse, which is incompatible with a titlebar outside the relevant window.


Nothing built on X does mixed DPI well, because X itself (in most configurations) treats multiple monitors as simple viewports onto a single screen. A single screen with multiple DPIs doesn't make sense virtually any more than it does physically.

Wayland is supposed to help with this, since it has a more modern take on screen virtualization (a la Windows or Mac). Getting all the user software to work on Wayland (via XWayland) is a nontrivial ongoing task. I'm not sure what Gnome Shell's state of affairs is w.r.t. Wayland, but I do know the ecosystem missed the boat with Ubuntu 18.04, which elected not to make Wayland the default due to stability and usability issues. So it might be a while before a major stable distro makes the move.


> Does multi-monitor mixed-DPI work in Gnome?

Not by default. I had to hack a script by mixing xrandr scaling and Gnome scaling settings, which works, with some caveats I haven't figured out yet[1].

The reason I stick to Gnome is that plug-and-play works like a charm, remembering my settings with various monitors.

> I restart perhaps every six months due to some problem that could be KDE; I find it very reliable both at home and at work. Granted, both machines are desktops, I use a laptop so rarely that I usually shut it down after use.

Most crashes came from laptop-related actions: monitor hot plugging, closing the lid while being awake, waking up with another monitor plugged in, etc.

> I use focus-follows-mouse, which is incompatible with a titlebar outside the relevant window.

What I meant by "titlebar integration" was when the applications themselves draw UI on the titlebar like in Nautilus or Tilix for instance[2].

The "menu in top bar" feature can be deactivated, so I think you could use Gnome.

[1]: 1. The Gnome UI (dock and topbar) are huge, which isn't much of a problem for me since they are on a smaller monitor. 2. Some applications don't scale properly and are either too zoomed in or out.

[2]: https://gnunn1.github.io/tilix-web/src/images/gallery/tilix-..., https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Files?action=AttachFile&do=get&t...


Does multi-monitor mixed-DPI work in Gnome?

It does with GNOME on Wayland. I have used GNOME on Wayland for a while with HiDPI and LoDPI displays.


This is RHEL. People buy support contracts for it because they want to run Oracle's database and other enterprise-y stuff on headless computers sitting in a rack somewhere.

As someone who uses RHEL (and also CentOS because we do our own support) at work all day long I'm surprised it had a supported desktop environment at all. I've spent tens of thousands of hours on logged into shells on RHEL systems and not once have I seen what the GUI looks like.

I'm sure RedHat to their delight has managed to find some clueless customer somewhere who's overpaying for RHEL as some GUI workstation environment, but that customer is going to be happy with GNOME.


I'd flip it around and ask how Gnome and KDE have existed as full-blown DE's for as long as they have considering the amount of work required.

I'd expect to see one DE for mainstream users, one DE for business, and a plethora of less well maintained options for power users (I don't use a DE at all).

The 'user' and 'business' DE I'd expect to coalesce into the same thing because they have fairly similar use cases.

The existence of multiple DE's strikes me as an anomaly, if anything.


> I'd expect to see one DE for mainstream users, one DE for business, and a plethora of less well maintained options for power users.

Well, I’ve got good news for you...


> I don't use a DE at all

Just curious, what do you use?


I use i3. Just a window manager.

I rarely use GUI applications with the exception of a web browser and terminal and I have enough arcane knowledge by now that applets for network configuration etc just get in the way.


Onlooker since GNOME was being called Teak..

KDE initially used QT which didn't have a satisfying license. Possibly incompatible, I'm not sure it was ever resolved entirely as to what the condition of things was. What was clear is that a corporate entity could close source QT and effectively end KDE. After years, multiple business transactions and such, QT was really open sourced all the way. By then RedHat had gone "all in" with BlueCurve and GNOME. I think as a result of that, and in spite of various standards about open desktop support, the commercial apps tend to be on GTK+; maybe not full GNOME apps, but Firefox and VMware and others have GTK+ in them and they will seamlessly use your distribution's custom skin... Ending support for KDE is just momentum. There could be a bit of a European vs North America thing too; I'm just speculating but take Suse vs RHEL, RHEL is tons more common in the US despite Suse's remarkably quality, there has been some questions about its future at times but it is a remarkably high quality platform with a really nice aesthetic about it but RHEL and Centos tend to dominate.

To be honest, I didn't know Redhat still supported KDE.

KDE is great, I think it's always been a bit more consistent, a bit more cohesive and it has a great set of well crafted applications.

With Redhat being bought by IBM and everything, the possible rumors about Canonical being in play, it sort of seems like it might be time for a new distribution to take hold. KDE is a great place to start, there is an awful lot of good stuff in there.


Qt was available under GPL since 2000. For Linux, anyway. It's not like Gnome works on Windows (though much of KDE does).


I beg to differ. Gnome is simple and gets shit done.

I don't care about all the tweaks and config options as much as I used to 15 years ago when I started using linux.

To each his own.


Meanwhile over on Ubuntu MATE, I'm enjoying gnome 2 and sticking with it. 100% disinterest in the cognitive load of learning any sort of new UI for the rest of my life.


Meanwhile over on Microsoft Disk Operating System, I'm enjoying DOS 4 and sticking with it. 100% disinterest in the cognitive load of learning any sort of new UI for the rest of my life.

dosshell.exe or gtfo!


If it isn't broke, don't fix it. Consider that one author who legitimately uses Wordstar on DOS.


That person being George R.R. Martin, the author of Game of Thrones.


His editor setup may be arcane, but just look at his raw productivity!


There is wisdom in this.


it is an interface to start programs. Mate/Gnome gets out of the way so I can work.


Last I checked, most of the top Qt/KDE developers were not based in the US. That might be a factor - historically speaking it certainly was.


> Does anyone have insights into the possible motivation behind this?

I consider the following as possible reasons:

1. GTK+ is completely (GNOME) community owned (QT is a company owned, which companies like to avoid)

2. QT is LGPLv3+/GPLv3+. This, I assume, is to encourage buying commercial license than promoting free software. GTK+ is LGPLv2.1+, a lot of individual/small team developers prefer [L]GPLv2 over [LA]GPLv3.

3. Accessibility is pretty bad in GNU/Linux in general. But if there is one, the only choice is AT-SPI[0]. It's a GNOME project. I think KDE is a bit behind (I'm not sure though).

4. GNOME, GTK+ are GNU projects (Or many people prefer GNOME because it's a GNU project). I have seen many people in our Free Software User Group using GNOME just because of this.

> Gnome is approaching a crisis point, stripping away features as the debt comes due for bad design decisions made

We have seen a lot of software pieces whose development stalls, just because the code complexity increases way beyond some limit, or the main developer quits. Many (vocal) users prefer well configurable software pieces - but it comes with a high price. Many implement every possible feature to look the application c00l. But eventually as we gain experience, we may eventually abandon the project just because it's bloated (code wise), or even re-write it with less features, so that the code is more maintainable. If we look the code of many abandoned projects, we can see how bloated the code is, with many hacks, and bad designs.

I think GNOME is in the path of porting their applications to maintainable pieces, and eventually adding features as the code gets better.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistive_Technology_Service_P...


> 1. GTK+ is completely (GNOME) community owned (QT is a company owned, which companies like to avoid)

If avoiding commercial vendors is what you want, do not look at the emails in the GTK commit messages :-).

Qt is covered by an agreement with the KDE Free Qt Foundation which ensures that even if the company decides to stop developing it (even in case of bankruptcy or acquisition) or to stop releasing it as open source, the Foundation can release it under an open source license.

It's in no worse shape than GTK+ in this regard, except it has more paid developers.

> 2. QT is LGPLv3+/GPLv3+. This, I assume, is to encourage buying commercial license than promoting free software. GTK+ is LGPLv2.1+, a lot of individual/small team developers prefer [L]GPLv2 over [LA]GPLv3.

This is, legit, the other way 'round. Large companies are the ones preferring GPLv2 over GPLv3 because of the tivoization clause. In the services/consulting industry, ensuring that a BSP is free of (L)GPLv3 components is basically a standard statement in SoWs.

Small teams and independent developers sometimes stick with GPLv2 because it has fewer legal pitfalls and they don't mind commercial attention, but it's not in your favour :-).

The code complexity of Gnome has been steadily decreasing, not increasing in the last 7-8 years. The impending "crisis" has nothing to do with code complexity and everything to do with how design and implementation decisions were made (and, of course, with many of those decisions).


Who cares? Let's just pick one - any - and standardise on that one so we can maybe move towards a consistent look and feel. They're all sort of the same; just different enough to be annoying and frighten any occasional/non-technical is away. Gnome is good enough? That'll do, let's use that then.


> They're all sort of the same

I think the poster's point is that they're not. One has apparently been well designed to be able to scale to new features, and the other one appears not to have been.


There seems to be a lot of quasi-religious elements in the debate. Everybody thinks that one is well designed but can't strongly articulate why, and someone else believes the opposite to be true.

Linus has often pointed out the huge pain that the fragmentation of the ecosystem causes that is often uncritically identified as a choice.

Yes, converging towards standards is almost always a pain point for someone, but the ecosystem overall benefits from having much less ground to cover. And honestly, objectively almost any of the large mature DE's seems to be feature rich enough to use as a starting point.


I don't use linux at all anymore as a DE, but in a few jobs I did, using both (and for a while canonicals ill-fated WM), and the idea that gnome appears less flexible, slower, and just generally worse in almost all ways was usually (though not always) appeared to be the case.

Maybe KDE was a little too flexible for my tastes, but it sure worked better (most of the time - not always).

I also remember thinking - why the heck is gnome the default?

Haven't used linux as a DE for a few years now though, so no idea what the current status is...


Diversity has a value in stability of the ecosystem. Converge to a monoculture which brings highest short-term gains, and later it all can stagnate or even collapse for some single reason. See "banana monoculture".


It's not clear to me that consolidation here actually does reduce diversity in a meaningful sense of the term. Many choices in the Linux world are not so often choices between truly different things, but between superficially different spins on the same thing.

For example, many distros only really differ from their parent in theming, replicated but differently named applications and so forth, which could all be offered in one distribution with less workload, but the same degree of genuine choice.

Same is true for DE's I think. Many of the things that differentiates DE's could probably be offered as configuration within one DE, with less workload but no or very little reduction in diversity.


> Many of the things that differentiates DE's could probably be offered as configuration within one DE

If you want to get flamed to death, mention the word "configuration" on a Gnome mailing list.

There are people who think that things could just be configuration options, and then there are people who insist that the default configuration should be right, and that too much configuration is detrimental to the user experience (because it's hard/complex/time-consuming) and to development time (if you have two sets of two configuration options, that means you have four configuration to tests, and so on). It's not like these folks don't have a point, either.


> Same is true for DE's I think. Many of the things that differentiates DE's could probably be offered as configuration within one DE, with less workload but no or very little reduction in diversity.

Perhaps if this DE is KDE. Gnome devs aren't interested in a configurable DE.


Sorry, what's going to collapse if all Linux users have the same visual interface? Stagnate? Like a shell, you mean?


What if all Linux users have exclusively MySQL (imagine there's no SQLite, no PostgreSQL), and then it gets bought by Oracle?


Then the poster is wrong. They are very much all sort of the same.


People like options, especially the Linux/FOSS people. You could come to a consensus about something but it'll only go so far until some developer decides to fork it and make their own project :)


Community likes options, but enterprises not.

Yet another DE means extra set of conformance tests, bugs to fix, look-and-feels, supporting pages. These all mean money but your customers may not even care about this feature.

So let's say GNU/Linux can use whatever DE and it will always be. But RHEL is just a business product derived from it, with a selected "blessed" packages. There're no conflicts.


Tech people like options. It seems like everyone else wants it to just work well enough, and work out of the box.


If Windows were open source I bet you would have people forking Win7 or WinXP and many non tech people use the familiar thing then be forced to use the new shiny thing some designer thinks is best.


Even developers likes to focus on their work and not why their computer doesn't start again after being suspended. How many developers uses Macs? I have meet sysadmins that uses Time Machine instead of a more customizable back up system. Even Miguel De Icaza, the co-author of Gnome, switched to Mac because "it just works".


I'm a "tech person".


If you go one step further, who cares about kernels and shells? Let's just standardise on one (NT) so we can maybe move towards actually getting work done. Windows is good enough? That'll do, let's use that then. /s


640K ought to be enough for anyone.



> Or to put it differently: all the Linux experts I read and listen to (many of whom actually work at Canonical or Red Hat) are talking about how great KDE Plasma is, and how troubled Gnome Shell is, yet all the companies are rejecting KDE for Gnome.

> What gives?

Simple question to answer: why do so many devs work on OS X machines?

People value "it works without me thinking about it" over "it has features".

However, the people who value "features" are really loud.

The only thing most people use computers for is sharing pictures and videos. And what are the things that Linux sucks at making work out of the box: wireless, audio and video.

KDE could win the battle simply by making those work--every single time.

OS X does it. And look at how many developers use it.


It's a different playing field: OSX has to support a small handful of chipsets, and if it doesn't work then manufacturers will step in. Linux has to support a boatload of crap silicon, and if anything doesn't work, manufacturers will just shrug.

Add to it that every Linux distribution has its idiosincratic approach to low-level subsystems, and you have a recipe for problems if you work anywhere higher up the stack.

But don't worry, eventually the problem will be solved the other way around: there will be a systemd-DE, and everyone will use that. /s


> wireless, audio and video... KDE could win the battle simply by making those work

Too bad the 3 are OS problems, and the DE has no way to fix them.


Then maybe we just need to write Linux off as simply unfixably sucking as a desktop OS.

If you don't want to do that, then you need to realize that the DE is THE point of contact between the user and those problems. As such, fixing those problems starts there.

Now, the DE developers may need to relentlessly pound Linus until he finally allows them to do something sane to fix things. And they may have to get chipset spec sheets and correct things deep in the kernel. And ...

RedHat, for all their faults, DOES THIS. And they catch a lot of flack for it.


Mate just works,


I don't know any numbers, but my guess is that the majority of Red Hat's GNU/Linux subscriptions are for the headless server version. I'm sure they have some customers for the Workstation edition, but I've always felt that the Desktop features were done more about of employee desire than top down mandates.


>> What gives? Is this just part of the growing "corporatization" of Linux -- i.e. an investment of resources into a more corporate-controlled project

I always felt KDE was more of a corporate project. It's also been my impression that KDE comes with a lot more dependencies. IMHO GTK is a decent toolkit with lower complexity - it's GNOME shell that I really don't like but I live with it.


KDE was hardly ever "corporate", but it was always somewhat controlled / guided by the company behind Qt (Trolltech, originally); for the simple reason that most of the top KDE hackers were top Qt hackers and hence, in most cases, employees of Qt's owners. In many ways, getting involved with KDE was a good way to audition for a job at Trolltech/Nokia/Digia/whatever-it-is-now.

Add to it that KDE saw some significant early deployments in the European public sector, which resulted in some particular attention given to collaboration features (imap, calendaring etc). That might have looked corporate to some, but it was just a necessity for bootstrapped QT-centric businesses trying to take on the office giants like Microsoft and IBM.


Gnome was built on GTK and GObject, libraries that have always had well defined licensing.

KDE was built on Qt, a framework that did not always have the licensing it has today.

GTK and GObject are C libraries, and many constructs are easy to reason about. Qt is C++ based and there is a LOT going on and the meta compiler is insane.


This an important and pertinent question. I’ve often wondered the same so I thank you for asking it. I find QT UI applications just a bit more consistent than GNOME ones. It’s a subjective impression...


Everyone I know who cares about the UI of linux doesn't use either.


Well, it is very simple: Linux expert users do not represent the user base that RHEL is interested in.

RHEL is interested about that one guy or woman that actually decides(to pay them) and has control of the company. This person wants control overall of what people do with (her company) computers.

Desktops like Gnome have a very limited set of options, great for companies. More stable, less problems, people focusing more on work to do at the company.

I used to program KDE widgets for things like displaying the tides, the lunar phases, sunset times and so on. It was a cool thing to do and useful if I wanted to go fishing or to the beach. Marginally useful for work.

Working you need something that works, with the least amount of work and money possible. KDE is not designed for that.


> people focusing more on work to do at the company.

Instead of configuring things, good point.


Both KDE and Gnome are shiny crap these days. Moved to Mate about ten years ago and still happy.


Mate first appeared in 2011.


Ok, G2 before that.


> What gives? Is this just part of the growing "corporatization" of Linux

I would argue that this is the case, and if it's not the case then mostly because it's not becoming more corporized but because it always was.

I would argue that there are three popular reasons for open source development, that there is a huge difference in user impact between these, that corporate interests have been the main driver behind open source, that having ones own preferred solution allowed to take profit from the competition, and now that the profits are dwindling distinction between competitors becomes less important than saving costs, and therefore everybody focusses on whatever appears to be as the winner in the current topic area.

Reason 1 for open source development, and probably the original reason, is art. People wanted to scratch an itch, they themself felt. They don't care much about gaining any additional advantage so they share the whole thing and not just the binaries, maybe by doing so gaining some recognition by other smart people. These artist developers usually hate the normal user and despise the disrespect these bring towards their piece of art. They often don't care about the trivial problems the user has, like the need for a complex yet intuitive UI. So users will often refrain from using these tools. Making them mostly unimportant at large, if not someone else comes along and uses the knowledge gained from it for another category of open source.

Reason 2 for open source development is the goal of social and political influence, which drives a person or group to develop tools to fascilitate communication between supporters and fascilitate spread of the culture. One example I see here is the scuttlebut network, which if you analyse closely, is not really good for everybody but mostly used by a group of New Zealend developers to spread their ideas of off-grid lifesstyle and something they call "solar punk". This is by no means criticism. It's a great tool/protocol and the ideas they spread with it also don't seem harmful to me. But without the desire to influence the political landscape they probably wouldn't invest that amount of time and energy to build their social network. This kind of project can gain quite a lot of influence on users at large. For instance all these 2chan,4chan,8chan imageboards might rival professional social networks in size and usability. But usually it's limited to people who support the political goals or at least can accept them. For instance it's unlikely that a group of feminist game developers would choose 8chan as their platform after it became a platform for the anti-feminist gamergaters.

Last but not least stand the group of open source project which directly or indirectly are for profit. For instance Linus Torvalds is one of the best earning people on this planet. Multiple companies have formed around linux distributions. And most of the commits nowadays come from people who are paid to do them. As said as it may sound, this is the most influential group. It's simply a fact that user-focussed development can be a daunting task and most people wouldn't do it if nobody paid them for it. So the development is also built around market dynamics. When cool UIs gain user attention most distros will focus their resources on one desktop manager that separates them from the rest, so that users who like these distinctive features will come to them. And when profits shrink they will look for whatever desktop manager is the current winner and jump on that band wagon, so they can reduce their development investments and focus these on other topics.

If we can agree on these three categories I think it's clear that the last one is the one that gains the most users, and therefore will also influence open source in general the most. Also it might have never been different from that, and as long as the getting is good it's also not to the users disadvantage.


You might as well ask why RedHat decided on adopting the widely-reviled systemd.


I think you mean "created". Lennart Poettering works at RedHat and presumably created SystemD to solve problems RedHat has.


he created systemd on his own. It was argued about on Fedora's list before being accepted. The discussion wasn't as vitriolic as with debian, but it wasn't automatically accepted.


I thought Lennart created systemd before he joined RedHat ...


He claims he wrote it in his spare time, after being told not to work on it by Red Hat management because Upstart is the future.

https://www.linuxvoice.com/interview-lennart-poettering/


To clarify, this is related to Red Hat Enterprise Linux the distro, not Red Hat the company. Fedora 29 (released a few days ago) has a KDE spin, and the project has made no mention of discontinuing that. https://spins.fedoraproject.org/kde/download/index.html

Full disclosure: I work for Red Hat (but not on RHEL or Fedora).


Somewhat off topic, but what's the reaction at Red Hat been about the IBM deal? I live in North Carolina and have been looking for jobs lately; I had been seriously considering Red Hat before the deal was announced, but I'm not sure what to think. I was hoping to go somewhere that offered more stability than a startup, but with the uncertainty around what IBM's plans are, I'm not sure that's the case for Red Hat at the moment.


and the project has made no mention of discontinuing that.

...yet.


The KDE spin is community-maintained, so it's not like Red Hat can yank funding from it or something.


Meanwhile KDE5 is, IMHO, the only reasonable modern classic desktop for Linux (XFCE, LXDE, LXQt and Mate are also classic desktops but these are not really modern i.e. they are more Win95-like while KDE5 is more Win7/Unity-like and more), every else is a way too "special" and GNOME3 is the most weird one. From what I know about GNOME3 (from experience of attempting to use it and some reading/watching trying to "get it") it would be great to use on a tablet but looks and feels rather clumsy on a laptop.


As someone who landed on Gnome 3 quite a few years ago and hasn't looked back, I'm really curious: why do you feel it would be great to use on a tablet?

To me, it doesn't seem that great on a tablet. A major part of what makes Gnome 3 amazing for me is how easily I can navigate between workspaces or move windows between my screens and workspaces using keyboard shortcuts, but tablets don't even have physical keyboards. The whole "switch workspaces instead of windows" workflow of Gnome 3 is great on desktops where people multi-task and have complex contexts on each workspace, but to me it seems that this workflow would be a lot less useful with a single screen, and even more useless with a tiny tablet screen.


Aren't workspaces really useful when your physical screen space is limited (when it's not limited much I can hardly get it why won't you just arrange everything you need on your physical screens and just minimize/unminimize apps that you don't need all the time, KDE does this with just WindowsButton+number and it still has activities too although I never found this feature useful on a modern PC with 2 reasonably big screens)? Aren't huge window decorations great for touch screens? As for lack of keyboard - introducing a panel of touchscreen buttons for all the necessary shortcuts or using gestures may probably do the job.


BTW, for those who had only tried KDE years ago (i.e. KDE4 and/or older and/or earliest KDE5 releases) and didn't really like it (e.g. default KDE look&feel had always felt mediocre to me and reliability of KDE4 and early KDE5 was bad), today KDE5 looks and feels much much better (to me at least, I dunno about default themes/settings in other distros but in Manjaro it's delicious and makes an awesome replacement for Unity (R.I.P.) after some tweaking).


I find it odd there's so much emotion about KDE vs Gnome in RHEl/CentOS. RHEL is an 'enterprise' distro, which means in theory professionals are using it inside of their application of choice, and almost never interacting in a meaningful way with the DE. They need almost no customization and only the simplest file manipulation tools, and the ability to open the programs they do their work in. If you want to use it at home, you can just install KDE yourself, why expect rhel to support it?

