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Old 11-05-2012, 02:00 AM   #1
dkm777
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Default Good KDE distro for everyday use

Hi guys,

I must say first that I dabble in Linux from time to time and I'm not a beginner, but I don't really like digging around the system just to make things work that should be working in the first place.

Anyway, with the future of Windows looking bleak I think now is the time to start looking at alternatives. I used to use a Mac, but it got old and I just couldn't justify buying another one just to have a current web browser and gave it away. That leaves me with Linux. Since Gnome 3 and Unity strive to be something I don't really understand that leaves me with just KDE. I don't care that it is heavy on the resources - I'll be throwing six cores at it and gobs or RAM.

So, what is a well-built KDE distro that doesn't break after a few updates? I learned my lesson after I foolishly installed Arch on my file server - a joy to use over SSH, no doubt, but after one update wrecked just about everything I had to get really creative to get my files off of it.

tl;dr - KDE distro wanted, stable preferred.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:40 AM   #2
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I'd go with Kubuntu 12.04, and keep it until 2014 when the next LTS release comes out. Software starts getting a little crusty towards the end, but between ppas and backports, you can have a nice modern experience.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:59 AM   #3
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Good idea, I totally forgot about Ubuntu's LTS releases. Gonna try it in a VM tonight. And I also wanted to ask whether it's possible to move a VirtualBox VM to a real bootable hard disk?
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
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And I also wanted to ask whether it's possible to move a VirtualBox VM to a real bootable hard disk?
I believe it is, but it isn't something I've ever done. Search should help you out with that.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:58 AM   #5
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I think Mageia is a good candidate. I used Mandriva (Mageia split from Mandriva) for a while, great distro IMO, and more noob friendly than *buntu. Their control center is fantastic and I have not found an alternative in any other distro I've ever used.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:48 AM   #6
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I'll second the recommend for Kubuntu 12.04, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkm777 View Post
... I don't really like digging around the system just to make things work that should be working in the first place.
If you want things to "just work," KDE is probably not for you.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:13 PM   #7
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If you want things to "just work," KDE is probably not for you.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:04 PM   #8
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I'll second the recommend for Kubuntu 12.04, but...



If you want things to "just work," KDE is probably not for you.

You mean after so many releases KDE 4.x is still a buggy mess ? Oh well, there's always XFCE, but it feels so... dated.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:09 PM   #9
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You mean after so many releases KDE 4.x is still a buggy mess ? Oh well, there's always XFCE, but it feels so... dated.
I only dabble in KDE, but my impression is everything works fine, but there's so damned much of it. It's like flying an airplane with all the controls. I really like Xfce, and I'm an eye candy fan. Not to say that Xfce is an eye candy de, but I find it acceptable, and I like the way it looks/works. Installing different desktops is very easy. There's no reason you have to stick with one. Try KDE, and if that doesn't do it for you, install something different(Xfce?). Once you decide what you like, you can remove the bits you aren't using.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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Anatomy of a proper desktop. You have the menu to get to stuff on the far left. That gives applications, and system tools. A series of frequently used shortcuts follow. At the center, there's a couple more apps plus weather. At the right we have a network meter so I can see what's going on, as well as a cpu load meter. Then we have the system tray, time, and logout. At the bottom is a taskbar that autohides so it doesn't take more room than necessary. Conky is optional, but I find it useful, and since I'm using a widescreen monitor, my default window position is "fullscreen", but it stops at conky, making it a sidebar-like thing.

It's an efficient use of space that gives a lot of information while maximizing useful desktop space.

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Old 11-05-2012, 02:42 PM   #11
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Anatomy of a proper desktop. You have the menu to get to stuff on the far left. That gives applications, and system tools. A series of frequently used shortcuts follow. At the center, there's a couple more apps plus weather. At the right we have a network meter so I can see what's going on, as well as a cpu load meter. Then we have the system tray, time, and logout. At the bottom is a taskbar that autohides so it doesn't take more room than necessary. Conky is optional, but I find it useful, and since I'm using a widescreen monitor, my default window position is "fullscreen", but it stops at conky, making it a sidebar-like thing.

It's an efficient use of space that gives a lot of information while maximizing useful desktop space.
I disagree with you there. A 'proper' desktop is what the user configures it to be.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:45 PM   #12
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You mean after so many releases KDE 4.x is still a buggy mess ? Oh well, there's always XFCE, but it feels so... dated.
There's cinnamon, MATE, LXDE, and RazorQT. I'll choose RazorQT and just use kde applications as the main applications. Same apps, less bloat and hopefully less crashing.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:38 AM   #13
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I use KDE on Debian.

I alternate between XFCE and KDE every few logins, though.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:18 PM   #14
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I just installed KDE on top of my Mint 13 (Cinnamon) install. Like it better I think, feels more "modern" and like how customizable it is. Cinnamon was nice and simple, but gave me a bit of an old-school (XP..) feel.

