Both have their advantages. KDE is the best for people who love eye-candy, because it has features like window transparency, shadows, animated things, etc. But because of all these extra features, it is very bloated, and is quite slow. Gnome, on the other hand, is more lightweight. It still has quite a lot of eye candy, but I find it quicker, easier and simpler.
Of course, the best way for you to find out is to try them yourself, and find your favourite.
The one thing I like about KDE is the terminal with the little tabs on the bottom. One piece of screen, multiple terminals on it. I do a lot of terminal things, and it is a screensaver for me to have them all in one window.
KDE +Looks pretty. +Highly customizable. +Most Linux programs written for the X display are designed for KDE. +/-Lots of eye-candy and useless utilities. -SLLLOOOOOWWWW (unless you have a mighty kick-#### computer). -If you're running 6 or more programs throughout the multiple desktops, it can slow down to the speed of a McDonald's drivethrough on 4:20.
GNOME +It's fast (doesn't matter if your computer is high-end or not). +On a Pentium II 450MHz, I've only noticed it slow down if I was running 20 or more programs scattered about 4 virtual desktops. :cheesy: +Has better looking visual themes (they're alot cleaner in appearance). -....I can't really think of any downsides....
FINAL CONSENSUS For functionality, stability and perfect for everyday use, go with GNOME. For the Windows convert who loves their pretty looking window managers, KDE. For functionality, stability, perfection for everyday use, and pretty cool look, go with FluxBox (or BlackBox if you wanna kick it old school). :mrgreen:
What is the difference between KDE and GNOME? There are several differences and similarities.
1. Both systems are based on CORBA networking. GNOME arguably follows a slightly more standardized version of it. GNOME uses Orbit. KDE has their own request broker, MCOP. While they may sound like geek to most, what it means is that both are network aware and transparent to some degree or another. A lot of networking tools seem to perform evenly between KDE and GNOME, IMHO GNOME handles it a smigin better.
2. Both are designed to provide a standard API, to make writing programs easier It can be argued that KDE has the lead here with Qt. (As it can be ported to Qt/Windows. That's really moot, since MS removed native crossplatform POSIX support from Windows, so 9/10 of the rest of the code wont work anyway.) GNOME uses GTK, which may be a bit rougher to code in but serves the same purpose. When the chips are down, GTK is probably used more opensource than Qt. Qt is almost exclusively used for KDE or KDE applications. GTK is not. So GTK applications tend to run on more machines, without extra installs versus Qt. Sorry guys.
3. There are applications out there that are neither KDE or GNOME. In my experience, GNOME has less issues with them, and running with KDE apps, than KDE does running with a GNOME or neutral application. KDE doesn't like to play as nicely with the other children in the sandbox. But the last few years and versions of KDE have seen great improvement in that area.
4. In terms of integration and data sharing between applications, KDE is the leader. At lot of KDE programs cut and paste easily. GNOME2 though, has been catching up fast. Most consider this important. I don't. X mouse paste, the paste mechanism bult into X (3rd/middle button paste), works just as well in either environment, and is faster. GNOME 2.12 promises a new level of application integration, release date to be Sept 7. I'm taking the wait and see.
5. In terms of speed, KDE is faster on most prebuilt versions. Current versions of both run about the same on my machine, with GNOME a touch slower. KDE provides less to load, hence is a tad quicker. In GNOME's defense, they provide a wider range of internal support for application libraries/protocol standards.
I suspect it's as much because KDE is compiled better for some distributions and that the GNOME basics have more libraries than KDE. If I compiled GNOME myself, I'd bet the performance would be closer. Even unoptimized as my install currently is, the difference is not worth mentioning. Whether it is for you depends on who made your OS installer.
6. In my opinion GNOME has the advantage in DRAG and DROP on it's menu systems and general interface, which is WAY ahead of KDE last I saw, admittedly last June or July Bad part, GNOME doesn't come with a menu editor in the last version, but that will be fixed in the 2.12 release in Sept.
7. The background sound server for GNOME - to make sounds for open and closing windows, seems to have problems with older programs. At least for me. XMMS in particular. I think that as much to do with my running some BETA software and XMMS configured to use an obsolete sound driver, as it is a bug in GNOME. If anyone knows a definate answer, shout! I don't need noise for opening a menu or window. I always leave the sound server off. This does NOT affect media players, etc - which play great, just window sounds.
8. Although KDE is well received by programmers, GNOME is the preferred environment the the majority of UNIX OS makers: Novell, Sun, Debian, and RedHat just for starters. So the normal interface you will see on their workstations is GNOME. KDE can be installed as an option, though.
The reason for this was Qt, the core library for KDE. Up until '99-00, Qt was completely proprietary opensource, and that did not sit well with most programmers and OS providers. Many begged KDE to switch libraries to a less restricted one. KDE refused, but to their credit eventually managed to get TrollTech, who created Qt, to release it under the GPL with a conditional license,and guarantee it to an opensource foundation. There are few or no opensource applications using Qt on Windows because it is still proprietary for many uses. GTK, the core for GNOME, has no such restrictions so GTK is preferred for programs that may be ported.
Otherwise, they serve pretty much the exact same purpose. Both perform equally well. Often, it's a matter of taste. I find KDE garish, and Windows-like - with more form over function.
GNOME is more function over form, but the form is good looking.
I leave it to you to decide what's best for you. My advice, try both, and see what works best for your situation. I hope this mumbling rant helps in some small way.
Can i tell you something? KDE is much more messy than GNOME because that the KDE taskbar and application menus are too big and that the shorctcuts are messed. In GNOME there are not so many shourtcuts on the desktop and the menus and the taskbar are smaller and simpler than KDE.
the new gnome (one thatw ith ubunty edgy) is so nice i like gnome but it would be better if it had a centralised control panel I personally find it easier and more buisnesslike, especially if you install the "slab" menu found in SLED (u can get uslab for ubuntu)
When it comes down to it, Gnome and KDE can both run almost all the same X programs, so you need to look for a cleaner system rather than a more pre-fab compatible one.
And, if the look and feel factor is really THAT important to you, go get a copy of Windoze. You can customize either Gnome or KDE to look and act the way Windoze does, but if you aren't willing to modify your own system to do what you want without Microsuck installing it for you then perhaps Linux just isn't your thing.
Personally, I go with Gnome. It's clean, fast and has the same functionality as KDE. KDE reminds me of an early, pre-service pack release of a Microsuck product.
You can run compiz or beryl for any DE, so it's not really fair to say KDE or Gnome is better. Afterall, you're just replacing the WM. And for non-accelerated eye-candy, Enlightenment seems pretty popular.
I don't know that there's any other 3D accelerated WMs out yet for Linux...
I've researched for ways to get XGL running on OS X, but unfortunately the only ways I found were by completely recompiling the kernel, and I can't be sure if these solutions were guaranteed for Mac OS X.
I think the biggest problem is somehow getting below the Aqua drawing layer to modify and warp the screen, something that open-source programmers are currently unable to do, regardless of having Darwin open.