Source: Former sysadmin for ~5k CentOS desktop users (using gnome)


I really like Gnome and think KDE is way too bloated visually. On the other hand, Gnome is literally a dumpster fire of resource use. On some of my machines it would instantly shoot to 30-60% cpu. It uses a metric ton of RAM.

That's why I recommend sway! the amazing wayland tiling windows manager. It's nice to look at, easy to use, and it uses like less hz than my wrist watch.


Anything other than Gnome or KDE will use less than half the resources. XFCE, Mate, LXDE/LXQT, etc. while maintaining the whole "environment" part of "desktop environment".

There's a huge difference between a tiling WM and a full-blown DE, and people who want the Gnome or KDE experience should absolutely not install sway or any other tiling WM.

Signed, a tiling WM user.


DEs should make it easier to use tiling as a feature rather than having to go all-in with something like i3 or awesome.

I use xfce, and it's pretty easy to add sensible keybindings for snap-window-{up, down, left, right, top-left, top-right, bottom-left, bottom-right, fullscreen}. That's usually all I want, although occasionally it would be nice to be able to quickly split by thirds.

This still feels super snappy and productive, and you still get people asking you "whoa, how did you do that!?" But you can also overlap windows without changing modes, and the usual window manipulators are still there when they make sense, or when someone else wants to use your computer.

You shouldn't have to throw away the rest of the "normal" DE and relearn how to interact with your computer to get tiling. It should just be a secret superpower for people who know that it's there. I've never understood why it's always one or the other.


KDE doesn't have shortcuts defined by default, but in "Global Shortcuts" under "KWin" you can define shortcuts for "Quick Tile Window to the —" and "Maximize Window".

There seem to be some plugins or scripts for grid tiling, but I've never investigated.

https://github.com/lingtjien/Grid-Tiling-Kwin (wow...) found via https://www.reddit.com/r/unixporn/comments/87hutr/kde_making...


Plasma uses 200MiB here, I doubt that any of the ones you listed go lower than that.


Really? Are you just counting the plasma process or are you including everything else that's part of KDE?


Lots of packages required by users but not strategic to Red Hat are provided by EPEL folks. I hope that's the case for KDE in the future.


Indeed; probably will be. Recently, yum has also included the copr plugin for using thirdparty repos, albeit a much lesser option than EPEL.


I was more interested to see that it dropped btrfs. I wonder what pushed them away from it, in the end.


Most likely the fact that they’re running ancient kernel versions (RHEl 7.6, released Oct 30 2018 uses Linux 3.10, which was released in June 2013) , and have to support them for 10-20 years.

RHEL 6 uses kernel version 2.6.32, released in 2011, and will be supported until 2020.

With a moving target like Btrfs, which may have plenty of showstopper bugs left in it yet, it’s just not feasible to keep backporting these new features to a an old kernel version.

Once Btrfs stops getting major patches, and is considered stable, I guess it could eventually make its way back.


While true, there's also the fact that they don't have any btrfs engineers anymore (from what I've heard). The ones they had have all left for Facebook and other companies that use btrfs in production.


Redhat have added new filesystem support after a .0 release. For example, they added XFS to the kernel (without xfsprogs) in RHEL 5.2 and added the tools to the base repo in 5.4, then officially supported it in 5.6.


XFS is a conceptually simple journaling file system, comparing that to the crazy corner cases that can exist within btrfs snapshots and volumes and subvolumes and redundancy is not reasonable. A few years back btrfs had a lot of momentum, but other projects have matured since then and it just doesn't make as much sense as it used to. btrfs was meant to be ZFS without the license problems, but ZoL has gotten significantly better, and for some legal reasons that are fuzzy, Canonical now supports and ships ZoL in Ubuntu. lvm/dmraid performance has gotten better and integration with LVM and other software has improved, to the point that having a standardized interface for managing your storage (Like ZFS and BTRFS have) is no longer such a big deal.

Between lvm/dmraid and how much effort they've done to make it simple to use lvm storage for libvirt/openstack/etc., I see no reason why they'd ever support btrfs in RHEL. They would spend more in engineers than they would ever get back in support.


You are probably right in terms of dev and support overhead. I would imagine that should they decide to add it, the process would be similar to XFS; in that, they would add support for it in the kernel and call it "experimental" like they did with XFS in 5.2.

XFS is a fairly simple filesystem. That said, the issues they had were integrating it in VFS. There are still some bugs at that layer today, albeit minor ones. In 5.x, most of the issues were race conditions in VFS and raid controllers (sas bus resets and such). XFS itself is actually very mature but any time they add a new FS, the VFS layer requires a lot of work.


