KDE4 on Kubuntu – Impressions and Screenshots

kde4 logoI love Gnome and its simplicity and use it regularly. I loathe KDE and its complexity. Although I used KDE about 5 years back, ever since Ubuntu was released, I’ve been using Gnome. However, when KDE4 was announced, I decided to check it out with an open-mind and re-evaluate.

KDE4 screenshots thumbs
Click to see gallery

  • Visually looks a little better than KDE3
  • KDE4 is still quite rough.
  • The UI needs more polish.
  • Usability has increased and still needs work.
  • Complexity has reduced but more work required.
  • The widgets in Oxygen theme are more bearable.

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kde4 loading

One corner of the screen is reserved for adding widgets, really required?
KDE4 add widgets

I like the menu because I can search but consider the menu less functional than the one before. I do not use the search much because I use the “Run” command (Alt + F2) instead. I tend to loose orientation while navigating applications in the new menu,
KDE4 menu

Black is good. The time display looks great. The gradient requires work as it does throughout the theme. The white border on the upper half of windows is annoying.
KDE4 taskbar

Overall, this feels unfinished but is a step in the right direction. It won’t be replacing Gnome for me yet. Will have to wait for 4.1 too see if it can.


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  1. hey! thanks for the excellent KDE 4 screenshots and more details on the widgets.

    Posted January 14, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink
  2. J.Naveen

    hey suggest me some Gnome linux versions to install in my pc, it should support all programming langueges….just tell me, gnome is specilized for GUI? now I have ubantu some 7.* version.

    Posted January 15, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Permalink
  3. Naveen, I use Ubuntu which has Gnome as the default window manager. I’ve tried Fedora core (Red Hat Linux earlier), SUSE Linux, Mandriva, Slackware, Debian and found Ubuntu to best suit me needs (Note that Ubuntu is derived from Debian). Gnome does not enable or restrict “programming languages” (compilers/interpreters/VM’s). So any Linux distro should be fine. However, Gnome is simple to use and is highly usable and I’ve found that it boosts my productivity by getting out of my way.

    All in all, I recommend Ubuntu. Gutsy Gibbon is the latest release also referred to as Ubuntu 7.10.

    Posted January 15, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Permalink
  4. KDE4 is _not_ meant for general usage.

    KDE 4.1 which comes out is meant to be used by end-users.

    Posted February 27, 2008 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
  5. Yup. I found KDE4 a bit rough around the edges.

    Posted March 1, 2008 at 8:37 pm | Permalink
  6. Andrew

    That’s it? That’s you’re whole review? You watched it boot up, then clicked on the “K” menu? You didn’t run it for more than 10 minutes?? Pretty lame review if you ask me!

    Posted May 20, 2008 at 1:29 am | Permalink
  7. These are my “impressions”. If you are looking for a detailed review, you should consider visiting the “Ars” link I posted at the end of the article!

    Posted May 20, 2008 at 9:39 am | Permalink
  8. it’s a see-saw horse race. back a few years ago I looked at both GNOME and KDE. strongly disliked GNOME could not stand the nonsensical file manager and went with KDE which had it’s own share of programs such as high percentage of file copy failures which forced me to the command line far more often then it should. But over all I was happy with KDE.

    Recently I switched to Ubuntu and decided to give GNOME another chance. Wow! Loved the new GNOME! The menus are great the file manager is very usable. There are some problems with GNOME such as the lack of a decent printing manager but overall I am happy with it. Have tried the new KDE the menus *look* great but actual navigation is tedious, endless scrolling. Didn’t use their new file manager enough to have an opinion about it. But overall I am hooked on the minimalistic approach of GNOME where nothing gets in your way but everything is there that you need.

    Now when they come out with KDE 4.5 maybe the story changes again. They keep leapfrogging each other and striving for better. Isn’t progress great!!! But lets not forget that there are many other choices too.

    Posted August 13, 2008 at 2:32 am | Permalink