Just tried Mint KDE CE...

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Sheepeh
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Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by Sheepeh » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:10 am

...and am very pleasantly surprised. Being a KDE3 man back in "the day" due to Gnome not having enough options for me (without going in to setting keys and making text files, at any rate), I thought KDE4 was a big pile of <snip! - Ed>. Also having always learnt with Debian distros, tried Kubuntu and found it to be amazingly "substandard" and having issues all over the shop.

I suspect part of the pleasantness is due to KDE4's relative maturity from the last time I tried it, but I'm sure that Boo has done a pretty good job in Mintyfying it. While I do *love* what Mint Main did with Gnome, to the point where I put it on my parents laptops and they've been ticking along with it just fine and my Sister has just asked me to put it on hers as well, for me I think KDE CE has the slight edge. Things like easily having two different wallpapers on my TwinView setup. Samba settings in a handy-dandy dialog box rather than a .conf. Flash working in fullscreen on Monitor 1 and not affecting Monitor 2.

I also really quite like the KDE set of apps, with Kopete being far more stable for me than Pidgin, and choqoK being a nice alternative to Gwibber. I am having to run Evoloution to sync with my Windows Mobile phone, but with any luck that'll be sorted in the next release (or, more likely, two). Either way, it works.

While I won't say you've "caught" me forever, I can say that I'll be happy using this at least until I get bored again and Mint 8 Main hits, and I have to check that out.

Now I just have to learn my way around KDE4 a bit more to get truly comfortable with it, but I'm sure that won't prove a massive hurdle.

Good work, all involved.

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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by dequire » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:34 am

Welcome to Mint KDE! I agree KDE has come a long way since 4.0. It's usable and in fact quite enjoyable. And I agree that the KDE apps are usually superior to their Gnome equivalent. If you run into any questions, just ask.

Also, here's a shameless plug for my blog that covers all things Mint KDE and KDE in general, that you might find useful.

The Blue Mint
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Hey look at him! I'll never live that way.
But that's okay -
They're just afraid to change.
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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by Sheepeh » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:59 am

Ah, yes, I used your post on how to make Firefox look "KDE4-ish", I do believe.

I'll add your blog to my RSS feeds, looks like it could be quite interesting.

I can't wait to see how both editions of Helena turn out - I'm not sure which I'll end up running full time, but for any other distro to be being considered over just "Mint" is quite the achievement in itself.

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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by Sheepeh » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:58 pm

Heya Ikey. Yeah, I've not been around in the IRC much lately due to not having as much free time to do such things as I used to. Most of my free time lately has been spent playing Modern Warfare 2, scarily.

I decided to at least make some sort of post upon trying out Mint KDE, because I know quite a few of the "new" people I helped in IRC also joined my Twitter feed and such, and most of them probably won't have tried it out. Not really sure why it took me so long - I'm normally the one everyone asks for advice on what to use, purely because in The Quest For Great Stuff I end up trying everything at least once!

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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by mintnoob » Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:45 pm

I'm still a Linux noob in general and have preferred the look and feel of GNOME. When I first tried Linux, it was about 2 years ago and I tried Ubuntu 7.something and then PCLinuxOS. I really didn't like the look and feel of PCL and the distro was a nightmare for me in general, so it left a bad taste in mouth for KDE.

But I recently saw this demo video about KDE 4.4 and man, does it look sweet!

I've been using Mint 8 GNOME, but planning to do another fresh install because it seems to have gotten bloated from me downloading all these Wine apps and since I'm dual booting with Win XP, I've decided to keep my Linux partition pure and not install Wine or any other Winbloz emulator apps.

So since Linux provides tons of choices (sometimes I think too many choices!), I thought I'd have an open mind and test drive a KDE distro.

I downloaded Sidux and Mepis because there were natural KDE distros and looked sweet from their screenshots (the #1 reason why people choose there distros IMO. hahaha!). Sidux didn't look as well when running livecd, but Mepis looked sweet.

So I decided to take Mint 7 KDE for a spin and I must say it looked pretty sweet also (not as sweet as Mepis though to be honest). I can see that KDE looks more like a Mac with rounded corners versus GNOME's more boxy look.

So I'm tempted to install a KDE distro next. Will Mint 8 KDE have the new 4.4 version?



Also about KDE, do KDE apps run better in KDE, or do they just look better?

Choosing KDE apps are convienent since all start with their trademark "K"! lol
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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by dreamkin » Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:04 pm

Whether Mint 8 will come with 4.4 or not is Boo's decision. Considering 4.4 is still not released and is in RC2 stage right now it makes sense that Boo chooses 4.3.4 for Mint 8 KDE CE. But fret not... As soon as 4.4 is released you can install it easily from Kubuntu ppa backports repositories.

Usually KDE apps (Qt) look better in KDE and Gnome apps (GTK) look better in Gnome. There are exceptions and enhancements but this is a general rule so far. As far as functionality goes you can usually install and use applications of one on the other without any problems. For instance I still prefer Synaptic over Kpackagekit. Normally an alien application would require libraries from the other DE. Meaning that Gnome applications and KDE applications use different libraries. Sometimes that means that the alien application will perform slower.