But XFS is stable. The expected amount of patches to be backported is relatively small, both the amount and size of individual patches.

Btrfs is still very much a moving target, with large patches every release.


XFS is stable but incomplete. Hopefully there will come a time when fs shrinking is possible, for example.


From reports I've read by insiders, it's mainly due to the fact that all the filesystem developers in RH are XFS-focused, and everybody who's XFS-focused isn't interested in learning enough btrfs to keep their end up-to-date. So when the last guy who did btrfs left, they were effectively forced to end their support for it.


Sendmail is deprecated. That was the first Unix service I ever learned to configure. This is kind of the same feeling I got when I heard music I grew up listening to on the classic rock station.


Remember the first time you had to edit the rewrite rules?


Remember the first time it was faster to change something directly in the hot mess of a config file than to edit the m4 and regenerate?


Once I started using i3 all of this drama just went away. I don't use Gnome or KDE, and neither should you.


Yes, all these people talking about Gnome and KDE as if they're the only thing in town. DEs are a pox on Linux.


I have to ask, why do you think having a cohesive, logically laid out and consistent desktop environment is a "pox on Linux"?

Is it too user-friendly?


Nice straw man.


And this is another example where FOSS ecosystem shines. While corporations like RedHat may reduce support and maintenance costs by shrinking their packages base, I'm more than confident in KDE's future because there are plenty other distros (including Fedora) that will continue to include it.

Edit: spelling


If there aren't enough people willing to sacrifice their free time and income, the source code might be available but it won't grow by itself.


Not everything needs to grow. Every time I use Windows 10 I feel glad I kept 7 on my desktop.


Me not, as I was highly disapointed Loghorn was successfully sabotaged by WinDev and enjoy to see the improvements that UWP has been gaining throughout each W10 release.

Something we could have gotten sooner if those guys actually worked together.


Is it that strange given how long Red Hat seemed to prefer Gnome anyway? Maybe its just that I'm a Mac user, but I feel like I'd want my distro choice to be fairly opinionated and throw its full weight behind things like Desktop Env rather than splitting resources. There's plenty of good KDE-first distros like OpenSUSE and Kubuntu, though I guess if you're in a corporate environment and can't choose distro maybe that is the main pain point.


Sadly, there is no money in desktop. I wonder if anyone has numbers, but I doubt any of customers of enterprise distros specifically pay or care about the desktop side of things. And without sufficient incentives, this is the natural progression of desktop related things on linux. Canonical also pivoted away from desktop/mobile.


I would prefer to paraphrase that "There is no money in supporting large number of desktop environments". And open source model allows to cut some costs by adopting project that is actively developed and supported by someone else. RedHat actively sponsors Gnome; it is reasonable for them to save some money by dropping KDE support. Canonical toyed with half-baked Unity and less-than-half-baked-Mir, and then saved money by completely "outsourcing" their DE to RedHat (by using Gnome). But it doesn't mean any of those projects is dead. It would mean projects will change less, become more stable, or even stagnate if there's not enough user base or developer interest. There are examples of software I use (Openbox or Shutter come to the mind) which doesn't change more or less for years. Maybe it's not the worst thing. Corporate money is driver of change, but it is often change for the sake of change - Gnome 2/3 switch or Systemd are most evident examples of that.


Here’s a suggestion: you bring together a small team of great Linux developers. You pick one laptop that is commercially available, eg Lenovo or a Dell or a Chromebook. You then put all your efforts into making an awesome dev distro for that laptop only. You resell it with the distro pre-installed and configured, and 12 months free support.

Could you make money selling it to coders? The go-to dev laptop for non-Mac users?


Nope, people would just bitch about how they refuse to buy it because it isn't exactly to their liking. Just check out any Purism or System76 thread.


How come they are removing the golang package, and forcing people to use the go toolset instead? Will this affect CentOS?


Go produces static binaries, so it isn't really needed for production environments would be my guess. Devs tend to install upstream tools instead of the out of date RHEL tools too.


This isn't true. Yes, Go packages are all statically compiled into a single binary (so you don't have a separate .so for each import path) but the actual binaries haven't been statically linked by default (or at all in some cases) for a very long time.

For instance -- Go has to link to glibc, and glibc doesn't provide proper support for static compilation (you _can_ do it but it's not actually supported in the RHEL sense by glibc upstream). And even when you force Go (through several magic incantations) to give you a static binary, networking and similar code will still use NSS (which uses dlsym and thus still requires dynamic libraries on the host to be installed).


> Devs tend to install upstream tools instead of the out of date RHEL tools too.

and system administrators tend to install packaged tools instead of upstream tools that aren't tested to play well with the rest of the system.

