I’ve now had a chance to try out both KDE and Gnome under openSUSE on my home computers. Both KDE and Gnome are extremely easy to use for a newbie user and the openSUSE team integrates both desktops into openSUSE so they’re slightly different from the default desktops in other distributions of Linux using Gnome and KDE. For an experienced user the choice is simply a matter of preference but there are a large number of features each desktop does better than the other.

I originally started with Gnome under openSUSE 10.2 about a year ago. Subsequently I tried Ubuntu’s Gnome and eventually installed openSUSE’s KDE as I built my new system and was shocked at how complete KDE is. For a user familiar with Windows I think KDE is clearly the easier desktop to get used to. Overall I give KDE the nod for being much more feature rich than Gnome and simply more polished. However, after playing around with KDE (the 3.5 version) I installed Gnome on the new system and have now went back to using it rather than KDE.

I’m honestly not sure why Gnome appeals more to me. Maybe it’s the stupid footprint logo or something which I like so much about Gnome but either way I prefer using it even though I see how much more polished KDE is. If someone can give me a rational explanation for this I would really like to hear it.

There is one thing which I wish openSUSE had implemented better in Gnome though – the Software Management window under YaST. Take a look:

openSUSE's YaST Software Managment Window under Gnome - yes it sucks!

While this window is functional and has given me little problems now that I know what it’s purpose is I am frustrated knowing how much better it is under KDE. I’m almost tempted to log out of Gnome and switch over to KDE just to do software updates. Under Gnome I really miss seeing the info the KDE version of the same window provides.

Anyways, I’m just venting, I’m looking forward to openSUSE 11 with KDE 4.0. The wonderful thing about Linux is that you can make such decisions anytime you want, and it’s free! While I am using Gnome because I am strange I really think KDE is awesome. If only all the choices I had to make in life were such as this one…

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