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My search for the best KDE Linux distribution

As some of you already know, I am a big fan of the KDE desktop environment (or KDE Workspaces or whatever they’re calling it these days). In my search to reach Linux KDE perfection I have tested out a number of different distributions. First there was Fedora, which I happily ran throughout the length of the experiment. Once that was finished I attempted to install and try both Kubuntu and openSUSE. Unfortunately I was unable to do so after openSUSE decided not to play nice. However my search did not stop there, and once the community edition was ready I jumped over to Linux Mint KDE CE. Finally I decided to once again try openSUSE, this time installing from a USB drive. This somehow resolved all of my installation issues.

Now that I have tried out quite a few of the most popular distributions I figured I would write a little bit to tell you fine people my thoughts on each, and why I will be sticking with openSUSE for the near future.

Fedora 11

  • KDE Version: 4.2 – 4.3
  • Pros: very secure, not too many modifications of the KDE source, cutting edge
  • Cons: could have really used some more modifications of the base KDE packages in order to better integrate GTK+, Bluetooth problems, not always stable
  • Thoughts:

    I have written at length about my experiences with Fedora during this experiment. Without re-writing everything again here let me simply say this: Fedora is primarily a GNOME distribution and I could never shake the feeling that KDE got the left-over treatment.

Kubuntu

  • KDE Version: 4.3
  • Pros: very easy to use, nice integration of GTK+ and GNOME notifications, access to Ubuntu support
  • Cons: the hardware drivers application (jockey) simply did not work, very bad sound issues, Firefox could not handle opening file types
  • Thoughts:

    When I first installed Kubuntu I was thrilled. Ah, this must be what it’s like to use a real KDE distribution, I thought. Everything seemed smoother and far more integrated then it did in Fedora. For example: OpenOffice.org had a KDE theme and it’s file browser actually used the native KDE one. Furthermore the notification system was awesome. Now instead of a GNOME application, like Pidgin, generating GNOME notifications, it instead integrated right into the standard KDE equivalent.

    Then the problems started to show up. Oh I’ll just download this torrent file and… hmm Firefox doesn’t seem to know what to do with it. Why can’t I set the file type options inside of Firefox for torrents? Why doesn’t it use the system defaults? Then the sound issues came. YouTube stopped putting out audio all together and all of my attempts to fix it were futile. Maybe it’s just my hardware but Kubuntu just could not handle multimedia at all.

    While Kubuntu is definitely one of the better KDE experiences it is by no means problem free.

Linux Mint KDE CE

  • KDE Version: 4.3
  • Pros: excellent package manager, easy to use
  • Cons: sound issues, WiFi issues, is this actually a KDE desktop? there are so many GTK+ applications in it…
  • Thoughts:

    After hearing much praise for Linux Mint I decided to give the newly released KDE community edition a go. I must say at first I was very impressed. The package manager was far superior to KPackageKit and even included things like user ratings and comments. It also came bundled with many tools and applications designed specifically for Linux Mint. Sadly very few of these were re-written in Qt and so I was forced to deal with GTK+ skinning almost everywhere.

    Sound issues similar to those in Kubuntu (maybe it’s something in the shared source?) started to crop up almost immediately. Again YouTube just did not work no matter how much I tried to fix it. Finally the WiFi connection was very poor, often disconnected on what seemed like a  specific interval.

    While I think this distribution has a lot going for it I can only suggest the GNOME desktop for those who want to give it a try. The KDE version just does not seem polished enough to be recommended for someone looking for the ultimate KDE distribution.

openSUSE

  • KDE Version: 4.3
  • Pros: very responsive, a lot of streamlined tweaks, rock solid WiFi, excellent audio
  • Cons: slower to boot, uses quite a bit of RAM, too much green :P
  • Thoughts:

    Installing openSUSE seemed like an awful idea. After reading all of the complaints that both Phil and Dave had written over the course of the experiment I have to admit I was a little hesitant. However, I am very happy I decided to try it anyway; openSUSE is an excellent KDE distribution.