However, now I'm wondering if I'm missing out from running it on top of another install, compared to going say Kubuntu, or Mint KDE? Having spend several evenings getting my GPU to work and other setup I'm a bit hesitant to re-install again.. Thinking I could try it out and go kubuntu 13.04 in a few months, if I still like it, or maybe better to just do it now rather than dealing with problems? I'm just not sure what/how much problems I'll see?

edit: as you can see I mainly stick to Debian based distros, since that's what I'm familiar with. Also hoping to try Linux Steam if that's ever available too
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:28 PM   #15
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Kubuntu seems to stick pretty close to the stock KDE experience, so I doubt it'll be much different unless Mint customizes KDE more than Ubuntu does (doubtful).
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:44 PM   #16
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Your base shouldn't matter much at all. You should be able to put any desktop on any distro, and have a reasonable experience. Some may put more polish into their default desktop, but it isn't anything you couldn't do yourself. IOW, Mint with KDE should be the same as Kubuntu for all intents and purposes.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:46 PM   #17
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If you have multiple monitors and use FOSS drivers (it looks like you don't, but anyway...), KDE makes configuring them almost as easy as in Windows. I keep a full KDE install on my laptop just be have point-and-click dynamic configuration for my VGA or S-Video output (I use XFCE). You don't have to run KDE to take advantage of it, either: just run KDE's System Settings application .

P.S. KDE really needs to get their act together regarding sounds, IMO. Not being able to easily turn all event sounds off, without turning off sound in all KDE applications, will keep me from using KDE, no matter what else they do.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:17 PM   #18
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I am going to be messing around with PCLinuxOS Full Monty later on today.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:34 AM   #19
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Try PinguyOS. It's setup very well, the guy working on it really thinks of everything beforehand. This guy does a good intro of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6cMjwohhLY&t=0m45s
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:01 AM   #20
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got the PClinuxOS up and running.

I then noticed it wasn't seeing my full 8 gigs of ram so I hunted down the correct 64bit kernel in synaptic and downloaded it and waited while it rebuilt the kernel.

Upon reboot, all the ram is now available. The system feels a little faster too, especially on boot up.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:07 PM   #21
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I'll second the recommend for Kubuntu 12.04, but...



If you want things to "just work," KDE is probably not for you.
I don't get why you'd say that.

KDE just works as is in every distro i've tried it with sane default settings.

Now, you can change everything but that doesn't mean you have to, it's quite easy to use KDE and IF you want to change a setting you CAN and it's extremely easy to do so via the system settings.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:21 PM   #22
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I don't get why you'd say that.

KDE just works as is in every distro i've tried it with sane default settings.

Now, you can change everything but that doesn't mean you have to, it's quite easy to use KDE and IF you want to change a setting you CAN and it's extremely easy to do so via the system settings.
Everytime I use KDE something crashes. It may not be fatal but it's annoying. With each version KDE gets better but I always have some problem that pisses me off.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:05 PM   #23
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I don't get why you'd say that.

KDE just works as is in every distro i've tried it with sane default settings.

Now, you can change everything but that doesn't mean you have to, it's quite easy to use KDE and IF you want to change a setting you CAN and it's extremely easy to do so via the system settings.
Despite the fact that KDE Plasma Desktop is the most powerful and feature-filled desktop I've ever used, it still feels... incomplete. Text within a window will occasionally be cut off if the font size is too large, font rendering in general is pretty ugly to the point of compromising usability, multiple displays aren't handled very gracefully (especially when displays are added or removed), options within the control panel and bundled applications are strewn about various menus with no real thought to flow or usability, notifications tend to pile up unnecessarily, and the notification app itself has crashed on numerous occasions.

Although other DE's I've used (GNOME 2, Unity, XFCE, etc) aren't as customizable as KDE, they've generally worked well out of the box. With KDE, I always seem to have to fidget with setting to get it to work properly, and I can never get it "just right."

Few mainstream *nix distributions use KDE by default, and this general lack of polish is the likely reason why.

If the KDE development team stopped working on new features and spent 1-2 years developing consistent style guidelines and fixing annoying little bugs, they'd go a long way in making KDE the DE of choice for the *nix world. Microsoft also seems to be getting ready to put Explorer out to pasture, so if the KDE developers can polish their work, they may be able to get a foothold in Windows as well.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:15 PM   #24
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Everytime I use KDE something crashes. It may not be fatal but it's annoying. With each version KDE gets better but I always have some problem that pisses me off.
Without logs or at the very least a description containing hardware, driver versions, software and versions of those and exactly what you were doing at the time it's impossible to say if KDE had anything to do with it.

It's also universal, regardless of software you are going to get some people on certain combinations of software and hardware that have some problems. It is rarely a universal problem and if it is it is unlikely that the software is a stable version.

Needless to say, i'll disregard this "problem" since it's not universal and i cannot repeat it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:41 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Without logs or at the very least a description containing hardware, driver versions, software and versions of those and exactly what you were doing at the time it's impossible to say if KDE had anything to do with it.

It's also universal, regardless of software you are going to get some people on certain combinations of software and hardware that have some problems. It is rarely a universal problem and if it is it is unlikely that the software is a stable version.

Needless to say, i'll disregard this "problem" since it's not universal and i cannot repeat it.
KDE had something to do with it. I even posted it on their bugtracker.

Also when plasma crashed every time you logged out or shutdown.

It used to bring you back to KDM when you restarted or shutdown with systemd.


EDIT:

To clear things up, it had to do with their email client crashing on startup.
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