KDE Neon

The joys of the Linux desktop is choice. We have choice on an almost embarrassing amount of riches. Things like our packaging type, community, and desktop environment. Some see this as a fault, but many of us see choice as benefit both to the enthusiast and the first time Linux user as there is an environment suited to almost any user. While I have used Linux for literal decades, I don't consider myself an expert but merely knowledgeable. I use Linux because I find it fun to configure. I can both bend it to my will and learn things that are better for my workflow or simple enjoyment.

Over years I have and continue to bounce around between various distributions of Linux. It is rare that I hate a Linux distro, but often it is a matter of not finding applications I want or general configuration issues that I couldn't get my head around. For a number of years that meant I bounced between Fedora and Ubuntu based distros. They have the most support online and are friendly enough that I can jump in and change some things around without hours of learning. While for not nearly as long, I have tried a few desktop environments such as Gnome, Mint, and KDE. In the last few years that has really just been an oscillation between Gnome and KDE.

Both environments are excellent. That's not me both sides something but they really are and meet different needs. For example, Gnome is called an opinionated environment that makes most of the configuration decisions for the user leaving windows of configuration. KDE on the other hand is far more configurable, allowing the user to make numerous choices about how the desktop looks and operates. There are some rabid users in each camp that lob bombs at the other environment, but for the most part the two groups actually get along.

With that out of the way, I do like both options but lately have spent more time in KDE. While the implementation of KDE in Fedora is very good I thought that I would experience it in what the KDE developers produce as a showcase for the environment - KDE Neon. After the installation on E490, KDE Neon is just like any other distro that happens to have KDE on it. The difference being that you probably have one of the most up to date installations of KDE installed.

What has impressed me about KDE is both configuring some simple things like a thin task bar, and then some basics around window operation like greying out other windows when something is requesting elevated permissions. The applications in KDE have very similar look and feel, making it seamless to move around between applications. Discover, the application catalogue for KDE, is well laid out and responsive when both searching and installing applications. There are number of KDE options (some with the obligatory name of K-something) for almost all of the needed tasks.

While I'm only a week in, I can see why KDE gets so much attention and devotion from its users.