Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Nice Year for KDE

Seems that after a rocky start, KDE4 's popularity is on the increase. I spent some time today looking over Arindam Sen's article at Linuxed, "Best Linux Distro of 2012: Comparison of KDE distros." He gave highest marks to Mageia 2 and Linux Mint 13 and 14, but the others look good, too.

Of the several distros/spins that Sen reviewed, I've been running only openSUSE 12.2, Fedora 17, and Sabayon 10. I also had PCLinuxOS running here for most of the year. All of those are good, but I've been most impressed by openSUSE. openSUSE and PCLOS seem better for those who prefer stability; Fedora and Sabayon, for those who like "cutting-edge."

I agreed with Sen's point about PCLOS being "slow to receive updates," especially lately, but it's a great distro, anyway.

Sadly, Sen couldn't look at Mepis, since there was no Mepis release in 2012. Also, it strikes me that outside of the Ubuntu family (I include Linux Mint in there), there are no Debian-based KDE distros or spins besides Mepis and Debian itself. Not that I know of, anyway. That's too bad, because it's hard to beat APT for package management, in my opinion. Linux Mint's KDE spin and Kubuntu are probably good choices for folks who like Debian-based distros.

Here, I'll probably download the next Mepis release, which I'm expecting in the next month or two. Mepis is still my favorite for live sessions. I'm not planning on installing it, though. I'm thinking of adding KDE to one of my Debian Wheezy installations once Wheezy goes to Stable.

Danny Stieben recently took a look at Mageia over at makeuseof, in "Mageia: Enjoy The New Fork Of RPM-based Mandriva [Linux]." I haven't tried Mageia yet because it's still kinda young and I thought I'd wait and let it mature a bit, but the distro's making noise. Stieben indicates that Mageia's software selection might be a bit lacking. He wrote about one thing that would be an issue for me: "For example, Mageia forces you to use an older version of Chromium as downloading Chrome directly from Google leads to installation issues." I'll wait and see how Mageia shapes up in 2013.

With Fedora releases, I've been alternating between KDE and GNOME ever since Fedora 14, but I've enjoyed the KDE spin of Fedora 17 so much that I'm thinking of staying with KDE for F18.

Of the distros installed here, Sabayon 10 has the most up-to-date KDE version -- at KDE 4.9.4 as of this weekend. I like the looks of KDE in Sabayon better than in any other distro I've ever used. They do a good job with the DE, in my opinion.

Overall, it's been a very good year for KDE, for KDE users, and I think, for Linux in general.

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