Perhaps installing directly from upstream makes sense for Go, but the servers I maintain either run distro-packed software or custom software.

Too many bad experiences with upstream packages to trust on production.


Go applications do not need golang itself installed like a python or ruby. You can create the binaries on any machine and just ship the executable and it’s assets if applicable. The binary is static and contains everything it needs to run. Using grafana and influxdb as an example which might be familiar to sysadmins those packages do not need golang installed.


That was my point. If you are deploying a golang based application, there is nothing to install other than the binary produced by the dev team.


I saw screenshots of KDE 1.0 desktops [0] in a local computer magazine. I thought it looked very cool and wanted to try it on my machine. This was many years ago.

I'm not sure if KDE was ever very popular, but these days it seems to be hard to find anyone who actually uses it.

[0] https://www.kde.org/screenshots/images/large/ganroth.jpg


KDE has never been my cup of tea, but I spent a solid two weeks using Plasma on a test laptop just to see how it fared, and it's perfectly usable. That's the best I can say. There were alot of things I liked about it--the deep level of customization options, fairly good performance and not too heavy on resources, and Yakuake might still be my favorite drop-down console app--but at the end of the day I said "Okay, cool" and went back to a Gtk-based desktop where I felt more comfortable.


I would have agreed a couple of years ago, but when I moved this spring it just worked. Everything was in the right place and intuitive.


Oddly enough there seems to be an EU/US split with KDE and GNOME. SUSE has long been a KDE backer.


Not that odd: Qt, the toolkit KDE is built on, originated in Europe at Trolltech. There has always been a pretty clear split where European companies (like SuSE) built on KDE/QT/C++ and American companies went with GNOME/GTK/C.


What does it matter if Trolltech originated in Europe? I didn't know that until now.


The closer the company, the more likely the local ecosystem will adopt its solutions over competitors from afar. Customers get better access to top hackers and top management, and the network of users can reach critical mass and influence others: why choose GTK when everyone that could help you in Oslo knows Qt so well? And the same, vice-versa, in other places.

It’s one of the reason the SF / Portland / NY / Boston / Berlin / London clusters are so valuable for companies of all sorts: the network effects are real.

This was even more critical back then, 20 years ago: the internet was in its infancy (and slow), and flying was much more expensive than it is today.


The comment [1] could be relevant.

I use KDE, if I introduce someone to Linux they're likely to use KDE as well. If significant "influencers" use KDE, like universities and people writing software for the public sector, then many casual users will follow.

SUSE is German, Mandrake (Mandriva) was French, both defaulted to KDE. When I first used Linux, it was easy to find a magazine with an installation CD for one of these. Presumably there was some sponsorship, or simply network effect.

Also, Gnome's top menu bar felt like it was trying to imitate Mac OS, which has always been less common in Europe than North America.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18367356


Actually, most of the packages in openSUSE related to KDE software are handled by community people: two SUSE employees are part of the team, but they don't work on KDE stuff as part of their day jobs.

Disclaimer: I co-maintain the KDE Frameworks 5 and KDE Applications packages in openSUSE and I'm not employed or affiliated with SUSE.


> I'm not sure if KDE was ever very popular

Back in the days of KDE 3, every survey showed KDE being the most popular Linux desktop by a very wide margin. I have no idea what the numbers are today.


When KDE3 was around, I would use KDE3 apps in a GNOME 2 desktop, with the KDE4 transition, I found KDE quite annoying to use and switched to using a variety of applications to fill in the gaps (never found a really good replacement for Amarok 1.4, though, these days I make-do with mpd). Then Gnome decided that the KDE3-4 transition was worth emulating for some reason, and pushed out the monstrosity that is Gnome 3. So, these days, I run stumpwm on my linux boxes but I do most of my work on a Mac. (although, I have a suspicion that Apple's about to lose everything I like and I'll find myself cobbling together a linux desktop again soon).


Consider Clementine as a replacement for Amarok 1.4, it's a fork that's been doing standard porting work without the controversial UX redesign.


I have grown to prefer tiling managers, and because I try to give gpl preference, that means these days Im on awesome... now that Ive been using it for a couple years though, I dont think ill ever go back to either kde or gnome, and in my experience so many of the issues newbies have with linux are because of kde/gnome and not linux itself...


Same here. However, packaging awesome window manager for RHEL/CentOS is a PITA. I end up using older fedora packages for it hehe


Wouldn't it be better in that case to compile from source?


At my Uni in Germany there is a lot more KDE user than gnome user.


Well, it depends on where you search. I know at least 6 people (friends and family) who use KDE and nobody who uses Unity or Gnome.

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