For years I have been using Fedora using GNOME. A few months back I switched back to Windows and I am looking to switch back to linux in a few weeks time.
I liked GNOME, but I want to try something else. KDE is the natural option since it seems like a more advanced GNOME.
For my question; what is the best KDE distro? I am not willing to go the Arch route- since it seems like it requires way too much attention to maintain. I know Fedora has a KDE ‘spin’, but how often is it updated and is it even as stable as Fedora (especially becouse alot of Fedora’s new features are basically from GNOME)?
Thanks for your input and help.
Edit: Also, how much the privacy stack up between KDE and GNOME?
Fedora’s Plasma Spin is just as polished on a technical level as the main, workstation GNOME spin. The only difference in terms of stability is the stability differences between GNOME and KDE Plasma themselves.
Updates are equally as quick. They both use the same repositories, they just ship different desktop environments from there.
Some alternatives I can recommend would be:
Fedora Kinoite (Fedora + KDE Plasma, but immutable)
Kubuntu(If you’re fine with Ubuntu’s usual shortcomings)
(maybe) OpenSUSE (?)
Regarding this, both do not send anything by default.
KDE Plasma’s first run screen allows you to pick whether you want to send telemetry, including how much, but it’s set to none by default. On GNOME, you can grant telemetry by installing a seperate package.
I believe the plan was to ship Plasma 6 with Fedora 40? Not 100% sure on that one
Because it’s an official Ubuntu spin, it has to adhere to a couple of rules, which then lead to the following:
Flatpak is not included, at all. Only native deb packages and snaps are supported out-of-the-box.
Some packages are forcibly replaced by snap packages, even when they appear to be native .deb packages.
You may see this when installing Firefox, which will pull in snap even if you have previously removed it and then install the Firefox snap package.
The KDE Plasma version is (by default) locked to what is shipped, only security updates are backported.
You can “bypass” this by adding the kubuntu backports repository on the current Kubuntu LTS, which will allow you to update to the latest version of KDE Plasma.
Based on your previous experience using Fedora Gnome, Going with fedora KDE would be much easier transition. You are familiar with the base system already, only difference will be the DE. @TGRush covered everything there is to about fedora KDE spins.
Imho, there isn’t such a thing like “best KDE Distro”. It’s all personal preference. I really like how things are handled in the Debian space, like stability first, but fast integration of security patches and what software is used for networking, etc. so I use a Debian with KDE on top. I would call this version the “best”, but I’ll see that this is because of my preference.
But if you want fast Updates of KDE itself you should choose either KDEneon (fastest) or Fedora KDE (also pretty fast). If you like YaST to manage your system you should choose OpenSUSE. The list goes on and on…
I’ll never had any problems with the integration of KDE in any distro in about 5 years of using Linux.
The question here should rather be what are the distros differences then recommending such a thing like a one that’s the “best”.
TuxedoOS is similar to Kubuntu/Neon. It has recent versions of kernel, mesa, plasma & some other popular software. Snap is disabled by default. It is good, but I realized one could go with regular Kubuntu versions and have more or less the same experience. And that would be my first suggestion. But also not to update as soon as new version is released, better wait for month or two (same for Fedora or openSUSE Leap)
Other options might be Fedora KDE or Debian KDE. I’ve been using openSUSE KDE (Leap and Tumbleweed) for more than a decade, so it might also be good option. Though it mainly depends on application software one is using. If program is not so popular or if it’s some commercial program, it is possible the only official way to get it is in .deb format. If there is .rpm, there is high chance it will work on Fedora and not on openSUSE (missing libraries)
Based on personal experience, Arch is more stable than Ubuntu or Mint as a desktop OS. Backups are a must on any Linux distro. GrapheneOS uses Arch even on their servers. You can use EndeavourOS, which gets you a good ootb experience for Arch. Change a few settings, apply the hardening you would need on any distro anyway, install Flatpak, set up Wayland and maybe Snap. You are good to go. If you need AUR packages, learn to read Pkgbuild files (usually quite easy). From then on it will be similar to most other distros. So the initial setup requires more effort (you will learn valuable info about Linux which will benefit you on any distro), but maintenance is not much different.
The recommendations for KDE are not much different than for Gnome. KDE has much more functionality, configurability, needs less resources and is better to use if you like the traditional desktop workflow. I like it more then Gnome, which is way too basic and lacks a lot of useful features. Would recommend to use Fedora, OpenSuse Tumbleweed, or Arch. Kubuntu might also be an option if you prefer to use the Ubuntu family or like to use Snaps.
Pretty much the same
The OS itself is as stable, but the DE is not. You will definitely have more bugs in the latter, but also way more functionality. In my experience it’s worth it.