GNOME vs KDE Plasma

I experimented with GNOME vs KDE Plasma on an Ubuntu 20.04.


Plasma has an overabundance of options, plasmoids, layouts and panels, and as many configuration options as you want. You can tweak colours, themes, window borders and controls, and even the position of panels and toolbars on most applications, to get to the desktop and layout you want to use. You can’t fault KDE on customization and it is the most configurable desktop environment I’ve ever used on any OS.

Look and Feel

The default look of KDE is pleasing, with bright icons, nice gradients and shadows, and smooth animations switching from a menu to another, dragging windows around, and generally while using the system. The default theme, Breeze, looks good on plasmoids and application widgets, and it offers a dark mode by default if you prefer that. Plasma looks modern and polished, and it feels natural to use, with each element fading in and out.


As per applications, it’s a tough one: GNOME seems to have a lot more applications available by default, compared to KDE, but GNOME applications are severely lacking in features.


In terms of performance, KDE Plasma has quick and smooth animations for panels and menus and uses fewer RAM compared to GNOME. Applications open promptly, and stay snappy, even under load. GNOME also behaves nicely by default, but it usually uses more RAM and CPU. If you have a lower spec system, GNOME might not be the right choice for you.



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Krishnakanth Alagiri

Krishnakanth Alagiri

Engineering ⚙️ + DevOps 🐳 + Data Privacy 🕵️. GitHub: