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KDE vs. GTK

KDE vs. GTK

I have decided to try running KDE for a while again, after maybe more than a year since I've ran it as primary desktop last time. I was usually switching back and forth between GNOME and Xfce, prefering GTK apps over anything else.

However, I am lately getting convinced that KDE is indeed superior regarding functional configurability. KDE applications are like swiss army knifes. Just look at konqueror, and it's not the only one. Another app I found irresistible is KNemo, an easy yet powerful network monitor which will notify you when there is a new network connection, measure traffic and save it up even after connections get broke. Exactly what I need!

The biggest disadvantage of KDE was, however, that it looked kinda klunky and it isn't as easy to change its looks as with GNOME and Xfce where installing a theme is a matter of dragging and dropping. In KDE you still have to compile or hope someone already compiled it for you so there is a quite limited amount of easily installable themes.

So.... about this screenshot. I was lucky to have klearlook in Debian repositories as well as a few alternative icon themes, so that was easy to install. The icon theme on the screenshot is NuoveXT (installed via synaptic) and the theme used is slightly customized (reconfigured) lipstik with a klearlook colors. You can use a full klearlook theme as well, but lipstik combined with klearlook colors looked cleaner within KDE while still being quite sufficiently similar looking to GTK apps. On the screenshot you have thunar and konqueror open, so you can judge for yourself. Smiling

I have installed a qt-gtk engine and set GTK apps to use clearlooks theme. In xfce I also set the NuoveXT icon theme and then run the xfce-mcs-manager to load this setting along KDE, so that when I use Xfce/GTK apps in KDE, they use the same icon theme and pretty much the same looks.

I think this is what you call a unified desktop. Smiling I have the power of KDE combined with the looks I usually have in GTK. Just awesome.

Now we'll see if any specifics of KDE get me back to using Xfce (like memory issues, although surprisingly, KDE is quite fast on Debian Sid), but for now I'm quite happy to work in this environment. Smiling

If you need help with getting your desktop to look a bit like this, feel free to ask.

Cheers

Comments

Oh well I guess it's a myth

Oh well I guess it's a myth then, that GNOME is more easily themable.

It's probably true that memory use, as long as it is within normal parameters, is not a real issue if you've got at least more than 300MB RAM. Of course, it's usually 512. Smiling

I have 256 at the moment so I'm still a bit low, but I hope to correct that at some point soon..

"Themes are easier to

"Themes are easier to install" is pretty much a delusion: KDE themes are much closer to GTK+ theme engines, most themes you drag-and-drop are roughly equivalent to KDE colour schemes. This does not hold true for pixmap-based GTK themes like Candido (the pixmap version) and possibly window border themes.
Installing icon themes is just as easy

I also prefer KDE over

 

I also prefer KDE over GNOME, and there are two big reasons for that.
The first reason is that I'm used to it. My Linux-experience started with Suse 9.2 which shipped KDE 1.1.2. At that time GNOME was, as far as I recall, still pretty unknown. So now I'm using KDE for nearly 8 years now, and I'm perfectly happy with it.
I also can't complain about it being slow or resource-hungry. If remember correctly my system needs around 120MB of RAM right after booting into KDE (around 20-30 when I boot to the shell ;-) ).

That's what my memory looks like right now

Quote:

MemTotal: 1033672 kB
MemFree: 41708 kB
Buffers: 24232 kB
Cached: 713540 kB

I'm in KDE, using Konqueror, have Kontact, Korganzier, KWallet and Klipper running, two Konsole-windows of which one is compiling the current EasyLFS.
Well, just around 40MB are free, but as you can see 700MB are used as cache.
If you substract that you get an actual memory-usage of around 260MB, which I think is still pretty good for what I have running right now. ;-)

I'm also really interested in KDE4. I was already thinking to try a Beta but then didn't. I tried that on KDE 2 and 3 and never had any major problems.
But I guess I'll be waiting for the final release this time.

Well, back to my reasons for KDE.
The other big reason is that I like to compile software myself. KDE takes a long time, it's some really big packages.
But also GNOME takes quite some time, but it's really annoying to install GNOME since it's millions of little packages with dependancies to other packages which have some more dependancies again. I guess because of that I'll take at least the same time to compile GNOME as it takes to compile KDE, just that it's much more annoying.
For KDE you install KDELibs and after that you can fire up as many terminals as you like and compile all the rest at the same time. You can't do that for GNOME.

And another reason is all the useful software which is shipped with KDE. I really like KMail/Kontact. I like playing my music in Noatun and reading PDFs in KPDF. And I use Kopete as IM. Why?
Because it's all there and it has all I need.

And I really love KStars, which is not as powerful as XEphem, but also has some functions XEphem doesn't have. So, both together, maybe plus Celestia and Stellarium, make up some interesting astro-package. ;-)

Yeah I am quite curious

Yeah I am quite curious about KDE4.

The reason why it seems that it is easier to modify GNOME's look is because it is actually easier to install themes. But you're right, this doesn't necessarily mean that those themes are then more customizable once installed.

However, since there are more themes for GNOME than KDE, AFAIK, then maybe it is easier for developers and designers to theme GNOME than KDE.

But maybe in KDE4 this will be fixed too. Anyway, people will hopefully always have a choice between two, even three (counting Xfce) major DE's and choice is good. GNOME will likely, even if later than KDE4 have some innovations and improvements of their own. We'll see..

customization

I find KDE a lot easier to customize than GNOME. In KDE, you can change every aspect o