Yes, I am a traitor and hypocrite. “Quick capture the infidel!” exclaims the Red Hat guy in the shadows. On the last episode of the Linux Diaries, I had finally confessed my discontent with GNOME and Fedora. My ultimatum was to either wait it out till Fedora 18 or switch to Cinnamon on either Linux Mint or Arch. I decided last weekend to go with Arch. Arch is soooo fast! It’s light-weight, you truly get to choose what goes in and out of your machine. My boot time is 30 seconds or less! Rolling releases are also nice because you don’t have to stress over messing up an upgrade installation. Although the installing Arch is a more vigorous process (since there is no installer), it’s definitely worth the time and wait (especially if your internet connection decides to go as slow as dial-up). It’s all good with the super helpful wiki.

I chose to go with Cinnamon as my new desktop environment. As you can tell by the title of this post, it was a short-lived affair. So what happened in less than a span of week that made me switch to KDE (which I was previously smug about)? Cinnamon wasn’t that impressive. Well, I didn’t expect much in the first place. As you may or may not know, Cinnamon is an improved fork of GNOME 3. UI-wise, it’s a lot less annoying. There’s a clean menu bar, a nice start menu… no stupid “splash page” to access applications. The settings centre is a lot more uniform and not fragmented like GNOME 3’s. It integrates better with Wicd. Ooh ooh! I never got kicked off of networks too!

Cinnamon, however, was not spicy enough for me. LOL. Although there were significant improvements from GNOME 3, there were still many underlying issues that made me hate GNOME 3 that remained unresolved. The file system is a mess, it doesn’t integrate well with KDE-based programs, you have to go through x,y, and z areas just to modify the UI, etc.

So basically, I defied my morals and decided to turn to KDE. I sold my soul to the Linux desktop environment devil. May the power of Christ compel you! Ok fine, its not the devil. *shrugs*

KDE’s default theme is Plasma. For those you find over-dramatic gradients, drop-shadows, and bevels cheesy, you will agree with me when I say, “da fuq were they thinkin’???”. So of course, the first thing I did when I had KDE installed in my machine was find a better theme. IT TOOK FOREVER. All of the themes in their repository had a similar look to Plasma. There were some themes with the minimalist look I prefer, but they had bugs when activated. Three cheers for Gryffindor, errr I mean GNOME, for having better theme selection!

I finally settled with one called Caledonia. I kept the Oxygen window theme though. The other ones I browsed through were hideous. Here’s what it looks like on my desktop (please note that the boring, flickr stock looking photog is temporary):

Not bad, eh? I’m probably just going to make my own theme when I have time. I’m also using the Faenza icon set again. It’s mahh fav 🙂 The panel/menu is great too. You can add widgets and re-arrange their placements.

Here’s Dolphin. It has a lot more features and is better integrated than Nautilus.

The settings centre is cray-cray! Everything you can possibly think of to modify can be found there. Window animations, positioning of minimize/maximize, theming for the login page, et cetera. The only downfall is that now I’m even more meticulous about the theming and customization of my desktop.

The start menu. Sorry bro, I’ m not into the shit you see in GNOME 3 and more recently, Windows 8.

Here’s Yakuake, a cool terminal that slides down from the top of your screen with the stroke of an [insert keyboard shortcut here].

Annnnd last but not least, Wicd! It actually has a panel/menu bar interface in KDE. No more hacks in GNOME! Waddup interwebz!

As for a final verdict, I can really give you one since I’ve only been using KDE in less than 24 hours (and also customizing it like a mad woman). So far, so good… I hope 🙂 The very few programs I use, which are mostly KDE-based, run smoothly. The environment isn’t too slow because I haven’t installed the entirety of KDE’s crazy ass application suite. I still maintain that I like to keep it simple.

XOXO, Gossip Girl.


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