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KDE and Gnome


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Yes, they are both Desktop Environments (hence the 'DE' in their names).... they take care of all the stuff that has to be done so you have a usable 'environment' to work in: drawing desktop wallpaper, window borders and buttons, notifications through system sounds, ...


Most distributions come with either KDE or Gnome pre-installed, some with both, and a lot of them allow you to easily install the other one during installation or later with a package manager.


If I got it right then:

- At the lowest level, X11/X.Org is the thing that allows your Linux computer to draw things on the screen



- KDE and Gnome are the things that make use of that to give you a workspace for your programs to work in, and make sure everything works well together (for example, moving and resizing windows)



- your programs run inside that desktop environment


But in short, yes KDE and/or Gnome are grahical desktops, which come with almost all popular distributions. In fact, first time you login to your desktop, there's a very big chance that you just arrived into either KDE or Gnome 'land'...

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Welcome to the board! mub-beer.gif


Yes, they're the two most popular desktop environments, but it's worth noting that they're not the only two available. Have a google for KDE screenshots and Gnome screenshots to get an idea of what they look like. They're both very customizable and configurable to get them looking and behaving how you want.


Most distributions come with a default DE, for example Mandriva uses KDE and Ubuntu uses Gnome. There's nothing to stop you using Mandriva with Gnome or Ubuntu with KDE if you want, but sticking with the default is easiest at first. Plus there are other, 'lighter' alternative DEs specially for older machines, and more exotic variants too.

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Pros: very customisable many settings, easily accessably which let you control the DE, intuitive especially if you were used to using windows

Cons: not a lot of looks available which I like anyway, I like minimalistic and elegant most KDE themes are to glassy, crystally, vistaish or osxish for my taste, many gnu apps are GTK which means they dont blend in so well with KDE



Pros: a lot of very nice looking themes available, look is easily changed

Cons: too many aspects are hidden from the user, settings are hidden or other simple menu things, difficult to use



Pros: not as many nice themes as GNOME but still enough, very lightweight, also quite intuitive but not as intuitive as KDE

Cons: misses some features out of the box like automounting and multimedia keys (though this can be worked around by installing 2 simple programs); misses some other features like a trashcan.


I use XFCE now for my desktop. Btw welcome to the forum

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