Why am I covering KDE separately from GNOME? It may seem strange at first, considering that Debian doesn't make too many huge modifications to the DEs it uses. However, the fact that KDE 4 (at version 4.4) is included means that KDE 4 has finally reached a level of stability that is acceptable to the developers of stable versions of Debian. Previously, the only distribution based on stable Debian that used KDE 4 was SimplyMEPIS 8.5, based on Debian 5 "Lenny". Now it looks like that may have some competition (though I have heard some rumblings on the Internet that a new version of MEPIS is coming soon — I can't wait to get my hands on that!). Follow the jump to see what it's like.
The boot and startup time is (again) quite fast. The desktop is a plain-Jane KDE 4.4 desktop. I realized it was KDE 4.4 due to the old system tray icons combined with tabbed windows.
OpenOffice.org is included, though it sticks out like a sore thumb against the KDE 4 Oxygen theme. This, of course, can be remedied again by downloading and installing the appropriate packages. Speaking of which, there is no package manager present at all. I'm not sure why the GNOME version gets both Synaptic Package Manager and the Software Center, while KDE only gets the command line Aptitude and apt-get tools. In any case, I used apt-get to install Synaptic.
|OpenOffice.org + Tabbed Windows|
The big news is that KDE did not crash on me once. It worked just as smoothly as GNOME did, and I'm glad to see that Debian is paying as much attention to the stability of the KDE edition as the GNOME edition.
The installation is exactly the same as the GNOME edition, so there isn't really anything to say here. I will say that unlike the GNOME version, the KDE version did correctly recognize my timezone, and when I selected the appropriate timezone in the installation procedure, it responded correctly. Yay!
|Kickoff (+ Redundant Menu Items) + Dolphin|
Aside from the semi-major hiccup with GRUB, I think Debian 6 "Squeeze" KDE is a good alternative to GNOME. Really, it boils down to one's preference of one over the other; there's nothing show-stopping in either version for me to definitely recommend one over the other. Stay tuned for Part 3: LXDE!