    Everything about it, from the desktop to the little helpful wizards, all seem to be designed with one purpose in mind: make openSUSE the easiest, or at the very least most straightforward, distribution possible. YaST, often a major source of hate from my fellow Guinea Pigs, does indeed have some quirks. However I honestly think that it is a very good tool, and something that streamlines many administrative tasks. Want SAMBA network sharing? Just open up YaST and click on the wizard. Want restricted codecs? Just hop on over to openSUSE-Community and download the ymp file (think of it like a Windows exe).

    My time with openSUSE so far has been wonderful. My network card seems to actually get better range then ever before, if that’s even possible. My battery life is good and my sound just plain works without any additional effort. If I had one complaint it would be with the amount of RAM the distribution uses. After a quick reboot it takes up a very small amount, around ~350MB or so. However after a couple of hours of general use the RAM often grows to about 1-1.5GB, which is far more than I have seen with the other distributions. Thankfully I have 4GB of RAM so I’m not too worried. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that I am running the x64 version and not the x86 version. Perhaps it assumes I have at least 4GB of RAM for choosing the newer architecture.

    Whatever the case may be I think I have finally found what I consider to be the very best KDE Linux distribution. Obviously your results may vary but I look forward to hearing what you think.

This piece was cross-posted over at my person website ‘TylerBurton.Ca‘.




I am currently running a variety of distributions, primarily Ubuntu 14.04.
Previously I was running KDE 4.3.3 on top of Fedora 11 (for the first experiment) and KDE 4.6.5 on top of Gentoo (for the second experiment).
Check out my profile for more information.
  1. LinuxLover
    March 3rd, 2010 at 16:00 | #1

    Have you given Mandriva a try?

  2. KenP
    March 3rd, 2010 at 16:02 | #2

    Mandriva, Pardus and PCLinuxOS. Don’t pass a judgement until you have tried these KDE distros out.

    Kubuntu, unfortunately, suffers from stepchild syndrome at the hands of Canonical, who I believe, could have produced a much better Ubuntu had they started out with KDE as the default desktop.

    OpenSUSE is great. Fedora is definitely a GNOME distribution, not a KDE one.

  3. tzerkit69
    March 3rd, 2010 at 16:16 | #3

    Did you ever think of giving Mandriva 2010 One a try? I’ve always had very good experiences with their products.

  4. Tyler B
    March 3rd, 2010 at 16:21 | #4

    KenP :
    Mandriva, Pardus and PCLinuxOS. Don’t pass a judgement until you have tried these KDE distros out.

    I have not really had a chance to give these a try. Back at the start of the experiment I was considering using Mandriva but picked Fedora instead.

    I don’t mean to say that openSUSE is the be all and end all of KDE distros, it’s just simply the best I have tried so far.

  5. Montreal Man
    March 3rd, 2010 at 16:55 | #5

    I am using KDE 4.4.1 from a Launchpad PPA on Ubuntu 9.10
    It is really beautiful. My favorite app is Akregator, I could not live without it. It took me a long time to warm to Ubuntu, coming from Debian I was used to a certain stability that seemed elusive in Ubuntu. But now I am using my Ubuntu partition on a daily basis.

  6. WardD
    March 3rd, 2010 at 16:59 | #6

    I know that this is beating a dead horse….but have you given Mandriva 2010 a try? I am a Gnome guy….that is not to say that I have not tried KDE. Up until 3.5 I was a fan of KDE. I think that this was because I was a recent Windows convert and it gave me a sense of the familiar. Mandriva’s latest takes KDE 4 and made it as comfortable as 3.5 was.

  7. March 3rd, 2010 at 17:01 | #7

    I love Debian’s KDE (from either Testing or Sid), but I also really like Sidux (basically, Debian Sid + KDE, all installed at once) and SimplyMEPIS is really a great disto. I suggest that you try SimplyMEPIS 8.5 (currently in beta, but still good).

