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Jack’s Weblog – Revisiting KDE

Jack’s Weblog – Revisiting KDE

2023-01-15 10:35:47

It has been years since I final used the KDE desktop atmosphere. Sadly, I
haven’t got a precise screenshot of my desktop after I final used KDE, however from
reminiscence it in all probability regarded lots like this:

KDE Oxygen desktop
Credit score: Wikipedia.

Wanting again I am undecided the Oxygen theme has aged significantly properly, however this
image fills me with nostalgia and so will all the time have a particular place in my
coronary heart.

Through the years KDE has (unfairly in my eyes) had a reasonably unfavorable popularity,
and stereotyped for being fairly buggy and useful resource hungry. I do not recall being
effected by these points described first hand, however simply listening to unfavorable
sentiments like this left me with a unfavorable impression and drove me away from
utilizing KDE. So though I do have fond reminiscences of this desktop, they have been
tainted by the consensus of some vocal Linux fanatics on the time. I used to be
younger and impressionable, and needed to make use of to make use of the ‘greatest’ factor, even when
that meant not with the ability to type my very own unbiased evaluation.

Consequently I used to be content material to remain on Gnome desktop (and varied forks) for many
of my time on Linux. However that every one modified fairly just lately. I needed to revisit
KDE and see if this popularity was nonetheless warranted. I believe a part of me needed to
make amends and provides some like to a Desktop atmosphere I felt I might by no means actually
given an trustworthy likelihood.

Largely I used to be impressed to offer KDE one other strive after seeing some fairly constructive
current momentum in the neighborhood. A major instance is TechHut releasing this

I observe Nate Graham on his weblog “Adventures in Linux and
who’s posts often hit the front-page of
/r/linux, which makes developments in KDE
unattainable to disregard. It is actually spectacular to see the quantity of enhancements
that go into the desktop every week.

All of this constructive sustained protection culminated in me caving and deciding to
see what all of the fuss was about.

I opted to put in Open SUSE Tumbleweed as a result of I fancied making an attempt out a rolling
launch distribution and needed an up-to-date KDE expertise with out having to
leap by hoops. I briefly toyed with the concept of making an attempt KDE Neon, however
finally needed one thing completely different then one other Ubuntu primarily based distribution.

Disclaimer On the time of writing I am on KDE Plasma model 5.26.5.


I all the time discovered the applets on Gnome to be a bit irritating, and discover a lot nice
utility from their KDE counterparts. Steadily on Gnome I might be pressured to open
up system settings to carry out some primary motion, like switching/connecting a
Bluetooth gadget or altering particular gadget quantity.

KDE applets

Whereas on KDE applets sometimes shortly enable me to to carry out the required
motion with out having to dive into the complete settings. On Gnome there is a
patchwork of 3rd party
that fill this niche however I discover myself a lot preferring the out of the field
expertise supplied by KDE.

KDE Bluetooth applet
KDE Plasma Bluetooth applet.

Multi Monitor Help

To my shock all the pieces simply works, I have never had a single difficulty with
multi-monitor help to date. All that is even earlier than some multi-screen
as a consequence of arrive in

Usually I am going to plug my laptop computer in to drive a main show however then shut the lip
on my laptop computer, operating only one show. After I do that all of the home windows open on
my laptop computer robotically change over to the primary show.

The Show Configuration Applet makes it actually simply to shortly kill the
laptop computer display screen and work from the Major monitor even when the laptop computer lid is
open. Historically multi-monitor configuration on Linux has been a nightmare, however
this has been working a allure for me.

KWin Customisation (Disabling Borders Per Software)

A small factor that may be doable in different environments, however KDE makes tremendous
trivial. I am going to typically configure this when I’ve two home windows aspect by aspect. This
form of mirrors the way in which I used to make use of the i3 tiling window supervisor, permitting me
to rearrange borderless windwos for optimum vertical area.

KWin hide boders


I shortly switched from the default openSUSE theme to default Breeze
implementation. I am an enormous fan, all the pieces finally ends up wanting good and constant
throughout the desktop. The flexibility to inherit the accent color from the present
wallpaper is a pleasant contact. Though I do want there was a pleasant technique to
robotically to modify from Gentle/Darkish mode primarily based on the present locale
(just like the way in which android works).

Breeze Theme Switcher

KDE Apps


It has been some time since I attempted out this editor and I am happy to see it is
developed a bunch of helpful new options since. Now it is acquired builtin LSP
help, git integration, session help and a fast ‘Fast Open Search’ fuzzy
file searcher. What extra may you want from a contemporary light-weight editor
(with out reaching for a full IDE).

