Discuss important Pro's and Con's of GNOME or KDE as Fedora Desktops

As a breakout topic from the change proposal to make KDE Plasma the default Fedora Workstation Desktop, we could discuss arguments for and against the desktops here.

Note: There are likely hundreds of small factors that are important.

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mine would be:

pro GNOME

GNOME is way easier to support I guess, as Plasma is huge. GNOME is minimalist, slowly developing and very established.

Also, some unique things especially for interaction with windows:

  • best setup dialog
  • active directory integration
  • online accounts

in general, pro-usability

  • calendar, contacts & mail that look well and work well
  • simple UI with a tour
  • using workspaces really well

Apps

  • very modern apps, everthing on flathub and using portals
  • software shows flathub app data very well
  • epiphany is actually nice and has PWAs
  • a ton of GNOME circle apps

contra GNOME

  • GNOME breaks Qt apps, even when using Flatpak. On KDE, GTK apps look completely fine.
  • app indicators are missing, which are still needed and will probably stay forever

UI

  • hitboxes are not at the edges, making no sense
  • no maximize button which is strange
  • everything is too large and looks like a toy
  • without blur my shell, the dark grey looks not good
  • the panel at the top makes me look down a bit, which is not good for laptops
  • no panel to view my apps by default

general usability

  • people need extensions to make it usable, but the API is not stable
  • most apps lack features (apart from Inkscape, GIMP and other giants)
  • the UI has so little “poweruser” features like desktop entries, deep settings etc., that people need to go straight to the terminal. This is way worse than “having too many settings”.

Apps

  • all apps have completely random names, that are not displayed in the GUI and the packages are sometimes called even different from that
  • no screenshot utility with editing features
  • no image viewer with editing features (Loupe???)
  • no kfind
  • no batch renaming in files
  • no powerful editor

pro KDE

  • powerful apps: dolphin, kate, spectacle, okular, systemsettings,
  • GNOME apps integrate perfectly, even with dark/light theming support
  • traditional layout that doesn’t require using extensions
  • a single terminal that is very good ;D
  • clipboard menu

contra KDE

  • tons of bugs, including memory safety issues
  • hard dependency on C++ with apparently less support for Rust bindings, unlike the many already existing Rust+GTK apps
  • using Qt which is kinda difficult due to their licensing (reporting backporting fixes)
  • no good online account integration, especially for Micro$oft

Apps

  • many look old and unpleasant
  • no good videoplayer and music player afaik, unlike GNOME circle with Amberol and Celluloid
  • the KDE spin overall is bloated with apps (unlike Kinoite, which I would prefer)
  • kwallet is very insecure
  • kiofuse is probably less well integrated

With this sentence your selves brought it to the point. Why would a main sponsor of the fedora project want to change a working DE? Maybe I have to say it different, why would they want to sponsor a project who wants to put the focus on a DE where is not really on their radar?

The Linux community has thanks of Gnome gained a lot of acceptance and a lot of new users where moved from other OS’es to Linux because it is more what they have been used of.

An other point against KDE for the moment is, It will be released with the newest version on Fedora 40 where is still in beta so, catch the bear before you sell his skin. Lets test the new version first, before try to make it as main DE.

The fedora Project is on a important stage to release a new version, and it would appreciate to get some more beta tester.

@boredsquirrel I know your intention making this topic was not bad. I just think it is not the correct moment to talk about it now.

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I don’t know where you got that idea, because from my perspective that’s Just Not True. Compared to Gnome 2, Gnome 3 was massively bloated to the point that a fair number of Gnome users, including me, abandoned it for one of the many less kown DEs such as Xfce4, where I ended up. There were a number of other reasons I left, but they’re not relevant here.

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Yes I agree that there are tons of GNOME Derivates that are more minimalist. But in the comparison with KDE Plasma, which has a ton of libraries and dependencies, GNOME is minimalist.

@ilikelinux I agree that we should beta test Plasma 6! Its more needed than ever. In my experience it already improved a ton, I can recommend to use the Kinoite Prerelease variant of Fedora 40 for that.

Also I think GNOME and Fedora are a good couple. But KDE and Fedora could be too.

The discussion on fedora devel for this proposal is about giving kde equal billing with gnome on the fedora website, not wanting to replace gnome with kde it seems.

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which would make a lot more sense

My dealbreaker with Gnome is that the decisions around how to support HiDPI screens end up meaning that the user has to fix application by application, otherwise all non-Wayland-native applications will look blurry. That’s a no-no for me, and I am still not clear on what the situation will be with Gnome 46.

With KDE, everything looks fine out of the box on a screen that needs a 150% fractional scaling. The KDE current position on how to solve that issue for the user is the right one.

I have read a lot of argumentation on the Gnome forums, but I honestly don’t care about what their reason is. For newer or high end laptops as the Framework, MacBooks, etc., and 4K screens, Gnome is basically placing the responsibility of the UX into the user and makes the experience way worse than how it should be.

This is one of those examples of them being their biggest stoppers for DE “market” share.

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I think people are missing the point here.

Aside from all the debate cruft, changing the very well-established experience isn’t a good thing. There is a valuable lesson from Twitter/X.

If this by chance really happens, then it’s not Fedora anymore; it’s Kadora, and I’ll probably move to another first class GNOME distro because that’s my need.

The main thread has a point that you may be missing as well: in some ways, we receive an inferior experience with Gnome that harms the Fedora distribution as a product.

Don’t get me wrong, I prefer Gnome to KDE I’m more in line with its proposal. The problem in my case is that without putting a lot of work in making Gnome look decent in a HiDPI screen, investing time I don’t have, I feel that I have wasted my money.

A Linux distribution can’t afford its users to think “for this, I should probably have gone to a Mac with macOS instead of this similarly high end computer where everything is blurry and looks really bad”, which is what I get with Gnome.

I decided to switch to KDE much to my dismay, and probably that’s the feeling that should percolate from the other thread.

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I didn’t know this was an issue. I am also running Fedora Workstation on my retina-display MBP, within a VMWare Fusion VM, with native resolution. Is this only a functionality of VMWare?

to each his own.

let the default be whatever the user chooses during installation!

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There is currently no choice being offered is the complaint.
See https://fedoraproject.org/ that offers Workstation and Server.
Then IOT etc below.

That is no KDE Plasma or any other desktop on that landing page.

The question is should there be, or are things fine as they are?

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