    But you thought that Kubuntu was a “real KDE distro”? I love KDE and I feel that Kubuntu, due to both the *buntu underpinnings and to the KDE packages that this distro provides, does a huge disservice to KDE. Read some of the KDE-oriented Q&A and comments here, and I am not alone:

    http://interviews.slashdot.org/story/10/03/02/186206/Matt-Asay-Answers-Your-Questions-About-Ubuntu-and-Canonical

  8. Montreal Man
    March 3rd, 2010 at 17:12 | #8

    I ve been using Debian since 2001. I tried Ubuntu release after release and always went back to Debian. With Ubuntu 9.10 I am finally using it on a daily basis. I prefer to “roll my own” in the sense that I install a command-line system and then I add xorg, kdebase, etc… Ubuntu has tried (successfully I must say) to attract Windows users from the beginning and thats why I prefer to custom install packages, I dont want a bloated system. KDE 4.4.1 is offered in a Launchpad PPA. I really like it, it works well and is really beautiful to look at. Akregator is my favorite application

  9. Tyler B
    March 3rd, 2010 at 17:13 | #9

    lefty.crupps :
    I love Debian’s KDE (from either Testing or Sid), but I also really like Sidux (basically, Debian Sid + KDE, all installed at once) and SimplyMEPIS is really a great disto. I suggest that you try SimplyMEPIS 8.5 (currently in beta, but still good).

    I have not tried those so I will not pass judgment. However the last time I used a ‘sid-esque’ distribution with GNOME as its default desktop it was Fedora and we all know how that worked out.

    lefty.crupps :
    But you thought that Kubuntu was a “real KDE distro”? I love KDE and I feel that Kubuntu, due to both the *buntu underpinnings and to the KDE packages that this distro provides, does a huge disservice to KDE.

    I have heard this argument quite a bit and, while I tend to agree with you, Kubuntu is still a better KDE distro when compared with Fedora.

  10. Tyler B
    March 3rd, 2010 at 17:16 | #10

    Montreal Man :
    KDE 4.4.1 is offered in a Launchpad PPA. I really like it, it works well and is really beautiful to look at.

    I did have a chance to install and try 4.4.1 when I was using Kubuntu. I also really enjoyed it but found that it still had a few rough edges here and there, although I’m sure those will be fixed in the coming weeks (if they haven’t already been).

  11. Montreal Man
    March 3rd, 2010 at 17:16 | #11

    I posted twice because I thought my first post didnt appear, my apologies.

  12. brad
    March 3rd, 2010 at 18:03 | #12

    What about ARCH linux? its always up2date, rolling release, stable as hell, faster then a tweaked kubuntu system, and has great package managment.. and an incredibly usefull wiki, forum…

  13. March 3rd, 2010 at 21:38 | #13

    For a pure KDE 4.4 distro checkout PCLOS in a few days. Texstar who is the developer of this distro will be releasing PCLOS 2010 Beta. Usually its a rolling release, with as many problems possible solved before release as possible, but the Beta is being put out to get the kinks out. It can also be used as a Live CD.

  14. Debianero Rumbero
    March 3rd, 2010 at 22:13 | #14

    Nothing can beat Debian + KDE ^_^

  15. March 3rd, 2010 at 23:30 | #15

    Duvid :
    For a pure KDE 4.4 distro checkout PCLOS in a few days. Texstar who is the developer of this distro will be releasing PCLOS 2010 Beta. Usually its a rolling release, with as many problems possiblly solved before release, but the Beta is being put out to get the kinks out. It can also be used as a Live CD.

  16. Sid
    March 4th, 2010 at 07:24 | #16

    Another KDE fan here. You should have also tried Simply Mepis 8.5 (now in RC1) and Sidux. For me Sidux rocks.

  17. Tyler B
    March 4th, 2010 at 11:25 | #17

    All of these are good suggestions and maybe if openSUSE does something to piss me off, or if I just get bored and want a change, I will look into them. Besides the fact that it is your distro of choice, what makes these ones so much better?

  18. March 4th, 2010 at 12:24 | #18

    When installation is easy, and hardware is easily detected it gets a new Linux user on the right foot. when you have a rolling release, and access to the updates through synaptic is easy the appeal is there. When the need for the command line is optional, and the GUI is friendly, and has eye appeal, that is what made my transition to PCLOS so easy. Last but not least when I had an questions, the people in their forums are friendly and willing to help till I got it right.

