Linux KDE 4 : The Lightest Desktop Yet ?

Discussion in 'Computer Software' started by Dark Star, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Dark Star

    Dark Star Well-Known Member

    KDE 4 : The Lightest Desktop Yet ?

    My Experience with KDE 4.0.x

    People must be thinking that I've has gone mad ? But read and you will get everything . But before that here is a short preview of KDE and its 4.x version..

    KDE one of the widely used Unix Desktop Environment [DE]. KDE and Gnome are the most advanced DE .. KDE has been praised for its intuitive interface and useful applications.. KDE recently announced the availability of its next Gen DE I.e. KDE 4.x .. KDE 4.x created a lot of sensation in the Open Source World ..Though initial reviews poured in mixed results..Few were impressed and few trashed it. My initial experience with KDE 4 was with its Alpha version. I downloaded the Kubuntu CD ISO and used it, and initially I said what a crap. Well whether its KDE 4 or KDE 3.x Kubuntu always deliver pathetic features and results.. But since it was a developing version I was still satisfied. After that I continue to use KDE 3.5.x/Gnome 2.2x .. KDE 4 finally reached the stable stage with whole new code base, QT4 ,Plasma Desktop, Phonon Sound API, Oxygen Icon and lots more and new Applications..


    Many Linux Distro started shipping it as an option or as default DE namely openSUSE 11.x and Fedora 9 respectively... Our forum member coolboy4you send me the openSUSE 11.0 DVD..A special thanks to him :) without his this test couldn't be possible ! At the first run the DVD gave some Error. But after it worked and without even thinking for a second I wiped my newly install Ubuntu Hardy [2 days old] and installed openSUSE 11.0 with KDE 4.0.4..


    I was so excited with KDE 4 thing that I even forgot that will it run smoothly in my old PC ? P4 ,768Mb, Intel On board VGA..

    Well I continue on the installation and everything worked fine.. No errors, no booting problem thanks to Kernel 2.6.25.x .. Soon after booting I was greeted with modified SUSE Log In Screen .. Within few seconds the Desktop was up and ready,.. I keep on playing with plasma. Though it crashed few a times.. But since 4.0.x is a snapshot release it was obvious to encounter few glitches..

    I keep on playing with KDE ..After an hour of playing and understanding the settings. I move to the application part. Though most of the applications are still under development for KDE 4 but KDE 3.5.x application are supported.. Apart from that all major kapplication have been ported to KDE 4 with new features mainly Plasma integration...

    OK I have bragged much about KDE 4 :p It show time.. How well KDE 4.0.x perform ?.. How good is it for Desktop Use? How heavy is it on System resource ? The question that will haunt you the most ..How stable is it ?

    While using KDE 4.0.4 I never faced hangs due excess Memory usage or sluggishness in the DE/OS response.. KDE 4 is fast . .The Menu,Applications opened pretty quickly.. The system was quite zippy and responsive... For few seconds I was confused that this is KDE 4 or Gnome ? To confirm the Memory and CPU usage I opened the System Monitor and I was shocked to see the results !!!

    Before you read further here is how I tested : -
    • Idle : Usage were noted just after PC reboots . To minimize the load i did this.. though I kept it on hold for few minutes to see if there are loads or not.
    • Load : Numbers were noted while running applications like Firefox, Brasero or K3b, Amarok or Banshee or Rythmbox and Open Office.. I have used games, Firefox and Word for KDE because applications aren't yet optimized for KDE.. and using KDE 3.x application won't provide exact number..
    • Compiz Cover and Flip : Compiz Effects were used to see how muc it loads these DE's. Also the application mentioned above were still running with an addition of Compiz Config Settings Manager..
    • Testing and Applications Used : I have Used Gnome System Monitor and KDE monitor to get the Memory Usage.. I have even used the KDE 4.x monitor in KDE 3.x because its more sophesticated and less complex then 3.x System Monitor
    Note : I was not able to take Compiz Cover and Flip Screenshot in openSUSE Gnome 2.22.1 because every time I used Screenshot capture it didn't respond while effects were running and just after I close those it capture the normal desktop . I even used the gnome-screenshot --delay command but all in vain.. Still I was able to get the memory usage

    The number blown my mind. A mere 180 Mb of Ram was used by the Desktop, which tends to increase to 230-250 on load and further increase to 250-315 Mb when you enable the Desktop Effects..

    Even my Gnome Desktop utilities more than 360 Mb Ram with Compiz Fusion Enabled.. I was not ready to accept the numbers.. to prove myself right I keep on playing and tried to increase the load but to no avail. The memory usage didn't cross the 340 Mb mark..Here are few Screenshot and Charts / Comparison of Memory Usage of DE under different circumstances..


    Memory Usage of KDE 4.0.x, KDE 3.5.9, Gnome 2.22.1 and Ubuntu Gnome 2.22.0

    Data taken from Screenshot below

    KDE 4.04 Screenshot showing Memory Usage

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Idle | Load | Cover Switcher Load | Flip Switcher Load | KDE Widgets/Dock Load

    KDE 3.59 Screenshot showing Memory Usage

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Idle | Load | Cover Switcher Load | Flip Switcher Load

    Gnome 2.22.1 Screenshot showing Memory Usage

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Idle | Load

    {Ubuntu} Gnome 2.22.1 Screenshot showing Memory Usage

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Idle | Load | Cover Switcher Load | Flip Switcher Load | Ubuntu with Widgets/Dock Load

    If KDE developers can lower the memory usage a bit more then KDE even with plasma would be a blockbuster ! Then KDE 4.1 or higher will surely rock the pants off.. and with upcoming application say Amarok 2.x , K4B? , digiKam for KDE 4 and more , KDE 4.x will sure become the dominant DE for Linux Distro.. The current scenario is very much towards KDE favor and if this thing continues KDE 4 will will gain more market share which will make the path tough for other De's like Gnome, .etc..