The excellent vi enter mode, mixed with the remainder of the editor expertise
means it is so good that I am going to stray from my typical neovim terminal setup (which
is excessive reward). It could be completely unbelievable if sooner or later neovim will get a
correct headless mode to permit it to be simply built-in with GUI-editors. If
Kate, (or comparable) ever developed this function I might love to make use of the editor as a
front-end UI for neovim. However I am not sure whether or not that is inside the scope of the

I’ve had just a few points configuring the LSP integration from inside a Python
virtual-environment, however other than this the expertise has been very constructive.

Kate editor
My kate setup in motion.


This one is shocking to me and I am on Open SUSE tumbleweed, which pulls
up-to-date variations of software program from upstream repositories. I anticipated a lot of
crashes, all the pieces to be bug-ridden, always encountering little regressions
with every replace. I am happy to say this hasn’t been the case, I’ve solely had a
single crash (albeit a reasonably critical one) to date which I am going to contact on within the
subsequent part.

Most of my expertise has been nice, however I did encounter just a few minor points,
which I’ve documented beneath.


After I got here to wake my laptop computer from sleep I used to be greeted by the next (pretty
intimidating) error message display screen. As an alternative of following the directions on
display screen I simply onerous rebooted my machine ????.

Kate editor
My solely crash to date (picture taken with cellphone as desktop was

Software Process Switchers (Alt+Tab Switcher) Kinds

My most just lately used desktop environments earlier than making an attempt KDE have been MacOSX,
Gnome and Cinnamon. A typical trait they share is that every have a reasonably comparable
Alt+Tab appear and feel, a method I recognize.

KDE has a wide range of utility launchers to select from, however in my view
none of them look fairly as visually interesting. With the Giant Icons the spacing
generally seems off, and app icons will often look blurry or lacking
utterly, then again the Small Icons switcher is solely manner too small.
I’ve settled on utilizing the default Breeze switcher, which I initially had an
aversion to as a consequence of it is placement on the left hand aspect of the display screen.

KDE Task Switcher
Probably the most unflattering picture I may discover, notice the blurry Audacity icon and lacking Spotify icon

I believe that is partially my fault for utilizing Flatpak functions and anticipating
the desktop integration be 100% seamless. I strongly suspect it may additionally be an
upstream difficulty (and never the fault of KDE itself), however I’ve not encountered
comparable points on Gnome/Cinnamon.

App Launcher Search Relevancy

Krunner vs Software Launcher vs Overview

The performance supplied by all of those launchers seems to utterly
overlap. So I am undecided after I’d decide to make use of one over the opposite? That is
clearly only a ability difficulty, however I believe I desire the unified search
implementation supplied by Gnome shell which removes any ambiguity.

Search Relevancy

Sometimes I am going to seek for one thing and what I am in search of would be the
second most related outcome, which could be irritating.

See Also

Instance A: If I sort phrase “mouse” to deliver up the settings panel to configure my
mouse, the primary two characters “mo” returns a listing of outcomes the place Htop is the
most related.

KDE Mouse Search

Instance B: If I sort “settings” the highest result’s Steam settings. In 99% of
instances, that is by no means the outcome I need. I really feel like KDE built-ins ought to take
priority right here. Or maybe there must be reserve phrases that stop
third-party functions from showing as the highest outcome.

KDE Settings Search

Instance C: If I sort “Downloads” I get x3 outcomes. If I wish to open my
~/Downloads folder in Dolphin which one is appropriate?

On this state of affairs the primary outcome opens up a KDE Settings Panel to alter the
default Obtain location (unlikely what I need). The second two outcomes are
equal, probably from two search plugins returning the identical factor.

KDE Downloads Search

All very minor issues, but it surely often makes me double take earlier than I hit the
<enter> when looking, which could be annoying.

I disabled a majority of the enabled search plugins very early on to try to
enhance the expertise, velocity up the search and supply extra related
outcomes. However I nonetheless run into occasional points like this.

There is a good likelihood that my muscle reminiscence from different desktops is tainting my
expertise on KDE. However I do suppose each the Gnome and Cinnamon desktops to a
higher job of this out of the field. On Cinnamon I might blindly hit <tremendous>
begin typing then slam <enter> with out considering and it could someway all the time do
the correct factor.

General my expertise to date with KDE has been overwhelmingly constructive (regardless of
what this text may recommend), I included criticism purely to supply some

I plan to stay with KDE for the foreseeable future, or till I get the nagging
urge to leap ship and check out one thing new 😛

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