Another problem would be the integration. KDE apps in general have great cross functionality. For instance, while Konqueror would use KDE dialog boxes and Knotify to communicate with you, Firefox would use its own download manager and it's own dialog boxes. (a problem that's thankfully almost solved by openSUSE developers. Boo will probably include them in Mint 8 KDE CE so that Firefox feels like a native app). Or you can install Rhythmbox and Totem on KDE but they would not generate video thumbnails or music file hover previews in Dolphin like they do in Nautilus. (why on earth you'd install Rhythmbox over Amarok is of course beyond me...)

Last but not least you could have problems with multimedia applications since usually KDE and Gnome use different backends. This is true especially if you have a non standard sound card and trying to use a media player such as Amarok in Gnome. (thankfully now they have a menu to access the actual backend Amarok is using easily)

Apart from that, in my experience some Qt applications behave in interesting ways in Gnome. But in general you can use the applications of one on the other without significant problems

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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by mintnoob » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:53 pm

So it mostly boils down to what looks more pleasing to your eyes?!
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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by dreamkin » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:39 pm

mintnoob wrote:So it mostly boils down to what looks more pleasing to your eyes?!
In a simple way yeah.. sort of...

But the whole thing is a bit deeper than that. Gnome vs KDE is one of the oldest discussions of this land. The discussion is more complex than it needs to be because both Gnome and KDE are not at the point they wish they were. KDE recently went through a huge revision, Gnome lost its innovative edge trying to make things more polished. But disregarding the problems of current versions broadly the difference between Gnome and KDE and their respective applications are rather philosophical.

Basicly Gnome developers believe that the number of options given to the user have to be limited. They eliminate needless interface elements and limit the way the user can configure the applications. The idea has merit. Research tells us the good old menu/toolbar system works best when it has a maximum of 6 menu titles with each 8 items underneath. Any more and the user loses focus and the menu system becomes a hindrance. (incidently this is why Microsoft changed the UI of their office applications and working on changing stuff for Windows too.)

Most of the time Gnome applications will have basic functions. These functions will work quite well without the need to configure the application. Since configuring applications in a specific way most of the time implies that you actually KNOW how that application operates Gnome is mostly seen as a more beginner friendly Desktop Environment.

The developers of KDE on the other hand believe that the user has to have maximum control over the applications. They put an option to configure almost every single aspect of the application. In fact the whole KDE 4.x desktop is made of individual plasmoids,(including the task bar and the K menu) which can be resized, relocated, repurposed and even replaced by something else easily. E.g instead of the usual K menu you can easily use the alternative Lancelot menu with a few clicks.

Most of the time KDE applications will have functionality well beyond basic. The number of options you have may seem overwhelming at first. But once you get the basic idea of KDE, the desktop you end up fits you like a glove.

It's really a matter of preferance.

When you get right down to it, I think both DEs are quite beginner friendly. (compared to something like xmonad at least...)

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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by mintnoob » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:24 pm

I'm just going to try it out. I know you just have to make the plunge and swim in it a little to see if it really floats one's boat. LiveCD's just don't cut it for me.

I think most distros are all capable these days compared to when I tried Linux first just 2 years ago, so I figure the real difference now-a-days is actually eye candy. ;)
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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by dequire » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:53 am

mintnoob wrote:I'm just going to try it out. I know you just have to make the plunge and swim in it a little to see if it really floats one's boat. LiveCD's just don't cut it for me.

I think most distros are all capable these days compared to when I tried Linux first just 2 years ago, so I figure the real difference now-a-days is actually eye candy. ;)
While the enthusiasm is appreciated, there's so much more to KDE than "eye candy". Things just coming into focus become big differentiators. Things like KOffice, Kdnlive, Amarok, KDE PIM (Kmail, Calendar, etc), Plasma, Nepomuk, Strigi, KDE Edu, KDE Games, KWin, etc etc are all very different, or have no equivalent, to their Gnome counterparts.

In the big picture, KDE is not concerned with Gnome, Windows, MacOS, or any other DE. It's only goal is to be the best it can be in it's own way. And then, unlike other DE's in Linux, to move to Mac, Windows, BSD, Netbooks, and mobile devices. The fact one can run KDE on Windows is huge for open source. After all, we need the removal of as many "barriers to entry" as humanly possible. If that means someone discovers KDE as a result of finding out that their cool Nokia phone has been running it all along, or because they were able to run Amarok in Windows in place of the bloated and crappy WMP, we all benefit.