  19. damian
    March 4th, 2010 at 23:27 | #19

    OpenSuse is an exellent KDE distro but it fails with it’s package manager:
    -Its slow,now when installing but when managing the repos.
    -Download and install 1 package at a time.
    -multimedia codecs and anything not on the official distro is a mess to install (one-click adds repositories so you end up with 2 or 3 extra repos which all have different versions of the same package)
    -Removing unneeded dependences is not possible
    -It is not possible to cancel an install/update once it started (at least I never could in any of my 3 installations) cancel button can be pressed but it won’t do anything at least not fast.
    If Opensuse could sort it’s package manager Then it would be my perfect distro it has all it needs but fails horrendously in package management.

  20. troy mcclure
    March 5th, 2010 at 11:58 | #20

    WTF?
    No Mandriva?

    > Pros: very easy to use, nice integration of GTK+ and GNOME notifications,

    WTF again?
    That’s your only pro? Really?
    Who cares.

    >When I first installed Kubuntu I was thrilled. Ah, this must be what it’s like >to use a real KDE distribution, I thought.

    WTF part three!!!
    Why would you think this?
    I have yet to put Kubuntu in my top 3 KDE distros but somehow the buzz has been seeping in your ears and you felt that buzz=quality.

    KDE Workspaces?
    So you read the wiki AND you didnt understand it?
    I think that’s a metaphor for all you do.

  21. Tyler B
    March 5th, 2010 at 12:04 | #21

    troy mcclure :
    WTF?
    No Mandriva?

    Yes we’ve established this already.

    troy mcclure :
    > Pros: very easy to use, nice integration of GTK+ and GNOME notifications,
    WTF again?
    That’s your only pro? Really?
    Who cares.

    Comparing Kubuntu to my only other KDE experience, Fedora, yes this is the primary difference that I noticed. Sorry to have upset you some how.

    troy mcclure :
    >When I first installed Kubuntu I was thrilled. Ah, this must be what it’s like >to use a real KDE distribution, I thought.
    WTF part three!!!
    Why would you think this?

    See above, and maybe chill out a little.

    troy mcclure :
    I have yet to put Kubuntu in my top 3 KDE distros but somehow the buzz has been seeping in your ears and you felt that buzz=quality.

    So I should have somehow known who you were and then tracked you down and THEN asked your opinion because it is superior to all others? I don’t follow…

    troy mcclure :
    KDE Workspaces?
    So you read the wiki AND you didnt understand it?
    I think that’s a metaphor for all you do.

    No I read the wiki and the news release. I understand what their new branding means. I just don’t see the need for it, especially when it comes to confusing new users. Thus I was trying to make a joke… maybe next time I’ll try and word it just so you can understand ;)

  22. MyKDE
    March 15th, 2010 at 11:04 | #22

    @LinuxLover
    Yes! Mandriva is easy, good hardware detection and hard stability…
    Cons: packages are a little out of date

  23. nikhil
    April 2nd, 2010 at 08:22 | #23

    you may wnat to give chakra alpha 5 a try
    its based on arch and is as good as kde can get

  24. April 24th, 2010 at 18:36 | #24

    troy mcclure :
    WTF?
    No Mandriva?

    Yes we’ve established this already.

    troy mcclure :
    > Pros: very easy to use, nice integration of GTK+ and GNOME notifications,
    WTF again?
    That’s your only pro? Really?
    Who cares.

    Comparing Kubuntu to my only other KDE experience, Fedora, yes this is the primary difference that I noticed. Sorry to have upset you some how.

    troy mcclure :
    >When I first installed Kubuntu I was thrilled. Ah, this must be what it’s like >to use a real KDE distribution, I thought.
    WTF part three!!!
    Why would you think this?

    See above, and maybe chill out a little.

    troy mcclure :
    I have yet to put Kubuntu in my top 3 KDE distros but somehow the buzz has been seeping in your ears and you felt that buzz=quality.

    So I should have somehow known who you were and then tracked you down and THEN asked your opinion because it is superior to all others? I don’t follow…

    troy mcclure :
    KDE Workspaces?
    So you read the wiki AND you didnt understand it?
    I think that’s a metaphor for all you do.

    No I read the wiki and the news release. I understand what their new branding means. I just don’t see the need for it, especially when it comes to confusing new users. Thus I was trying to make a joke… maybe next time I’ll try and word it just so you can understand ;)

  25. April 27th, 2010 at 17:32 | #25

    When installation is easy, and hardware is easily detected it gets a new Linux user on the right foot. when you have a rolling release, and access to the updates through synaptic is easy the appeal is there. When the need for the command line is optional, and the GUI is friendly, and has eye appeal, that is what made my transition to PCLOS so easy. Last but not least when I had an questions, the people in their forums are friendly and willing to help till I got it right.

