XFCE or KDE - that is the question

Michael’s set of tips for KDE is a definite keeper!

Problem is, i have come to appreciate latest XFCE 4.14 implementation which has hugely improved GUI (no more screen tearing and monitors are no longer grainy) but KDE has such a good search engine for files (and file content) and Dolphin file manager with preview etc., something i find missing in XFCE.

Btw, good to see the foursome on Youtube!

-a distro-hopper who has been quite content with latest MX 19 beta2


I have both installed (on Debian 10 Stable) as well as Gnome, which I use most of the time. I don’t have the latest XFCE but the version I do have is very useful if I need to do something quickly on old hardware. I agree Dolphin can be much more useful than Thunar at times - and I do believe it will run under all three DEs mentioned.

@ak2020 - interesting!
Always thought Dolphin was a KDE thing.
Will have to look into that.
Did try Fedora’s latest Gnome beta, just can’t get into it.

You can mix and match. I had GNOME disk utility in my MX Linux (running xfce). The only downside is it installs some of the libraries used by kde (size is negligible by modern standards).

I go through this with Plasma and Cinnamon all the time. Ultimately, I like both so I end up having a dual boot system with Kubuntu for Plasma and Arch for Cinnamon. That way I can easily switch between them when the mood to change hits me.

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For me it’s XFCE. I appreciate that we all have a choice and for me I choose what I’m more comfortable in. The complaints about it looking old are precisely why I love it and it runs awesome for me. Whenever someone asks me what the best DE is, I always tell them whichever one they like best. We all have our own preferences and are free in Linux to set up our system exactly how we choose.

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@KeiganTheTennessean - you must have been pleased with latest, long awaited 4.14.
Just curious. What is your choice app to find files and file content there?

Do you mean file manager? I just use Thunar. I don’t do many changes other than theming.

I like both. If you build either from minimal installs, download the basic packages and dependencies, then handpick any other software you want, you get the most bang for your buck.

The only way i could really appreciate XFCE thus far, was through MX18 and now 19b2 which has 4.14
Dabbing presently with LinuxMint XFCE, was wondering if it is possible to upgrade to 4.14 or must we wait for next release candidate?

For me it is Xfce even though I used and tried many of the others.
I like Plasma 5 but I like Xfce more. I find it easier to set up and forget. The slow pace of change and not changing any DE metaphor appeals to me and I still find it the most stable DE out there just like Debian. Apart from that I also think it is still relatively lightweight compared to others. I know Plasma is now on the same page but still, my laptop gets hotter and drains the battery faster.

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You can install Dolphin in XFCE. You have it probably in your repo. It’s just a file manager among others.
If it was KFind you were thinking about, it’s the same there.

XFCE. In theory, I love Plasma. I really like the Qt framework, I enjoy customizability, etc. But every time i use it I end up getting bogged down in said customizations… to the point where I’m getting nothing else done. It never fails… so I usually end up installing LXQT next to KDE and using it 95% of the time. XFCE is just so reliable, customizable enough (but not overwhelmingly so) and lightweight enough that it typically just zips along so I can actually accomplish things… I’ll just blame my ADHD, lol. Now if the question were XFCE or LxQT this would have a different answer from me…

Slightly off-topic, but between GTK file managers, which one would you go for? My vote’s on Nemo (if Caja was being used I wouldn’t bother switching).

And I haven’t used Thunar before, so i’m curious to know how it compares against other file managers?

Toss it on and run it a little.It’s small and you can quickly add folders to the left side. For a search install catfish and a right click in thunar will get you a search

You had me at catfish thunar.

sudo apt install catfish
# App Menu > Thunar > Edit > Configure custom actions
# Click “+”
# Click “Basic” tab
# Name field: Search Here
# Command field: catfish --path=%f
# Click “Appearance Conditions” tab
# Check “Directories”

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