So really, we need to think of KDE not just in terms of a Linux Desktop. It's a technology platform. The eye candy, of course, is a great bonus :)
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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by dreamkin » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:30 pm

dequire wrote:
While the enthusiasm is appreciated, there's so much more to KDE than "eye candy". Things just coming into focus become big differentiators. Things like KOffice, Kdnlive, Amarok, KDE PIM (Kmail, Calendar, etc), Plasma, Nepomuk, Strigi, KDE Edu, KDE Games, KWin, etc etc are all very different, or have no equivalent, to their Gnome counterparts.
That was sort of what I was trying to say. The difference is in the general design philosophy. The visuals are part of this too.

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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by mintnoob » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:20 am

Giving up on KDE.

From the little time I spent on it, it was really buggy.

Trying to upgrade Firefox was a pain and kept freezing my laptop in which I had to pop the battery out to restart it.

When downloading a Firefox addon, when it finished install and popped up the addon-notice box to restart, if I hit the button to try to restart the Firefox session (well, there was no button, just the bar), it would freeze Firefox.

It seemed to have no way to configure, or turn of the touchpad. Highly surprised at that feature missing.

I couldn't even figure out how to make the fonts look better.

The last straw was I downloaded various everyday KDE apps and then after it all finish installing, half of my apps wouldn't open. I restarted my session, then all hell broke loose and it will boot into the terminal. I think it might of been an xorg thing.
(I just tried to load Sidux livecd and it says "Module kvm_amd failed to load" then it too went straight to sidux@sidux:~$. Tried to load Mepis livecd, but right when it looks like it was near the end of its loadup, it went to a blank screen. Don't know if both are related. The Mint 7 KDE livecd actually would work though.)

I didn't have any of these problems in GNOME.

Really disappointed because KDE is a very attractive desktop, but seems to sacrifice stability for looks.
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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by bobcollard » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:59 am

IMO you guys are missing the point. The Linux Mint team did a fine job putting this new KDE CE together and they deserve all the credit. There are already more applications in it than I could ever use for everyday work. Plus, they all work. I do think they said it was supposed to have KDE 4.4 and it turns out with KDE 4.3.4 but it works with no glitches. It is no slower than Main Gnome and it has more bells and whistles.
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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by JoeFootball » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:43 pm

mintnoob wrote:Giving up on KDE.
To augment bobcollard's post, I'd give Mint 8 KDE a try once it goes final. I was a Gnome man myself for a number of years, but as dequire said, there's much more to KDE than "eye candy", and it has since converted me.

Joe

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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by DrHu » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:50 pm

I have to agree with the general statement, that Kde is about configuration options for the user (via the kde menu system) and Gnome is about fewer options for the user (via the Gnome menu system)
  • I don't think it should be about eye candy, as the desktop shouldn't be an entertainment device, it should be how to get the job done
--the reason it isn't is because sales groups pay way too much attention to focus groups/polls/surveys/consumers choice awards and so on, to be able to make independent decisions vis-a-vis their system
  • Like HP used to be an engineering company, before sales style started to lead the company's mission/focus: Don't let sales perception lead company direction, that game is for stock market traders, and we know how well they don't do!
I had always used kde desktop for Linux until mint 7, which used gnome, and I quite like the mint 7 version of the gnome desktop (although I still think nautilus is not that great)
--I haven't jumped to mint 8 yet, might wait awhile
--I haven't jumped to Kde 4x yet, might wait awhile
  • Since my kde had been 3.5x for the longest time, and I found the odd resizing of the kicker (if I can still use that term) by the Kde (user errors..) to be more annoying than useful. But it has been continually improving, and I expect to use kde again

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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by mintnoob » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:36 am

JoeFootball wrote:
mintnoob wrote:Giving up on KDE.
To augment bobcollard's post, I'd give Mint 8 KDE a try once it goes final.
Downloading the beta release of 8 KDE right now just to see how it is. I just reinstalled 8 GNOME and it's working fine this time (I believe all the Wine apps I downloaded made it all sluggish and buggy), so I doubt I'll be switching to anything else anytime soon because I'm tired of trying out other DE's and don't want to reinstall a new OS over again, but I am curious about the new 8 KDE so I'll take it for a test drive on livecd and if it blows me away, then I'll keep it in mind for the future.
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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by JoeFootball » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:06 am

mintnoob wrote:Downloading the beta release of 8 KDE right now just to see how it is.
Excellent. Keep in mind, it not being the final release means that there are apparently a few bugs left to tweak for the development team.

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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by mintnoob » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:29 pm

So I got an opportunity to do a full install of the beta Mint 8 KDE on another laptop. I had a minor issue getting my wifi to set up, but other than that, I'm impressed with the new KDE version. The default fonts look better and like the new Mint KDE logo a lot better than the previous one.

Everything seems to run smoothly so far.


Since KDE looks like a Mac, does anyone know what fonts Mac defaults with? I want to make the fonts look as sharp as possible.

Also, what is best font settings for anti-aliasing and DPI?
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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by mintnoob » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:04 pm

Silly question, where is the screensavers in KDE? I looked in power management, but couldn't find it.
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Re: Just tried Mint KDE CE...

Post by richyrich » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:12 pm

@mintnoob . . System Settings -> Desktop . . Screen Saver.

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