  26. Daos
    October 3rd, 2010 at 17:23 | #26

    I myself went almost the same way.
    On the beginning I was search best (for me) desktop environment and try many of them…
    IMHO. Gnome tastes like “not bad but why not try better?”
    XFCE tastes like “mmm, so tweakable, so fast, very nice looking but… it is just toy for cats! ;)”
    LXDE: “unbelievable! can you imagine running DE can look so well and eat almost no resources? what GUI tools you are talking about?!”
    And KDE – bulk, sometimes slow, resources hungry, but it was most user (especially beginner) friendly DE.
    Then I start second part of search: best KDE distro…
    And few years I use openSuSE linux. It is very slow in booting, ears more RAM than many other KDE based distro, overall it is far from perfect distro at all. But it is very well made, have useful YaST, in my expirience it only distro I was have no problem with hardware (like many mobile phones, USB bluetooth, PCI TV tuner, PCI soundcard, GPS, photocameras etc.): many other distros has issues with some of my hardware (most of issues was simple and easy fixable but some did not gone no matter what I try).
    Finally: no other distro (IMHO) have such strong “serious” taste. Not toy-like or fan-made, geek-made or any other just-for-fun-made distro. It taste like true working OS.

    Other distro I was impressed: XFCE Mint (made better than XFCE Ubuntu – Xubuntu), KDE Mandriva (just one step behind openSuSE – still very good choice), Gnome Ununtu (works well out of the box, but I hate it as Windows – too much rumors about it, very popular for me stands unacceptable, yes, I hate Nokia, iPhone and other top brand made stuff…)
    (sorry for bad english ;)

  27. November 13th, 2010 at 10:06 | #27

    I was using Kubuntu for a long time and I shifted to PCLinuxOS 2010 KDE and absolutely loved it. I would rank PCLinuxOS 2010 as one of my favourite distros. However I purchased a 3G USB modem and could not get it to work on PCLINUXOS 2010. It asks for a pin and then says it can’t detect the sim in the usb modem. I searched a lot for it and could not solve the problem. I shifted back to Kubuntu and the 3G USB modem works out of the box!

    Kubuntu does feel like a half baked KDE distro. I am on the search for the perfect KDE distro myself and after reading your post I am going to try openSuse. Just hope it detects my Huawei 1261 modem else back to Kubuntu

    Regards,

    Rajiv

  28. December 14th, 2010 at 02:15 | #28

    as a linux sys admin who maintians several companies workstations, I have tried many flavors of desktops, but when it comes to someone who just needs to use their computer to get office work done efficiently it is always single click KDE 3.5 (patched in if I must). I became a debian convert when mandriva debuted KDE 4. Since I have setup test machines to checkout and familiarize myself with KDE 4.x and it still fails to win me and my clients from KDE 3.5. Glossy bells and whistles aside, it still lacks the fine grained configurablity, intuitiveness, and well polished UI of KDE 3.5. And this affects productivity negatively. I have run basic computer function tests and comparisons and KDE 4.x requires several more mouse clicks and gestures to accomplish a task that can be done in KDE 3.5 with fewer. I think they (3.5 and 4.x) should be a fork of KDE, and any great distro should offer the install of either and or both in their repositories. Similar to what has been done at: http://techpatterns.com/forums/about1450.html
    Find a newbie and have them try each for a week and see which they like better for just getting work done (not for how GEE WIZZ it is), KDE 3.5 is the request made most often.

  29. John J
    December 30th, 2010 at 10:51 | #29

    I tried openSuse, and i was happy with that. The most well polished linux distro. Everything worked fine till i installed nvidia proprietary driver. After that KDM started to crash and i am unable to login into GUI mode.

  30. frank
    January 4th, 2011 at 11:47 | #30

    Any “review” of KDE desktops that does not include the top two KDE distros by use is NOT a “review of the best KDE desktops” in any way.

    At best this is an incomplete set of opinions about a small set of not very popular distros.

