General Discussion KDE

10 Reasons to Use KDE as Linux Desktop Environment

Written by Martins D. Okoi

KDE Plasma is a free, powerfully flexible and open source widget-based Desktop Environment primarily created for Linux systems by the KDE project. Originally, KDE was an acronym for Kool Desktop Environment until it was changed to be the “K Desktop Environment“. That notwithstanding, KDE Plasma hasn’t stopped being kool. In fact, it is among the coolest Linux desktop environments on the planet.

You might have been looking up a list of desktop environments to switch to. Or perhaps, you want to decide which DE best matches your taste. You’re reading the right blog because below are 10 solid reasons why your choice should be KDE Plasma.

1. Free, Open Source, and Privacy-Conscious

KDE Plasma is 100% free and open source with its source code available to any serious contributor here. The development team is also serious about users having the freedom to use their system the way that they want without compromising their privacy and/or security. In their vision for the future the team writes:

In a world where our privacy is increasingly threatened, we wanted to emphasize its importance. Freedom without the right to privacy is no freedom at all.

So, if you want a Desktop Environment that respects your freedom, right to privacy, and is also true to the open source philosophy, then KDE Plasma is a good choice.

2. Appearance

Plasma is one of the most beautiful DEs in the Linux ecosystem. Period. While beauty will always be in the eyes of the beholder, most users will agree with me that Plasma boasts a beautiful, modern look and feel thanks to its choice of color shades, dropdown shadows on its application and widget windows, eye-candy icons, and pleasant animations, among other aesthetic features.

3. Customization

KDE Plasma ships already looking beautiful but you are still at liberty to customize it into the DE that you want. You can change its widgets, fonts, icons, window decorations, pointers, borders, buttons, etc. all from a single place – System Settings.

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KDE Plasma‘s accessibility option also allows you to control the operation of certain actions such as single or double-clicks to open files and folders, connectivity options, and what’s even cooler is that you can boost its functionality using extensions.

4. Performance

KDE Plasma is popular for its speed and bug-free UX. This is because it requires way fewer resources than not just its previous version but also other Linux desktop environments and despite all its animations, it continues to maintain a uniformly responsive UI/UX.

5. Ease of Use

KDE Plasma being both beautiful and simple ensures that it is easy to use and boasts a generally straightforward workflow. Launch applications from the app overview menu or with Krunner, toggle between open app windows, etc.

6. Widgets & Multiple Desktops

Plasma ships with several widgets for displaying almost any information about your system and its processes including a calculator, clock, messaging, news feeds, etc. Some widgets even have multiple display or style types such as the calculator and clock widgets which have a variety of appearance choices users can choose from without needing to download extra stuff.

Plasma‘s widgets work closely with its ability to work with multiple desktops which boast modern animation styles such as wobbly windows, gliding, jello, and 3D. All widgets and desktop options can be easily configured and customized to the user’s taste and their performance is smooth.

7. Integration

Plasma reportedly has the most thoughtfully integrated features than any other Linux or BSD desktop environment. Take Android, for example. Plasma integrates seamlessly with Android –  a feature that allows you to connect your Android device to your Linux system without requiring extra tools.

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It even has a variant for smartphones in the form of Plasma Mobile in case you want the Plasma experience in your pocket.

8. Konsole

Plasma‘s default terminal app is a feature-rich terminal emulator that goes by the name of Konsole. The features it offers include the ability to work with multiple profiles, multiple tabs, creating bookmarks, silence and activity monitoring, themes, running various command sessions simultaneously, etc.

9. Default Applications

KDE Plasma comes with several applications that are sure to meet your usage needs. The most notable ones are Dolphin file manager, Konversation IRC chat client, KTorrent torrent client, Krunner app launcher, Falkon web browser, Spectacle screen capture tool, and Gwenview image viewer (and simple photo editor).

Mind you, there are other applications by the KDE project that are among the best in the community such as Kdenlive video editor and Krita digital painting app to mention a few.

10. Power consumption

KDE Plasma doesn’t use as much memory and battery as you would expect given its animations and fluidity. It features excellent RAM and battery management that work automatically to keep your system cool and your battery healthy.

As the saying goes, the evidence is in the pudding. So head over to the KDE download page to see all the features listed above and way more for yourself.

Do you have any experience with KDE Plasma? Perhaps you’ve got some reasons to add to the list – let us know about your experience in the comments section below.

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About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.