    Pros :
    1. Cool features and new looks..
    2. Lower Memory usage than previous KDE and Gnome.
    3. Plasma , Phonon, and lots of other new improvements
    4. Total new set of applications.
    Cons :
    1. Crash few a time..
    2. Applications not yet fully developed ..
    3. Not yet ready for Desktop/Home Users..
    Stability : The most important question ! KDE 4.0.x is quite stable altleast for me :) Though the Plasma Desktop crash quite a few times but ,its reasonable since its very new and a snapshot release.. Apart from that I never faced any stability problem. The Kick OFF menu respons was better than older KDE 3.x Kick OFF . Newer available KDE applications have matured a lot and a are quite stable.. Though I would like to point that they need to work a lot on Networking and Bluetooth front..

    Quite satisfied considering developing Plasma and Database :)

    Well that's it KDE 4.0.x still leaves a great remark on User though its not yet fully developed.. I just hope newer version comes out with cool features and applications .. KDE 4 has many reasons to stick with but still it isn't ready for day to day use ... I hope KDE 4.1.x will overcome all those barriers and once again prove its dominance in Open Source Arena..

    Please Digg the News Here : Digg - KDE 4 : The Lightest Desktop Yet ?

    Keep the Comments and Suggestions Coming

    Regards Darky ;)
  2. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

    My buddy you have missed the most important part and that is stability of KDE 4.x! I was expecting a comparison vis-a-vis Stability and not just a mere mention in 'Cons'. Anyways, good work on the article as always :)
  3. OP
    Dark Star

    Dark Star Well-Known Member

    Added the stability part :p KDE 4.x will mature a lot.. I just hope Gnome comes with something better .. :eek:hyeah:
  4. idea

    idea New Member

    Great Info .. Thanks
  5. 4m!7

    4m!7 Active Member

    again he left me wordless ! nice work
  6. -Anish-

    -Anish- New Member

    very nice and a professional approach to the review darky.. it helps a lot for noobs like me :D
  7. Rahul++

    Rahul++ SuperUser

    very good review... Awesome writer...
  8. vishalrao

    vishalrao Global Moral Police

  9. OP
    Dark Star

    Dark Star Well-Known Member

    Thanks :) Never noticed that link :p
  10. tech.addict

    tech.addict Well-Known Member

    Used KDE 4 with OpenSuse. After crashing a few times switched to KDE 3.5.9.
  11. The Sauron

    The Sauron Well-Known Member

    Glad finally, you got OpenSuse 11 DVD working....did you tried KDE4.04???How much KDE 4.04 is stable with 3d effects and compiz?
  12. OP
    Dark Star

    Dark Star Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the DVD :) Yes I did tried KDE 4 that's why I have posted the review :p Yep read the review ;)
  13. The Sauron

    The Sauron Well-Known Member

    Ya forget to read the thread:bleh: I have this distribution installed since the release.well man KDE 4.04 is not stable with 3d effects,it often crashed with minimize or maximize.Sometimes windows remain stucked maximize or minimize.No effect of mouse clicks on window buttons.I am just telling what exactly happening with me.
  14. FilledVoid

    FilledVoid New Member

    Nice writeup like usual :).
  15. viridian

    viridian New Member

    Good job. Seems like you took a lot of time and effort to come up with these seriously amazing numbers! I like KDE 4 and I'm waiting for it to become a little more stable before I leave GNOME behind. KDE 3.5.x is very 90-ish for some weird reason (rock stable though). I'll probably try out the latest KDE from svn on a fedora virtual machine this weekend. Should be more stable.
  16. The Sauron

    The Sauron Well-Known Member

    virtual machine wont let you feel the beauti perfectly ......come in real:eek:hyeah:
    For example girls in TV serials and in real life carry entire different behavior:rofl:
    you are really working hard Dark Star..carry on Linux needs people like you...
  17. DanDroiD

    DanDroiD New Member

    I also think this is a great review....Thanks as always Darky :D A truly great job.

    KDE certainly has some interesting features, improved stability, and great new development, and it is certainly a lot leaner than many other Desktops, and you make excellent points about the ease of use.

    However......looking at your chart, you are only talking a difference of around 50-100MB of RAM between the best and the worst levels of system resource usage. While this is obviously better for an older system, most newer systems won't see that much difference... especially if you are using 2gb or more of RAM. I can attest to this since I see very little difference running either Gnome or KDE in terms of speed or responsiveness.

    Sorry no reps yet... gotta spread them around more :p
  18. spynic

    spynic New Member

    what about xfce mate?

    u havent considered that..
  19. OP
    Dark Star

    Dark Star Well-Known Member

    Really ?Tell me some reason please..On eyecandy front it thrashes Gnome though :p

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    My Old KDE 3.5.x Desktops

    @synipic : I didn't tested XFCE cause I don't have a XFCE based OS with me. and the XFCE openSUSE ships is pathetic... :ashamed:

  20. vishalrao

    vishalrao Global Moral Police

    Interesting post today: Groklaw - KDE on KDE 4.0

    Source: 11 Myths about KDE

    I personally dont like the default Ozone/Oxygen window decorations (icons are okay) so I change the settings to make it look more like KDE 3 and its all good... gotta try changing the menu to the old style rather than kickoff, dont like kickoff either...

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