  31. benbadger
    February 6th, 2011 at 20:28 | #31

    @Brent Hasty
    I was a happy KDE user starting with Suse 9.x ages ago..

    since KDE4 is all around now, I am using Gnome – KDE4 is buggy,looks ugly,eats ressources, introduces nonsense features and is at the best wishful thinking not useable .A tragedy they have trashed all at once what KDE3.5.x had to offer. It was so good. Now 4.0 is simply : crap. Luckily ubuntu is among the first 2 distros that newbies will get to know, therfore becoming used to Gnome. Imagine they get to know KDE4 as first impression..

  32. TheMalteseJoseph
    March 18th, 2011 at 12:25 | #32

    I have used Mandriva 2008.1 from the time it came out. I tried Mandriva 2009 but had some problems playing Warcraft III so I went back to 2008.1. It’s very stable, very easy for common user and it was my choice after a numerous livecds I downloaded during my migration from windows. I tried Mepis , Nexenta, Ubuntu, Backtrack, Kubuntu, Knoppix, Slitaz, Puppy, Centos, OpenSUSE, Linux Mint and probably more minor ones. These I tried on livecds like 3 years ago so this may be pointless. Every now and then I download Ubuntu and try it out. I tried so much distros because I had problems with performing shutdown and with hanging after a while using. Mandriva 2008.0 was the only one that performed shutdown completely and did not freeze after 15mins . Each time Ubuntu releases a new distro I try it and they always either freeze or do not shutdown properly. Apparently my ASRock motherboard uses a VIA chipset not supported by linux. I however used a boot command to disable power managing features on all distros and again only Mandriva was succesful.
    I now need a new installation because I am fed up of downloading every update manually since support on 2008.1 has ended. I am worried that 2010.2 which looks fantastic on livecd might slow me down a bit because of KDE 4.x . Therefore I now want to play my x64 card. I have migrated to linux because windows is too capitalist and limited and because it’s support for x64 bit sucked. I however did not know that my Mandriva was not running x64 until i started downloading rpms when support ended. This surprised me because it still looked much faster than win-those eggs-pee.
    I am now trying kubuntu 10.4 and linuxMint Julia livecds. I am discarding LinuxMint because they don’t use multiple desktops.
    Finally someone please point me to an x64 KDE4.x stable distro preferably usind rpms because i am used to them now. Pardus looks great but the fact that i have to download both livecd and installation is keeping me back.
    Great blog or forum (don’t know the difference).
    keep it up.

  33. Tyler B
    March 18th, 2011 at 12:44 | #33

    TheMalteseJoseph :

    I have used Mandriva 2008.1 from the time it came out. I tried Mandriva 2009 but had some problems playing Warcraft III so I went back to 2008.1. It’s very stable, very easy for common user and it was my choice after a numerous livecds I downloaded during my migration from windows. I tried Mepis , Nexenta, Ubuntu, Backtrack, Kubuntu, Knoppix, Slitaz, Puppy, Centos, OpenSUSE, Linux Mint and probably more minor ones. These I tried on livecds like 3 years ago so this may be pointless. Every now and then I download Ubuntu and try it out. I tried so much distros because I had problems with performing shutdown and with hanging after a while using. Mandriva 2008.0 was the only one that performed shutdown completely and did not freeze after 15mins . Each time Ubuntu releases a new distro I try it and they always either freeze or do not shutdown properly. Apparently my ASRock motherboard uses a VIA chipset not supported by linux. I however used a boot command to disable power managing features on all distros and again only Mandriva was succesful.
    I now need a new installation because I am fed up of downloading every update manually since support on 2008.1 has ended. I am worried that 2010.2 which looks fantastic on livecd might slow me down a bit because of KDE 4.x . Therefore I now want to play my x64 card. I have migrated to linux because windows is too capitalist and limited and because it’s support for x64 bit sucked. I however did not know that my Mandriva was not running x64 until i started downloading rpms when support ended. This surprised me because it still looked much faster than win-those eggs-pee.
    I am now trying kubuntu 10.4 and linuxMint Julia livecds. I am discarding LinuxMint because they don’t use multiple desktops.
    Finally someone please point me to an x64 KDE4.x stable distro preferably usind rpms because i am used to them now. Pardus looks great but the fact that i have to download both livecd and installation is keeping me back.
    Great blog or forum (don’t know the difference).
    keep it up.

