I wrote an article a while ago about how KDE was being removed as an official flavour of Linux Mint past 18.3, and so I thought perhaps a quick review of 18.3 KDE was in order. Linux Mint 18.3 KDE is based on Ubuntu 16.06 LTS.
My specs for this review:
If you’ve ever installed Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Manjaro, OpenSUSE or nearly any other distro, you’ll have no issues installing Linux Mint 18.3 KDE. I had no problems with the installer, went smooth and clean, took little time to install. Nothing really worth phoning home about.
Linux Mint 18.3 KDE comes with the usual set of applications you have grown accustomed to with KDE, such as Dolphin, Kate, Konversation, Kmail, etc.
I am happy to see that just with Cinnamon, the KDE flavour of 18.3 comes with Timeshift, and also Redshift, an application that changes the colouring / tinting of your screen at night to reduce eye damage from bright blue lights by shifting into slighty redder hues.
Overall, the KDE flavour is packed with the usual programs like Amarok, VLC, GIMP, LibreOffice, etc.
This is where I was the most surprised and happy with my Mint KDE setup; the performance on the laptop I installed to, was absolutely stellar. KDE is known to be a little heavier and more sluggish than some of the other environments, but it ran smooth as butter, very few slowdowns or hiccups, applications opened in a timely fashion... I was seriously impressed with how fast the system performed.
My main issue with sticking with KDE in the past has always been either the plague of bugs that tends to hit KDE hard sometimes, or the performance issues it can bring due to its intense nature. The fact this laptop handled it like a breeze, easily won over my view from ‘meh’ to ‘I like this.’
There was one issue that I found, but was able to slightly mitigate: Running dual screens, I frequently (not always, was program dependent) had windows open on my secondary monitor (laptop) rather than my primary (TV), which was annoying as hell let me tell you. Setting primary monitor -should- have fixed it, but did not. This is a problem with KDE that dates back years, to KDE 4.
To mitigate this issue, I went to “System Settings” “Window Management” “Advanced” and then changed ‘placement’ from “Smart” to “Under Mouse.” This opens new windows, under the mouse, which usually is on the primary screen, since thats where my programs menu is. I’d say this fixes the issue 98% of the time except in rare circumstances; but this is still an issue that needs to be fixed by the KDE team.
Now you: Do you use KDE? On which Distro? Tell us your thoughts!
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