GNOME slip ups; a KDE perspective

Since making my switch to GNOME earlier in the week I have finally settled into my new desktop environment. I must admit that while the transition has been almost completely seamless, and in fact has fixed a lot of my issues, I find myself missing KDE. Without trying to spark the holy war that is the GNOME vs KDE argument, allow me to quickly outline some of the reasons for my homesickness.

Look and Feel

Yes I get it, GNOME is supposed to be stripped down and functional. KDE, on the other hand, is supposed to allow for full customization, sometimes at the expense of clutter. Neither of these however explains why GNOME icons and artwork feel so dated when compared to KDE. Take the following as an example.

See the above? See how the Fedora stock icons are just simple shade jobs? Heck that’s better than most default GNOME icon sets. See how the KDE version has actual work put into it? Time and time again KDE wins points for putting more effort into the artwork. And yes I know that you can completely theme GNOME to ‘make it look pretty’ but why should you have to? Why are the defaults so terrible? Surely there are some open source artists out there somewhere. It’s simple things like this that lead to an overall better feel while using KDE when compared to GNOME.


The first thing I did back in KDE was to turn off that single-click to open things nonsense. Once that was done my interaction with the two desktops has been more or less identical. However recently GNOME has been ‘losing’ my touchpad tap-click. When I first boot into the desktop it seems to work just fine, but then after a random amount of time I have to resort to the physical mouse buttons. This is really, really annoying.

Battery Life

I have configured both desktop environments for optimal battery life and have some interesting findings. Perhaps as a result of the sparse power management abilities in GNOME I actually get about a half hour less of battery life compared with KDE. I really do wish GNOME would allow for additional power customization; for example I don’t even know if GNOME scales down my CPU clock when it’s running on battery…

One week and counting

Well that’s it for now. At the end of the day it really is a short list of complaints. If anything new crops up I’ll be sure to write about it, if not you’ll have to wait for our podcast!


  1. And what to say about Nautilus if it doesn’t know how to handle a file?
    It just throws a file dialog at you! (and in the home dir as if you would find the app there, NOT)
    How does a new user go from there? He doesn’t know shit of the filesystem layout and where to find the application that could handle the file.
    Compare this to KDE that gives you a dialog that resembles the start menu where more often than not you can find the right app.

  2. XFCE has the same problem. In GNOME, when the filetype isn’t known, it gives you a list of programs with the option to set one as a default program for opening that filetype, much like windows does. In XFCE, it gives you a browser in the home directory as well.

  3. I specifically didn’t do a comparison between Dolphin and Nautilus on the basis that both need a lot of work. They are each very functional file browsers but they both could use some refinement so I consider them equal.

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