    I heard OpenSUSE just came out with a brand new release that is stable, offers 64 bit and uses RPMs. Maybe try that?

  34. TheMalteseJoseph
    March 18th, 2011 at 13:12 | #34

    Tyler B :

    TheMalteseJoseph :
    I have used Mandriva 2008.1 from the time it came out. I tried Mandriva 2009 but had some problems playing Warcraft III so I went back to 2008.1. It’s very stable, very easy for common user and it was my choice after a numerous livecds I downloaded during my migration from windows. I tried Mepis , Nexenta, Ubuntu, Backtrack, Kubuntu, Knoppix, Slitaz, Puppy, Centos, OpenSUSE, Linux Mint and probably more minor ones. These I tried on livecds like 3 years ago so this may be pointless. Every now and then I download Ubuntu and try it out. I tried so much distros because I had problems with performing shutdown and with hanging after a while using. Mandriva 2008.0 was the only one that performed shutdown completely and did not freeze after 15mins . Each time Ubuntu releases a new distro I try it and they always either freeze or do not shutdown properly. Apparently my ASRock motherboard uses a VIA chipset not supported by linux. I however used a boot command to disable power managing features on all distros and again only Mandriva was succesful.
    I now need a new installation because I am fed up of downloading every update manually since support on 2008.1 has ended. I am worried that 2010.2 which looks fantastic on livecd might slow me down a bit because of KDE 4.x . Therefore I now want to play my x64 card. I have migrated to linux because windows is too capitalist and limited and because it’s support for x64 bit sucked. I however did not know that my Mandriva was not running x64 until i started downloading rpms when support ended. This surprised me because it still looked much faster than win-those eggs-pee.
    I am now trying kubuntu 10.4 and linuxMint Julia livecds. I am discarding LinuxMint because they don’t use multiple desktops.
    Finally someone please point me to an x64 KDE4.x stable distro preferably usind rpms because i am used to them now. Pardus looks great but the fact that i have to download both livecd and installation is keeping me back.
    Great blog or forum (don’t know the difference).
    keep it up.

    I heard OpenSUSE just came out with a brand new release that is stable, offers 64 bit and uses RPMs. Maybe try that?

    I forgot to point out i have only 1Gb RAM but thanks.

  35. knotprawn
    June 23rd, 2011 at 14:00 | #35

    @brad
    Total agreement. I’ve tried Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora, SuSE and Arch in that order.

    Been a year since I installed Arch. Earlier I used to dual boot XP and one linux distro (which used to keep changing). I now triple boot. XP, Arch and the latest experiment. Haven’t found anything that beats Arch so far.

  36. The Thistle
    July 26th, 2011 at 11:54 | #36

    Tried Chakra recently. Really great!!!

  37. ander
    July 27th, 2011 at 04:13 | #37

    I think that maybe you need to get out of the house more often.

  38. Ullas
    September 14th, 2011 at 10:09 | #38

    Pardus is the most stable, well polished KDE Distro I have come across. It just works and works, whatever you throw at it excellent sound quality and wifi picks up as soon as you bootin. The problem is that you have to download twice to install and live boot.

  39. October 5th, 2011 at 06:57 | #39

    I asked users on my blog to vote for best KDE distro…
    And here are results:
    http://linuxblog.darkduck.com/2011/09/users-voted-for-best-kde-based-linux.html

  40. Darian Simms
    April 1st, 2012 at 23:03 | #40

    I realize this by now is an old blog, i think. But you really need to give SimplyMEPIS 11.0 a try! It’s awesome. Very smooth and just works. Have to manually discover network printer but once you find it’s address works.

  41. September 18th, 2012 at 18:24 | #41

    My little contribution to your comparative: startup times, which is a topic many people seem to not care about, but for me is essential in any operating system. I’ve done a comparative of several different Kde versions out there, and I’ve been quite surprised by the results. You can read them here:
    http://pablog.tunalkan.com/fastest-kde

  1. March 4th, 2010 at 21:37 | #1
  2. March 13th, 2010 at 18:25 | #2
  3. August 13th, 2010 at 11:37 | #3