GNOME vs KDE privacy-wise

Hello, for Opensuse you can choose between GNOME and KDE. As I understand it, while there is many Linux distros, GNOME and KDE are the two main variarions. Is one better than the other privacy and security wise ?

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Neither are focusing on privacy. It’s just that being open source would help with the security and privacy aspects of the project.

I don’t believe that there are any major differences between the two with respect to privacy. Both are privacy respecting, neither undermine your privacy.

With respect to Security (not privacy specifically) my guess is that Gnome gets many more ‘eyes on’ just due to being the default DE in so many popular distros, and being the only supported DE for most of the enterprise Linux distros who tend to prioritize security higherthan the general linux desktop userbase.

But in general, the only major way DE choice impacts privacy and security that I am aware of is whether or not it supports Wayland and both KDE Plasma and Gnome do.


I don’t think there’s really any privacy benefit in choosing one over the other. I have heard that GNOME has wanted to include (privacy respecting) telemetry for some time now but to my knowledge that hasn’t gone anywhere.

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KDE has telemetry, but its opt in I believe and it asks you whether you want to enable it on first use

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There are images of the opt-in telemetry prompt and setting in this post for those interested:

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You couldn’t go wrong with either of these…


KDE lets you set Flatpak permissions inside the Settings program. GNOME doesn’t have that; you’d need to install Flatseal. That’s the only significant privacy difference I can think of from the top of my head.

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In terms of privacy, there is absolutely no difference. It is mostly a matter of preference.

KDE Plasma is a bit Windows-like, with a start menu, window list and tray icons, a full-featured file manager, and minimize/maximize buttons on the right. But it’s also very customizable and you can change it to your liking. Generally KDE Plasma is always at the forefront of new features (e.g. fractional scaling for high-resolution displays or support of HDR displays and variable refresh rate) and KDE apps are very feature-packed too. But some people are overwhelmed by it, because a lot of features and options also necessarily make things more complicated (e.g. if you compare the KDE Plasma and Gnome settings).

Gnome is a bit iOS-like, with no window buttons to minimize or maximize, no tray icons, no desktop icons, no taskbar or dock to switch between windows (instead you need to rely on Alt+Tab or go to the overview screen) and a very opinionated workflow that seems to focus on using one window at a time like on a tablet and then putting each window on a different workspace (virtual desktops). Most people use a couple of extensions to make Gnome behave more like the normal desktop environments they know from Windows or macOS, and many distributions targeting beginners (e.g. Ubuntu, Pop_OS, Zorin) come bundled with a bunch of extensions and tweaks to make Gnome more palatable. Also, Gnome’s file manager is quite disappointing.

Here’s a more detailed comparison: Comparison & List of Desktop Environments

Personally, I prefer KDE Plasma.

Thank you for all your answers. I have tested GNOME and KDE, and basically agrees with @Regime6045 assement.

What my question was supposed to mean is : "On which is it easiest to set strong security and privacy settings for things such as wifi, bluetooth, ports, device integrity etc… ?

Unrelated, where can I find ressources on the difference between Distro, Desktop Environment, Wayland, Package Managers ?

KDE just released Plasma 6


There’s some info on PG: Linux Overview - Privacy Guides

I don’t think the Package Manager has any relevance for privacy or security. Unless you mean sandboxed apps installed as Snap or Flatpak?

You won’t find meaningful security settings in either. Linux is the wrong place, if you want to harden your security with a few simple toggles.

Most Linux comparisons are trash and neglect important aspects like security. They focus on mostly meaningless differences. Stick close to upstream (e.g. Arch, EndeavourOS, Tumbleweed or Fedora) and use KDE or Gnome with Wayland. Start from there with hardening.

Unfortunately, my PC doesn’t boot with Fedora. I had sucess with Ubuntu, openSUSE, but not Fedora.

@user1 Wayland support by default ! And the cube function is so cool

openSUSE Leap?

These two are Desktop Environments, they really can’t be more private than the other.

Both have telemetry but KDE Plasma has all telemetry disabled by default and requires the user to opt in to send telemetry (even GNOME does it opt in iirc, but I am not a GNOME user, so I don’t know).

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