I’ve been a Gnome user ever I started using Linux a little over 2 years ago.
Sure I’ve flirted with other WM and DE but Gnome always stayed my favorite.
When KDE 4 came out it looked promising but I was not impressed with it at all.
It was slow, had lots of bugs and not much going for it really besides it’s looks.
KDE 4.1 was more of the same, still not impressed.
That all changed when version 4.2 came out a little while ago.
I now use KDE 4.2 and haven’t looked back.
Why? Keep reading.
See end of article for installation instructions.
Kwin is the (compositing) Window Manager and is too slow for me.
I’ve always like Compiz Fusion for it good balance between performance and eyecandy, Kwin is lacking that balance.
So I dumped it in favor of Compiz Fusion.
Dumping Kwin for Compiz Fusion also means you loose the plasmoids.
I don’t care about those, I prefer my Desktop clean and tidy.
KDE 4.2 looks great and that is the biggest reason I switched to it.
I just got tired of the same old Gnome looks.
Sure you can theme it, but you are still stuck with those 1999ish looking panels.
The theme and icon themes looks pretty damn good, they just look more refined than any Gtk theme or icon theme I’ve seen.
As you can see from the screenshot posted earlier, the big ass bottom panel is gone in favor of a Vista-ish panel.
And just as with Vista, I like it.
Having used Nautilus, PCmanFM and Thunar this is a pleasant surprise.
It looks really great.
It thought Explorer.exe in Windows 7 looked great, this surpasses it.
It might not have ftp and ssh support (at least it didn’t in previous kde versions) but it does have more “views” and a great preview feature (with comments you can add yourself).
It can’t compare speed wise to PCmanFm or Thunar but it’s on par with Nautilus.
And lets face it, you won’t run this DE on a 7 year old machine, my PC can handle it just fine.
I know there was a buzz about this one when KDE 4 came out (mostly bad) and I don’t really know if it has changed a lot, but it seems to get the job done.
There is a search field built into it that makes it very easy to quickly find an application.
If you want to go through the menus it is a bit slower than doing the same on Gnome but the favorites and search features make up for it.
Most people only use a select number of applications on a regular basis so they might actually be able to get to their apps faster using this menu instead of the Gnome one.
Amarok and KDE is like gin and tonic, they just go well together.
The first Amarok version was consider the best audio player/manager on Linux.
The second version is surely different but I actually like it better.
It’s focus is on playlists and that’s a new approach.
I’m not going to do a full review on it, just check it out and see if you like it.
There are loads of great GTK apps out there and if you like to run them using another WM or DE then Gnome, you might find that they look horrible.
In comes Gtk-Qt.
It makes your Gtk apps blend into KDE.
It’s not perfect but it helps.
After installation (and restarting X) there will be a mentioning of it in the Appearance application (System Settings -> Appearance).
(k,x)Ubuntu 8.10 instructions
Install KDE 4.2: http://www.kubuntu.org/news/kde-4.2
Install Amarok 2: http://www.vibgyorlife.com/article/article.aspx?cid=8&id=532
Install Gtk-Qt: In a terminal enter the following command
sudo apt-get install gtk-qt-engine-kde4
Arch Linux instructions
Become root or use sudo if you have it installed. I suggest you install yaourt, it will make your life easier.
Update the system
Install KDE 4.2
yaourt -S kde
Install Amarok 2
yaourt -S amarok2
yaourt -S gtk-qt-engine
Have anything to add? Don’t agree? Let me know in the comments.